How Could We Not Be Awed

By and large, the saints and sages of old fully explained the Way. Modern scholars mostly just read those books and repeat them. They don’t really drive any new insights from the ancients. Thus modern students and teachers alike are all students of the saints and sages. How can reckless teachers or students who follow the same teachers not be awed by the original saints and sages of old?
The Second Year of Ansei, The Sixteenth of August. “Lecture Notes”

3日憚り多きことのあらずや
道は古聖賢大抵言ひ尽くせり。今の学者多くは其の書を観て口真似をなすのみ、別に新見卓識古人に駕出するに非ず。然れば師弟共に諸共聖賢の門人と云ふものなり。同門人の中にて妄りに師と云ひ弟子と云ふは、第一古聖賢へ対して憚り多きことならずや。
安政二年八月十六日「講孟劄記」

Such Significance!

The Ancients said, “Reform that wicked spirit.” Such significance!
The Fourth Year of Ansei, the Sixth of June. “Mimicking a Countermeasure against Jests.”

23日味ひあるかな
古人言へるあり、「其の非心を格す」と。味ひあるかな、味ひあるかな。
安政四年六月六日「戯れに対策に擬す」

He Who Has Received Life

Generally, he who has received life on this earth–noble or lowly, man or women–should not idlely dwell by himself nor fail to study individually. Having done this, he will for the first time be fit to follow the Ancient Way.
The Third Year of Ansei, After August. “Lecture Notes on the Complete Book of Military Science.”

17日凡そ生を天地間に稟くる者
凡そ生を天地間に稟くる者、貴となく賤となく、男となく女となく、一人の逸居すべきなく、一人の教えなかるべきなし。然る後初めて古道に合ふと云ふべし。
安政三年八月以降「武教全書講録」

Debating the Present

If it is impossible to debate the present while considering the the past, then it is all empty discussion.
The Third Year of Ansei, The Seventh of June. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

20日今を論じ難ければ
古を執りて今を論じ難ければ皆空論なり。
安政三年六月七日「講孟箚記」

Do Not Strive to Develop

Do not strive to develop and strengthen yourself, and wish for others to be weakened. This is how modern day people see things. It’s heartbreaking, terribly heartbreaking…
The Second Year of Ansei, the 19th of July. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

18日盛強を勤めずして
吾れ盛強を勉めずして人の衰弱を願ふ。是れ今人の見なり。悲しいかな、悲しいかな。
安政二年七月十九日「講孟箚記」

Something Close

Each person has their own disposition. So, by studying the ancients, we should attain something close to their nature.
The Second Year of Ansei, The 29th of July. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

9日近き所を
人各々資質あり。故に古人を学びて其の性の近き所を得べし。
安政二年七月二十九日「講孟箚記」

By Knowing the Past

In everything, by knowing one, we should be able to know one hundred; by knowing the past, we should be able to know the future.
The Second Year of Ansei. “Prison Q&A.”

24日往を以て
物固より一を以て百を知るべく往を以て来を知るべきものあり。
安政二年「獄舎問答」

No Difference Between Ancient and Modern People

I usually say there is no difference between ancient and modern people… A trait of an average person is to think of saints or demons or heavenly beings if you speak of the ancients, and to think there is a seperation of heaven and earth only for modern people. This is the height of despair… Such people cannot follow a path like Emperors Yao and Shun.
The Third Year of Ansei, The 17th of June. “Minutes of the Head Lecturer.”

20日古人今人異るなし
余常に謂ふ、古人今人異るなし。(中略)俗人の癖として、古人と云へば、神か鬼か天人かにて、今人とは天壌の隔絶をなせる如き者と思ふ。是れ自暴自棄の極にて、(中略)与に堯舜の道に入れべからずとは此の人なり。
安政三年六月十七日「講孟箚記」