“Then, in the recession of years, some details, which were at times factors of the initial idea, are less vivid, thus weakening the power of reason which was the excuse, the pretext, or the origin of the act.
“This is why, altho we may honor the wisdom of the aged, it is well to acquire it at a time when we may use it as a precious aid.
“To those who insist that nothing is equivalent to personal experience, we shall renew our argument, begging them to meditate on the preceding lines, drawing their attention to the fact that a just opinion can only be formed when personal sentiment is excluded from the discussion.
“Is it, then, necessary to have experienced pain in order to prevent or cure it?
“The majority of physicians have never been killed by the disease they treat.
“Does this fact prevent them from combatting disease victoriously?
“And since we are speaking of common sense we shall not hesitate to invoke it in this instance, and all will agree that it should dictate our reply.
“Then why could we not do for the soul that which can be done for the body?
“It is first from books, then from the lessons of life that physicians learn the principles underlying their knowledge of disease and its healing remedies.
“Is it absolutely indispensable for us to poison ourselves in order to know that such and such a plant is harmful and that another contains the healing substance which destroys the effects of the poison?
“We may all possess wisdom if we are willing to be persuaded that the experience of others is as useful as our own.”
The events which multiply about us, Yoritomo says, ought to be, for each master, an opportunity for awakening in the soul of his disciples a perfect reasoning power, starting from the inception of the premises to arrive at the conclusions of all arguments.
From the repetition of events, from their correlation, from their equivalence, from their parallelism, knowledge will be derived and will be productive of good results, in proportion as egotistical sentiment is eliminated from them; and slowly, with the wisdom acquired by experience, common sense will manifest itself tranquil and redoubtable, working always for the accomplishment of good as does everything which is the emblem of strength and peace.
THE FIGHT AGAINST ILLUSION
Common Sense such as we have just described it, according to Yoritomo, is the absolute antithesis of dreamy imagination, it is the sworn enemy of illusion, against which it struggles from the moment of contact.
Common sense is solid, illusion is yielding, also illusion never issues victorious from a combat with it; during a struggle illusion endeavors vainly to display its subterfuges and cunning; illusions disappear one by one, crusht by the powerful arms of their terrible adversary—common sense.