XVII. (51) And the expression “Where art thou?” amidst of being interpreted in many ways. In the first place it may be taken not as an interrogation, but as an affirmation, equivalent to the words “You are somewhere,” if you alter the accent on the particle pou “where.” For, since you have thought that God was walking in the garden, and was surrounded by it, learn now that in this you were mistaken, and hear from God who knows all things that most true statement that God is not in any one place. For he is not surrounded by anything, but he does himself surround everything. For that which is created is in place; for it is inevitable that it must be surrounded, and not be the thing which surrounds. (52) In the second placed, that which is said is equivalent to this, Where has thou been, O soul? What evils hast thou chosen instead of what good things? When God invited you to a participation in virtue, have you pursued vice? And when he offered to you for your enjoyment the tree of life, that is to say the tree of wisdom by which you might live, have you hastened into ignorance and to destruction, preferring misery, the death of the soul to the happiness of eternal life? (53) The third interpretation is the interrogative one; to which there may be two answers given. The one, if the answer be give to the inquirer, “Where art thou?” is, “Nowhere.” For the soul of the wicked man has no place to which it can go, or in which it can be situated. In respect of which fact the wicked man is said to be destitute of place; but an evil destitute of place is one which is difficult to manage. And such is the man who is void of good qualities, being always agitated and in a state of confusion, and wavering about after the fashion of an unsteady breeze being altogether the companion of no single steady opinion. (54) The other answer may be of this kind; that which Adam himself uses. “Hear where I am,” where those are who are unable to see God; where those are who do not listen to God; where those are who endeavour to conceal themselves from him who is the author of all things: where those are who flee from virtue, where those are who are destitute of wisdom, where those are who are alarmed and tremble because of the unmanliness and cowardice of their souls. For when Adam says, “I heard thy voice in the paradise and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself,” he exhibits all the qualities enumerated above, as I have shown, more at length, in the former books of this treatise.