IX. (28) We have shown, therefore, in what manner the wicked man is a fugitive, and how he conceals himself from God; but now let us consider where he conceals himself. “In the middle,” says Moses, “of the trees of the Garden;”{19}{#ge 3:8.} that is to say, in the middle of the mind, which again is itself the centre of the whole soul, as the trees are of the garden. For the man who escapes from God flees to himself, (29) for, since there are two things, the mind of the universe, which is God, and also the separate mind of each individual, he who escapes from the mind which is in himself flees to the mind of the universe; and conversely, he who forsakes his own individual mind, confesses that all the things of the human mind are of no value, and attributes everything to God; again, he who seeks to escape from God asserts, by so doing, that God is not the cause of anything, but looks upon himself as the cause of everything that exists. (30) At all events it is affirmed by many people, that everything in the world is borne on spontaneously without any guide or governor, and that the human mind, by its own single power, has invented arts and pursuits, and laws and customs, and all the principles of political and individual, and common justice, with reference both to men and to irrational animals. (31) But dost thou not see, O soul, the unreasonable character of these opinions? For one of them having the particular mind, which was created and which is mortal, does in reality ascribe it to the mind of the universe, which is uncreated and immortal: and the other again, repudiating God, most inconsistently drags forward, as an ally, that mind which is unable even to assist itself.

X. (32) On this account also Moses says, that “If a thief be detected in the act of breaking into a house, and be smitten so that he die, that shall not be imputed as murder to him who has smitten him; but if the sun be risen upon him, then he is liable, and shall die in Retaliation.”{20}{#ex 22:1.} For if any one cuts down and destroys that reason which stands upright and is sound and correct, which testifies to God that he alone is able to do everything, and is found in the act of breaking in upon it, that is to say, standing over this reason thus wounded and destroyed, and who recognises his own mind as energising, and not God, is a thief, taking away what belongs to others, (33) for all things belong to God; so he who attributes anything to himself is taking away what belongs to another, and receives a very severe blow and one difficult to heal, namely, arrogance, a thing nearly akin to imprudence and ignorance. But he says nothing as to the name of him who has smitten him, for the smiter is not a different person from him who is smitten. But as a man who rubs himself is likewise a person who is rubbed, and as he who stretches himself out is also the person who is stretched out, for he himself both exerts the power of the agent, and also fills the part of the patient. In like manner is he, who steals the things which belong to God, and attributes them to himself, subjected to the tortures of his own impiety and arrogance. (34) Would that the man so stricken might die, that is to say might perish before he had succeeded in his objects, for then he will appear to be less sinful, for of vice one kind is discerned in habit, and another kind in motion; but the one which is discerned in motion has an inclination towards the perfecting of its operation, on which account it is more mischievous than the one which is discerned only in habit. (35) If therefore the mind, which imagines itself and not God to be the cause of things, dies, that is to say, becomes inactive and contracts itself, then there is no cause of death in it; it has not absolutely destroyed the living opinion, which attributes all power, and all exertion of power to God, but if the Sun rises, that is to say the mind which appears brilliant in us, and if it appears to see through everything and to judge everything, and not to flee from itself, it then becomes liable to death, and shall die in retaliation for the living doctrine which it has destroyed; according to which God alone is the cause of everything, being found to be wholly unable to effect any good purpose, and to be truly dead in as much as it has shown itself the interpreter of a lifeless and dead and departed doctrine.