XI. (36) And it is in reference to this that the Holy Scripture curses “any one who has placed in any secret place any carved thing, or any thing made of cast metal, the work of the hands of an Artist.”{21}{#de 27:15.} For why, O mind, do you store and treasure up within yourself depraved opinions, that God is a being of such and such qualities, (he who has no distinctive qualities) like a carved work; or that he who is imperishable is perishable like images that are cast in the foundry; and why do you not rather bring them forward openly that you may learn what is right from men who practise the truth? For you think that you are endowed with some great skill because you have devised absurd opinions imposing upon you by an appearance of probability, in opposition to the truth: but in reality you are proved to be destitute of skill, in as much as you are unwilling to be healed of that terrible disease of the soul, ignorance.

XII. (37) But that the wicked man skins into and is concealed within his own scattered mind, fleeing from the real mind or truth, is testified by Moses “who smote the Egyptian and buried him in the Sand,”{22}{#ex 2:12.} the meaning of which is that he by his arguments convinced him who asserted that the good things of the body were the most excellent, and who thought that the good things of the soul were of no value, and who likewise esteemed the pleasures as the end of life. (38) For when he had comprehended the labour of him who beholds God, which the king of Egypt had imposed on him, (and by the king of Egypt is meant vice, which is the guide of the passions) he sees an Egyptian man, that is to say human passions operating at a seasonable moment, beating and insulting the man who behold God, and looking round upon the whole soul on this side and on that side, and seeing no one standing by except the true God, and everything else in a state of confusion and disorder, having stricken down and convicted the lover of pleasure, he hides him in the dispersed and agitated mind, which is deprived of all kindred with and comprehension of what is good. (39) This man then is hidden in himself, but the man who is opposite to him escapes from himself, and flees to the God of all existing things.