XXII. (71) But if you were to become changed, and to become possessed of the senses which you ought to have, you would then affirm that everything was the property of God, not of yourself, all conceptions, all knowledge, all art, all speculation, all particular reasonings, all the outward senses, and all the energies of the soul, whether exerted by them or without them; and if you leave yourself throughout the whole of your life without any instructor, and without any teaching, you will be a slave for ever to harsh mistresses, such as vain opinions, appetites, pleasures, acts of injustice, follies, and erroneous conceptions; (72) “For if,” says Moses, “the servant shall answer and say, I am content with my master, and with my wife, and with my children, I will not depart and be free, then, being brought before the judgment-seat of God,” and, having him for his judge, he shall securely have what he asked, “having first had his ear bored Through,”{22}{#ex 21:6.} that he may not hear the words of God about freedom of soul. (73) For it is a sign of a mind which is as it were rejected from the sacred contest and wholly discarded, and of reasoning faculties wholly childish and deficient, to make a boast of the mind being contented, and of thinking one’s mind one’s own lord and benefactor, and to boast of being very sufficiently pleased with the outward senses, and of thinking them one’s own property, and the greatest of all good things, and their offspring with them; the offspring of the mind being to comprehend, to reason, to discriminate, to will, to conjecture; and the offspring of the outward sense being to see, to hear, to taste, to smell, to touch, in short to feel.

XXIII. (74) It follows inevitably that he who is held in bondage by these two masters can never enjoy even a dream of freedom; for it is only by a flight and complete escape from them that we arrive at a state of freedom from fear. But there is another man besides him, who is so taken up with himself, who makes an exhibition of insanity, and says that even if any one were to take his possessions away from him he would gain a victory over him, like a man contending for his own property. “For,” says he, “I will pursue and will take captive; I will divide the spoil; I will satisfy my soul, and I will slay with my sword; my right hand shall obtain the Mastery.”{23}{#ex 15:9.} (75) To whom I would say, Thou hast forgotten, fool, that every one who thinks himself at his birth born to be a persecutor, is persecuted; for diseases, and old age, and death, with all the rest of the multitude of calamities incurred, voluntarily and involuntarily, agitate and harass and persecute every one of us; and he who thinks to take captive or to subdue is himself taken captive and subdued; and he who expects to carry off the spoil, and who arranges a distribution of the booty, is defeated, and becomes subject to the enemies who have defeated him, receiving emptiness instead of abundance, and slavery for his soul instead of mastership, and being slain instead of slaying, and forcibly suffering himself all that he had designed to do to others. (76) For such a man was truly the enemy of reason which establishes the truth, and of nature herself, setting up a claim to everything which was done as his own, and remembering not one of the things which happened to him while he was suffering, as if he had escaped all the evils which could arise from any source whatever.