XXV. (97) Our own affairs are at one time in a state of tranquillity, and at another they behave as it were with unseasonable impetuosity and loud cries; and their tranquillity is profound peace, and their condition, when in an opposite state, is interminable war; (98) and the witness to this fact is one who has experienced its truth, and who cannot lie; for having heard the voice of the people crying out, he says to the manager and superintendent of the affairs, “There is a sound of war in the tent;” for as long as the irrational impulses were not stirred up, and had not raised any outcry in us, our minds were established with some firmness; but when they began to fill the place of the soul with all sorts of voices and sounds, calling together and awakening the passions, they created a civil sedition and war in the camp. (99) Very naturally, for where else should there be strife, and battle, and contention, and all the other deeds of interminable war, except in the life according to the body, which he, speaking allegorically, calls the camp? This life the mind is accustomed to leave, when under the influence of God it approaches the living God, contemplating the incorporeal appearances; (100) “for Moses,” says the scripture, “having taken his own tent, fixed it outside the camp,” and that too not near it, but a long way off, and at a great distance from the camp. And by these statements he tells us, figuratively, that the wise man is but a sojourner, and a person who leaves war and goes over to peace, and who passes from the mortal and disturbed camp to the undisturbed and peaceful and divine life of rational and happy souls.

XXVI. (101) And he says in another passage that, “When I have gone out of the city I will stretch forth my hands unto the Lord, and the voices shall Cease.”{24}{#ex 9:29.} Think not here that he who is speaking is a man, a contexture, or composition, or combination of soul and body, or whatever else you may choose to call this concrete animal; but rather the purest and most unalloyed mind, which, while contained in the city of the body and of mortal life is cramped and confined, and like a man who is bound in prison confesses plainly that he is unable to relish the free air. But as soon as it has escaped from this city, then being released, as to its thoughts and imaginations, as prisoners are loosened as to their hands and feet, it will put forth its energies in their free, and emancipated, and unrestrained strength, so that the commands of the passions will be at once put an end to. (102) Are not the outcries of pleasure very loud with which she is accustomed to deliver such commands as please her? And is not the voice of appetite unwearied when she pours forth her bitter threats against those who do not serve her? And so again all the other passions have a voice of loud and varied sound. (103) But even, if each one of the passions were to exert the ten thousand mouths and voices, and all the power of making an uproar spoken of by poets, it would not be able to perplex the ears of the perfect man, after he has already passed from them, and determined no longer to dwell in the same city with them.