XXXVIII. (208) I very much admire Rebecca, who is patience, because she, at that time, recommends the man who is perfect in his soul, and who has destroyed the roughnesses of the passions and vices, to flee and return to Charran; for she says, “Now, therefore, my child, hear my voice, and rise up and depart, and flee away to Laban, my brother, to Charran, and dwell with him certain days, until the anger and rage of thy brother is turned from being against thee, and till he forgets what thou hast done to Him.”{98}{#ge 27:43.} (209) And it is with great beauty that she here calls going by the road, which leads to the outward senses, a fleeing away; for, in truth, the mind is then a fugitive, when, having left its own appropriate objects which are comprehensible to the understanding, it turns to the opposite rank of those which are perceptible by the outward senses. And there are cases in which to run away is useful, when a person adopts this line of conduct, not out of hatred to his superior, but in order to avoid the snares which are laid for him by his inferior. (210) What, then, is the recommendation of patience? A most admirable and excellent one. If ever, she says, you see the passion of rage and anger highly provoked and excited to ferocity either in thyself or in any one else, which is nourished by irrational and unmanageable nature, do not excite it further and make it more savage, for then perhaps it will inflict incurable wounds; but cool its fervour, and pacify its too highly inflamed disposition, for if it be tamed and rendered tractable it will do you less injury. (211) What, then, are the means by which it can be tamed and pacified? Having, as far as appearance goes, assumed another form and another character, follow it, first of all, wherever it pleases, and, opposing it in nothing, admit that you have the same objects of love and hatred with itself, for by these means it will be rendered propitious; and, when it is pacified, then you may lay aside your pretence, and, not expecting any longer to suffer any evil at its hand, you may with indifference return to the care of your own objects; (212) for it is on this account that Charran is represented as full of cattle, and as having tenders of flocks for its inhabitants. For what region could be more suitable for irrational nature, and for those who have undertaken the care and superintendence of it, than the external senses which exist in us? (213) Accordingly, when the practiser of virtue asks, “From whence come ye?” the shepherds answer him truly, that they come “from Charran.”{99}{#ge 29:4.} For the irrational powers come from the external sense, as the rational ones come from the mind. And when he further inquires whether they know Laban, they very naturally assert that they do know him, for the outward sense is acquainted with complexion and with every distinctive quality, as it thinks; and of complexion and distinctive qualities Laban is the symbol. (214) And he himself, when at last he is made perfect, will quit the abode of the outward senses, and will set up the abode of the soul as belonging to the soul, which, while still among labours and among the external senses, he gives a vivid description of; for he says, “When shall I make myself, also, a House.”{100}{#ge 30:30.} When, disregarding the objects of the external senses and the external senses themselves, shall I dwell in mind and intellect, being, in name, going to and fro among and dwelling among the objects of contemplation, like those souls which are fond of investigating invisible objects, (215) which it is usual to call midwives? For they also make suitable coverings and phylacteries for souls which are devoted to virtue; but the strongest and most defensible abode was the fear of God, to those, at least, who have him for an impregnable fortress and wall. “For,” says Moses, “when the midwives feared God they made themselves Houses.”{101}{#ex 1:21.}