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1. O MY SON, write this First Book, both for Humanity's sake, and for Piety towards god.
2. For there can be no Religion more true or just, than to know the things that are; and to acknowledge thanks for all things, to Him that made them, which thing I shall not cease continually to do.
3. What then should a man do, O Father, to lead his life well; seeing there is nothing here true?
4. Be Pious and Religious, O my Son; for he that doth so, is the best and highest Philosopher, and without Philosophy it is impossible ever to attain to the height and exactness of Piety and Religion.
5. But he that shall learn and study the things that are, and how they are ordered and governed, and by whom, and for what cause, or to what end. Will acknowledge thanks to the Workman, as to a good Father, an excellent Nurse, and a faithful Steward, and he that gives thanks shall be Pious or Religious, and he that is Religious shall know both where the truth is, and what it is, and learning that he will be yet more and more Religious.
6. For never, O my Son, shall, or can that soul, which, while it is in the body, lightens and lifts up itself to know and comprehend that which is good and true, slide back to the contrary. For it is infinitely enamoured thereof, and forgetteth all evils; and when it hath learned and known its Father and Progenitor, it can no more apostatize or depart from that good.
7. And let this, O Son, be the end of Religion and Piety; whereunto thou art once arrived, thou shalt both live well and die blessedly, whilst thy soul is not ignorant wither it must return, and fly back again.
8. For this only, O Son, is the way to Truth, which our Progenitors travelled in; and by which making their journey, they at length attained to the good. It is a venerable way and plain, but hard and difficult for the soul to go in that is in the body.
9. For first must it war against its own self, and after much strife and dissention, it must be overcome of the part; for the contention is of one against two, whilst it flies away, and they strive to hold and detain it.
10. But the victory of both is not like, for the one hasteth to that which is Good, but the other is a neighbour to the things that are Evil; and that which is Good desireth to be set at liberty, but the things that are Evil love bondage and Slavery.
11. And if the two parts be overcome, they become quiet, and are content to accept of it as their Ruler; but if the one be overcome of the two, it is by them led and carried to be punished by its being and continuance here.
12. This is, O Son, the Guide in the way that leads thither; for thou must first forsake the Body before thy end, and get the victory in this contention and strifeful life, and when thou hast overcome, return.
13. But now, O my Son, I will by Heads run through the things that are. Understand thou what I say, and remember what thou hearest.
14. All things that are moved, only that which is not is immoveable.
15. Every body is changeable.
16. Not every body is dissolveable.
17. Some bodies are dissolveable.
18. Every living being is not mortal.
19. Nor every living thing is immortal.
20. That which may be dissolved is also corruptible.
21. That which abides always is unchangeable.
22. That which is unchangeable is eternal.
23. That which is always made is always corrupted.
24. That which is made but once is never corrupted, neither becomes any other thing.
25. Firstly, God; secondly, the World; thirdly, Man.
26. The World for Man; Man for God.
27. Of the Soul; that part which is sensible is mortal, but that part which is reasonable is immortal.
28. Every Essence is immortal.
29. Every Essence is unchangeable.
30. Everything that is, is double.
31. None of the things that are stand still.
32. Not all things are moved by a soul, but everything that is, is moved by a soul.
33. Everything that suffers is sensible; everything that is sensible, suffereth.