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Chapter XXXV

1. WHAT were the ascetics of the ancients?

2. That heaven and earth are warring elements, one against the other.

3. That all men must choose to serve one or the other, and at once engage in the battle.

4. If a man desire everlasting life and bliss in heaven, then must he battle his earthly parts with great vigor.

5. He shall torture his flesh, by fastings, and by lying naked on sharp stones, and by flagellations, and otherwise showing before the Gods how displeased he is with his corporeal body.

6. He must live alone, deny himself all pleasures, sleep not in a house, nor eat cooked foot.

7. What is the extreme of great learning?

8. To devote one's whole life to learning what is in the books. To cultivate the memory, that one may repeat all p. 696 the words in four thousand books is a great learning. But it is greater learning, to be capable of repeating eight thousand books, word for word.

9. What is the extreme of loyalty?

10. To love the emperor, so one can not see his faults; to love the rab'bahs, so one can not see their faults. To love discipline, so that one hath no time for anything else; and, on the contrary, to have no time for discipline nor rites nor ceremonies.

11. What is the law of life?

12. The spirit of man is the man; to live for the growth of the spirit, this is the highest of living.

13. What manner is spirit communion?

14. The spirit of one person can commune with the spirit of another, if they be not encumbered with grossness. The spirits of the dead can commune with the spirits of the living, even without one's knowing it.

15. What is the destination of the souls of men?

16. When man dieth, his spirit is born into the air of the earth, which is the intermediate world, whither it sojourneth until sufficiently purified, and is reverential to the Creator; and then it is taken up by His angels to dwell in the higher heavens forever.

17. What shall mortal man do for the benefit of his own spirit?

18. He shall love the Creator with all his soul, and strive to emulate Him in good works and gentleness and love.

19. But if he do not this, what then?

20. His spirit will be bound in hell after death; he will become a victim for the delight of demons.

Next: Chapter XXXVI