54. POVERTY AS EDUCATOR
 Say I: “Good and true, and I cannot at all say that you have spoken one untrue word; but imagine a planet where all men without any special employment or other activity on their part are excellently provided, recognizing that they are able to live without any trouble whatsoever, and within a short time you have your North European inhabitants before you!
 Your North European people, once in Asia, the cradle of humankind, were equally and better provided with everything than now your Romans, and had enjoyed direct upbringing from the heavens; and there were sages among them the like of which the Earth has not carried until Myself; but what was the result? They ate and drank with cheer, became more sluggish by the day, falling into their present state by generation; but now in such their most pitiable condition they have to earn their most meagre physical living by the sweat of their brow, but are nonetheless not entirely bereft of sages and teachers.
 And behold, such very poverty shall place them on a developmental level that shall surpass the contemporary Roman one in every way.
 Hence it would not be beneficial for man to be all but fully provided physically. For he would then become so indigent as not to care about anything. And this striving after indigent, unconcerned peace is again an attribute of the so-to-say dead body. The soul, which for the most part still has to create its formal consistency by the appropriate activity of the body, would in the carefree peace of the body also rest, because within her too the bent towards inactivity originally predominates.
 Through the painful demands of the body the soul initially is awoken from her lethargy; for she senses that a completely care free physical existence could give her simultaneous death with the body. Hence she pulls every lever to provide for the body as best it can be. Since she nevertheless is terribly afraid of death, she begins next to her care for the body to also investigate life in actuality, and whether the soul would continue to continue to live, even though the body would be laid to rest.
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