In the midst of the universe is the sun established, like the bearer of the crowns; and even as a skillful driver, he directs and maintains the chariot of the world, holding it to its course. He keeps fast the reins of it, even life, soul, spirit, immortality, and birth. He drives it before him, or, rather, with him. And after this manner he forms all things, dispensing to immortals eternal permanence.
The light, which from his outer part streams towards heaven, nourishes the immortal spaces of the universe. The rest, encircling and illuminating the entirety of the waters, the earth, and the air, becomes the matrix wherein life germinates, wherein are initiated all births and metamorphoses, transforming creatures, as by a spiral motion, and causing them to pass from one portion of the world to another, from one species to another, and from one appearance to another; maintaining the equilibrium of their mutual metamorphoses, as in the creation of greater entities. For the permanence of bodies consists in transmutation. But immortal forms are indissoluble, and mortal bodies decompose; such is the difference between the immortal and the mortal.