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Baruch Spinoza Quotes

The endeavor to understand is the first and only basis of virtue.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
A free man thinks of death least of all things; and his wisdom is a meditation not of death but of life.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part IV, 1677)
All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.
Baruch Spinoza (On the Improvement of the Understanding, 1662)
In so far as a thing is in harmony with our nature, it is necessarily good.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part IV, 1677)
Freedom is absolutely necessary for the progress in science and the liberal arts.
Baruch Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise, 1670)
When you say that if I deny, that the operations of seeing, hearing, attending, wishing can be ascribed to God, or that they exist in Him in any eminent fashion, you do not know what sort of God mine is; I suspect that you believe there is no greater perfection than such as can be explained by the aforesaid attributes. I am not astonished; for I believe that, if a triangle could speak, it would say, in like manner, that God is eminently triangular, while a circle would say that the divine nature is eminently circular. Thus each would ascribe to God its own attributes, would assume itself to be like God, and look on everything else as ill-shaped.
Baruch Spinoza (Letter to Hugo Boxel, 1674)
All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.
Variant: All noble things are as difficult as they are rare.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part V, 1677)
Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear.
Variant: There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part III, 1677)
I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of established religion.
Baruch Spinoza
We feel and know that we are eternal.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part V, 1677)
He alone is free who lives with free consent under the entire guidance of reason.
Variant: I call him free who is led solely by reason.
Baruch Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise, 1670)
God is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things.
Baruch Spinoza (On the Improvement of the Understanding, 1662)
Desire is the very essence of a man.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
Philosophy has no end in view, save truth. Faith looks for nothing but obedience and piety.
Baruch Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise, 1670)
The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
The first thing that constitutes the actual being of a human Mind is nothing but the idea of a singular thing which actually exists.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
Sin cannot be conceived in a natural state, but only in a civil state, where it is decreed by common consent what is good or bad.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
As men's habits of mind differ, so that some more readily embrace one form of faith, some another, for what moves one to pray may move another to scoff, I conclude... that everyone should be free to choose for himself the foundations of his creed, and that faith should be judged only by its fruits.
Baruch Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise - Preface, 1670)
It may easily come to pass that a vain man may become proud and imagine himself pleasing to all when he is in reality a universal nuisance.
Baruch Spinoza (On the Improvement of the Understanding, 1662)
Men do all things for an end, namely, for that which is useful to them, and which they seek. Thus it comes to pass that they only look for a knowledge of the final causes of events.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd.
Baruch Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise, 1670)
There is no individual thing in nature, which is more useful to man, than a man who lives in obedience to reason.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part IV, 1677)
As reason makes no demands contrary to nature, it demands, that every man should love himself, should seek that which is useful to him... everything which really brings man to greater perfection... first, that the foundation of virtue is the endeavor to preserve one's own being, and... happiness consists in man's power of preserving his own being; secondly, that virtue is to be desired for its own sake, and that there is nothing more excellent or more useful to us... thirdly and lastly, that suicides are weak-minded, and are overcome by external causes repugnant to their nature. Further... we can never arrive at doing without all external things for the preservation of our being or living, so as to have no relations with things which are outside ourselves. ...our intellect would be more imperfect, if mind were alone, and could understand nothing besides itself.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part IV, 1677)
In regard to intellect and true virtue, every nation is on a par with the rest, and God has not in these respects chosen one people rather than another.
Baruch Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise, 1670)
The human mind cannot be absolutely destroyed with the body, but there remains of it something which is eternal.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part V, 1677)
Now since we have the rare good fortune to live in a commonwealth where freedom of judgment is fully granted to the individual citizen and he may worship God as he pleases, and where nothing is esteemed dearer and more precious than freedom, I think I am undertaking no ungrateful or unprofitable task in demonstrating that not only can this freedom be granted without endangering piety and the peace of the commonwealth, but also the peace of the commonwealth and piety depend on this freedom.
Baruch Spinoza (A Theological Political Treatise, 1670)
The knowledge of good and evil is nothing else but the emotions of pleasure or pain, in so far as we are conscious thereof.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part IV, 1677)
I make this chief distinction between religion and superstition, that the latter is founded on ignorance, the former on knowledge.
Baruch Spinoza (Letter to Henry Oldenburg, 1675)
The ultimate aim of government is not to rule, or restrain, by fear, nor to exact obedience, but contrariwise, to free every man from fear, that he may live in all possible security; in other words, to strengthen his natural right to exist and work without injury to himself or others.
Baruch Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise, 1670)
He, who possesses a body capable of the greatest number of activities, possesses a mind whereof the greatest part is eternal.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part V, 1677)
Hatred can never be good.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part IV, 1677)
Men would never be superstitious, if they could govern all their circumstances by set rules, or if they were always favoured by fortune: but being frequently driven into straits where rules are useless, and being often kept fluctuating pitiably between hope and fear by the uncertainty of fortune's greedily coveted favours, they are consequently for the most part, very prone to credulity.
Baruch Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise - Preface, 1670)
The more we understand particular things, the more do we understand God.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
Nature abhors a vacuum.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
I would warn you that I do not attribute to nature either beauty or deformity, order or confusion. Only in relation to our imagination can things be called beautiful or ugly, well-ordered or confused.
Baruch Spinoza (On the Improvement of the Understanding, 1662)
Will and intellect are one and the same thing.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part I, 1677)
If men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
He who seeks equality between unequals, seeks an absurdity.
Baruch Spinoza (Political Treatise, 1677)
Every man, by the laws of his nature, necessarily desires or shrinks from that which he deems to be good or bad.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part IV, 1677)
The true aim of government is liberty.
Baruch Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise, 1670)
The Affects, therefore, of hate, anger, envy, etc., considered in themselves, follow from the same necessity and force of nature as any other singular things. And therefore they acknowledge certain causes, through which they are understood, and have certain properties, as worthy of our knowledge as the properties of any other thing, by the mere contemplation of which we are pleased.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
Pride is a species of madness, wherein a man dreams with his eyes open.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
I have laboured carefully, not to mock, lament, or execrate, but to understand human actions.
I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.
Baruch Spinoza (Political Treatise, 1677)
The more a government strives to curtail freedom of speech, the more obstinately is it resisted; not indeed by the avaricious, ... but by those whom good education, sound morality, and virtue have rendered more free.
Baruch Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise, 1670)
Nothing in the universe is contingent, but all things are conditioned to exist and operate in a particular manner by the necessity of the divine nature.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Book I, 1677)
Anyone who seeks for the true causes of miracles, and strives to understand natural phenomena as an intelligent being, and not to gaze at them like a fool, is set down and denounced as an impious heretic by those, whom the masses adore as the interpreters of nature and the gods. Such persons know that, with the removal of ignorance, the wonder which forms their only available means for proving and preserving their authority would vanish also.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Book I, 1677)
If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.
Baruch Spinoza
For peace is not mere absence of war, but is a virtue that springs from, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.
Baruch Spinoza (Political Treatise, 1677)
Every idea that in us is absolute, or adequate and perfect, is true.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
The order and connection of ideas is the same as the order and connection of things.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
As for the terms good and bad, they indicate no positive quality in things regarded in themselves, but are merely modes of thinking, or notions which we form from the comparison of things with one another. Thus one and the same thing can be at the same time good, bad, and indifferent. For instance music is good for him that is melancholy, bad for him who mourns; for him who is deaf, it is neither good nor bad.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Part IV , 1677)
In the Mind there is no absolute, or free, will, but the Mind is determined to will this or that by a cause which is also determined by another, and this again by another, and so to infinity.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics, 1677)
Happiness is a virtue, not its reward.
Baruch Spinoza
Nothing comes to pass in nature, which can be set down to a flaw therein; for nature is always the same and everywhere one and the same in her efficiency and power of action; that is, nature's laws and ordinances whereby all things come to pass and change from one form to another, are everywhere and always; so that there should be one and the same method of understanding the nature of all things whatsoever, namely, through nature's universal laws and rules.
Baruch Spinoza (The Ethics - Book III, 1677)
Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.
Baruch Spinoza
Be not astonished at new ideas; for it is well known to you that a thing does not therefore cease to be true because it is not accepted by many.
Baruch Spinoza (Short Treatise on God, Man and His Well-Being, 1660)
Man can, indeed, act contrarily to the decrees of God, as far as they have been written like laws in the minds of ourselves or the prophets, but against that eternal decree of God, which is written in universal nature, and has regard to the course of nature as a whole, he can do nothing.
Baruch Spinoza (Political Treatise, 1677)
The Door of Direct Experience: Empowering Book by Daniel Seeker on Amazon
Baruch Spinoza Biography

Born: November 24, 1632
Died: February 21, 1677

Baruch Spinoza, also known simply as Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher. He has had an immense influence on Western philosophy and is often regarded as one of the greatest rationalists of all time.

Notable Works
Short Treatise on God, Man and His Well-Being (1660)
On the Improvement of the Understanding (1662)
Principles of Cartesian Philosophy (1663)
A Theological-Political Treatise (1670)
Political Treatise (1677)
The Ethics (1677)
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