Baruch Spinoza Quotes
1. The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.
2. The more you struggle to live, the less you live. Give up the notion that you must be sure of what you are doing. Instead, surrender to what is real within you, for that alone is sure….you are above everything distressing.
3. I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of the peace.
4. No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides.
5. If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.
6. Everything excellent is as difficult as it is rare.
7. I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.
8. The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is.
9. Peace is not the absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition of benevolence, confidence, justice.
10. Do not weep. Do not wax indignant. Understand.
11. When a man is prey to his emotions, he is not his own master.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. What Paul says about Peter tells us more about Paul than about Peter.
15. There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.
16. I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them.
17. In so far as the mind sees things in their eternal aspect, it participates in eternity.
18. The endeavor to understand is the first and only basis of virtue.
19. Pride is pleasure arising from a man’s thinking too highly of himself.
20. No to laugh, not to lament, not to detest, but to understand.
21. There can be no hope without fear, and no fear without hope.
22. Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.
23. In practical life we are compelled to follow what is most probable ; in speculative thought we are compelled to follow truth.
24. Happiness is not the reward of virtue, but is virtue itself; nor do we delight in happiness because we restrain from our lusts; but on the contrary, because we delight in it, therefore we are able to restrain them.
25. None are more taken in by flattery than the proud, who wish to be the first and are not.
26. The supreme mystery of despotism, its prop and stay, is to keep men in a state of deception, and with the specious title of religion to cloak the fear by which they must be held in check, so that they will fight for their servitude as if for salvation.
27. A free man thinks of nothing less than of death, and his wisdom is a meditation, not on death, but on life.
28. Hatred is increased by being reciprocated, and can on the other hand be destroyed by love. Hatred which is completely vanquished by love, passes into love; and love is thereupon greater, than id hatred had not preceded it.
29. We feel and experience ourselves to be eternal.
30. He alone is free who lives with free consent under the entire guidance of reason.
31. Men are mistaken in thinking themselves free; their opinion is made up of consciousness of their own actions, and ignorance of the causes by which they are determined.
32. It is the part of a wise man, I say, to refresh and restore himself in moderation with pleasant food and drink, with scents, with the beauty of green plants, with decoration, music, sports, the theater, and other things of this kind, which anyone can use without injury to another.
33. Minds, however, are conquered not by arms, but by love and nobility.
34. I should attempt to treat human vice and folly geometrically… the passions of hatred, anger, envy, and so on, considered in themselves, follow from the necessity and efficacy of nature… I shall, therefore, treat the nature and strength of the emotion in exactly the same manner, as though I were concerned with lines, planes, and solids.
35. All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.
36. The superstitious know how to reproach people for their vices better than they know how to teach them virtues, and they strive, not to guide men by reason, but to restrain them by fear, so that they flee the evil rather than love virtues. Such people aim only to make others as wretched as they themselves are, so it is no wonder that they are generally burdensome and hateful to men.
37. Only in relation to our imagination can things be called beautiful or ugly, well-ordered or confused.
38. He who wishes to revenge injuries by reciprocal hatred will live in misery. But he who endeavors to drive away hatred by means of love, fights with pleasure and confidence; he resists equally one or many men, and scarcely needs at all the help of fortune. Those whom he conquers yield joyfully.
39. everyone endeavors as much as possible to make others love what he loves, and to hate what he hates… This effort to make everyone approve what we love or hate is in truth ambition, and so we see that each person by nature desires that other persons should live according to his way of thinking…
40. Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself.
41. the ultimate aim of government is not to rule, or restrain by fear, nor to exact obedience, but to free every man from fear that he may live in all possible security… In fact the true aim of government is liberty.
42. No reason compels me to maintain that the body does not die unless it is changed into a corpse. And, indeed, experience seems to urge a different conclusion. Sometimes a man undergoes such changes that I should hardly have said he was the same man.
43. Those who know the true use of money, and regulate the measure of wealth according to their needs, live contented with few things.
44. Don’t cry and don’t rage. Understand.
45. The mind of God is all the mentality that is scattered over space and time, the diffused consciousness that animates the world.
46. Nature offers nothing that can be called this man’s rather than another’s; but under nature everything belongs to all.
47. I call him free who is led solely by reason.
48. All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.
49. Reason is no match for passion.
50. The less the mind understands and the more things it perceives, the greater its power of feigning is; and the more things it understands, the more that power is diminished.
51. Nothing in Nature is random. A thing appears random only through the incompleteness of our knowledge.
52. Human infirmity in moderating and checking the emotions I name bondage : for, when a man is a prey to his emotions, he is not his own master, but lies at the mercy of fortune : so much so, that he is often compelled, while seeing that which is better for him, to follow that which is worse.
53. Happiness is a virtue, not its reward.
54. We feel and know that we are eternal.
55. The good which every man, who follows after virtue, desires for himself he will also desire for other men…
56. Hatred is increased by being reciprocated, and can on the other hand be destroyed by love.
57. A free man thinks of death least of all things, and his wisdom is a meditation not of death but of life.
58. Will and intellect are one and the same thing.
59. I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of established religion.
60. Nothing forbids man to enjoy himself, save grim and gloomy superstition