Spinoza's Simplified Ethics Part 5, Propositions 14-20: The Love of God
The Love of God
Proposition 14. The mind can bring it about, that all bodily modifications or images of things may be referred to the idea of God.is no modification of the body, whereof the mind may not form some clear and distinct conception (5.4.).
Wherefore it can bring it about, that they should all be referred to the idea of God (1.15.). Q.E.D.
Proposition 15: He who clearly and distinctly understands himself and his emotions loves God, and so much the more in proportion as he more understands himself and his emotions.who clearly and distinctly understands himself and his emotions feels pleasure (3.53.), and this pleasure is (by the last Prop.) accompanied by the idea of God.
Therefore (Def. of the Emotions, 6.) such an one loves God, and (for the same reason) so much the more in proportion as he more understands himself and his emotions. Q.E.D.
Proposition 16. This love towards God must hold the chief place in the mind.this love is associated with all the modifications of the body (5.14.) and is fostered by them all (5.15).
Therefore (5.11.), it must hold the chief place in the mind. Q.E.D.
Proposition 17. God is without passions, neither is he affected by any emotion of pleasure or pain.ideas, in so far as they are referred to God, are true (2.32.), that is (2. Def. 4.) adequate.
Therefore (by the general Def. of the Emotions) God is without passions.
Again, God cannot pass either to a greater or to a lesser perfection (1.20. Coroll. 2.).
Therefore (by Def. of the Emotions, 2., 3.) he is not affected by any emotion of pleasure or pain.
speaking, God does not love or hate anyone.
For God (by the foregoing Prop.) is not affected by any emotion of pleasure or pain, consequently (Def. of the Emotions, 6, 7) he does not love or hate anyone.
Proposition 18. No one can hate God.idea of God which is in us is adequate and perfect (2.46, 2.47).
Wherefore, in so far as we contemplate God, we are active (3.3.).
Consequently (3.59.) there can be no pain accompanied by the idea of God, in other words (Def. of the Emotions, 7), no one can hate God. Q.E.D.
towards God cannot be turned into hate.may be objected that, as we understand God as the cause of all things, we by that very fact regard God as the cause of pain.
But I make answer, that, in so far as we understand the causes of pain, it to that extent (5.3.) ceases to be a passion, that is, it ceases to be pain (3.59.).
Therefore, in so far as we understand God to be the cause of pain, we to that extent feel pleasure.
Proposition 19. He, who loves God, cannot endeavour that God should love him in return., if a man should so endeavour, he would desire (5.17. Coroll.) that God, whom he loves, should not be God, and consequently he would desire to feel pain (3.19.), which is absurd (3.28.).
Therefore, he who loves God, etc. Q.E.D.
Proposition 20: This love towards God cannot be stained by the emotion of envy or jealousy.
Contrariwise, it is the more fostered, in proportion as we conceive a greater number of men to be joined to God by the same bond of love.
love towards God is the highest good which we can seek for under the guidance of reason (4.28.), it is common to all men (4.36.),
We desire that all should rejoice therein (4.37).
Therefore (Def. of the Emotions, 23), it cannot be stained by the emotion envy, nor by the emotion of jealousy (5.18. see definition of Jealousy, 3.35. note).
But, contrariwise, it must needs be the more fostered, in proportion as we conceive a greater number of men to rejoice therein. Q.E.D.
can in the same way show, that there is no emotion directly contrary to this love, whereby this love can be destroyed.
Therefore we may conclude, that this love towards God is the most constant of all the emotions, and that, in so far as it is referred to the body, it cannot be destroyed, unless the body be destroyed also.
As to its nature, in so far as it is referred to the mind only, we shall presently inquire.
I have now gone through all the remedies against the emotions, or all that the mind, considered in itself alone, can do against them.
Whence it appears that the mind's power over the emotions consists:
In the actual knowledge of the emotions (5.4. note).
In the fact that it separates the emotions from the thought of an external cause, which we conceive confusedly (5.2. and 5.4. note).
In the fact, that in respect to time, the emotions referred to things, which we distinctly understand, surpass those referred to what we conceive in a confused and fragmentary manner (5.7.).
In the number of causes whereby those modifications are fostered, which have regard to the common properties of things or to God (5.9.11.).
5. Lastly, in the order wherein the mind can arrange and associate, one with another, its own emotions (5.10 note and 5.11, 5.13, 5.14).
But, in order that this power of the mind over the emotions may be better understood, it should be specially observed that the emotions are called by us strong, when we compare the emotion of one man with the emotion of another, and see that one man is more troubled than another by the same emotion; or
When we compare the various emotions of the same man and find that he is more affected by one emotion than by another.
For the strength of every emotion is defined by a comparison of our own power with the power of an external cause.
The mind's power is defined by knowledge only.
Its infirmity or passion is defined only by the privation of knowledge.
Therefore, it follows that that mind is most passive, whose greatest part is made up of inadequate ideas.
So that it may be characterized more readily by its passive states than by its activities.
On the other hand, that mind is most active, whose greatest part is made up of adequate ideas, so that, although it may contain as many inadequate ideas as the former mind, it may yet be more easily characterized by ideas attributable to human virtue, than by ideas which tell of human infirmity.
Spiritual unhealthiness and misfortunes can generally be traced to excessive love for something:
which is subject to many variations, and
which we can never become masters of.
No one is solicitous or anxious about anything, unless he loves it.
Wrongs, suspicions, enmities, etc. only arise in regard to things that no one can be really a master of.
Thus, we may readily conceive the power which clear and distinct knowledge, and especially that third kind of knowledge (2.47. note), founded on the actual knowledge of God, possesses over the emotions:
if it does not absolutely destroy them, in so far as they are passions (5.3. and 5.4 note).
At any rate, it causes them to occupy a very small part of the mind (5.14.).
Further, it begets a love towards a thing immutable and eternal (5.15.), whereof we may really enter into possession (2.45.).
Neither can it be defiled with those faults which are inherent in ordinary love.
But it may grow from strength to strength, and may engross the greater part of the mind, and deeply penetrate it.
I have briefly described all the remedies against the emotions.
Anyone can see this for himself, if he has attended to:
what is advanced in the present note, and
the definitions of the mind and its emotions, and
Propositions 1 and 3 of Part 3.
We now pass on to those matters, which appertain to the duration of the mind, without relation to the body.