Baruch Spinoza

The multitude always strains after rarities and exceptions, and thinks little of the gifts of nature; so that, when prophecy is talked of, ordinary knowledge is not supposed to be included. Nevertheless it has as much right as any other to be called Divine.

“The multitude always strains after rarities and exceptions, and thinks little of the gifts of nature; so that, when prophecy is talked of, ordinary knowledge … Read More

If the way which I have pointed out as leading to this result (i.e., power over the emotions by which the wise man surpasses the ignorant man) seems exceedingly hard, it may nevertheless be discovered. Needs must it be hard, since it is so seldom found. How would it be possible, if salvation were ready to our hand, and could without great labour be found, that it should be by almost all men neglected? But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.

“If the way which I have pointed out as leading to this result (i.e., power over the emotions by which the wise man surpasses the … Read More

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.

“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 … Read More

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.

“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 … Read More

In proportion as we endeavor to live according to the guidance of reason, shall we strive as much as possible to depend less on hope, to liberate ourselves from fear, to rule fortune, and to direct our actions by the sure counsels of reason.

“In proportion as we endeavor to live according to the guidance of reason, shall we strive as much as possible to depend less on hope, … Read More