43 Great Spinoza Quotes

43 Great Spinoza Quotes

by / Comments Off / 109 View / Dec 23, 2014

Baruch Spinoza was a philosopher from Dutch in the late 1600′s. He is renowned for paving the way for the 18th century Enlightenment as well as modern day criticism of the Bible. He is known as one of Western Philosophy’s most important thinkers. He died in 1677 at the age of 44.

“All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.”

“All laws which can be broken without any injury to another, are counted but a laughing-stock, and are so far from bridling the desires and lusts of men, that on the contrary they stimulate

“All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”

“Ambition is the immoderate desire for power.”

“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 though God had turned away from the wise, and written his decrees, not in the mind of man but in the entrails of beasts, or left them to be proclaimed by the inspiration and instinct of
fools, madmen, and birds. Such is the unreason to which terror can drive mankind!”

“Desire is the very essence of man.”

“Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear.”

“Happiness is a virtue, not its reward.”

“He who seeks equality between unequals seeks an absurdity.”

“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.”

“I do not believe anyone has reached such perfection, surpassing all others, except Christ, to whom God immediately revealed — without words or visions — the conditions which lead to

“I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of established religion.”

“I have laboured carefully, not to mock, lament, or execrate, but to understand human actions.”

“I have resolved to demonstrate by a certain and undoubted course of argument, or to deduce from the very condition of human nature, not what is new and unheard of, but only such things as
agree best with practice.”

“If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.”

“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.”

“In the state of nature, wrong-doing is impossible ; or, if anyone does wrong, it is to himself, not to another. ”

“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.”

“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.”

“Music is good to the melancholy, bad to those who mourn, and neither good nor bad to the deaf.”

nothing is forbidden by the law of nature, except what is beyond everyone’s power.”

“Of all the things that are beyond my power, I value nothing more highly than to be allowed the honor of entering into bonds of friendship with people who sincerely love truth. For, of
things beyond our power, I believe there is nothing in the world which we can love with tranquility except such men.”

“Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.”

“Philosophers conceive of the passions which harass us as vices into which men fall by their own fault, and, therefore, generally deride, bewail, or blame them, or execrate them, if they
wish to seem unusually pious.”

“Pride is pleasure arising from a man’s thinking too highly of himself.”

“Schisms do not originate in a love of truth, which is a source of courtesy and gentleness, but rather in an inordinate desire for supremacy.”

“Speaking generally, he holds dominion, to whom are entrusted by common consent affairs of state.”

“Superstition, then, is engendered, preserved, and fostered by fear.”

“The eternal wisdom of God … has shown itself forth in all things, but chiefly in the mind of man, and most of all in Jesus Christ.”

“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”

“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.”

“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.”

“The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak.”

“There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.”

“To give aid to every poor man is far beyond the reach and power of every man. Care of the poor is incumbent on society as a whole.”

“We can conceive of various kinds of democracy. But my intention is not to treat of every kind, but of that only, “wherein all, without exception, who owe allegiance to the laws of the
country only, and are further independent and of respectable life, have the right of voting in the supreme council and of filling the offices of the dominion.”

“We feel and know that we are eternal.”

“When, the prophets, in speaking of this election which regards only true virtue, mixed up much concerning sacrifices and ceremonies, and the rebuilding of the temple and city, they wished
by such figurative expressions, after the manner and nature of prophecy, to expound matters spiritual, so as at the same time to show to the Jews, whose prophets they were, the true
restoration of the state and of the temple to be expected about the time of Cyrus.”

“Will and intellect are one and the same thing.”