4 min readJan 25, 2021


I have read Spinoza.

The first part.

I had often heard of Spinoza, and finally, I read him. The first sensation I gathered is that of welcome, of comfort. It is as if the troubles of life are extinguished on the text, line by line. Writing his reflections in his time, Spinoza testifies their value and the relativity of my weariness.

If Spinoza had known about the Second World War, the Holocaust, the horror in the recent Hystory. And somehow all these ugliness give value to his demonstrations. Spinoza proposes a challenge: to stand-by the contingent and let him step towards his planning made of demonstrations and explanations.

Deleuze says that “Scholia” have a specific tonality of their own, apart from the other forms of proof (propositions and axioms). In the Scholia, Spinoza becomes more friendly.

The first section is a kind of tutorial on understanding the essence and existence of God.

The keywords are shown at the beginning: cause of oneself; finitude of its kind; substance; attribute; and mode.

The perspective begins slowly with many affirmations. The reader feels the need for examples, for infinite replies and comments and instead, Spinoza disarms with simple actions, with elegance.

• For a thing to be free, it means that it is determined to act alone.

• All things are good in themselves or good in other things.

• What cannot be conceived for others must be conceived for itself.

• It belongs to the Nature of the substance to exist.

• Everything in Nature must be conceived with some attribute.

For me, having God a strong connotation in the Catholic religion, I read the text replacing God with the word Reality. In this way, the echo of many gurus and forms of modern thought find their correspondence (I think of Ehart Tolle or Kete Byron).

For Spinoza, God and all of his attributes are eternal, and each of these attributes expresses existence.

All modes of existence derived from the absolute Nature of God’s attribute or an act modified by a modification that necessarily exists and is infinite. Existence is its cause and exists solely for the necessity of its Nature. God is the cause of the being of things, which continue to exist. Therefore God is the cause of the essence of things. Particular things are nothing, up to the AFFECTIONS of God’s attributes, or instead how God’s attributes are expressed in a certain and determined form.

A thing that is determined to produce some EFFECT has necessarily been determined by GOD. All things are determined by the necessity of the divine Nature to exist and affect a certain way. This theme opens up paths for me to reflect on the agency’s role as a conceptualization in cultural psychology. Agency as the effect of being on Reality.

The author continues: the will is only a particular way of thinking, like understanding: to exist, the will needs a cause. Therefore it is not free but necessary (so-called because of its reason or its essence) or conditioned (for the defeat of our understanding).

Everything is linked to the power of God, and they cannot be any other way. This statement reminds me of the need for a RADICAL ACCEPTANCE in dialectical therapy developed by Marsha M. Linehan.

All created things, having attributes of God, in some way, also have their effects.

The man ignores the causes of things and can only interpret what is useful to him / at his conscience level. Things are not in the service of man, as he believes. They weren’t made for him (out of blind desire and insatiable greed). This delicate theme opens paths for reflections on the anthropocentric dimension and the relevance of environmental sustainability.

It follows that Nature proceeds according to an eternal necessity and a sovereign perfection. God cannot act about an end: if God did so, it would mean that God works to satisfy a need he lacks (which is absurd).

Spinoza leaves little gold in the text. For example, he summarizes years of presence and meditation in one suggestion: that of just admiring Nature. Instead, having established evil and good, they attribute an Order in things — ascribed to God but instead mirror the limit of their imagination. Each, therefore, judges about the affections of his imagination. The vulgar attempt to explain Nature thus becomes a way of imagining, without the possibility of really explaining the Nature of things.




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