The text is composed of 16 chapters.
The first part is a historical and timely analysis of the Bible (New and Old Testament).
The methodological part is incredibly rational, attentive, sophisticated. The linguistic analysis is of a surprising topicality, precision and accuracy. Many texts and television arguments die at the entrance to the rationality gap that Spinoza outlines.
The text is easier to read than I thought — although I confess that I skipped some passages in the first part of the Old Testament analysis (but to skip some part in a book, you know, is one of the reader’s rights as proposed by Pennac). I never read the Old Testament, so I followed the various steps, networking with the information I had and my references.
I like Spinoza when he turns to the reader beyond the analysis.
Spinoza’s rational dimension is the part that amazed me about reading. I wonder how the author wrote the text, in what physical, economic and social conditions. The text comes from a calm and stable personal balance, such as to accommodate rationality in perfect conditions.
The timeliness of the text amazes me. Today’s speeches and practices analyzed and condemned by Spinoza still exist today among us, in the streets, synagogues, temples, churches etc.
What have I learned from Spinoza?
That a “text analysis” is an analysis methodology that can be conducted with exceptional rationality and scientificity.
Emotions/drives/irrationality can blind reason and make people say and do uninteresting things in thought and action.
Rationality belongs to everyone and must always be exercised in all circumstances. We need to become free from the dramas of some cultures or TV series models, where the emotional expression without control is almost encouraged as a social value.
That we have moral duties towards ourselves and others, including to free ourselves from the status of slaves (riding the tiger and not being ridden by the tiger, the Asians wisdom would say); to preserve ourselves in the best way to appreciate Nature; to OBEY at the necessity of Nature that frees and empowers us.