Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Baruch Spinoza

“Happiness is the passage from a lesser perfection to a higher perfection level (in knowing your individual nature, your potentials, power, and what gives you joy…)”  Experiencing these kinds of happiness is the correct criteria for a successful life.

The good rule of living is to increase the quality of your happiness and reducing periods of sadness and depression.  We have got to get rid of superstitions that consider sadness and melancholy as good in life.

Thus, we need to differentiate among the partial and faked joys and our natural feeling of joys.  For example, “glad to be unhappy” might be a catalyst to discovering what “glad to be fully happy” feels like.

“Depressive states, not only reduce our power to act but it also prevent us to comprehend and learn what subjugate our vital natural rights.”  Hilarious joys excite all the parts of our body and are excellent stimulants.

Excessive sensual excitations, including sport activities, induce more fatigue than reinforcement to states of happiness.  Melancholy is the black beast that squeezes our power; it prevents us to starting any sort of preparation for an activity or “conatus” disposition as coined by Spinoza.

Sadness does not emanate from our inner-self:  It expresses what is contrary to our nature.  The wise man savours pleasures:  The greater the joy that affects us the higher is our perfection.  The wise man indulges moderately in everything that retain his power intact to act for happiness:  He is kicking constantly for greater levels of happiness.

A passion ceases to be a negative quality once we form a clear and distinct idea of what it is and how it affect us.  The feeling of joy is an indication of progress toward comprehending our natural constitution; and the more the better.

The cry of joy of Spinoza is a war chant against all kinds of superstitions meant to tight us in knots and rob us from our liberty to act and improve our power for survival.

Most important question is “what are the factors that subjugate our spirit and body?”

What we desire are NOT what we lack or imagine that we are lacking to satisfying our life fulfilment: Our desires are the effects of our efforts that led to what we are and who we are; our desires are never the cause for our feeling of missing anything.  For example, when we desire a home it is because we feel the need for more comfort and security to go ahead with our drive to perfecting our happiness and contentment.

When desires are imitations of what other people claim to desire then, we are not acquiring what our personal nature requires and wants:  Our spirit is subjugated by external factors that we have failed to control their affects.  We didn’t invest the necessary effort to “knowing ourselves”.

We are in essence constantly in a state of preparing to undertake an action or planning an activity in order to preserving our life and increasing the capital of survival as long as possible. Our essence is to developing our power for conserving our potentials to live and searching for what is useful to our body and mental development capacities.

What is essential to us is what our desires produce in reality to develop our nature.  We learn whatever is necessary to our natural conservation.  Thus, life is defined as a qualitative perception of what we feel as joy and sadness and we interact with our community according to our level of natural development.

Knowing yourself can be reduced to the essential knowledge: “What external factors (in nature, society, institutions…) are altering and influencing our real natural desires for self-preservation and development?”

You neglect the well-being of your body and your spirit is negatively affected. You neglect exercising your cognitive and emotional capabilities and your body is negatively affected. A general body fatigue is the interaction of afflictions of the body and mind; a depressed mood is the interaction of adverse influences on the body and mind.

Our natural personality is created by the combined efforts we exert on our body and mind.  The environment and society are external factors that constantly interact with our essence to live and form who we are.  Inequality in aptitudes among individuals are closely related to our constant efforts to interacting with the environment, people, and the changes in perceptions that we form of our potentials, of nature, and of the universe.

Man is an integral part of nature:  First, man has nothing exceptional to placing him above nature and he is devoid of any free-will independent of his natural living essence.  Second, man is in constant trade with his biological and social environments (cultural and natural).  Third, man shares in the  infinite power that characterizes nature and thus, man is endowed with sizable amount of power.

Free men do not need rewards, stimulants, or marble statues to obeying laws coinciding with individual’s vital natural  rights for happiness and opportunities to live in dignity.  Joy, sadness, and desires are the three main affects that drive all the other feelings and passions.  Nature is the same everywhere and it follows the same process regardless of what and how man want to change in it.

The wise man comprehends the universal rules and laws of nature and follows their virtues.  The power of an individual is limited and is superseded by external forces.  We don’t have an absolute will to adapt to what is beyond our power to act upon.  

Our intelligence, the best part of ourself, will be fully satisfied and contented as it keeps within nature’s restrictions for drastic changes.  We cannot over indulge in eating or drinking without suffering their consequences.  Whatever we do within our power we can support equally well and our conscious is at peace because we acted within the range of our possibilities and nature’s limitations on u”s.

“There are two founding principles:  Refusing tyranny and refuting superstitions. It is impossible for an individual to abandon his natural rights.  In order for a citizen to obey laws he must retain the legitimacy of keeping his power intact to resisting tyranny and defending his vital natural rights.”

“A happy individual has the right to fighting all kinds of superstitions.  Only an envious person takes pleasure of my impotence and my sufferings.  There are no Gods or persons who consider tears of sufferings, crying of pains and humiliation, fears of everything in society and nature are virtues to hang on.  The greater is the joy, the greater the perfection of our passions.  This is my rule and my resolution: I will eat and drink in moderation of whatever pleases me.  I will partake in cultural activities that I like.  I will participate in games that I love to do and that do not harm others.”

Context of the period: Bento was born in current Netherlands (Holland), lived and died there.  Holland had acquired its independence: It kicked the Spanish army, thwarted a British navy landing, and forced a French expeditionary army during Louis XIV to retreat.  At the age of 24, Bento was ex-communicated by the Sephardi Jews who had immigrated from Portugal to Amsterdam: He believed that God is a philosophical concept; when the body dies so does the spirit.   He had to live far from Amsterdam and earn a living, polishing lenses for microscopes, telescopes and corrective glasses.  Holland was the wealthiest nation in Europe and enjoyed the largest merchant navy.

Spinoza was the contemporary of the scientists Descartes, Thomas Hobbes,Isaac Newton, Galileo, Leibniz, Huygens… and the famous painters in Holland such as Vermeer, Velasquez, Van Ruysdael, Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Emmanuel de Witte, Frans Hals, Jan Wynants, Judith Leyster, Georg Flegel, Peter de Hooch, Van Ostade, Albert Cuyp, Lambert Doomer…

Spinoza only published book while alive was “”principles of Descartes Philosophy, 1663”.  All his other works were published posthumous such as “Ethics” and “Theologico-Political Treaties”… He spoke Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, some French, Latin, and Hebrew.  He was annoyed that he could not read in English the manuscripts of Boyle on colors and Robert Hooke’s “Micrographia” on microscope observations.

Note:  I suggest that you select a program that gives you joy; work on habits that diminish your performance in the program.  If a program is too demanding on your natural constitution then, quit and keep on the lookout for another program that gives you joy and increase your happiness and power to conquer superstitions that subjugate your freedom and liberty for improvement.  All that you need is to maintain an adequate performance, physically and mentally, that sustain your happiness.  Never work against your natural constitution.

Most important question is “what are the superstitions that subjugate our spirit and body?”

What we desire are NOT what we lack or imagine that we are lacking to satisfying our life fulfilment: Our desires are the effects of our efforts that led to what we are and who we are; our desires are never the cause for our feeling of missing anything.  For example, when we desire a home it is because we feel the need for more comfort and security to go ahead with our drive to perfecting our happiness and contentment.

When desires are imitations of what other people claim to desire then, we are not acquiring what our personal nature requires and wants:  Our spirit is subjugated by external factors that we failed to control their affects.  We didn’t invest the necessary effort to “knowing ourselves”.

We are in essence constantly in a state of preparing to undertake an action or planning an activity in order to preserving our life and increasing the capital of survival as long as possible. Our essence is to developing our power for conserving our potentials to live and searching for what is useful to our body and mental development capacities.

What is essential to us is what our desires produce in reality to develop our nature.  We learn whatever is necessary to our natural conservation.  Thus, life is defined as a qualitative perception of what we feel as joy and sadness and we interact with our community according to our level of natural development.

We are not pure spirit to resemble God-like attributes and we are not pure body mechanical object that can be altered and be transformed to another specie. It is not possible to subjugate the body to obeying outside moral constraints.  Virtue is to acting according to our own nature.  Conjoint development of body and mind, as a unit,  is the natural inclination of mankind.  Weakening the body will never liberate the spirit and quell our natural passions for survival.

Knowing yourself can be reduced to the essential knowledge: “What external factors (in nature, society, institutions…) are altering and influencing our real natural desires for self-preservation and development?”

No, the body is not commanded by the spirit and neither the spirit by the body:  There is no separation but unity for doing the necessary efforts to live, to developing our natural capabilities in order to enjoying life and be happy.  The potentials of what the body is able to accomplish are not fully known; how a sane and well-conserved body can affect our mental potentials is still vastly undiscovered.  The kinds of feats of a sleep-walker are not fully accounted for.

You neglect the well-being of your body and your spirit is negatively affected. You neglect exercising your cognitive and emotional capabilities and your body is negatively affected. A general body fatigue is the interaction of afflictions of the body and mind; a depressed mood is the interaction of adverse influences on the body and mind.

Our natural personality is created by the combined efforts we exert on our body and mind.  The environment and society are external factors that constantly interact with our essence to live and form who we are.  Inequality in aptitudes among individuals are closely related to our constant efforts to interacting with the environment, people, and the changes in perceptions that we form of our potentials, of nature, and of the universe.

Three main characteristics are to be retained:

First, the body is not a simple mechanism animated by external factors:  The body has a dynamic inner vital energy that is conscious of its existence.

Second, the body interactions with the external world are both-ways actions and reactions.  It is because of these interactions that the spirit progresses and develops.

Third, the body has its internal qualities and the power to be and to act.  It is because “who I am and who I became” that I can acquire new habits, new skills, and new comprehension.

Man is an integral part of nature:  First, man has nothing exceptional to placing him above nature and he is devoid of any free-will independent of his natural living essence.  Second, man is in constant trade with his biological and social environments (cultural and natural).  Third, man shares in the  infinite power that characterizes nature and thus, man is endowed with sizable amount of power.

Free men do not need rewards, stimulants, or marble statues to obeying laws coinciding with individual’s vital natural  rights for happiness and opportunities to live in dignity.  Joy, sadness, and desires are the three main affects that drive all the other feelings and passions.  Nature is the same everywhere and it follows the same process regardless of what and how man want to change in it.

The wise man comprehends the universal rules and laws of nature and follows their virtues.  The power of an individual is limited and is superseded by external forces.  We don’t have an absolute will to adapt to what is beyond our power to act upon.  Our intelligence, the best part of ourself, will be fully satisfied and contented as it keeps within nature’s restrictions for drastic changes.  We cannot over indulge in eating or drinking without suffering their consequences.  Whatever we do within our power we can support equally well and our conscious is at peace because we acted within the range of our possibilities and nature’s limitations on u”s.

“People are submitted to affections such as feeling of pity to those in misfortune; feeling envious of those happy; we tend to be more vengeful than compassionate or forgiving;  We want people to conform to our positions, approve what we like, and reject what we hate.  Consequently, we want to be the first among all men.  The glory of the victor is to have vanquished his opponent rather than obtaining anything of value.  All these tendencies are the consequence of not focusing developing our natural essence and passively reacting to external factors”

“There are two founding principles:  Refusing tyranny and refuting superstitions. It is impossible for an individual to abandon his natural rights.  In order for a citizen to obey laws he must retain the legitimacy of keeping his power intact to resisting tyranny and defending his vital natural rights.”

“A happy individual has the right to fighting all kinds of superstitions.  Only an envious person takes pleasure of my impotence and my sufferings.  There are no Gods or persons who consider tears of sufferings, crying of pains and humiliation, fears of everything in society and nature are virtues to hang on.  The greater is the joy, the greater the perfection of our passions.  This is my rule and my resolution: I will eat and drink in moderation of whatever pleases me.  I will partake in cultural activities that I like.  I will participate in games that I love to do and that do not harm others.”

“A talented ruler gives the impression to the citizens that they are living according to their free will, that they can increase their wealth, and have opportunities to acceding to honors.  Erecting status and lavishing honors and rewards to loyal citizens and parading them as first among men will degrade their characters and performance by inflating their pride and driving them to laziness. Equality among citizens is reduced and so is common freedom and collective liberty.”

Context of  the period:  Bento was born in current Netherlands (Holland), lived and died there.  Holland had acquired its independence: It kicked the Spanish army, thwarted a British navy landing, and forced a French expeditionary army during Louis XIV to retreat.  At the age of 24, Bento was ex-communicated by the Sephardi Jews who immigrated from Portugal to Amsterdam: He believed that God is a philosophical concept; when the body dies so does the spirit.   He had to live far from Amsterdam and earn a living, polishing lenses for microscopes, telescopes and corrective glasses.  Holland was the wealthiest nation in Europe and enjoyed the largest merchant navy. Spinoza was the contemporary of Descartes, Thomas Hobbes,Isaac Newton, Leibniz, Huygens, Galileo, and the famous Dutch painters such as Vermeer, Velasquez, Van Ruysdael, Rembrandt, …

Note: Yes, the individual spirit dies with the body but it is the spirit we had communicated and disseminated while alive that keeps mankind evolving.  disseminate happiness and joy:  That is our natural disposition.

“Raise your head: You’re Egyptian” exploded Tahrir Square

Times to fight to death for liberty and times to celebrate living in freedom.

Many Egyptians repeated the American revolutionary slogan “Give me death or give me Liberty“.  The Egyptians vowed to storm the Presidential Palace as Mubarak refused to step down after 18 days of marches and demonstrations.

The next Friday afternoon on Feb. 11, Mubarak had no time to even announce his farewell to his “beloved people”:  His freshly appointed Vice President Suleiman (head of intelligence services) delivered the message in the name of his patron and in his own name.

The 30 previous years are to be revisited on new terms, new programs for securing dignity, liberty, and freedom of expression by the younger generations.

Raise your head: You’re Egyptian” was the explosion of joy by 80 million Egyptians, 160 million Arab States citizens, over a billion Moslems, and over 6 billion living under regimes that effectively obliterated freedom of expressions and reduced their citizens to slavery status.

The Tunisians had their place under the sun a month ago.  The Lebanese secured their place in 2000 and 2006 and showed the way for vanquishing fear and resisting the Israeli invaders.

A revolutionary fervor by the people and for the people is catching fire and making monarchs, dictators, theocratic and one party regime leaders tremble.

The first decade of the 21st century is starting great:  It is witnessing the dawn of enlightened citizens proclaiming that their voices will be heard and their rights for opportunities to a dignified life are theirs.

The UN is to listen to the roars of the people and begin serious reforms for representing the developing nations in every decision and every discussion.  Veto power for the club of 5 super States has dragged on for too long and does not appease the newly acquired intelligence of this widely communicated world and shared social platforms.

Do you know the regime in China scrambled the key word “Egypt” from the search engines?  It doesn’t want to give the Chinese any hint that every regime can be doomed when the masses decides that “enough is enough”.

Any State negotiating with head of States, when one party restricts freedom of expressions, the decisions should not do bind the citizens.  Treaties between oligarchic regimes are not binding to the citizens.  That is the ultimate message of the revolution of the century:  The Egyptian revolution at Tahrir Square.

Baruch Spinoza wrote in the 17th century:

“The right of public power emanates from the masses of citizens guided by the same ideas and desires.  It is the collective citizens who has the power to extend its potentials to the State body.

The right of every citizen is multiplied as two join forces:  This is the right of nature as the power of the weakest individual ruler among the citizens governs the strongest power of the collective citizens who endowed him with the requisite power.

States governing citizens by fear tend to act for reducing vices instead of enhancing virtues.  Free men do not need rewards, stimulants, or marble statues to obeying laws coinciding with individual’s vital natural  rights for happiness and opportunities to live in dignity.”

Famous Manuscripts Banned by the Vatican: (Part 2, April 19, 2009)

Thousands of literary works were indexed by the Vatican from around 1200 to 1966.

Virtually no author was spared indexing. Pascal, Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Diderot, Stendhal, Lamartine, Hugo, Flaubert, Balzac, Saint-Simon, Proudhon, Zola, Sartre, and even Gide were indexed for part of their work. 

Voltaire was the most indexed: each of his manuscripts was automatically indexed before reading it. Voltaire would occasionally sign Ecralinf meaning (Let us crush the despicable infamous Church of Rome)

Ironically, Darwin, Karl Marx, and Hitler were spared INDEXING.

The Defender of Peace” by Marsile of Padua (Rector of the University of Paris) is published in 1324 and banned by the Church. The manuscript said that the function of governance does not suit the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) because this urge for domination of the Church is the bane of all discords.  Communities should be governed by their own councils.

Baruch Spinoza published “Treaty on Theological-Politics” in 1670.  He is excommunicated (herem) by the Jewish Wise Men of the synagogue of Amsterdam and later indexed by the Vatican. Spinoza claimed that the Torah is false, that soul dies with the body, and that God exist only philosophically.  Religions instituted a God with 7 main characteristics so that their logical scaffold can hold: God should be One, Unique, Omnipresent, has absolute authority and rights over everything, that obeisance to God consist in justice and charity, that Heaven and Hell are the consequences of our behaviors, and finally that God is forgiving because everyone is a sinner. Faith does not dwell on whether God is fire, spirit, light, or thought.

Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais published “The Wedding of Figaro” in 1781. This manuscript said of the aristocrats “You were given the pain of being born, and nothing else”; and thus was blamed for disturbing the social construct.  Beaumarchais published also “The Barber of Seville”

“Praise of Folly” (L’Eloge de la Folie) by Erasmus of Rotterdam was indexed in 1511.  Under the mask of irony, Erasmus creates a Foul dominating the World and supported by ignorant idiots with humongous Ego; he attacks the theologians and scholastic specialties whom thrive in adding subtlety over subtlety in order to obscure any kind of comprehension.  In just the same century, the manuscript is re-edited 600 times.

“The Prince” of Nicolas Machiavelli is published in 1513 in Florence.  The book explains how a Prince should behave to acquire and then retain power and would be one of the founders of modern political thinking.

“The Third Book” of Francois Rabelais was published in 1532.  The previous publications “Pantagruel” and “Gargantua” were not spared indexing too.  The art of mockery far exceed that of Erasmus and his farces scorch all the princes.  Moliere would rely on Rabelais’ works for his comedies.

The Essays” of about 107 of essays by Michel Montaigne are published as of 1580 and was censured by the Church Inquisition.  The Church didn’t like the offhandedness of mixing sacred topics with profane subjects and the manuscript was judged morally too permissive.

“The new Stories” succeeds the famous fables of Jean de la Fontaine and are published as of 1674 and mocks the clerics and was indexed for “corrupting the moral and inspiring libertine behaviors”.  Before he dies, his confessor forced him to recant, and he did so that he may die in peace of that pest of cleric.

“The Spirit of Laws” by Charles-Louis of Montesquieu was published in Switzerland in 1748 to avoid censuring.  The author demanded that the three branches of executive, legislative, and justice enjoy independent powers for check and balance in governance.

“Therese the Philosopher” by Jean-Baptiste Boyer was published in 1748, in the same year that “Fanny Hill” of John Cleland was published.  This manuscript described in details the bacchant sacrilegious ceremonies that a Pope relished. The Marquis of Sade would imitate that genre of pornography.  It is rumored that these kinds of books influenced the French Revolution more than any other manuscripts.  The French National Library cataloged this book under “Hell” section.

“Emile” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau was published in 1762.  Rousseau offered a new educational system for kids so that the natural kindness of humankind is preserved; that kids enjoy their lives as kids and refrain from reading before the age of 12; that they wear loose garments to play leisurely.  The manuscript was indexed and publicly burned in Paris for inciting man to follow his instincts.  Rousseau will publish “The Social Contract” in 1766 and Geneva Council banished it.  In reaction, Rousseau abandoned his Switzerland nationality.


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