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Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being:
Part 2, Chapter 19.

    Now that we have seen the advantages of this True Belief, we shall endeavour to fulfill the promise we have made, namely, to inquire whether through the knowledge which we already have (as to what is good, what is evil, what truth is, and what falsity is, and what, in general, the uses of all these are), whether, I say, we can thereby attain to our wellbeing, namely, the Love of God (which we have remarked to be our supreme happiness), and also in what way we can free ourselves from the passions which we have judged to be bad.

    To begin with the consideration of the last, namely, of the liberation from the passions, [N1] I say that, if we suppose that they have no other causes than those which we have assigned to them, then, provided only we use our understanding aright, as we can do very easily [N2] (now that we have a criterion of truth and falsity), we shall never fall into them.
[Note N1]: All passions which come in conflict with good Reason (as is shown above) arise from Opinion. All that is good or bad in them, is shown to us by True Belief; these, however -- both, or either of the two -- are not able to free us from them. It is only the third kind, namely, True Knowledge, that emancipates from them. And without this it is impossible that we should ever be set free from them, as will be shown subsequently (page [ST222]). Might not this well be that about which, though under different designations, others say and write so much? For who does not see how conveniently we can interpret opinion as sin; belief, as the law which makes sin known; and true knowledge, as grace which redeems us from sin?

[Note N2]: Can do very easily; that is to say, when we have a thorough knowledge of good and evil: for then it is impossible to be subject to that from which the passions arise: because when we know and enjoy what is best, that which is worst has no power over us.

    But what we have now to prove is that they have no other causes; for this, methinks, it is required that we should study ourselves in our entirety, having regard to the body as well as to the spirit.

    And first [we have] to show that in Nature there is a body through whose form and activities we are affected, and thus become aware of it. And the reason why we do this is, because when we get an insight into the activities of the body and the effects which they produce, then we shall also discover the first and foremost cause of all those passions; and, at the same time, also that through which all those passions might be annihilated. From this we shall then also be able to see whether it is possible to do such a thing by the aid of Reason. And then we shall also proceed to speak about our Love of God.

    Now to prove that there is a body in Nature, can be no difficult task for us, now that we already know that God is, and what God is; whom we have defined as a being of infinite attributes, each of which is infinite and perfect. And since extension is an attribute which we have shown to be infinite in its kind, it must therefore also necessarily be an attribute of that infinite being. And as we have also already demonstrated that this infinite being exists, it follows at once that this attribute also exists.

    Moreover, since we have also proved that outside Nature, which is infinite, there is, and can be, no being, it is clearly manifest that this effect of body through which we become aware [of it] can proceed from nothing else than from extension itself, and by no means from something else which (as some will have it) has extension in an eminent degree [eminenter] [N1]: for (as we have already shown in the first chapter) there is no such thing.
[Note N1]: B: which is more excellent than extension.

    We have to remark, therefore, that all the effects which are seen to depend necessarily on extension must be attributed to this attribute; such as Motion and Rest. For if the power to produce these did not exist in Nature, then (even though it [Nature] might have many other attributes) it would be impossible that these should exist. For if a thing is to produce something then there must be that in it through which it, rather than another, can produce that something.

    What we have just said here about extension, the same we also wish to be regarded as though it had been said about thought, and *further* about all that is.

    It is to be observed further, that there is nothing whatever in us, but we have the power to become aware of it: so that if we find that there is nothing else in us except the effects of the thinking thing and those of extension, then we may say with certainty that there is nothing else in us.

    In order that the workings of both these may be clearly understood, we shall take them up first each by itself only, and afterwards both together; as also the effects of both the one and the other.

    Now when we consider extension alone, then we become aware of nothing else in it except Motion and Rest, from which we then discover all the effects that result therefrom. And these two [N1] modes of body are such that it is impossible for any other thing to change them, except only themselves. Thus, for example, when a stone lies still, then it is impossible that it should be moved by the power of thought or anything else, but [it may] well [be moved] by motion, [N2] as when another stone, having greater motion than this has rest, makes it move. Likewise also the moving stone will not be made to rest except through something else which has less motion. It follows, accordingly, that no mode of thought can bring motion or rest into a body. In accordance, however, with what we observe in ourselves, it may well happen that a body, which is moving now in one direction may nevertheless turn aside in another direction; as when I stretch out my arm and thereby bring it about that the [vital] spirits which were already moving in a different direction, [N3] nevertheless move now in this direction, though not always, but according to the disposition of the [vital] spirits, as will be stated presently.
[Note N1]: Two modes: because Rest is not Nothing.

[Note N2]: B: by the motion of something else.

[Note N3]: B: which were already moving, though not in this direction.

    The cause of this can be none other than that the soul, being an Idea of this body, is united with it in such a way that it and this body, thus constituted, together form a whole.

    The most important effect of the other *or thinking* attribute is an Idea of things, which is such that, according to the manner in which it apprehends them, there arises either Love or Hatred, &c. This effect, then, as it implies no extension, can also not be attributed to the same, but only to thought; so that, whatever the changes which happen to arise in this mode, their cause must on no account be sought for in extension, but only in the thinking thing. We can see this, for instance, in the case of Love, which, whether it is to be suppressed or whether it is to be awakened, can only be thus affected through the idea itself, and this happens, as we have already remarked, either because something bad is perceived to be in the object, or because something better comes to be known. [N1] Now whenever these attributes happen to act the one on the other, there results a passivity which one suffers from the other; namely [in the case of extension], through the determination of movements which we have the power to direct in whatever direction we please. The process, then, whereby the one comes to be passively affected by the other, is this: namely, the soul in [N2] the body, as has already been remarked can well bring it about that the [vital] spirits, which would otherwise move in the one direction, should nevertheless move in the other direction; and since these [vital] spirits can also be made to move, and therefore directed, by the body, it may frequently happen that, when the body directs their movements towards one place, while the soul directs them towards another place, they bring about and occasion in us those peculiar fits of depression which we sometimes feel without knowing the reasons why we have them. For otherwise the reasons are generally well known to us.
[Note N1]: B: either because something good is perceived in the loved object, or because something bad is perceived in the hated object.

[Note N2]: A and B: the soul and the body.

    Furthermore, the power which the soul has to move the [vital] spirits may well be hindered also either because the motion of the [vital] spirits is much diminished, or because it is much increased. Diminished, as when, having run much, we bring it about that the [vital] spirits, owing to this running, impart to the body much more than the usual amount of motion, [N1] and by losing this [motion] they are necessarily that much weakened; this may also happen through taking all too little food. Increased, as when, by drinking too much wine or other strong drink, we thereby become either merry or drunk, and bring it about that the soul has no power to control the body.
[Note N1]: B continues thus: in which they had a strong in -- and through -- flow which weakened them.

    Having said thus much about the influences which the soul exercises on the body, let us now consider the influences of the body on the soul. The most important of these, we maintain, is that it causes the soul to become aware of it, and through it also of other bodies. This is effected by Motion and Rest conjointly, and by nothing else: for the body has nothing else than these wherewith to operate; so that whatever else comes to the soul, besides this awareness, cannot be caused through the body. And as the first thing which the soul gets to know is the body, the result is that the soul loves it so, and becomes united with it. But since, as we have already said before, the cause of Love, Hatred, and Sorrow must not be sought for in the body but only in the soul (because all the activities of the body must proceed from motion and rest), and since we see clearly and distinctly that one love comes to an end as soon as we come to know something else that is better, it follows clearly from all this that, If once we get to know God, at least with a knowledge as clear as that with which we also know our body, then we must become united with him even more closely than we are with our body, and be, as it were, released from the body. I say more closely, because we have already proved before that without him we can neither be, nor be known; and this is so because we know and must know him, not through something else, as is the case with all other things, but only through himself, as we have already said before. Indeed, we know him better even than we know ourselves, because without him we could not know ourselves at all.

    From what we have said so far it is easily gathered which are the chief causes of the passions. For, as regards the Body with its effects, Motion and Rest, [N1] these cannot affect the soul otherwise except so as to make themselves known to it as objects; and according to the appearances which they present to it, that is according as they appear good or bad, [N2] so also is the soul affected by them, and that [happens] not inasmuch as it is a body (for then the body would be the principal cause of the passions), but inasmuch as it is an object like all other things, which would also act in the same way if they happened to reveal themselves to the soul in the same way. (By this, however, I do not mean to say that the Love, Hatred, and Sorrow which proceed from the contemplation of incorporeal things produce the same effects as those which arise from the contemplation of corporeal things; for, as we shall presently say, these have yet other effects according to the nature of the thing through the apprehension of which Love, Hatred, and Sorrow, &c., are awakened in the soul which contemplates the incorporeal things.) So that, to return to our previous subject, if something else should appear to the soul to be more glorious than the body really is, it is certain that the body would then have no power to produce such effects as it certainly does now. Whence it follows, [N3] not alone that the body is not the principal cause of the passions, but also that even if there were in us something else besides what we have just stated to be capable, in our opinion, of producing the passions, such a thing, even if there were such, could likewise affect the soul neither more nor differently than the body does in fact now. For it could never be anything else than such an object as would once for all be different from the soul, and would consequently show itself to be such and no other, as we have likewise stated also of the body. So that we may, with truth, conclude that Love, Hatred, Sorrow, and other passions are produced in the soul in various forms according to the kind of knowledge which, from time to time, it happens to have of the thing; and consequently, if once it can come know the most glorious of all, it should be impossible for any of these passions to succeed in causing it the least perturbation.
[Note N1]: B adds : or their effects.

[Note N2]: But *if it be asked* whence comes it that we know that the one is good, the other bad? Answer: Since it is the objects which cause us to become aware of them, we are affected by the one differently, in proportion than by the other.[N2N1] Now these by which we are affected most harmoniously (as regards the proportion of motion and rest, of which they consist) are most agreeable to us,[N2N2] and as they depart more and more from this [harmonious proportion they tend to be] most disagreeable. And hence arises every kind of feeling of which we become aware, and which, when it acts on our body, as it often does, through material objects, we call impulses; for instance, a man who is sorrowing can be made to laugh, or be made merry, by being tickled, or by drinking wine, &c., which [impulses] the soul becomes indeed aware of, but does not produce. For, when it operates, the merriments are real and of another kind; because then it is no body that operates, but the intelligent soul uses the body as a tool, and, consequently, as the soul is more active in this case, so is the feeling more perfect.

[Note N2N1]: These six words are crossed out in A.
[Note N2N2]: B omits the rest of this sentence.

[Note N3]: A continues thus: not that the body alone is the principal cause of the passions ...; B: that the body alone is not the principal cause of the passions ...

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