In other words, the infinite rapture of God who is himself Infinite enjoys an infinite happiness and contentment in the 36th proposition it is stated that the intellectual love of the mind for God is the same love with which God loves himself.
In other words, the mind’s intellectual love of God is part of that infinite love by which man’s mind becomes divine in its intellectual love of God, and intellectual love becomes divine.
Thus, in loving God man takes part in, God’s love of Himself it follows from this, Spinoza argues, that in loving himself God loves mail and consequently God’s love for man and Man’s intellectual love of God are identical things.
In this manner, Spinoza points out that man’s desire for freedom and for salvation consists in a permanent and stable love of God.
The quality of this love has been considered at length in religious texts, it provides man with his one element of complete contentment the essence of man’s mind is in knowledge, die basis of which is God.
The nature of the mind is determined by the nature of God. In the 37th proposition it is said that there is nothing in creation which conflicts with intellectual love or can do away with it Love for God is the inevitable outcome of the nature of man’s mind.
Mind itself is a reality evolved out of nature of God. And, intellectual love is its natural expression. Obviously anything that contradicts this love contradicts the troth and is for that reason false, meaning that there is no such thing.
Consequences of the Intellectual Love of God:
The intellectual love of God not only provides man with peace but also frees him from the fear of death. Spinoza believes that this love of God amounts to self-contentment According to 42nd proposition, self-contentment is not die outcome of good conduct, but is good conduct itself.
We should not consider it to be good since it combats the sex drive but on the contrary, since, we find it good we can combat our sex drive. The greater a man’s intellectual love for God, the greater is the degree of his self-contentment and of his control over his emotions and drives.
In this manner he is not controlled by his animal drives and he can control them. It must be that love of God is intellectual and it has the power to combat drives remembered intellect can achieve such control.
He is never subjected to the turmoil of the soul. He has definite knowledge of himself, God and substance. He never come the soul he enjoys the fruits of his mental perfection. Spinoza was aware of the to an end after divine Jove for God and for that reason he has written at the end difficulty even if the path that I have shown leading to the ultimate is very of his discovered.
And obviously path is found by the rare individual. It should be difficult because had it been easy why the majority should have been shall because when a supreme object is not available to everyone it is correspondingly difficult to obtain.
Freedom and Teleology
In the fifth part of his book, Spinoza comments upon the power of intellect or man’s freedom in which he points out the nature of mental freedom and the extent to which the mind can control emotions. He is of the opinion that the control of emotions demands enthusiasm and practice.
He says that just as the concept of thought or mind exists in an orderly and systematic manner in the mind similarly in the body its modes or the modes of substances, exist in their order.
Apparently, Spinoza seems to advocate determinism in the fields of mind and body, a determinism which is the outcome of his mathematical approach. In mathematics the forms of different modes are determined by their definitions. Similarly, the qualities of natural objects are determined by their nature.
Hence, no living being is independent in the sense that it may do anything that it desires. Man’s sole freedom, therefore, according to Spinoza, lies in his working as the intellect directs him.
An individual who achieves understanding of his own self and his emotions grows to love God and greater the degree of his realization the deeper and more profound is the love of God.
Love of God requires that man’s mind should be completely engrossed in God. God, according to Spinoza, is indifferent towards externally generated emotions. He is not influenced either by pleasure or by pain.
One corollary of this proposition is that in fact, God neither loves nor hates anyone because he is oblivious to the influence of love and hate; as a consequence of such indifference he neither loves one nor hates another.
An individual who loves God makes no effort to precipitate a situation in which God should also love him in return. Love of God cannot be defiled by any emotion. Love of God is the highest good of which man can intellectually conceive.
Refutation of teleology and indeterminism:
In the fourth part of his Ethics, Spinoza writes about a man’s slavery or the fact of man being determined and therein he refutes teleology.
In this connection he has described qualities of an independent person in proposition between the 67th and 73rd. The following are the qualities:
1. A free person worries the least about death and his intelligence is the contemplation of life and not of death. It should be remembered that Spinoza that the free individual is one who is directed solely by reason.
2. Had man been born free then he would not have conceived of goodness or its absence so long as he retained his freedom.
3. The good conduct of free individual is as much watched in his refusing to face difficulties as it is hi overcoming them.
4. The free individual, so long as he lives with ignorant people, tries to avoid all favors offered to him.
5. Only free people can really be obliged to each other because for this the mind must not be in control of the emotions.
6. A free person never resorts to trickery, he maintains an even temper.
7. An individual governed by the mind is free when living hi a country and obeying all the laws than when he is living in a solitary place where no laws apply to him. Thus, according to Spinoza freedom consists in self control rather than in the absence of restrictions.
In the preface to the fourth part of his book Spinoza remarks that all our efforts and desires arise from the inevitability of our nature in such a way that they can be understood by the cause contiguous to them or by the fact that we are part of a whole, a whole which cannot be thought of in absence of other people.
In this manner, according to Spinoza, all of man’s desires and efforts are controlled by his nature. Briefly, Spinoza reasons that man has to suffer all that has been determined by God or Nature.
Although he has not the freedom to contradict them he has freedom of volition by which he can suffer himself to be guided by nature of God and submit himself to them and can lead a life hi peace and comfort by accepting there intellectually.
Ending the fourth part of his Epics Spinoza writes that man’s own power is limited while that of the external forces is much greater and hence we have not the infinite power to adapt the external circumstances to our ends.
But we can possibly submit to those incidents which arc opposed to our good peacefully, if we are aware of the fact that we have done our duty and that we cannot extend our power to avoid such circumstances, and also if we realize that we are part of a whole according to whose systems we exist If we can achieve unquestionable and definite knowledge of this then that part of it which is known as reason or power of knowledge, our greatest part, will accept this organization and will try to remain in this state of acquiescence.
But the part hi which we understand we cannot, in that part, desire objects save the ones that are essential, neither can we accept anything as inevitable unless it is part of reality. And for this reason the extent to which we understand it as its realistic aspect, to that extent our best part adapts to the system of the whole.
In Spinoza’s ideas one finds the reflection of the message given by Bhagvad Gila that man has only the right to action and not to the reward and even if man wishes he cannot go against his own nature.
Hence the only freedom and independence lays in his shaping his conduct according to his nature and in becoming die instrument of divine action. For this reason Spinoza cannot be said to be a determinist in the derogatory sense.
He does not accept the presence of any purpose in die universe because purpose cannot be imposed upon a perfect God who is with a purpose because He is absolute and for that reason nature, too is without any purpose but since the two are one, nature is the expression or manifestation of God and in this lies his purpose.
Intellect and will:
Spinoza makes no distinction between will, feeling and emotion and knowledge. In the 49th proposition of the second part of his book it is stated that there is no will or acceptance and rejection in the mind, apart from that which is in the idea, intrinsic to its nature as an idea.
It follows from this that the powers of will and intellect are the same and further that will and intellect are both ideas. Intellect is the idea which provides knowledge of truth and falsity, while will is that idea which affirms or negates.
According to Describes the will is free but Spinoza believes it to be determined by idea. His deterministic theory points out that everything in the universe is determined or dependent.
Every physiological and mental event is caused by another corresponding event and in this manner all things and thoughts are finally determined by God, the universal substance.
Even one act of will is determined by another act of will. There is no direct interaction between the mind and the body. Mental events occur parallel to the physiological events but are not their cause.
In this manner the will cannot cause a bodily reaction since such a reaction can lie caused only by another psychological reaction and all these are determined by mechanical laws
Man believes his will to be free because he is ignorant of the cause inherent in a particular act of volition.
Two conditions of intellect and will:
Spinoza does not distinguish between intellects and will. He believes that both have two distinct processes. In intellect the two states are sensation or imagination and reason.
In the case of will these two are emotion and will. Just as sensation or imagination provides inadequate knowledge in the case of intellect, emotion provides inappropriate acts of volition for the will, while will itself gives genuine acts of volition.
Just as sensations is the cause of error, so are emotions the cause of error in the case of will, and both have to be. Controlled by reason and will. Emotions of love, hate, hope or fear are all caused by ignorance.
The only will which is apt is that which is based on reason. The greater is man dependent upon his emotions greater is his limitation, weakness and dependence. He continues to error in his work as long as he depends upon knowledge provided by sensations.
On the other hand, rational knowledge helps him to understand the universe and by using his will be gains control over the emotions. Hence, in his opinion, the knowledgeable individual avoids hate and fear anger and jealousy.
Control of intellect over emotions:
In the third part of his treatise Spinoza has given extensive psychological explanation of the nature and source of emotions and has pointed out that different individuals connect different emotions with different substances and that in all such emotions there is no reality, no universal law. Hence, man should control his emotions.
Good and evil:
In the opinion of Spinoza good individuals follow reason. The good aim of life is common to all individuals and there are no individual variations of it. Whatever is the aim of the good individual Ls the aim of all people and in it lies their well being.
In this connection he goes into details over man’s good in respect of his physiological mental and social existence. In the 39th proposition of the fourth part of his book, it is stated anything which retains the harmony of action and inaction between the various parts of a human being’s body is good, and that is bad which gives a new symmetry to this motion or inertia between the various parts of the human bodies.
According to the 40th proposition, whatever helps the social life of human beings, or whatever creates a situation in which men can live together in peace and harmony is advantageous, and on the contrary, that is bad cause disruption in the nation.
Spinoza believes that rational pleasure is good and pain bad. According to the 41st proposition, obviously pleasure is not bad, it is good, but on the contrary, pain is obviously bad.
In the 42nd proposition it is said that happiness can never be in excess but is ever good, but on the other hand anxiety is forever bad. Jealousy is another thing that can never be good. Similarly, he condemns hope and fear, partiality and decision and even pity, since they are all bad. By the rational being all these are to be condemned.
Self-contentment is the greatest privilege. Like Christ he advocates that the hate and jealousy of others be answered with love and humanity. It is rational to be kind to others.
He objects to sorrow and points out that extravagant enthusiasm as well as lack of enthusiasm are born of ignorance. Absence of all enthusiasm is an induction of weakness. Vanity and bootlicking are both to be criticized.
Desires arising out of bodily pain or pleasure are not beneficial. Only rational desires are creditable since such desires never reach extremes or result in loss of balance. Spinoza objects to superstitions of all kinds.
For him reason is the guiding factor in all questions of life. It is a rational being who is free because actual freedom lies in being free from the slavery of emotions. An individual orders his conduct along the lines pointed out by reason and not by emotions.
On the subject of conduct Spinoza is not less than any saint, for his thoughts show glimpses of much that has been said in the famous religious texts. For example, he says that man is defeated not by weapons but by love and kindness.
Concerning marriage he writes that it is favorable to reason, provided the desire of the two people to unite is not born out of attraction for beauty, but is mixed with the idea of procreation and rational parenthood, and at the same time the love of the husband or the wife is born of mental or rational freedom, not merely beauty.
Evaluation of Spinoza’s ethics:
Spinoza’s ethics regards perfection of the individual as the highest good, and at the same time pays adequate attention to his social obligations. In ethics he is individualist, while on the other hand his is also a universal ethics.
His ideas are a unique combination of religion and ethics. His analysis of the various human emotions is not less than any made be the greatest psychologist His remarks on human conduct are parallel to those of Christ and Mohammed.
Although much of the content of his philosophical thought appears to be a conglomeration of insoluble puzzle contradictory concepts as well as undigested ideas, one must admit that the attempt to explain such concepts as God, mind, the universe and their mutual relations through reason is naturally.
Beset with such difficulties, hence “in the end it would not be wrong to point out that Spinoza made a tremendous effort to improve the truths concerning mind, universe and God through his reason, and this effort his success is not less than that of any other rationalist If his philosophy is beset with certain difficulties they are not due to any lack of effort of his part but due to man’s intellectual limitations and those of the mathematical method.