By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677, aged 44)

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677, aged 44)

Absolute Years From Now: 1632
Story Reference Date: 11/24/1632
16 Generations Ago

30 Phil, Chapter 25: Spinoza and Monism
Touchstones: Monism and the Material-Spiritual Framework

The Dutch philosopher Spinoza was a lens grinder by profession, a proponent of Rationalism, and an early founder of Enlightenment. My favorite concept of Spinoza’s is that God is nature, and nature is God. For me, whenever I read God in prayers and such I substitute the word nature. That concept I attribute to Spinoza. The concept doesn’t mean God does not exist, nor vice versa, it’s simply an acknowledgment of all interpretations of God, Gods, and nature and the fact, by my account, that we have no proof God exists or not.

Some of my favorite translated quotes include:

  • I call him free who is led solely by reason.
  • Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd.
  • Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.
  • The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.
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