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Monday, 18 July 2016

A kingdom within a kingdom



Most who have written on the emotions, the manner of human life, seem to have dealt not with natural things which follow the general laws of nature, but with things which are outside the sphere of nature: they seem to have conceived man in nature as a kingdom within a kingdom. For they believe that man disturbs rather than follows the course of nature, and that he has absolute power in his actions, and is not determined in them by anything else than himself. They attribute the cause of human weakness and inconstancy not to the ordinary power of nature, but to some defect or other in human nature, wherefore they deplore, ridicule despise, or, what is most common of all,  abuse it: and he that can carp in the most eloquent or acute manner at the weakness of the human mind is beheld by his fellows as almost divine.

Baruch Spinoza – Ethics (1677)

7 comments:

Sackerson said...

Wonderful quotation - so meaty.

Michael said...

Reads like a clause in the Labour Party Manifesto!

Demetrius said...

The rats will be back in charge and it will all be a lot better.

Roger said...

I suppose the human - or any - mind is governed by natural laws. Applies to Jo Bloggs, Kermit the Frog or Zarth from planet Zorg. Unless there are supernatural laws. But the last sentence is telling, we poor humans are indeed over impressed by rhetorical flourishes and trickery. But never mind, Parliament is in recess from Friday, I am sure you will notice the difference.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - he was a meaty writer.

Scrobs - get rid of the people and all will be well.

Roger - we'll probably notice a slight shift from political doom to walking the streets doom.

James Higham said...

On a hot day, a man can always return to Spinoza.

A K Haart said...

James - or a glass of chilled wine. Today I chose the wine.