Baruch Spinoza

24 Nov 1632 // 21 Feb 1677


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Will and intellect are one and the same thing
Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd
We feel and know that we are eternal
The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak
The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free
The greatest pride, or the greatest despondency, is the greatest ignorance of one's self
The endeavor to understand is the first and only basis of virtue
So long as a man imagines that he cannot do this or that, so long as he is determined not to do it; and consequently so long as it is impossible to him that he should do it
Sin cannot be conceived in a natural state, but only in a civil state, where it is decreed by common consent what is good or bad
Pride is pleasure arising from a man's thinking too highly of himself
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."