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by Immanuel Kant
Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or even out of it, which can be called good, without qualification, except a good will. Intelligence, wit, judgement, and the other talents of the mind, however they may be named, or courage, resolution, perseverance, as qualities of temperament, are undoubtedly good and desirable in many respects; but these gifts of nature may also become extremely bad and mischievous if the will which is to make use of them, and which, therefore, constitutes what is called character, is not good.
A good will is good not because of what it performs or effects, not by its aptness for the attainment of some proposed end, but simply by virtue of the volition; that is, it is good in itself, and considered by itself is to be esteemed much higher than all that can be brought about by it in favor of any inclination, nay even of the sum total of all inclinations.
....reason is imparted to us as a practical faculty, i.e., as one which is to have influence on the will, therefore, admitting that nature... has adapted the means... to produce a will...good in itself, for which reason was absolutely necessary.
it is a duty to maintain one's life; and.. everyone has.., a direct inclination to do so.
...if adversity and hopeless sorrow have completely taken away the relish for life; if the unfortunate one, strong in mind, indignant at his fate rather than desponding or dejected, wishes for death, and yet preserves his life without loving it- not from inclination or fear, but from duty- then his maxim has a moral worth.
It is in this manner... we are to understand those passages of Scripture also in which we are commanded to love our neighbor, even our enemy. For love, as an affection, cannot be commanded, but beneficence for duty's sake may; even though we are not impelled to it by any inclination- nay, are even repelled by a natural and unconquerable aversion. This is practical love and not pathological- a love which is seated in the will, and not in the propensity of sense- in principles of action and not of tender sympathy; and it is this love alone which can be commanded.
...an action done from duty derives its moral worth... from the maxim by which it is determined, and therefore does not depend on the realization of the object of the action, but merely on the principle of volition by which the action has taken place, without regard to any object of desire.
To secure one's own happiness is a duty...for discontent with one's condition, under a pressure of many anxieties and amidst unsatisfied wants, might easily become a great temptation to transgression of duty.
...an action done from duty derives its moral worth..from the maxim by which it is determined...merely on the principle of volition by which the action has taken place, without regard to any object of desire.
Duty is the necessity of acting from respect for the law... which can be an object of respect, and hence a command. Now an action done from duty must wholly exclude the influence of inclination and with it every object of the will, so that nothing remains which can determine the will except objectively the law,
I should follow this law even to the thwarting of all my inclinations.
...respect is a feeling, it is not a feeling received through influence, but is self-wrought by a rational concept... specifically distinct from all feelings...which may be referred either to inclination or fear, What I recognize immediately as a law for me, I recognize with respect. This merely signifies the consciousness that my will is subordinate to a law, without the intervention of other influences on my sense.
Respect is... neither as an object of inclination nor of fear, although it has something analogous to both. The object of respect is the law only, which we impose on ourselves and yet recognize as necessary... As a law, we are subjected too it without consulting self-love; as imposed by us on ourselves, it is a result of our will. In the former aspect it has an analogy to fear, in the latter to inclination. Respect for a person is properly only respect for the law (of honesty, etc.) ...All so-called moral interest consists simply in respect for the law.
But what sort of law can... determine the will... in order that this will may be called good... there remains nothing but the universal conformity of its actions to law in general, which alone is to serve the will as a principle... and must so serve it.. to deviate from the principle of duty is beyond all doubt wicked.
...an estimation of the worth far outweighs all worth of what is recommended by inclination, and that the necessity of acting from pure respect for the practical law is what constitutes duty, to which every other motive must give place, because it is the condition of a will being good in itself, and the worth of such a will is above everything.
...men are well able to distinguish, in every case that occurs, what is good, what bad, conformably to duty or inconsistent with it... we do not need science and philosophy to know what we should do to be honest and good, ..wise and virtuous...we see how great an advantage the practical judgement has over the theoretical in the common understanding of men. In the latter, if common reason ventures to depart from the laws of experience and from the perceptions of the senses, it falls into mere inconceivabilities and self-contradictions, at least into a chaos of uncertainty, obscurity, and instability. But in the practical sphere it is just when the common understanding excludes all sensible springs from practical laws that its power of judgement begins to show itself to advantage.
Innocence is indeed a glorious thing; only, on the other hand, it is very sad that it cannot well maintain itself and is easily seduced...even wisdom- which otherwise consists more in conduct than in knowledge- yet has need of science, not in order to learn from it, but to secure for its precepts admission and permanence. Now reason issues its commands unyieldingly, without promising anything to the inclinations...which will not allow themselves to be suppressed by any command.
many things are done in conformity with what duty prescribes, it is nevertheless always doubtful whether they are done strictly from duty, so as to have a moral worth. Hence there have at all times been philosophers who have altogether denied that this disposition actually exists at all in human actions, and have ascribed everything to a more or less refined self-love. Not that they have on that account questioned the soundness of the conception of morality; on the contrary, they spoke with sincere regret of the frailty and corruption of human nature, which, though noble enough to take its rule an idea so worthy of respect, is yet weak to follow it and employs reason which ought to give it the law only for the purpose of providing for the interest of the inclinations
In fact, it is absolutely impossible to make out by experience with complete certainty a single case in which the maxim of an action, however right in itself, rested simply on moral grounds and on the conception of duty. Sometimes it happens... nothing beside the moral principle of duty which could have been powerful enough to move us to this or that action and to so great a sacrifice; yet we cannot from this infer with certainty that it was not really some secret impulse of self-love, under the false appearance of duty, that was the actual determining cause of the will. We like them to flatter ourselves by falsely taking credit for a more noble motive; whereas in fact we can never, even by the strictest examination, get completely behind the secret springs of action; since, when the question is of moral worth, it is not with the actions which we see that we are concerned, but with those inward principles of them which we do not see.
notions of duty must be drawn only from experience... the strict command of duty which would often require self-denial. Without being an enemy of virtue...the judgement is partly made wiser by experience and partly, also, more acute in observation. This being so, nothing can secure us from falling away altogether from our ideas of duty, or maintain in the soul a well-grounded respect for its law, but the clear conviction that although there should never have been actions which really sprang from such pure sources
Even the Holy One of the Gospels must first be compared with our ideal of moral perfection before we can recognize Him as such; and so He says of Himself, "Why call ye Me (whom you see) good; none is good (the model of good) but God only (whom ye do not see)?" But whence have we the conception of God as the supreme good? Simply from the idea of moral perfection, which reason frames a priori and connects inseparably with the notion of a free will.
moral principles are not based on properties of human nature, but must subsist a priori of themselves, while from such principles practical rules must be capable of being deduced for every rational nature, and accordingly for that of man.
all moral conceptions have their seat and origin completely a priori in the commonest reason just ...that which is in the highest degree speculative; that they cannot be obtained by abstraction from any empirical... contingent, knowledge; that it is just this purity of their origin that makes them worthy to serve as our supreme practical principle...since moral laws ought to hold good for every rational creature, we must derive them from the general concept of a rational being...knowing well that unless we are in possession of this, it would not only be vain to determine the moral element of duty in right actions for purposes of speculative criticism, but it would be impossible to base morals on their genuine principles, even for common practical purposes, especially of moral instruction, so as to produce pure moral dispositions, and to engraft them on men's minds to the promotion of the greatest possible good in the world.
Everything in nature works according to laws. Rational beings alone have the faculty of acting according to the conception of laws, that is according to principles, i.e., have a will. the will is nothing but practical reason. the will is a faculty to choose that only which reason independent of inclination recognizes as practically necessary, i.e., as good. But if reason of itself does not sufficiently determine the will, if the latter is subject also to subjective conditions (particular impulses) which do not always coincide with the objective conditions; in a word, if the will does not in itself completely accord with reason (which is actually the case with men), then the actions which objectively are recognized as necessary are subjectively contingent, and the determination of such a will according to objective laws is obligation, that is to say, the relation of the objective laws to a will that is not thoroughly good is conceived as the determination of the will of a rational being by principles of reason, but which the will from its nature does not of necessity follow.
The conception of an objective principle...is obligatory for a will, is called a command (of reason), and the formula of the command is called an imperative.
The dependence of the desires on sensations is called inclination... always indicates a want. The dependence of a contingently determinable will on principles of reason is called an interest. This therefore, is found only in the case of a dependent will which does not always of itself conform to reason; in the Divine will we cannot conceive any interest. But the human will can also take an interest in a thing without therefore acting from interest.
no imperatives hold for the Divine will, or in general for a holy will... because the volition is already of itself necessarily in unison with the law. Therefore imperatives are only formula to express the relation of objective laws of all volition to the subjective imperfection of the will of this or that rational being, e.g., the human will.
Now all imperatives command either hypothetically or categorically. The former represent the practical necessity of a possible action as means to something else that is willed (or at least which one might possibly will). The categorical imperative would be that which represented an action as necessary of itself without reference to another end, i.e., as objectively necessary.
all imperatives are formula determining an action which is necessary according to the principle of a will good.. If now the action is good only as a means to something else, then the imperative is hypothetical; if it is conceived as good in itself and consequently as being necessarily the principle of a will which of itself conforms to reason, then it is categorical.
Thus the imperative declares what action possible... be good and presents the practical rule in relation to a will which does not forthwith perform an action simply because it is good...yet its maxims might be opposed to the objective principles of practical reason
Accordingly the hypothetical imperative only says that the action is good for some purpose, possible or actual. In the first case it is a problematical, in the second an assertorial practical principle. The categorical imperative which declares an action to be objectively necessary in itself without reference to any purpose, i.e., without any other end, is valid as an apodeictic (practical) principle.
..Now skill in the choice of means to his own greatest well-being may be called prudence, * ...the imperative which refers to the choice of means to one's own happiness, i.e., the precept of prudence, is still always hypothetical...
*The word prudence is taken in two senses: in the one it may bear the name of knowledge of the world, in the other that of private prudence. The former is a man's ability to influence others so as to use them for his own purposes. The latter is the sagacity to combine all these purposes for his own lasting benefit. This latter is properly that to which the value even of the former is reduced, and when a man is prudent in the former sense, but not in the latter, we might better say of him that he is clever and cunning, but, on the whole, imprudent.
Finally, there is an imperative which commands a certain conduct immediately...This imperative is categorical...its form and the principle of which it is itself a result; and what is essentially good in it consists in the mental disposition...This imperative may be called that of morality.
... three sorts of principles in the dissimilarity of the obligation of the will... they are either rules of skill, or counsels of prudence, or commands (laws) of morality. For it is law only that involves the conception of an unconditional and objective necessity, which is consequently universally valid; and commands are laws which must be obeyed, that is, must be followed, even in opposition to inclination... the categorical imperative, on the contrary, is not limited by any condition.., may be quite properly called a command. We might also call the first kind of imperatives technical (belonging to art), the second pragmatic * (to welfare), the third moral (belonging to free conduct generally, that is, to morals).
the notion of happiness is so indefinite that although every man wishes to attain it, yet he never can say definitely and consistently what it is that he really wishes and wills. The reason of this is that all the elements which belong to the notion of happiness are altogether empirical, i.e., they must be borrowed from experience, the most clear-sighted and at the same time most powerful being... is unable, on any principle, to determine with certainty what would make him truly happy; because to do so he would need to be omniscient. the problem to determine certainly and universally what action would promote the happiness of a rational being is completely insoluble... happiness is not an ideal of reason but of imagination, resting solely on empirical grounds...This imperative of prudence would however be an analytical proposition if we assume that the means to happiness could be certainly assigned; for it is distinguished from the imperative of skill only by this, that in the latter the end is merely possible, in the former it is given;
...the question how the imperative of morality is possible, is undoubtedly one, the only one, demanding a solution, as this is not at all hypothetical, and the objective necessity which it presents cannot rest on any hypothesis, as is the case with the hypothetical imperatives... it is always possible that fear of disgrace, perhaps also obscure dread of other dangers, may have a secret influence on the will...the so-called moral imperative, which appears to be categorical and unconditional, would in reality be only a pragmatic precept, drawing our attention to our own interests and merely teaching us to take these into consideration.
a categorical imperative... possibility should be requisite only for its explanation...the unconditional command leaves the will no liberty to choose the opposite; consequently it alone carries with it that necessity which we require in a law.
When I conceive a hypothetical imperative, in general I do not know beforehand what it will contain until I am given the condition. But when I conceive a categorical imperative, I know at once what it contains. For as the imperative contains besides the law only the necessity that the maxims * shall conform to this law, while the law contains no conditions restricting it, there remains nothing but the general statement that the maxim of the action should conform to a universal law

There is therefore but one categorical imperative, namely, this: Act only on that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.


If now we attend to ourselves on occasion of any transgression of duty, we shall find that we in fact do not will that our maxim should be a universal law, for that is impossible for us; on the contrary, we will that the opposite should remain a universal law, only we assume the liberty of making an exception... in favor of our inclination. Consequently... we should find a contradiction in our own will, namely, that a certain principle should be objectively necessary as a universal law, and yet subjectively should not be universal, but admit of exceptions.


..the categorical imperative, we must contain the principle of all duty We have not yet, however, advanced so far as to prove... that there is a practical law which commands absolutely of itself and without any other impulse, and that the following of this law is duty.


Thus every empirical element is not only quite incapable of being an aid to the principle of morality, but is even highly prejudicial to the purity of morals, for the proper and inestimable worth of an absolutely good will consists just in this, that the principle of action is free from all influence of contingent grounds, which alone experience can furnish.


The will is conceived as a faculty of determining oneself to action in accordance with the conception of certain laws. And such a faculty can be found only in rational beings. Now that which serves the will as the objective ground of its self-determination is the end, and, if this is assigned by reason alone, it must hold for all rational beings. On the other hand, that which merely contains the ground of possibility of the action of which the effect is the end, this is called the means. The subjective ground of the desire is the spring, the objective ground of the volition is the motive; hence the distinction between subjective ends which rest on springs, and objective ends which depend on motives valid for every rational being. Practical principles are formal when they abstract from all subjective ends; they are material when they assume these, and therefore particular springs of action. The ends which a rational being proposes to himself at pleasure as effects of his actions (material ends) are all only relative, for it is only their relation to the particular desires of the subject that gives them their worth, which therefore cannot furnish principles universal and necessary for all rational beings and for every volition, that is to say practical laws. Hence all these relative ends can give rise only to hypothetical imperatives.


If then there is a supreme practical principle or, in respect of the human will, a categorical imperative, it must be one which, being drawn from the conception of that which is necessarily an end for everyone because it is an end in itself, constitutes an objective principle of will, and can therefore serve as a universal practical law. The foundation of this principle is: rational nature exists as an end in itself. Man necessarily conceives his own existence as being so; so far then this is a subjective principle of human actions...all laws of the will must be capable of being deduced. Accordingly, the practical imperative will be as follows: So act as to treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of any other, in every case as an end with all, never as means only.


This principle, that humanity and generally every rational nature is an end in itself...must... spring from pure reason... now by the second principle the subject of all ends is each rational being, inasmuch as it is an end in itself. Hence follows the third practical principle of the will, which is the ultimate condition of its harmony with universal practical reason, viz.: the idea of the will of every rational being as a universally legislative will.


It was seen that man was bound to laws by duty, but it was not observed that the laws to which he is subject are only those of his own giving, though at the same time they are universal, and that he is only bound to act in conformity with his own will... designed by nature to give universal laws. For when one has conceived man only as subject to a law (no matter what), then this law required some interest, either by way of attraction or constraint, since it did not originate as a law from his own will, but this will was according to a law obliged by something else to act in a certain manner... For men never elicited duty, but only a necessity of acting from a certain interest. Whether this interest was private or otherwise, in any case the imperative must be conditional and could not by any means be capable of being a moral command. I will therefore call this the principle of autonomy of the will, in contrast with every other which I accordingly reckon as heteronomy.


The conception of the will of every rational being as one which must consider itself as giving in all the maxims of its will universal laws, so as to judge itself and its actions from this point of view- this conception leads to another which depends on it and is very fruitful, namely that of a kingdom of ends.


By a kingdom I understand the union of different rational beings in a system by common laws. Now since it is by laws that ends are determined as regards their universal validity, hence, if we abstract from the personal differences of rational beings and likewise from all the content of their private ends, we shall be able to conceive all ends combined in a systematic whole


For all rational beings come under the law that each of them must treat itself and all others ...in every case at the same time as ends in themselves. Hence results a systematic union of rational being by common objective laws, i.e., a kingdom which may be called a kingdom of ends, since what these laws have in view is just the relation of these beings to one another as ends and means. It is certainly only an ideal.


A rational being belongs as a member to the kingdom of ends when...he is also...subject to these laws. He belongs to it as sovereign when, while giving laws, he is not subject to the will of any other.
A rational being must always regard himself as giving laws either as member or as sovereign in a kingdom of ends which is rendered possible by the freedom of will.
Morality consists then in the reference of all action to the legislation which alone can render a kingdom of ends possible. This legislation must be capable of existing in every rational being and of emanating from his will... maxims universal laws. If now the maxims of rational beings are not by their own nature coincident with this objective principle, then the necessity of acting on it is called practical necessitation... Duty does not apply to the sovereign in the kingdom of ends, but it does to every member of it and to all in the same degree.
The practical necessity of acting on this principle, i.e., duty, does not rest at all on feelings, impulses, or inclinations, but solely on the relation of rational beings to one another, a relation in which the will of a rational being must always be regarded as legislative, since otherwise it could not be conceived as an end in itself. Reason then refers every maxim of the will, regarding it as legislating universally, to every other will and also to every action towards oneself...from the idea of the dignity of a rational being, obeying no law but that which he himself also gives.


Now morality is the condition under which alone a rational being can be an end in himself, ... a legislating member in the kingdom of ends. Thus morality, and humanity as capable of it, is that which alone has dignity.
What then is it which justifies virtue or the morally good disposition, in making such lofty claims? It is nothing less than the privilege it secures to the rational being of participating in the giving of universal laws, by which it qualifies him to be a member of a possible kingdom of ends, a privilege to which he was already destined by his own nature as being an end in himself...legislating in the kingdom of ends; free as regards all laws of physical nature, and obeying those only which he himself gives, and by which his maxims can belong to a system of universal law, to which at the same time he submits himself. For nothing has any worth except what the law assigns it. Now the legislation itself which assigns the worth of everything must for that very reason possess dignity, that is an unconditional incomparable worth; and the word respect alone supplies a becoming expression for the esteem which a rational being must have for it. Autonomy then is the basis of the dignity of human and of every rational nature.


...the conception of a will unconditionally good... if made a universal law, could never contradict itself...and such an imperative is categorical... the categorical imperative can also be expressed thus: Act on maxims which can at the same time have for their object themselves as universal laws of nature.
Rational nature...sets before itself an end...conceived...that which we must never act against and..must never be regarded merely as means...good will...cannot without contradiction be postponed to any other object. The principle: "So act in regard to every rational being..,may always have place in thy maxim as an end in himself," is accordingly essentially identical with this other: "Act upon a maxim which, at the same time, involves its own universal validity for every rational being... the fundamental principle of all maxims of action must be that the subject of all ends, i.e., the rational being himself, be never employed merely as means, but as the supreme condition restricting the use of all means, that is in every case as an end likewise.
...whatever laws any rational being may be subject, he being an end in himself must be able to regard himself as also legislating universally in respect of these same laws, since it is just this fitness of his maxims for universal legislation that distinguishes him as an end in himself; also it follows that this implies his dignity (prerogative) above all mere physical beings, that he must always take his maxims from the point of view which regards himself and, likewise, every other rational being as law-giving beings (on which account they are called persons). In this way a world of rational beings (mundus intelligibilis) is possible as a kingdom of ends, and this by virtue of the legislation proper to all persons as members. Therefore every rational being must so act as if he were by his maxims in every case a legislating member in the universal kingdom of ends. The formal principle of these maxims is: "So act as if thy maxim were to serve likewise as the universal law (of all rational beings)." A kingdom of ends is thus only possible on the analogy of a kingdom of nature, the former however only by maxims, that is self-imposed rules, the latter only by the laws of efficient causes acting under necessitation from without. Nevertheless, although the system of nature is looked upon as a machine, yet so far as it has reference to rational beings as its ends, it is given on this account the name of a kingdom of nature. Now such a kingdom of ends would be actually realized by means of maxims conforming to the canon which the categorical imperative prescribes to all rational beings, if they were universally followed. But although a rational being, even if he punctually follows this maxim himself, cannot reckon upon all others being therefore true to the same, nor expect that the kingdom of nature and its orderly arrangements shall be in harmony with him as a fitting member, so as to form a kingdom of ends to which he himself contributes, that is to say, that it shall favor his expectation of happiness, still that law: "Act according to the maxims of a member of a merely possible kingdom of ends legislating in it universally," remains in its full force, inasmuch as it commands categorically. And it is just in this that the paradox lies; that the mere dignity of man as a rational creature...respect for a mere idea, should yet serve as an inflexible precept of the will, and that it is precisely in this independence of the maxim on all such springs of action that its sublimity consists; and it is this that makes every rational subject worthy to be a legislative member in the kingdom of ends: for otherwise he would have to be conceived only as subject to the physical law of his wants. And although we should suppose the kingdom of nature and the kingdom of ends to be united under one sovereign, so that the latter kingdom thereby ceased to be a mere idea and acquired true reality...The essence of things is not altered by their external relations, and that which, abstracting from these, alone constitutes the absolute worth of man, is also that by which he must be judged, whoever the judge may be, and even by the Supreme Being. Morality.. is...the autonomy of potential universal legislation by its maxims. An action that is consistent with the autonomy of the will is permitted; one that does not agree therewith is forbidden. A will whose maxims necessarily coincide with the laws of autonomy is a holy will, good absolutely. The dependence of a will not absolutely good on the principle of autonomy (moral necessitation) is obligation. This, then, cannot be applied to a holy being. The objective necessity of actions from obligation is called duty.
...the conception of duty implies subjection to ...moral law...he is likewise a legislator, and ...has sublimity... neither fear nor inclination, but simply respect for the law, is the spring which can give actions a moral worth. Our own will, so far as we suppose it to act only under the condition that its maxims are potentially universal laws, this ideal will which is possible to us is the proper object of respect; and the dignity of humanity consists just in this capacity of being universally legislative, though with the condition that it is itself subject to this same legislation.
Autonomy of the will is that property of it by which it is a law to itself (independently of any property of the objects of volition). The principle of autonomy then is: "Always so to choose that the same volition shall comprehend the maxims of our choice as a universal law." ... it is a synthetical proposition ...which ...must be capable of being cognized wholly a priori.



If the will seeks the law which is to determine it anywhere else than in the fitness of its maxims to be universal laws of its own dictation, consequently if it goes out of itself and seeks this law in the character of any of its objects, there always results heteronomy. The will in that case does not give itself the law, but it is given by the object through its relation to the will. This relation, whether it rests on inclination or on conceptions of reason, only admits of hypothetical imperatives: "I ought to do something because I wish for something else." ... the moral, and therefore categorical, imperative says: "I ought to do so and so, even though I should not wish for anything else." ..."I ought not to lie, although it should not bring me the least discredit." ...therefore must so far abstract from all objects that they shall have no influence on the will, in order that practical reason (will) may not be restricted to administering an interest not belonging to it, but may simply show its own commanding authority as the supreme legislation. Thus, e.g., I ought to endeavour to promote the happiness of others, not as if its realization involved any concern of mine (whether by immediate inclination or by any satisfaction indirectly gained through reason), but simply because a maxim which excludes it cannot be comprehended as a universal law in one and the same volition.


All principles ...are either empirical or rational. The former, drawn from the principle of happiness, are built on physical or moral feelings; the latter, drawn from the principle of perfection, are built either on the rational conception of perfection as a possible effect, or on that of an independent perfection (the will of God) as the determining cause of our will.


Empirical principles are wholly incapable of serving as a foundation for moral laws. For the universality with which these should hold for all rational beings without distinction, the unconditional practical necessity which is thereby imposed on them, is lost when their foundation is taken from the particular constitution of human nature, or the accidental circumstances in which it is placed. The principle of private happiness, however, is the most objectionable, not merely because it is false, and experience contradicts the supposition that prosperity is always proportioned to good conduct... because it contributes nothing to the establishment of morality- since it is quite a different thing to make a prosperous man and a good man, or to make one prudent and sharp-sighted for his own interests and to make him virtuous- but because the springs it provides for morality are such as rather undermine it and destroy its sublimity, since they put the motives to virtue and to vice in the same class and only teach us to make a better calculation, the specific difference between virtue and vice being entirely extinguished. On the other hand, as to moral feeling, this supposed special sense, * the appeal to it is indeed superficial when those who cannot think believe that feeling will help them out, even in what concerns general laws: and besides, feelings, which naturally differ infinitely in degree, cannot furnish a uniform standard of good and evil, nor has anyone a right to form judgments for others by his own feelings: nevertheless this moral feeling is nearer to morality and its dignity in this respect, that it pays virtue the honor of ascribing ...the satisfaction and esteem we have for ... profit.


Among the rational principles of morality, the ontological conception of perfection, notwithstanding its defects, is better than the theological conception which derives morality from a Divine absolutely perfect will. The former is, no doubt, empty and indefinite and consequently useless for finding in the boundless field of possible reality the greatest amount suitable for us... it is nevertheless preferable to the theological view, first, because we have no intuition of the divine perfection and can only deduce it from our own conceptions, the most important of which is that of morality, and our explanation would thus be involved in a gross circle...if we avoid this, the only notion of the Divine will remaining to us is a conception made up of the attributes of desire of glory and dominion, combined with the awful conceptions of might and vengeance, and any system of morals erected on this foundation would be directly opposed to morality.


In every case where an object of the will has to be supposed, in order that the rule may be prescribed which is to determine the will, there the rule is simply heteronomy; the imperative is conditional, namely, if or because one wishes for this object, one should act so and so: hence it can never command morally, that is, categorically. Whether the object determines the will by means of inclination, as in the principle of private happiness, or by means of reason directed to objects of our possible volition generally, as in the principle of perfection, in either case the will never determines itself immediately by the conception of the action, but only by the influence which the foreseen effect of the action has on the will; I ought to do something, on this account, because I wish for something else; and here there must be yet another law assumed in me as its subject, by which I necessarily will this other thing, and this law again requires an imperative to restrict this maxim. For the influence which the conception of an object within the reach of our faculties can exercise on the will of the subject, in consequence of its natural properties, depends on the nature of the subject, either the sensibility (inclination and taste), or the understanding and reason, the employment of which is by the peculiar constitution of their nature attended with satisfaction. It follows that the law would be, properly speaking, given by nature, and, as such, it must be known and proved by experience and would consequently be contingent and therefore incapable of being an apodeictic practical rule, such as the moral rule must be. Not only so, but it is inevitably only heteronomy; the will does not give itself the law, but is given by a foreign impulse by means of a particular natural constitution of the subject adapted to receive it. An absolutely good will, then, the principle of which must be a categorical imperative, will be indeterminate as regards all objects and will contain merely the form of volition generally, and that as autonomy,..the capability of the maxims of every good will to make themselves a universal law, is itself the only law which the will of every rational being imposes on itself, without needing to assume any spring or interest as a foundation.


The Concept of Freedom is the Key that explains the Autonomy of the Will
The will is a kind of causality belonging to living beings in so far as they are rational, and freedom would be this property of such causality that it can be efficient, independently of foreign causes determining it; just as physical necessity is the property that the causality of all irrational beings has of being determined to activity by the influence of foreign causes.


Since the conception of causality involves that of laws, according to which, by something that we call cause, something else, namely the effect, must be produced; hence, although freedom is not a property of the will depending on physical laws, yet it is not for that reason lawless; on the contrary it must be a causality acting according to immutable laws...of a peculiar kind; otherwise a free will would be an absurdity. Physical necessity is a heteronomy of the efficient causes, for every effect is possible only according to this law, that something else determines the efficient cause to exert its causality. What else then can freedom of the will be but autonomy, that is, the property of the will to be a law to itself? But the proposition: "The will is in every action a law to itself," only expresses the principle: "To act on no other maxim than that which can also have as an object itself as a universal law." Now this is precisely the formula of the categorical imperative and is the principle of morality, so that a free will and a will subject to moral laws are one and the same.


It is not enough to predicate freedom of our own will, from Whatever reason, if we have not sufficient grounds for predicating the same of all rational beings. For as morality serves as a law for us only because we are rational beings, it must also hold for all rational beings; and as it must be deduced simply from the property of freedom, it must be shown that freedom also is a property of all rational beings... we must show that it belongs to the activity of all rational beings endowed with a will. Now I say every being that cannot act except under the idea of freedom is just for that reason in a practical point of view really free, that is to say, all laws which are inseparably connected with freedom have the same force for him as if his will had been shown to be free in itself by a proof theoretically conclusive. * Now I affirm that we must attribute to every rational being which has a will that it has also the idea of freedom and acts entirely under this idea. For in such a being we conceive a reason that is practical, that is, has causality in reference to its objects. Now we cannot possibly conceive a reason consciously receiving a bias from any other quarter with respect to its judgements, for then the subject would ascribe the determination of its judgement not to its own reason, but to an impulse. It must regard itself as the author of its principles independent of foreign influences. Consequently as practical reason or as the will of a rational being it must regard itself as free, that is to say, the will of such a being cannot be a will of its own except under the idea of freedom. This idea must therefore in a practical point of view be ascribed to every rational being.


We have finally reduced the definite conception of morality to the idea of freedom...it must be presupposed if we would conceive a being as rational and conscious of its causality in respect of its actions, i.e., as endowed with a will; and so we find that on just the same grounds we must ascribe to every being endowed with reason and will this attribute of determining itself to action under the idea of its freedom.


One resource remains to us, namely, to inquire whether we do not occupy different points of view when by means of freedom we think ourselves as causes efficient a priori, and when we form our conception of ourselves from our actions as effects which we see before our eyes.


we may assume that even the commonest understanding can make, although it be after its fashion by an obscure discernment of judgement which it calls feeling, that all the "ideas" that come to us involuntarily (as those of the senses) do not enable us to know objects otherwise than as they affect us; so that what they may be in themselves remains unknown to us, and consequently that as regards "ideas" of this kind even with the closest attention and clearness that the understanding can apply to them, we can by them only attain to the knowledge of appearances, never to that of things in themselves... we must admit and assume behind the appearance something else that is not an appearance, namely, the things in themselves; although we must admit that as they can never be known to us except as they affect us, we can come no nearer to them, nor can we ever know what they are in themselves. This must furnish a distinction, however crude, between a world of sense and the world of understanding, of which the former may be different according to the difference of the sensuous impressions in various observers, while the second which is its basis always remains the same, Even as to himself, a man cannot pretend to know what he is in himself from the knowledge he has by internal sensation. For as he does not as it were create himself, and does not come by the conception of himself a priori but empirically, it naturally follows that he can obtain his knowledge even of himself only by the inner sense and, consequently, only through the appearances of his nature and the way in which his consciousness is affected. At the same time beyond these characteristics of his own subject, made up of mere appearances, he must necessarily suppose something else as their basis, namely, his ego, whatever its characteristics in itself may be. Thus in respect to mere perception and receptivity of sensations he must reckon himself as belonging to the world of sense; but in respect of whatever there may be of pure activity in him (that which reaches consciousness immediately and not through affecting the senses), he must reckon himself as belonging to the intellectual world, of which, however, he has no further knowledge. To such a conclusion the reflecting man must come with respect to all the things which can be presented to him: it is probably to be met with even in persons of the commonest understanding, who, as is well known, are very much inclined to suppose behind the objects of the senses something else invisible and acting of itself. They spoil it, however, by presently sensualizing this invisible again; that is to say, wanting to make it an object of intuition, so that they do not become a whit the wiser.


...reason shows so pure a spontaneity in the case of what I call ideas [ideal conceptions] that it thereby far transcends everything that the sensibility can give it, and exhibits its most important function in distinguishing the world of sense from that of understanding, and thereby prescribing the limits of the understanding itself.


For this reason a rational being must regard himself qua intelligence (not from the side of his lower faculties) as belonging not to the world of sense, but to that of understanding; hence he has two points of view from which he can regard himself, and recognize laws of the exercise of his faculties, and consequently of all his actions: first, so far as he belongs to the world of sense, he finds himself subject to laws of nature (heteronomy); secondly, as belonging to the intelligible world, under laws which being independent of nature have their foundation not in experience but in reason alone.


when we conceive ourselves as free, we transfer ourselves into the world of understanding as members of it and recognise the autonomy of the will with its consequence, morality; whereas, if we conceive ourselves as under obligation, we consider ourselves as belonging to the world of sense and at the same time to the world of understanding.


If therefore I were only a member of the world of understanding, then all my actions would perfectly conform to the principle of autonomy of the pure will; if I were only a part of the world of sense, they would necessarily be assumed to conform wholly to the natural law of desires and inclinations, in other words, to the heteronomy of nature. (The former would rest on morality as the supreme principle, the latter on happiness.) Since, however, the world of understanding contains the foundation of the world of sense, and consequently of its laws also...it follows that, although on the one side I must regard myself as a being belonging to the world of sense, yet on the other side I must recognize myself as subject as an intelligence to the law of the world of understanding, i.e., to reason, which contains this law in the idea of freedom, and therefore as subject to the autonomy of the will: consequently I must regard the laws of the world of understanding as imperatives for me and the actions which conform to them as duties.


There is no one, not even the most consummate villain, provided only that he is otherwise accustomed to the use of reason, who, when we set before him examples of honesty of purpose, of steadfastness in following good maxims, of sympathy and general benevolence (even combined with great sacrifices of advantages and comfort), does not wish that he might also possess these qualities. Only on account of his inclinations and impulses he cannot attain this in himself, but at the same time he wishes to be free from such inclinations which are burdensome to himself. He proves by this that he transfers himself in thought with a will free from the impulses of the sensibility into an order of things wholly different from that of his desires in the field of the sensibility; since he cannot expect to obtain by that wish any gratification of his desires, nor any position which would satisfy any of his actual or supposable inclinations (for this would destroy the pre-eminence of the very idea which wrests that wish from him): he can only expect a greater intrinsic worth of his own person. This better person, however, he imagines himself to be when be transfers himself to the point of view of a member of the world of the understanding, to which he is involuntarily forced by the idea of freedom, i.e., of independence on determining causes of the world of sense; and from this point of view he is conscious of a good will, which by his own confession constitutes the law for the bad will that he possesses as a member of the world of sense- a law whose authority he recognizes while transgressing it. What he morally "ought" is then what he necessarily "would," as a member of the world of the understanding, and is conceived by him as an "ought" only inasmuch as he likewise considers himself as a member of the world of sense.


The claims to freedom of will made even by common reason are founded on the consciousness and the admitted supposition that reason is independent of merely subjectively determined causes which together constitute what belongs to sensation only and which consequently come under the general designation of sensibility. Man considering himself in this way as an intelligence places himself thereby in a different order of things and in a relation to determining grounds of a wholly different kind when on the one hand he thinks of himself as an intelligence endowed with a will, and consequently with causality, and when on the other he perceives himself as a phenomenon in the world of sense (as he really is also), and affirms that his causality is subject to external determination according to laws of nature. Now he soon becomes aware that both can hold good, nay, must hold good at the same time. For there is not the smallest contradiction in saying that a thing in appearance (belonging to the world of sense) is subject to certain laws, of which the very same as a thing or being in itself is independent, and that he must conceive and think of himself in this twofold way, rests as to the first on the consciousness of himself as an object affected through the senses, and as to the second on the consciousness of himself as an intelligence, i.e., as independent on sensible impressions in the employment of his reason (in other words as belonging to the world of understanding).


Hence it comes to pass that man claims the possession of a will which takes no account of anything that comes under the head of desires and inclinations and, on the contrary, conceives actions as possible to him, nay, even as necessary which can only be done by disregarding all desires and sensible inclinations. The causality of such actions lies in him as an intelligence and in the laws of effects and actions [which depend] on the principles of an intelligible world, of which indeed he knows nothing more than that in it pure reason alone independent of sensibility gives the law; moreover since it is only in that world, as an intelligence, that he is his proper self (being as man only the appearance of himself), those laws apply to him directly and categorically, so that the incitements of inclinations and appetites (in other words the whole nature of the world of sense) cannot impair the laws of his volition as an intelligence.


The conception of a world of the understanding is then only a point of view which reason finds itself compelled to take outside the appearances in order to conceive itself as practical, which would not be possible if the influences of the sensibility had a determining power on man, but which is necessary unless he is to be denied the consciousness of himself as an intelligence and, consequently, as a rational cause, energizing by reason, that is, operating freely. This thought certainly involves the idea of an order and a system of laws different from that of the mechanism of nature which belongs to the sensible world; and it makes the conception of an intelligible world necessary (that is to say, the whole system of rational beings as things in themselves). But it does not in the least authorize us to think of it further than as to its formal condition only, that is, the universality of the maxims of the will as laws, and consequently the autonomy of the latter, which alone is consistent with its freedom; whereas, on the contrary, all laws that refer to a definite object give heteronomy, which only belongs to laws of nature and can only apply to the sensible world.
It holds good only as a necessary hypothesis of reason in a being that believes itself conscious of a will, that is, of a faculty distinct from mere desire (namely, a faculty of determining itself to action as an intelligence, in other words, by laws of reason independently on natural instincts). Now where determination according to laws of nature ceases, there all explanation ceases also, and nothing remains but defence, i.e., the removal of the objections of those who pretend to have seen deeper into the nature of things, and thereupon boldly declare freedom impossible.
Hence we say of rational beings only that they take an interest in a thing; irrational beings only feel sensual appetites. Reason takes a direct interest in action then only when the universal validity of its maxims is alone sufficient to determine the will. Such an interest alone is pure. But if it can determine the will only by means of another object of desire or on the suggestion of a particular feeling of the subject, then reason takes only an indirect interest in the action, and, as reason by itself without experience cannot discover either objects of the will or a special feeling actuating it, this latter interest would only be empirical and not a pure rational interest. The logical interest of reason (namely, to extend its insight) is never direct, but presupposes purposes for which reason is employed.

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The Quinisext Council (often called the Council in Trullo or the Penthekte Synod) was a church council held in 692 at Constantinople under Justinian II. It rejected most of the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles on account of the interpolations (redaction, editing) of heretics. Only the forty-seventh and last chapter of the eighth book of the Apostolic Constitutions contains the eighty-five Canons of the Apostles, of it to which has been given the name Canons of the Apostles was received in the Eastern Christianity. It is interesting to see what is viewed as cannon and what is not. The Book of Revelation and the Gospel of Barnabas are not mentioned.

The Apostolic Canons

Canon 85

Let the following books be counted venerable and sacred by all of you, both clergy and laity. Of the Old Testament, five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; of Joshua the Son of Nun, one; of the Judges, one; of Ruth, one; of the Kings, four; of the Chronicles of the book of the days, two; of Ezra, two; of Esther, one; [some texts read "of Judith, one";] of the Maccabees, three; of Job, one; of the Psalter, one; of Solomon, three, viz.: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs; of the Prophets, twelve; of Isaiah, one; of Jeremiah, one; of Ezekiel, one; of Daniel, one. But besides these you are recommended to teach your young persons the Wisdom of the very learned Sirach. Our own books, that is, those of the New Testament, are: the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; fourteen Epistles of Paul; two Epistles of Peter; three of John; one of James, and one of Jude. Two Epistles of Clemens, and the Constitutions of me Clemens, addressed to you Bishops, in eight books, which are not to be published to all on account of the mystical things in them. And the Acts of us the Apostles.

The Statutes of the Fathers (Either the Didache, Didascalia, or most likely the Constitutions of the Apostles) was mentioned in Pope Gregory's I (papacy 590 - 604) response to Luminosus, abbot of the monastery of St. Andrew and St. Thomas, in the city of Ariminum (presently known as Rimini in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy) dispute with Castorius, Bishop of Ariminum. It was the city of Arinimum in 358, that Roman Emperor Constantius II requested western bishops at Ariminum to resolve the Arian controversy over the nature of the divinity of Jesus Christ, which divided the 4th-century church.

Register of the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Book III

Epistle XLII
To Luminosus, Abbot

Gregory to Luminosus, abbot of the monastery of Saint Thomas of Ariminum.

We were glad to receive thine own and thy congregation's petition, and accede to thy requests, in accordance with the Statutes of the Fathers and with form of law. For to our brother and fellow-bishop Castorius a letter has been sent by our order, whereby we have taken away entirely from him and his successors all power to harm thy monastery; so that neither may he any longer come among you to be a burden to you, nor schedules be made of the property of the monastery, nor any public procession take place there; this only jurisdiction being still left to him, that he must ordain in the place of a deceased abbot another whom the common consent of the congregation may have chosen as worthy. But now, these things being thus accomplished, be you diligent in the work of God, and assiduously devote yourselves to prayer, lest you should seem not so much to have sought security of mind for prayer, as to have wished to escape strict episcopal control over you while living amiss.


Sergius I did not attend the Quinisext Council of 692, which was attended by 226 or 227 bishops, overwhelmingly from the patriarchate of Constantinople. The participation of Basil of Gortyna in Crete, belonging to the Roman patriarchate, has been seen in the East as representing Rome and even as signifying Roman approval, but he was in fact no papal legate.

Sergius rejected the canons of the council as invalid and declared that he would "rather die than consent to erroneous novelties". Though a loyal subject of the Empire, he would not be "its captive in matters of religion" and refused to sign the canons. The Apostolic Constitutions were rejected as canonical by the Decretum Gelasianum.

Writers such as Andrew J. Ekonomou have speculated on which canons in particular Sergius found objectionable. Ekonomou himself excludes the anathemizing of Pope Honorius I, the declaration of Constantinople as equal in privileges but second in honour to Rome. However, all popes since Leo I had adamantly rejected the 28th canon of the Council of Chalcedon, which on the basis of political considerations tried to raise the ecclesiastical status of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to equality with that of old Rome. Ekonomou mentions rather the approval by the Quinisext Council of all 85 Apostolic Canons, of which Sergius would have supported only the first 50.

The Corpus Juris Canonici (lit. 'Body of Canon Law') is a collection of significant sources of the canon law of the Catholic Church that was applicable to the Latin Church.

These canons were later approved by the Eastern Council in Trullo in 692 but rejected by Pope Sergius I. In the Western Church only fifty of these canons circulated, translated in Latin by Dionysius Exiguus in about 500 AD, and included in the Western collections and afterwards in the "Corpus Juris Canonici".

Canon n. 85 is a list of canonical books:a 46-book Old Testament canon which essentially corresponds to that of the Septuagint, 26 books of what is now the New Testament (excludes Revelation), the Didache, two Epistles of Clement, and the Apostolic Constitutions themselves, also here attributed to Clement, at least as compiler.

In the year 632 AD a similar life vs. death teaching was shared by Mohamed to his followers.

Al-Baqarah (The Cow)

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

Allah is the ally of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into the light. And those who disbelieve - their allies are Taghut. They take them out of the light into darknesses. Those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.


Watch "Oldest Bible found in Palestine." The title is incorrect. The narrator mistakes the Didache as a long lost gospel. That is incorrect. The Didache is a catechism of rules for reformed Jews that followed the Messiah is confirmed in the Torah, Gospels, and the philosophical teaching of Saint Paul's Epistles. It is similar to the Leviticus for the Jews.

Like the Dead Sea Scrolls the Didache's impact on Christianity is not fully understood. The Didache has a message from the Apostles to share with us all, its community rules and prayers can still be applied to contemporary daily living. In my personal opinion the Didache is the Torah Law for Christians to follow. The Teaching of the Apostles is more than a list of do's and don'ts. The Didache is a window to early Jewish Christian community rules and prayers, By connecting the Apostles Teaching to actual scripture and historical catechisms, I hope Christians will see that we are truly brothers and sisters with those of the Jewish and Muslim faith. What is said in the Old Testament is echoed in the New Testament. I am so grateful for this enlightenment. The moral framework of Didache can be seen in the Talmud and Quran as well. In addition, the teaching helped me realize how imperfect I really am.

Here is a Google link to where the Didache can viewed at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, or the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, within short walk from the Muristan (market area) in the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City of Jerusalem.


The site is venerated as Golgotha (the Hill of Calvary), where Jesus was crucified, and is said also to contain the place where Jesus was buried (the Sepulchre). The church has been a paramount – and for many Christians the most important – pilgrimage destination since at least the 4th century, as the purported site of the resurrection of Jesus. Today, the church is home to branches of Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy as well as to Roman Catholicism.

Indeed the Didache is the most ancient Christian catechism and has been acknowledged by all the major Christian churches.

Those who proclaim salvation should have a great understanding in the light of what Jesus taught about faith and the meaning of His crucifixion. When I was young I was honored to be considered a brother in a Jewish fraternity. Now, I consider myself humbly blessed to be an adopted brother to the great Israelite nation. I would be lost without their wisdom and guidance.

Watch "Church History Literacy - Chapter 3: The Didache." The speaker explains the reasons why following the "Teaching" will make your life better for you.


The moral laws of the Didache are a derivative of what St. Paul refers to as the natural law and the commands given by our Creator to the mankind. Martin Luther coined the term "antinomianism," to criticize those that believe they are saved without having to keep moral laws derived from scripture.


Antinomainism derived from the teachings of Marcion of Sinope, a bishop of Asia Minor who was the first of record to propose that many of the teachings of Jesus were incompatible with the actions of Yahweh, the God of the Hebrew Bible. According to Marcion, the god of the Greek Old Testament, whom he called the Demiurge, the creator of the material universe, is a jealous tribal deity of the Jews, whose law represents legalistic reciprocal justice and who punishes mankind for its sins through suffering and death. Contrastingly, the god that Jesus professed is an altogether different being, a universal god of compassion and love who looks upon humanity with benevolence and mercy. Marcion also produced his Antitheses contrasting the Demiurge of the Old Testament with the Heavenly Father of the New Testament.

The Apostle John and Marcion of Sinope (according to R. Eisler, The Enigma of the Fourth Apostle, Methuen & Co., 1938, p. 158, plate XIII). Source: J. Pierpoint Morgan Library


Marcion's belief appear to have evolved from Zoroastrian and Jewish Qumran communities duelist belief.

Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion that believes that Ahura Mazda is the eternal creator of all good things. Any violations of Ahura Mazda's order arise from druj, which is everything uncreated.

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“Inclination is pleasure, accompanied by the idea of something which is accidentally a cause of pleasure."
Everyone shapes his actions according to his emotion, ... a mental decision and a bodily appetite, or determined state, are simultaneous, or rather are one and the same thing, which we call decision
Now I should like to know whether there be in the mind two sorts of decisions, one sort illusive, and the other sort free? If our folly does not carry us so far as this, we must necessarily admit, that the decision of the mind, which is believed to be free, is not distinguishable from the imagination or memory, and is nothing more than the affirmation, which an idea, by virtue of being an idea, necessarily involves. Wherefore these decisions of the mind arise in the mind by the same necessity, as the ideas of things actually existing. 
This endeavor, when referred solely to the mind, is called will, when referred to the mind and body in conjunction it is called appetite; it is, in fact, nothing else but man's essence, from the nature of which necessarily follow all those results which tend to its preservation; and which man has thus been determined to perform.
Further, between appetite and desire there is no difference, except that the term desire is generally applied to men, in so far as they are conscious of their appetite, and may accordingly be thus defined: Desire is appetite with consciousness thereof. It is thus plain from what has been said, that in no case do we strive for, wish for, long for, or desire anything, because we deem it to be good, but on the other hand we deem a thing to be good, because we strive for it, wish for it, long for it, or desire it.
Thus we see, that the mind can undergo many changes, and can pass sometimes to a state of greater perfection, sometimes to a state of lesser perfection. These passive states of transition explain to us the emotions of pleasure and pain. By pleasure therefore in the following propositions I shall signify a passive state wherein the mind passes to a greater perfection. By pain I shall signify a passive state wherein the mind passes to a lesser perfection. Further, the emotion of pleasure in reference to the body and mind together I shall call stimulation (titillatio) or merriment (hilaritas), the emotion of pain in the same relation I shall call suffering or melancholy. 
Love is nothing else but pleasure accompanied by the idea of an external cause: Hate is nothing else but pain accompanied by the idea of an external cause. We further see, that he who loves necessarily endeavors to have, and to keep present to him, the object of his love; while he who hates endeavors to remove and destroy the object of his hatred. 
if the body, and consequently the mind has been once affected by two emotions at the same time, it will, whenever it is afterwards affected by one of the two, be also affected by the other.
I, therefore, recognize only three primitive or primary emotions, namely, pleasure, pain, and desire.
Anything can, accidentally, be the cause of pleasure, pain, or desire.
the mind afterwards conceiving the said thing is affected with the emotion of pleasure or pain, that is according as the power of the mind and body may be increased or diminished, and consequently according as the mind may desire or shrink from the conception of it, in other words, according as it may love or hate the same.
Hence we understand how it may happen, that we love or hate a thing without any cause for our emotion being known to us; merely, as a phrase is, from sympathy or antipathy.
The point of resemblance was in the object (by hypothesis), when we regarded it with pleasure or pain, thus, when the mind is affected by the image thereof, it will straightway be affected by one or the other emotion, and consequently the thing, which we perceive to have the same point of resemblance, will be accidentally a cause of pleasure or pain. Thus (by the foregoing Corollary), although the point in which the two objects resemble one another be not the efficient cause of the emotion, we shall still regard the first-named object with love or hate.
Pride,... is pleasure springing from a man thinking too highly of himself. Again, the pleasure which arises from a man thinking too highly of another is called over-esteem. Whereas the pleasure which arises from thinking too little of a man is called disdain.
In proportion as a man thinks, that a loved object is well affected towards him, will be the strength of his self-approval, that is, of his pleasure; he will, therefore, endeavor, as far as he can, to imagine the loved object as most closely bound to him: this endeavor or desire will be increased, if he thinks that someone else has a similar desire. But this endeavor or desire is assumed to be checked by the image of the loved object in conjunction with the image of him whom the loved object has joined to itself; therefore he will for that reason be affected with pain, accompanied by the idea of the loved object as a cause in conjunction with the image of his rival; that is, he will be affected with hatred towards the loved object and also towards his rival, which latter he will envy as enjoying the beloved object. 
This hatred towards an object of love joined with envy is called Jealousy, which accordingly is nothing else but a wavering of the disposition arising from combined love and hatred, accompanied by the idea of some rival who is envied. Further, this hatred towards the object of love will be greater, in proportion to the pleasure which the jealous man had been wont to derive from the reciprocated love of the said object; and also in proportion to the feelings he had previously entertained towards his rival. If he had hated him, he will forthwith hate the object of his love, because he conceives it is pleasurably affected by one whom he himself hates: and also because he is compelled to associate the image of his loved one with the image of him whom he hates. 
Desire arising through pain or pleasure, hatred or love, is greater in proportion as the emotion is greater.
 since hatred and love are themselves emotions of pain and pleasure, it follows in like manner that the endeavor, appetite, or desire, which arises through hatred or love, will be greater in proportion to the hatred or love.
If a man begins to hate that which he had loved, more of his appetites are put under restraint than if he had never loved it. For love is a pleasure which a man endeavors as far as he can to render permanent; he does so by regarding the object of his love as present, and by affecting it as far as he can pleasurably; this endeavor is greater in proportion as the love is greater, and so also is the endeavor to bring about that the beloved should return his affection . Now these endeavors are constrained by hatred towards the object of love; wherefore the lover will for this cause also be affected with pain, the more so in proportion as his love has been greater; that is, in addition to the pain caused by hatred, there is a pain caused by the fact that he has loved the object; wherefore the lover will regard the beloved with greater pain, or in other words, will hate it more than if he had never loved it, and with the more intensity in proportion as his former love was greater.
Anything whatever can be, accidentally, a cause of hope or fear.
Things which are accidentally the causes of hope or fear are called good or evil omens. Now, in so far as such omens are the cause of hope or fear, they are the causes also of pleasure and pain; consequently we, to this extent, regard them with love or hatred, and endeavor either to invoke them as means towards that which we hope for, or to remove them as obstacles, or causes of that which we fear.  It follows, further, that we are naturally so constituted as to believe readily in that which we hope for and with difficulty in that which we fear; moreover, we are apt to estimate such objects above or below their true value. Hence there have arisen superstitions, whereby men are everywhere assailed (attacked). However, I do not think it worth while to point out here the vacillations (uncertainty) springing from hope and fear; it follows from the definition of these emotions, that there can be no hope without fear, and no fear without hope. Further, in so far as we hope for or fear anything, we regard it with love or hatred; thus everyone can apply by himself to hope and fear what we have said concerning love and hatred.
Different men may be differently affected by the same object, and the same man may be differently affected at different times by the same object.
We thus see that it is possible, that what one man loves another may hate, and that what one man fears another may not fear; or, again, that one and the same man may love what he once hated, or may be bold where he once was timid, and so on. Again, as everyone judges according to his emotions what is good, what bad, what better, and what worse, it follows that men's judgments may vary no less than their emotions, hence when we compare some with others, we distinguish them solely by the diversity of their emotions, and style some intrepid (fearless), others timid (fearful), others by some other epithet (attribute).
Lastly, from this inconstancy in the nature of human judgment, inasmuch as a man often judges things solely by his emotions, and inasmuch as the things which he believes cause pleasure or pain, and therefore endeavors to promote or prevent, are often purely imaginary, not to speak of the uncertainty of things.; we may readily conceive that a man may be at one time affected with pleasure, and at another with pain, accompanied by the idea of himself as cause. Thus we can easily understand what are Repentance and Self-complacency. Repentance is pain, accompanied by the idea of one's self as cause; Self-complacency is pleasure, accompanied by the idea of one's self as cause, and these emotions are most intense because men believe themselves to be free.
As soon as we conceive an object which we have seen in conjunction with others, we at once remember those others, and thus we pass forthwith from the contemplation of one object to the contemplation of another object. And this is the case with the object, which we conceive to have no property that is not common to many. For we thereupon assume that we are regarding therein nothing, which we have not before seen in conjunction with other objects. But when we suppose that we conceive an object something special, which we have never seen before, we must needs say that the mind, while regarding that object, has in itself nothing which it can fall to regarding instead thereof; therefore it is determined to the contemplation of that object only. 
This mental modification, or imagination of a particular thing, in so far as it is alone in the mind, is called Wonder; but if it be excited by an object of fear, it is called Consternation (confusion), because wonder at an evil keeps a man so engrossed in the simple contemplation thereof, that he has no power to think of anything else whereby he might avoid the evil. If, however, the object of wonder be a man's prudence, industry, or anything of that sort, inasmuch as the said man, is thereby regarded as far surpassing ourselves, wonder is called Veneration; otherwise, if a man's anger, envy, &c., be what we wonder at, the emotion is called Horror. Again, if it be the prudence (wisdom), industry, or what not, of a man we love, that we wonder at, our love will on this account be the greater, and when joined to wonder or veneration is called Devotion. We may in like manner conceive hatred, hope, confidence, and the other emotions, as associated with wonder; and we should thus be able to deduce more emotions than those which have obtained names in ordinary speech. Whence it is evident, that the names of the emotions have been applied in accordance rather with their ordinary manifestations than with an accurate knowledge of their nature.
To wonder is opposed Contempt, which generally arises from the fact that, because we see someone wondering at, loving, or fearing something, or because something, at first sight, appears to be like things, which we ourselves wonder at, love, fear, &c., we are, in consequence, determined to wonder at, love, or fear that thing. But if from the presence, or more accurate contemplation of the said thing, we are compelled to deny concerning it all that can be the cause of wonder, love, fear, &c., the mind then, by the presence of the thing, remains determined to think rather of those qualities which are not in it, than of those which are in it; whereas, on the other hand, the presence of the object would cause it more particularly to regard that which is therein. As devotion springs from wonder at a thing which we love, so does Derision spring from contempt of a thing which we hate or fear, and Scorn from contempt of folly, as veneration from wonder at prudence. Lastly, we can conceive the emotions of love, hope, honour, &c., in association with contempt, and can thence deduce other emotions, which are not distinguished one from another by any recognized name.
When the mind regards itself and its own power of activity, it feels pleasure: and that pleasure is greater in proportion to the distinctness wherewith it conceives itself and its own power of activity.
A man does not know himself except through the modifications of his body, and the ideas thereof. When, therefore, the mind is able to contemplate itself, it is thereby assumed to pass to a greater perfection, or  to feel pleasure; and the pleasure will be greater in proportion to the distinctness, wherewith it is able to conceive itself and its own power of activity.
This pleasure is fostered more and more, in proportion as a man conceives himself to be praised by others. For the more he conceives himself as praised by others, the more he will imagine them to be affected with pleasure, accompanied by the idea of himself; thus he is himself affected with greater pleasure, accompanied by the idea of himself.
The mind endeavors to conceive only such things as assert its power of activity.
When the mind contemplates its own weakness, it feels pain thereat.
The essence of the mind only affirms that which the mind is, or can do; in other words, it is the mind's nature to conceive only such things as assert its power of activity. Thus, when we say that the mind contemplates its own weakness, we are merely saying that while the mind is attempting to conceive something which asserts its power of activity, it is checked in its endeavor—in other words, it feels pain
This pain, accompanied by the idea of our own weakness, is called humility; the pleasure, which springs from the contemplation of ourselves, is called self-love or self-complacency.
For whenever a man conceives his own actions, he is affected with pleasure, in proportion as his actions display more perfection, and he conceives them more distinctly-that is, in proportion as he can distinguish them from others, and regard them as something special. Therefore, a man will take most pleasure in contemplating himself, when he contemplates some quality which he denies to others. But, if that which he affirms of himself be attributable to the idea of man or animals in general, he will not be so greatly pleased: he will, on the contrary, feel pain, if he conceives that his own actions fall short when compared with those of others. This pain he will endeavor to remove, by putting a wrong construction on the actions of his equals, or by, as far as he can, embellishing his own.
It is thus apparent that men are naturally prone to hatred and envy, which latter is fostered by their education. For parents are accustomed to incite their children to virtue solely by the spur of honor and envy. But, perhaps, some will scruple to assent to what I have said, because we not seldom admire men's virtues, and venerate their possessors. 
Envy is a species of hatred or  pain, that is, a modification whereby a man's power of activity, or endeavor towards activity, is checked. But a man does not endeavor or desire to do anything, which cannot follow from his nature as it is given; therefore a man will not desire any power of activity or virtue (which is the same thing) to be attributed to him, that is appropriate to another's nature and foreign to his own; hence his desire cannot be checked, nor he himself pained by the contemplation of virtue in some one unlike himself, consequently he cannot envy such an one. But he can envy his equal, who is assumed to have the same nature as himself.
When, therefore, we venerate a man, through wonder at his prudence, fortitude, &c., we do so, because we conceive those qualities to be peculiar to him, and not as common to our nature; we, therefore, no more envy their possessor, than we envy trees for being tall, or lions for being courageous.
There are as many kinds of pleasure, of pain, of desire, and of every emotion compounded of these, such as vacillations (wavering) of spirit, or derived from these, such as love, hatred, hope, fear, &c., as there are kinds of objects whereby we are affected.
Now desire is each man's essence or nature, in so far as it is conceived as determined to a particular action by any given modification of itself; therefore, according as a man is affected through external causes by this or that kind of pleasure, pain, love, hatred, &c., in other words, according as his nature is disposed in this or that manner, so will his desire be of one kind or another, and the nature of one desire must necessarily differ from the nature of another desire, as widely as the emotions differ, wherefrom each desire arose. Thus there are as many kinds of desire, as there are kinds of pleasure, pain, love, &c., consequently (by what has been shown) there are as many kinds of desire, as there are kinds of objects whereby we are affected.
Among the kinds of emotions, which, by the last proposition, must be very numerous, the chief are luxury, drunkenness, lust, avarice (greed), and ambition, being merely species of love or desire, displaying the nature of those emotions in a manner varying according to the object, with which they are concerned. For by luxury, drunkenness, lust, avarice, ambition, &c., we simply mean the immoderate love of feasting, drinking, venery, riches, and fame. Furthermore, these emotions, in so far as we distinguish them from others merely by the objects wherewith they are concerned, have no contraries. For temperance, sobriety, and chastity, which we are wont to oppose to luxury, drunkenness, and lust, are not emotions or passive states, but indicate a power of the mind which moderates the last-named emotions. ... It is sufficient, I repeat, to understand the general properties of the emotions and the mind, to enable us to determine the quality and extent of the mind's power in moderating and checking the emotions. 
All emotions are attributable to desire, pleasure, or pain, as their definitions above given show. But desire is each man's nature or essence; therefore desire in one individual differs from desire in another individual, only in so far as the nature or essence of the one differs from the nature or essence of the other. Again, pleasure and pain are passive states or passions, whereby every man's power or endeavor to persist in his being is increased or diminished, helped or hindered. But by the endeavor to persist in its being, in so far as it is attributable to mind and body in conjunction, we mean appetite and desire ; therefore pleasure and pain are identical with desire or appetite, in so far as by external causes they are increased or diminished, helped or hindered, in other words, they are every man's nature; wherefore the pleasure and pain felt by one man differ from the pleasure and pain felt by another man, only in so far as the nature or essence of the one man differs from the essence of the other; consequently, any emotion of one individual only differs
Horse and man are alike carried away by the desire of procreation; but the desire of the former is equine, the desire of the latter is human. So also the lusts and appetites of insects, fishes, and birds must needs vary according to the several natures. Thus, although each individual lives content and rejoices in that nature belonging to him wherein he has his being, yet the life, wherein each is content and rejoices, is nothing else but the idea, or soul, of the said individual, and hence the joy of one only differs in nature from the joy of another, to the extent that the essence of one differs from the essence of another.  
 Among all the emotions attributable to the mind as active, there are none which cannot be referred to pleasure or desire.
Now by pain we mean that the mind's power of thinking is diminished or checked; therefore, in so far as the mind feels pain, its power of understanding, that is, of activity, is diminished or checked; therefore, no painful emotions can be attributed to the mind in virtue of its being active, but only emotions of pleasure and desire, which are attributable to the mind in that condition
All actions following from emotion, which are attributable to the mind in virtue of its understanding, I set down to strength of character (fortitudo), which I divide into courage (animositas) and highmindedness (generositas). By courage I mean the desire whereby every man strives to preserve his own being in accordance solely with the dictates of reason. By highmindedness I mean the desire whereby every man endeavours, solely under the dictates of reason, to aid other men and to unite them to himself in friendship. Those actions, therefore, which have regard solely to the good of the agent I set down to courage, those which aim at the good of others I set down to highmindedness. Thus temperance, sobriety, and presence of mind in danger, &c., are varieties of courage; courtesy, mercy, &c., are varieties of highmindedness.
Desire is the actual essence of man, in so far as it is conceived, as determined to a particular activity by some given modification of itself.
Pleasure is the transition of a man from a less to a greater perfection.
Pain is the transition of a man from a greater to a less perfection.

No one can deny, that pain consists in the transition to a less perfection, and not in the less perfection itself: for a man cannot be pained, in so far as he partakes of perfection of any degree. Neither can we say, that pain consists in the absence of a greater perfection. For absence is nothing, whereas the emotion of pain is an activity; wherefore this activity can only be the activity of transition from a greater to a less perfection-in other words, it is an activity whereby a man's power of action is lessened or constrained 

Inclination is pleasure, accompanied by the idea of something which is accidentally a cause of pleasure.

Aversion is pain, accompanied by the idea of something which is accidentally the cause of pain


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The Ethics, by Benedict de Spinoza, [1883], at sacred-texts.com


Of Human Bondage, or the Strength of the Emotions

true knowledge of good and evil cannot check any emotion by virtue of being true, but only in so far as it is considered as an emotion.

emotion is an idea, whereby the mind affirms of its body a greater or less force of existing than before (by the general Definition of the Emotions); therefore it has no positive quality, which can be destroyed by the presence of what is true; consequently the knowledge of good and evil cannot, by virtue of being true, restrain any emotion. But, in so far as such knowledge is an emotion (IV. viii.) if it have more strength for restraining emotion, it will to that extent be able to restrain the given emotion.

Desire arising from the knowledge of good and bad can be quenched or checked by many of the other desires arising from the emotions whereby we are assailed.

From the true knowledge of good and evil, in so far as it is an emotion, necessarily arises desire, the strength of which is proportioned to the strength of the emotion wherefrom it arises. But, inasmuch as this desire arises (by hypothesis) from the fact of our truly understanding anything, it follows that it is also present with us, in so far as we are active, and must therefore be understood through our essence only; consequently its force and increase can be defined solely by human power. Again, the desires arising from the emotions whereby we are assailed are stronger, in proportion as the said emotions are more vehement; wherefore their force and increase must be defined solely by the power of external causes, which, when compared with our own power, indefinitely surpass it; hence the desires arising from like emotions may be more vehement, than the desire which arises from a true knowledge of good and evil, and may, consequently, control or quench it. 

Desire arising from the knowledge of good and evil, in so far as such knowledge regards what is future, may be more easily controlled or quenched, than the desire for what is agreeable at the present moment.

Emotion towards a thing, which we conceive as future, is fainter than emotion towards a thing that is present (IV. ix. Coroll.). But desire, which arises from the true knowledge of good and evil, though it be concerned with things which are good at the moment, can be quenched or controlled by any headstrong desire (by the last Prop., the proof whereof is of universal application). Wherefore desire arising from such knowledge, when concerned with the future, can be more easily controlled or quenched,

Desire arising from the true knowledge of good and evil, in so far as such knowledge is concerned with what is contingent, can be controlled far more easily still, than desire for things that are present.

I think I have now shown the reason, why men are moved by opinion more readily than by true reason, why it is that the true knowledge of good and evil stirs up conflicts in the soul, and often yields to every kind of passion. This state of things gave rise to the exclamation of the poet: 12— "The better path I gaze at and approve, The worse—I follow."

Ecclesiastes seems to have had the same thought in his mind, when he says, "He who increases knowledge increases sorrow." I have not written the above with the object of drawing the conclusion, that ignorance is more excellent than knowledge, or that a wise man is on a par with a fool in controlling his emotions, but because it is necessary to know the power and the infirmity of our nature, before we can determine what reason can do in restraining the emotions, and what is beyond her power. I have said, that in the present part I shall merely treat of human infirmity. The power of reason over the emotions I have settled to treat separately.

Desire is the essence of a man, that is, the endeavor whereby a man endeavors to persist in his own being. Wherefore desire arising from pleasure is, by the fact of pleasure being felt, increased or helped; on the contrary, desire arising from pain is, by the fact of pain being felt, diminished or hindered; hence the force of desire arising from pleasure must be defined by human power together with the power of an external cause, whereas desire arising from pain must be defined by human power only. Thus the former is the stronger of the two.

As reason makes no demands contrary to nature, it demands, that every man should love himself, should seek that which is useful to him-I mean, that which is really useful to him, should desire everything which really brings man to greater perfection, and should, each for himself, endeavor as far as he can to preserve his own being. 

Again, as virtue is nothing else but action in accordance with the laws of one's own nature (IV. Def. viii.), and as no one endeavours to preserve his own being, except in accordance with the laws of his own nature, it follows, first, that the foundation of virtue is the endeavour to preserve one's own being, and that happiness consists in man's power of preserving his own being; secondly, that virtue is to be desired for its own sake, and that there is nothing more excellent or more useful to us, for the sake of which we should desire it; thirdly and lastly, that suicides are weak-minded, and are overcome by external causes repugnant to their nature. Further, it follows from Postulate iv., Part II., that we can never arrive at doing without all external things for the preservation of our being or living, so as to have no relations with things which are outside ourselves. Again, if we consider our mind, we see that our intellect would be more imperfect, if mind were alone, and could understand nothing besides itself. There are, then, many things outside ourselves, which are useful to us, and are, therefore, to be desired. Of such none can be discerned more excellent, than those which are in entire agreement with our nature. For if, for example, two individuals of entirely the same nature are united, they form a combination twice as powerful as either of them singly.

The knowledge of good and evil is the emotion of pleasure or pain, in so far as we are conscious thereof; therefore, every man necessarily desires what he thinks good, and shrinks from what he thinks bad. Now this appetite is nothing else but man's nature or essence. Therefore, every man, solely by the laws of his nature, desires the one, and shrinks from the other

The effort for self-preservation is the first and only foundation of virtue. For prior to this principle nothing can be conceived, and without it no virtue can be conceived.

To act absolutely in obedience to virtue is nothing else but to act according to the laws of one's own nature. But we only act, in so far as we understand (III. iii.): therefore to act in obedience to virtue is in us nothing else but to act, to live, or to preserve one's being in obedience to reason, and that on the basis of seeking what is useful for us

 The mind's highest good is the knowledge of God, and the mind's highest virtue is to know God.

that which is entirely different from our nature can neither be to us good nor bad.

 A thing cannot be bad for us through the quality which it has in common with our nature, but it is bad for us in so far as it is contrary to our nature.

The nature or essence of the emotions cannot be explained solely through our essence or nature, but it must be defined by the power, by the nature of external causes in comparison with our own; hence it follows, that there are as many kinds of each emotion as there are external objects whereby we are affected ), and that men may be differently affected by one and the same object, and to this extent differ in nature; lastly, that one and the same man may be differently affected towards the same object, and may therefore be variable and inconstant. 

 the emotion of pain is always a passion or passive state

In so far only as men live in obedience to reason, do they always necessarily agree in nature.

In so far as men are assailed by emotions that are passions, they can be different in nature (IV. xxxiii.), and at variance one with another

there is no individual thing in nature, which is more useful to man, than a man who lives in obedience to reason. For that thing is to man most useful, which is most in harmony with his nature

As every man seeks most that which is useful to him, so are men most useful one to another.

Men, in so far as they live in obedience to reason, are most useful to their fellow men

The good, which a man desires for himself and loves, he will love more constantly, if he sees that others love it also

He who, guided by emotion only, endeavors to cause others to love what he loves himself, and to make the rest of the world live according to his own fancy, acts solely by impulse, and is, therefore, hateful, especially, to those who take delight in something different, and accordingly study and, by similar impulse, endeavor, to make men live in accordance with what pleases themselves. 

emotion can only be restrained by an emotion stronger than, and contrary to itself, and that men avoid inflicting injury through fear of incurring a greater injury themselves.

On this law society can be established, so long as it keeps in its own hand the right, possessed by everyone, of avenging injury, and pronouncing on good and evil; and provided it also possesses the power to lay down a general rule of conduct, and to pass laws sanctioned, not by reason, which is powerless in restraining emotion, but by threats. 

Such a society established with laws and the power of preserving itself is called a State, while those who live under its protection are called citizens. We may readily understand that there is in the state of nature nothing, which by universal consent is pronounced good or bad; for in the state of nature everyone thinks solely of his own advantage, and according to his disposition, with reference only to his individual advantage, decides what is good or bad, being bound by no law to anyone besides himself.

 In the state of nature, therefore, sin is inconceivable; it can only exist in a state, where good and evil are pronounced on by common consent, and where everyone is bound to obey the State authority. Sin, then, is nothing else but disobedience, which is therefore punished by the right of the State only. Obedience, on the other hand, is set down as merit, inasmuch as a man is thought worthy of merit, if he takes delight in the advantages which a State provides.

Whatsoever disposes the human body, so as to render it capable of being affected in an increased number of ways, or of affecting external bodies in an increased number of ways, is useful to man; and is so, in proportion as the body is thereby rendered more capable of being affected or affecting other bodies in an increased number of ways; contrariwise, whatsoever renders the body less capable in this respect is hurtful to man.

Pleasure in itself is not bad but good: contrariwise, pain in itself is bad.

Pleasure  is emotion, whereby the body's power of activity is increased or helped; pain is emotion, whereby the body's power of activity is diminished or checked; therefore  pleasure in itself is good

Localized pleasure or stimulation (titillatio) is pleasure, which, in so far as it is referred to the body, consists in one or some of its parts being affected more than the rest; the power of this emotion may be sufficient to overcome other actions of the body, and may remain obstinately fixed therein, thus rendering it incapable of being affected in a variety of other ways: therefore it may be bad. Again, grief, which is pain, cannot as such be good . But, as its force and increase is defined by the power of an external cause compared with our own, we can conceive infinite degrees and modes of strength in this emotion; we can, therefore, conceive it as capable of restraining stimulation, and preventing its becoming excessive, and hindering the body's capabilities; thus, to this extent, it will be good. 

He who rightly realizes, that all things follow from the necessity of the divine nature, and come to pass in accordance with the eternal laws and rules of nature, will not find anything worthy of hatred, derision, or contempt, nor will he bestow pity on anything, but to the utmost extent of human virtue he will endeavor to do well, as the saying is, and to rejoice. We may add, that he, who is easily touched with compassion, and is moved by another's sorrow or tears, often does something which he afterwards regrets; partly because we can never be sure that an action caused by emotion is good, partly because we are easily deceived by false tears. I am in this place expressly speaking of a man living under the guidance of reason. He who is moved to help others neither by reason nor by compassion, is rightly styled inhuman, for he seems unlike a man.

As men seldom live under the guidance of reason, these two emotions, namely, Humility and Repentance, as also Hope and Fear, bring more good than harm; hence, as we must sin, we had better sin in that direction. For, if all men who are a prey to emotion were all equally proud, they would shrink from nothing, and would fear nothing; how then could they be joined and linked together in bonds of union? The crowd plays the tyrant, when it is not in fear; hence we need not wonder that the prophets, who consulted the good, not of a few, but of all, so strenuously commended Humility, Repentance, and Reverence. Indeed those who are a prey to these emotions may be led much more easily than others to live under the guidance of reason, that is, to become free and to enjoy the life of the blessed.

Hence it most clearly follows, that the proud and the dejected specially fall a prey to the emotions.

If we could possess an adequate knowledge of the duration of things, and could determine by reason their periods of existence, we should contemplate things future with the same emotion as things present; and the mind would desire as though it were present the good which it conceived as future; consequently it would necessarily neglect a lesser good in the present for the sake of a greater good in the future, and would in no wise desire that which is good in the present but a source of evil in the future, as we shall presently show. However, we can have but a very inadequate knowledge of the duration of things (II. xxxi.); and the periods of their existence (II. xliv. note.) we can only determine by imagination, which is not so powerfully affected by the future as by the present. Hence such true knowledge of good and evil as we possess is merely abstract or general, and the judgment which we pass on the order of things and the connection of causes, with a view to determining what is good or bad for us in the present, is rather imaginary than real. Therefore it is nothing wonderful, if the desire arising from such knowledge of good and evil, in so far as it looks on into the future, be more readily checked than the desire of things which are agreeable at the present time. 

He who is led by fear, and does good in order to escape evil, is not led by reason.

All the emotions which are attributable to the mind as active, or in other words to reason, are emotions of pleasure and desire; therefore, he who is led by fear, and does good in order to escape evil, is not led by reason.

Superstitions persons, who know better how to rail at vice than how to teach virtue, and who strive not to guide men by reason, but so to restrain them that they would rather escape evil than love virtue, have no other aim but to make others as wretched as themselves; wherefore it is nothing wonderful, if they be generally troublesome and odious to their fellow-men.

Under desire which springs from reason, we seek good directly, and shun evil indirectly.

Desire which springs from reason can only spring from a pleasurable emotion, wherein the mind is not passive in other words, from a pleasure which cannot be excessive, and not from pain; wherefore this desire springs from the knowledge of good, not of evil; hence under the guidance of reason we seek good directly and only by implication shun evil.

The knowledge of evil is pain, in so far as we are conscious thereof. Now pain is the transition to a lesser perfection and therefore cannot be understood through man's nature; therefore it is a passive state which depends on inadequate ideas; consequently the knowledge thereof, namely, the knowledge of evil, is inadequate.

 if the human mind possessed only adequate ideas, it would form no conception of evil.

Under the guidance of reason we should pursue the greater of two goods and the lesser of two evils.

A good which prevents our enjoyment of a greater good is in reality an evil; for we apply the terms good and bad to things, in so far as we compare them one with another; therefore, evil is in reality a lesser good; hence under the guidance of reason we seek or pursue only the greater good and the lesser evil.

We may, under the guidance of reason, pursue the lesser evil as though it were the greater good, and we may shun the lesser good, which would be the cause of the greater evil. For the evil, which is here called the lesser, is really good, and the lesser good is really evil, wherefore we may seek the former and shun the latter.

We may, under the guidance of reason, seek a lesser evil in the present, because it is the cause of a greater good in the future, and we may shun a lesser good in the present, because it is the cause of a greater evil in the future.

If men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil.

I call free him who is led solely by reason; he, therefore, who is born free, and who remains free, has only adequate ideas; therefore he has no conception of evil, or consequently (good and evil being correlative) of good. 

Superstition, on the other hand, seems to account as good all that brings pain, and as bad all that brings pleasure. However, as we said above, none but the envious take delight in my infirmity and trouble. For the greater the pleasure whereby we are affected, the greater is the perfection whereto we pass, and consequently the more do we partake of the divine nature: no pleasure can ever be evil, which is regulated by a true regard for our advantage. But contrariwise he, who is led by fear and does good only to avoid evil, is not guided by reason.

But human power is extremely limited, and is infinitely surpassed by the power of external causes; we have not, therefore, an absolute power of shaping to our use those things which are without us. Nevertheless, we shall bear with an equal mind all that happens to us in contravention to the claims of our own advantage, so long as we are conscious, that we have done our duty, and that the power which we possess is not sufficient to enable us to protect ourselves completely; remembering that we are a part of universal nature, and that we follow her order. If we have a clear and distinct understanding of this, that part of our nature which is defined by intelligence, in other words the better part of ourselves, will assuredly acquiesce in what befalls us, and in such acquiescence will endeavor to persist. For, in so far as we are intelligent beings, we cannot desire anything save that which is necessary, nor yield absolute acquiescence to anything, save to that which is true: wherefore, in so far as we have a right understanding of these things, the endeavor of the better part of ourselves is in harmony with the order of nature as a whole.

In proportion as each thing possesses more of perfection, so is it more active, and less passive; and, vice versâ, in proportion as it is more active, so is it more perfect.

the eternal part of the mind is the understanding, through which alone we are said to act; the part which we have shown to perish is the imagination, through which only we are said to be passive; therefore, the former, be it great or small, is more perfect than the latter.

Most people seem to believe that they are free, in so far as they may obey their lusts, and that they cede their rights, in so far as they are bound to live according to the commandments of the divine law. They therefore believe that piety, religion, and, generally, all things attributable to firmness of mind, are burdens, which, after death, they hope to lay aside, and to receive the reward for their bondage, that is, for their piety and religion; it is not only by this hope, but also, and chiefly, by the fear of being horribly punished after death, that they are induced to live according to the divine commandments, so far as their feeble and infirm spirit will carry them.

If men had not this hope and this fear, but believed that the mind perishes with the body, and that no hope of prolonged life remains for the wretches who are broken down with the burden of piety, they would return to their own inclinations, controlling everything in accordance with their lusts, and desiring to obey fortune rather than themselves. Such a course appears to me not less absurd than if a man, because he does not believe that he can by wholesome food sustain his body for ever, should wish to cram himself with poisons and deadly fare; or if, because he sees that the mind is not eternal or immortal, he should prefer to be out of his mind altogether, and to live without the use of reason; these ideas are so absurd as to be scarcely worth refuting.

Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself; neither do we rejoice therein, because we control our lusts, but, contrariwise, because we rejoice therein, we are able to control our lusts.

Again, in proportion as the mind rejoices more in this divine love or blessedness, so does it the more understand; that is, so much the more power has it over the emotions, and so much the less is it subject to those emotions which are evil; therefore, in proportion as the mind rejoices in this divine love or blessedness, so has it the power of controlling lusts. And, since human power in controlling the emotions consists solely in the understanding, it follows that no one rejoices in blessedness, because he has controlled his lusts, but, contrariwise, his power of controlling his lusts arises from this blessedness itself.

how potent is the wise man, and how much he surpasses the ignorant man, who is driven only by his lusts. For the ignorant man is not only distracted in various ways by external causes without ever gaining the true acquiescence of his spirit, but moreover lives, as it were unwitting of himself, and of God, and of things, and as soon as he ceases to suffer, ceases also to be.


1:7 God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.


4:13 For the promise 22  to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not fulfilled through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 4:14 For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. 23  4:15 For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression 24  either. 4:16 For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, 25  with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants – not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, 26  who is the father of us all 

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The Ethics, by Benedict de Spinoza, [1883], at sacred-texts.com


Of the Power of the Understanding, or of Human Freedom

I shall treat only of the power of the mind, or of reason; and I shall mainly show the extent and nature of its dominion over the emotions, for their control and moderation...we do not possess absolute dominion over them...Yet the Stoics have thought, that the emotions depended absolutely on our will, and that we could absolutely govern them. But these philosophers were compelled, by the protest of experience, not from their own principles, to confess, that no slight practice and zeal is needed to control and moderate them...Descartes not a little inclines. For he maintained, that the soul or mind is specially united to a particular part of the brain, namely, to that part called the pineal gland, by the aid of which the mind is enabled to feel all the movements which are set going in the body, and also external objects, and which the mind by a simple act of volition can put in motion in various ways. He asserted, that this gland is so suspended in the midst of the brain, that it could be moved by the slightest motion of the animal spirits: further, that this gland is suspended in the midst of the brain in as many different manners, as the animal spirits can impinge thereon; and, again, that as many different marks are impressed on the said gland, as there are different external objects which impel the animal spirits towards it; whence it follows, that if the will of the soul suspends the gland in a position, wherein it has already been suspended once before by the animal spirits driven in one way or another, the gland in its turn reacts on the said spirits, driving and determining them to the condition wherein they were, when repulsed before by a similar position of the gland. He further asserted, that every act of mental volition is united in nature to a certain given motion of the gland... He thence concludes, that there is no soul so weak, that it cannot, under proper direction, acquire absolute power over its passions. For passions as defined by him are "perceptions, or feelings, or disturbances of the soul, which are referred to the soul as species, and which (mark the expression) are produced, preserved, and strengthened through some movement of the spirits." (Passions de l'âme, I.27)... Further, I should much like to know, what degree of motion the mind can impart to this pineal gland, and with what force can it hold it suspended? For I am in ignorance, whether this gland can be agitated more slowly or more quickly by the mind than by the animal spirits, and whether the motions of the passions, which we have closely united with firm decisions, cannot be again disjoined therefrom by physical causes; in which case it would follow that, although the mind firmly intended to face a given danger, and had united to this decision the motions of boldness, yet at the sight of the danger the gland might become suspended in a way, which would preclude the mind thinking of anything except running away. In truth, as there is no common standard of volition and motion, so is there no comparison possible between the powers of the mind and the power or strength of the body; consequently the strength of one cannot in any wise be determined by the strength of the other. We may also add, that there is no gland discoverable in the midst of the brain, so placed that it can thus easily be set in motion in so many ways, and also that all the nerves are not prolonged so far as the cavities of the brain.

If we remove a disturbance of the spirit, or emotion, from the thought of an external cause, and unite it to other thoughts, then will the love or hatred towards that external cause, and also the vacillations of spirit which arise from these emotions, be destroyed?

That, which constitutes the reality of love or hatred, is pleasure or pain, accompanied by the idea of an external cause; wherefore, when this cause is removed, the reality of love or hatred is removed with it; therefore these emotions and those which arise therefrom are destroyed

An emotion, which is a passion, is a confused idea. If, therefore, we form a clear and distinct idea of a given emotion, that idea will only be distinguished from the emotion, in so far as it is referred to the mind only, by reason; therefore, the emotion will cease to be a passion. 

 there is no emotion, whereof we cannot form some clear and distinct conception. For an emotion is the idea of a modification of the body, and must therefore (by the preceding Prop.) involve some clear and distinct conception.

everyone has the power of clearly and distinctly understanding himself and his emotions, if not absolutely, at any rate in part, and consequently of bringing it about, that he should become less subject to them. To attain this result, therefore, we must chiefly direct our efforts to acquiring, as far as possible, a clear and distinct knowledge of every emotion, in order that the mind may thus, through emotion, be determined to think of those things which it clearly and distinctly perceives, and wherein it fully acquiesces: and thus that the emotion itself may be separated from the thought of an external cause, and may be associated with true thoughts; whence it will come to pass, not only that love, hatred, &c. will be destroyed (V. ii.), but also that the appetites or desires, which are wont to arise from such emotion, will become incapable of being excessive 

The mind has greater power over the emotions and is less subject thereto, in so far as it understands all things as necessary.

The mind understands all things to be necessary and to be determined to existence and operation by an infinite chain of causes; therefore, it thus far brings it about, that it is less subject to the emotions arising therefrom, and feels less emotion towards the things themselves.

The more this knowledge, that things are necessary, is applied to particular things, which we conceive more distinctly and vividly, the greater is the power of the mind over the emotions, as experience also testifies.

Emotions which are aroused or spring from reason, if we take account of time, are stronger than those, which are attributable to particular objects that we regard as absent.

An emotion is stronger in proportion to the number of simultaneous concurrent causes whereby it is aroused.

An emotion is only bad or hurtful, in so far as it hinders the mind from being able to think; therefore, an emotion, whereby the mind is determined to the contemplation of several things at once, is less hurtful than another equally powerful emotion, which so engrosses the mind in the single contemplation of a few objects or of one, that it is unable to think of anything else... the mind's essence, in other words, its power, consists solely in thought, the mind is less passive in respect to an emotion, which causes it to think of several things at once, than in regard to an equally strong emotion, which keeps it engrossed in the contemplation of a few or of a single object: this was our second point. Lastly, this emotion, in so far as it is attributable to several causes, is less powerful in regard to each of them.

The emotions, which are contrary to our nature, that is, which are bad, are bad in so far as they impede the mind from understanding.

By this power of rightly arranging and associating the bodily modifications we can guard ourselves from being easily affected by evil emotions. a greater force is needed for controlling the emotions, when they are arranged and associated according to the intellectual order, than when they are uncertain and unsettled. The best we can do, therefore, so long as we do not possess a perfect knowledge of our emotions, is to frame a system of right conduct, or fixed practical precepts, to commit it to memory, and to apply it forthwith to the particular circumstances which now and again meet us in life, so that our imagination may become fully imbued therewith, and that it may be always ready to our hand.

This love towards God must hold the chief place in the mind.

God is without passions, neither is he affected by any emotion of pleasure or pain.

God is without passions. Again, God cannot pass either to a greater or to a lesser perfection; therefore he is not affected by any emotion of pleasure or pain.

The idea of God which is in us is adequate and perfect; wherefore, in so far as we contemplate God, we are active; consequently there can be no pain accompanied by the idea of God, in other words, no one can hate God.

This love towards God is the highest good which we can seek for under the guidance of reason, it is common to all men, and we desire that all should rejoice therein

Now the power of the mind is defined by knowledge only, and its infirmity or passion is defined by the privation of knowledge only: it therefore follows, that that mind is most passive, whose greatest part is made up of inadequate ideas, so that it may be characterized more readily by its passive states than by its activities: on the other hand, that mind is most active, whose greatest part is made up of adequate ideas, so that, although it may contain as many inadequate ideas as the former mind, it may yet be more easily characterized by ideas attributable to human virtue, than by ideas which tell of human infirmity. Again, it must be observed, that spiritual unhealthiness and misfortunes can generally be traced to excessive love for something which is subject to many variations, and which we can never become masters of. 

 We may thus readily conceive the power which clear and distinct knowledge, and especially that third kind of knowledge, founded on the actual knowledge of God, possesses over the emotions: if it does not absolutely destroy them, in so far as they are passions; at any rate, it causes them to occupy a very small part of the mind

The mind does not express the actual existence of its body, nor does it imagine the modifications of the body as actual, except while the body endures; and, consequently, it does not imagine any body as actually existing, except while its own body endures. Thus it cannot imagine anything, or remember things past, except while the body endures

God is the cause, not only of the existence of this or that human body, but also of its essence. This essence, therefore, must necessarily be conceived through the very essence of God, and be thus conceived by a certain eternal necessity; and this conception must necessarily exist in God

The human mind cannot be absolutely destroyed with the body, but there remains of it something which is eternal.

the highest virtue of the mind, that is the power, or nature, or highest endeavor of the mind, is to understand things by the third kind of knowledge.

In proportion as the mind is more capable of understanding things by the third kind of knowledge, it desires more to understand things by that kind.

The highest virtue of the mind is to know God, or to understand things by the third kind of knowledge, and this virtue is greater in proportion as the mind knows things more by the said kind of knowledge: consequently, he who knows things by this kind of knowledge passes to the summit of human perfection, and is therefore affected by the highest pleasure, such pleasure being accompanied by the idea of himself and his own virtue; thus, from this kind of knowledge arises the highest possible acquiescence.

ideas which are clear and distinct in us, or which are referred to the third kind of knowledge cannot follow from ideas that are fragmentary and confused, and are referred to knowledge of the first kind, but must follow from adequate ideas, or ideas of the second and third kind of knowledge; 

Whatsoever the mind understands under the form of eternity, it does not understand by virtue of conceiving the present actual existence of the body, but by virtue of conceiving the essence of the body under the form of eternity.

eternity cannot be explained in terms of duration. Therefore to this extent the mind has not the power of conceiving things under the form of eternity, but it possesses such power, because it is of the nature of reason to conceive things under the form of eternity, and also because it is of the nature of the mind to conceive the essence of the body under the form of eternity (V. xxiii.), for besides these two there is nothing which belongs to the essence of mind (II. xiii.). Therefore this power of conceiving things under the form of eternity only belongs to the mind in virtue of the mind's conceiving the essence of the body under the form of eternity

Things are conceived by us as actual in two ways; either as existing in relation to a given time and place, or as contained in God and following from the necessity of the divine nature. Whatsoever we conceive in this second way as true or real, we conceive under the form of eternity, and their ideas involve the eternal and infinite essence of God

Our mind, in so far as it knows itself and the body under the form of eternity, has to that extent necessarily a knowledge of God, and knows that it is in God, and is conceived through God.

Eternity is the very essence of God, in so far as this involves necessary existence (I. Def. viii.). Therefore to conceive things under the form of eternity, is to conceive things in so far as they are conceived through the essence of God as real entities, or in so far as they involve existence through the essence of God; wherefore our mind, in so far as it conceives itself and the body under the form of eternity, has to that extent necessarily a knowledge of God, and knows,

The third kind of knowledge depends on the mind, as its formal cause, in so far as the mind itself is eternal.

The mind does not conceive anything under the form of eternity, except in so far as it conceives its own body under the form of eternity (V. xxix.); that is, except in so far as it is eternal (V. xxi. xxiii.); therefore (by the last Prop.), in so far as it is eternal, it possesses the knowledge of God, which knowledge is necessarily adequate (II. xlvi.); hence the mind, in so far as it is eternal, is capable of knowing everything which can follow from this given knowledge of God (II. xl.), in other words, of knowing things by the third kind of knowledge (see Def. in II. xl. note. ii.), whereof accordingly the mind (III. Def. i.), in so far as it is eternal, is the adequate or formal cause of such knowledge. Q.E.D.

In proportion, therefore, as a man is more potent in this kind of knowledge, he will be more completely conscious of himself and of God; in other words, he will be more perfect and blessed, as will appear more clearly in the sequel. But we must here observe that, although we are already certain that the mind is eternal, in so far as it conceives things under the form of eternity, yet, in order that what we wish to show may be more readily explained and better understood, we will consider the mind itself, as though it had just begun to exist and to understand things under the form of eternity, as indeed we have done hitherto; this we may do without any danger of error, so long as we are careful not to draw any conclusion, unless our premisses are plain.

Whatsoever we understand by the third kind of knowledge, we take delight in, and our delight is accompanied by the idea of God as cause.

rom this kind of knowledge arises the highest possible mental acquiescence, that is, pleasure, and this acquiescence is accompanied by the idea of the mind itself (V. xxvii.), and consequently (V. xxx.) the idea also of God as cause.

From the third kind of knowledge necessarily arises the intellectual love of God. From this kind of knowledge arises pleasure accompanied by the idea of God as cause, that is (Def. of the Emotions, vi.), the love of God; not in so far as we imagine him as present (V. xxix.), but in so far as we understand him to be eternal; this is what I call the intellectual love of God.

The intellectual love of God, which arises from the third kind of knowledge, is eternal.

 If pleasure consists in the transition to a greater perfection, assuredly blessedness must consist in the mind being endowed with perfection itself.

The mind is, only while the body endures, subject to those emotions which are attributable to passions.

Hence it follows that no love save intellectual love is eternal.

This love of the mind must be referred to the activities of the mind; it is itself, indeed, an activity whereby the mind regards itself accompanied by the idea of God as cause (V. xxxii. and Coroll.); that is (I. xxv. Coroll. and II. xi. Coroll.), an activity whereby God, in so far as he can be explained through the human mind, regards himself accompanied by the idea of himself; therefore (by the last Prop.), this love of the mind is part of the infinite love wherewith God loves himself. Q.E.D.

Hence it follows that God, in so far as he loves himself, loves man, and, consequently, that the love of God towards men, and the intellectual love of the mind towards God are identical.

From what has been said we clearly understand, wherein our salvation, or blessedness, or freedom, consists: namely, in the constant and eternal love towards God, or in God's love towards men. This love or blessedness is, in the Bible, called Glory, and not undeservedly. For whether this love be referred to God or to the mind, it may rightly be called acquiescence of spirit, which ) is not really distinguished from glory. In so far as it is referred to God, it is pleasure, if we may still use that term, accompanied by the idea of itself, and, in so far as it is referred to the mind, it is the same

 Again, since the essence of our mind consists solely in knowledge, whereof the beginning and the foundation is God, it becomes clear to us, in what manner and way our mind, as to its essence and existence, follows from the divine nature and constantly depends on God. I have thought it worth while here to call attention to this, in order to show by this example how the knowledge of particular things, which I have called intuitive or of the third kind, is potent, and more powerful than the universal knowledge, which I have styled knowledge of the second kind... all things (and consequently, also, the human mind) depend as to their essence and existence on God

There is nothing in nature, which is contrary to this intellectual love, or which can take it away.

In proportion as the mind understands more things by the second and third kind of knowledge, it is less subject to those emotions which are evil, and stands in less fear of death.

The mind's essence consists in knowledge; therefore, in proportion as the mind understands more things by the second and third kinds of knowledge, the greater will be the part of it that endures, and, consequently, the greater will be the part that is not touched by the emotions, which are contrary to our nature, or in other words, evil. Thus, in proportion as the mind understands more things by the second and third kinds of knowledge, the greater will be the part of it, that remains unimpaired, and, consequently, less subject to emotions, &c.

 death becomes less hurtful, in proportion as the mind's clear and distinct knowledge is greater, and, consequently, in proportion as the mind loves God more. Again, since from the third kind of knowledge arises the highest possible acquiescence, it follows that the human mind can attain to being of such a nature, that the part thereof which we have shown to perish with the body should be of little importance when compared with the part which endures.

He, who possesses a body capable of the greatest number of activities, is least agitated by those emotions which are evil-that is, by those emotions which are contrary to our nature; therefore, he possesses the power of arranging and associating the modifications of the body according to the intellectual order, and, consequently, of bringing it about, that all the modifications of the body should be referred to the idea of God; whence it will come to pass that he will be affected with love towards God, which must occupy or constitute the chief part of the mind; therefore, such a man will possess a mind whereof the chief part is eternal. Q.E.D.

we live in a state of perpetual variation, and, according as we are changed for the better or the worse, we are called happy or unhappy.

we primarily endeavor to bring it about, that the body of a child, in so far as its nature allows and conduces thereto, may be changed into something else capable of very many activities, and referable to a mind which is highly conscious of itself, of God, and of things; and we desire so to change it, that what is referred to its imagination and memory may become insignificant, in comparison with its intellect,

In proportion as each thing possesses more of perfection, so is it more active, and less passive; and, vice versâ, in proportion as it is more active, so is it more perfect.

the eternal part of the mind is the understanding, through which alone we are said to act ; the part which we have shown to perish is the imagination

The general belief of the multitude seems to be different. Most people seem to believe that they are free, in so far as they may obey their lusts, and that they cede their rights, in so far as they are bound to live according to the commandments of the divine law. They therefore believe that piety, religion, and, generally, all things attributable to firmness of mind, are burdens, which, after death, they hope to lay aside, and to receive the reward for their bondage, that is, for their piety and religion; it is not only by this hope, but also, and chiefly, by the fear of being horribly punished after death, that they are induced to live according to the divine commandments, so far as their feeble and infirm spirit will carry them.

 If men had not this hope and this fear, but believed that the mind perishes with the body, and that no hope of prolonged life remains for the wretches who are broken down with the burden of piety, they would return to their own inclinations, controlling everything in accordance with their lusts, and desiring to obey fortune rather than themselves. Such a course appears to me not less absurd than if a man, because he does not believe that he can by wholesome food sustain his body for ever, should wish to cram himself with poisons and deadly fare; or if, because he sees that the mind is not eternal or immortal, he should prefer to be out of his mind altogether, and to live without the use of reason; these ideas are so absurd as to be scarcely worth refuting.

Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself; neither do we rejoice therein, because we control our lusts, but, contrariwise, because we rejoice therein, we are able to control our lusts.

Blessedness consists in love towards God, which love springs from the third kind of knowledge; therefore this love must be referred to the mind, in so far as the latter is active; therefore it is virtue itself. This was our first point. Again, in proportion as the mind rejoices more in this divine love or blessedness, so does it the more understand; that is, so much the more power has it over the emotions, and so much the less is it subject to those emotions which are evil; therefore, in proportion as the mind rejoices in this divine love or blessedness, so has it the power of controlling lusts. And, since human power in controlling the emotions consists solely in the understanding, it follows that no one rejoices in blessedness, because he has controlled his lusts, but, contrariwise, his power of controlling his lusts arises from this blessedness itself. 

how potent is the wise man, and how much he surpasses the ignorant man, who is driven only by his lusts. For the ignorant man is not only distracted in various ways by external causes without ever gaining the true acquiescence of his spirit, but moreover lives, as it were unwitting of himself, and of God, and of things, and as soon as he ceases to suffer, ceases also to be.

 Whereas the wise man, in so far as he is regarded as such, is scarcely at all disturbed in spirit, but, being conscious of himself, and of God, and of things, by a certain eternal necessity, never ceases to be, but always possesses true acquiescence of his spirit.


29:11 A fool lets fly with all his temper, 
but a wise person keeps it back. 

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Descartes' Meditations



For, in the first place, I discover that it is impossible for him ever to deceive me, for in all fraud and deceit there is a certain imperfection: and although it may seem that the ability to deceive is a mark of subtlety or power, yet the will testifies without doubt of malice and weakness; and such, accordingly, cannot be found in God.

I am conscious that I possess a certain faculty of judging [or discerning truth from error], which I doubtless received from God, along with whatever else is mine; and since it is impossible that he should will to deceive me, it is likewise certain that he has not given me a faculty that will ever lead me into error, provided I use it aright. 

knowing already that my nature is extremely weak and limited, and that the nature of God, on the other hand, is immense, incomprehensible, and infinite, I have no longer any difficulty in discerning that there is an infinity of things in his power whose causes transcend the grasp of my mind.

Whereupon, regarding myself more closely, and considering what my errors are (which alone testify to the existence of imperfection in me), I observe that these depend on the concurrence of two causes, viz, the faculty of cognition, which I possess, and that of election or the power of free choice,--in other words, the understanding and the will. For by the understanding alone, I [neither affirm nor deny anything but] merely apprehend (percipio) the ideas regarding which I may form a judgment; nor is any error, properly so called, found in it thus accurately taken.

for the power of will consists only in this, that we are able to do or not to do the same thing (that is, to affirm or deny, to pursue or shun it), or rather in this alone, that in affirming or denying, pursuing or shunning, what is proposed to us by the understanding, we so act that we are not conscious of being determined to a particular action by any external force. For, to the possession of freedom, it is not necessary that I be alike indifferent toward each of two contraries; but, on the contrary, the more I am inclined toward the one, whether because I clearly know that in it there is the reason of truth and goodness, or because God thus internally disposes my thought, the more freely do I choose and embrace it; and assuredly divine grace and natural knowledge, very far from diminishing liberty, rather augment and fortify it.

For, to the possession of freedom, it is not necessary that I be alike indifferent toward each of two contraries; but, on the contrary, the more I am inclined toward the one, whether because I clearly know that in it there is the reason of truth and goodness, or because God thus internally disposes my thought, the more freely do I choose and embrace it; and assuredly divine grace and natural knowledge, very far from diminishing liberty, rather augment and fortify it. But the indifference of which I am conscious when I am not impelled to one side rather than to another for want of a reason, is the lowest grade of liberty, and manifests defect or negation of knowledge rather than perfection of will; for if I always clearly knew what was true and good, I should never have any difficulty in determining what judgment I ought to come to, and what choice I ought to make, and I should thus be entirely free without ever being indifferent.

 I not only know that I exist, in so far as I am a thinking being, but there is likewise presented to my mind a certain idea of corporeal nature; hence I am in doubt as to whether the thinking nature which is in me, or rather which I myself am, is different from that corporeal nature, or whether both are merely one and the same thing, and I here suppose that I am as yet ignorant of any reason that would determine me to adopt the one belief in preference to the other; whence it happens that it is a matter of perfect indifference to me which of the two suppositions I affirm or deny, or whether I form any judgment at all in the matter.

If I abstain from judging of a thing when I do not conceive it with sufficient clearness and distinctness, it is plain that I act rightly, and am not deceived; but if I resolve to deny or affirm, I then do not make a right use of my free will; and if I affirm what is false, it is evident that I am deceived; moreover, even although I judge according to truth, I stumble upon it by chance, and do not therefore escape the imputation of a wrong use of my freedom; for it is a dictate of the natural light, that the knowledge of the understanding ought always to precede the determination of the will. And it is this wrong use of the freedom of the will in which is found the privation that constitutes the form of error. Privation, I say, is found in the act, in so far as it proceeds from myself, but it does not exist in the faculty which I received from God, nor even in the act, in so far as it depends on him... acts are wholly true and good, in so far as they depend on God; and the ability to form them is a higher degree of perfection in my nature than the want of it would be. With regard to privation, in which alone consists the formal reason of error and sin, this does not require the concurrence of Deity, because it is not a thing [or existence], and if it be referred to God as to its cause, it ought not to be called privation, but negation [according to the signification of these words in the schools]. For in truth it is no imperfection in Deity that he has accorded to me the power of giving or withholding my assent from certain things of which he has not put a clear and distinct knowledge in my understanding; but it is doubtless an imperfection in me that I do not use my freedom aright, and readily give my judgment on matters which I only obscurely and confusedly conceive.

 have even good reason to remain satisfied on the ground that, if he has not given me the perfection of being superior to error by the first means I have pointed out above, which depends on a clear and evident knowledge of all the matters regarding which I can deliberate, he has at least left in my power the other means, which is, firmly to retain the resolution never to judge where the truth is not clearly known to me: for, although I am conscious of the weakness of not being able to keep my mind continually fixed on the same thought, I can nevertheless, by attentive and oft-repeated meditation, impress it so strongly on my memory that I shall never fail to recollect it as often as I require it, and I can acquire in this way the habitude of not erring.

I so restrain my will within the limits of my knowledge, that it forms no judgment except regarding objects which are clearly and distinctly represented to it by the understanding, I can never be deceived; because every clear and distinct conception is doubtless something, and as such cannot owe its origin to nothing, but must of necessity have God for its author-- God, I say, who, as supremely perfect, cannot, without a contradiction, be the cause of any error; and consequently it is necessary to conclude that every such conception [or judgment] is true. Nor have I merely learned to-day what I must avoid to escape error, but also what I must do to arrive at the knowledge of truth; for I will assuredly reach truth if I only fix my attention sufficiently on all the things I conceive perfectly, and separate these from others which I conceive more confusedly and obscurely; to which for the future I shall give diligent heed.


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Descartes' Meditations



 I ought not the less carefully to withhold belief from what is not entirely certain and indubitable, than from what is manifestly false, it will be sufficient to justify the rejection of the whole if I shall find in each some ground for doubt.

All that I have, up to this moment, accepted as possessed of the highest truth and certainty, I received either from or through the senses. I observed, however, that these sometimes misled us; and it is the part of prudence not to place absolute confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.

although the senses occasionally mislead us respecting minute objects, and such as are so far removed from us as to be beyond the reach of close observation, there are yet many other of their informations (presentations), of the truth of which it is manifestly impossible to doubt...I sometimes think that others are in error respecting matters of which they believe themselves to possess a perfect knowledge, how do I know that I am not also deceived

Some, indeed, might perhaps be found who would be disposed rather to deny the existence of a Being so powerful than to believe that there is nothing certain...it is clear (since to be deceived and to err is a certain defect ) that the probability of my being so imperfect as to be the constant victim of deception, will be increased exactly in proportion as the power possessed by the cause... if I desire to discover anything certain, I ought not the less carefully to refrain from assenting to those same opinions than to what might be shown to be manifestly false.

But it is not sufficient to have made these observations; care must be taken likewise to keep them in remembrance. For those old and customary opinions perpetually recur-- long and familiar usage giving them the right of occupying my mind, even almost against my will, and subduing my belief; nor will I lose the habit of deferring to them and confiding in them so long as I shall consider them to be what in truth they are, viz, opinions to some extent doubtful, as I have already shown, but still highly probable, and such as it is much more reasonable to believe than deny.

It is for this reason I am persuaded that I shall not be doing wrong, if, taking an opposite judgment of deliberate design, I become my own deceiver, by supposing, for a time, that all those opinions are entirely false and imaginary, until at length, having thus balanced my old by my new prejudices, my judgment shall no longer be turned aside by perverted usage from the path that may conduct to the perception of truth. For I am assured that, meanwhile, there will arise neither peril nor error from this course, and that I cannot for the present yield too much to distrust, since the end I now seek is not action but knowledge.

I will suppose, then, not that Deity, who is sovereignly good and the fountain of truth, but that some malignant demon, who is at once exceedingly potent and deceitful, has employed all his artifice to deceive me

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Descartes' Meditations



Am I so dependent on the body and the senses that without these I cannot exist? But I had the persuasion that there was absolutely nothing in the world, that there was no sky and no earth, neither minds nor bodies; was I not, therefore, at the same time, persuaded that I did not exist? Far from it; I assuredly existed, since I was persuaded. But there is I know not what being, who is possessed at once of the highest power and the deepest cunning, who is constantly employing all his ingenuity in deceiving me. Doubtless, then, I exist, since I am deceived; and, let him deceive me as he may, he can never bring it about that I am nothing, so long as I shall be conscious that I am something. So that it must, in fine, be maintained, all things being maturely and carefully considered, that this proposition (pronunciatum ) I am, I exist, is necessarily true each time it is expressed by me, or conceived in my mind.

 I will now consider anew what I formerly believed myself to be, before I entered on the present train of thought; and of my previous opinion I will retrench all that can in the least be invalidated by the grounds of doubt I have adduced, in order that there may at length remain nothing but what is certain and indubitable.

In the first place, then, I thought that I possessed a countenance, hands, arms, and all the fabric of members that appears in a corpse, and which I called by the name of body. It further occurred to me that I was nourished, that I walked, perceived, and thought, and all those actions I referred to the soul; but what the soul itself was I either did not stay to consider, or, if I did, I imagined that it was something extremely rare and subtile, like wind, or flame, or ether, spread through my grosser parts. As regarded the body, I did not even doubt of its nature, but thought I distinctly knew it, and if I had wished to describe it according to the notions I then entertained, 

Let us pass, then, to the attributes of the soul. The first mentioned were the powers of nutrition and walking; but, if it be true that I have no body, it is true likewise that I am capable neither of walking nor of being nourished. Perception is another attribute of the soul; but perception too is impossible without the body; besides, I have frequently, during sleep, believed that I perceived objects which I afterward observed I did not in reality perceive. Thinking is another attribute of the soul; and here I discover what properly belongs to myself. This alone is inseparable from me. I am--I exist: this is certain; but how often? As often as I think; for perhaps it would even happen, if I should wholly cease to think, that I should at the same time altogether cease to be. I now admit nothing that is not necessarily true. I am therefore, precisely speaking, only a thinking thing, that is, a mind (mens sive animus), understanding, or reason, terms whose signification was before unknown to me. I am, however, a real thing, and really existent; but what thing? The answer was, a thinking thing.

 I can only judge of things that are known to me: I am conscious that I exist, and I who know that I exist inquire into what I am. It is, however, perfectly certain that the knowledge of my existence, thus precisely taken, is not dependent on things, the existence of which is as yet unknown to me: and consequently it is not dependent on any of the things I can feign in imagination. Moreover, the phrase itself, I frame an image (efffingo), reminds me of my error; for I should in truth frame one if I were to imagine myself to be anything, since to imagine is nothing more than to contemplate the figure or image of a corporeal thing; but I already know that I exist, and that it is possible at the same time that all those images, and in general all that relates to the nature of body, are merely dreams [or chimeras]. From this I discover that it is not more reasonable to say, I will excite my imagination that I may know more distinctly what I am, than to express myself as follows: I am now awake, and perceive something real; but because my perception is not sufficiently clear, I will of express purpose go to sleep that my dreams may represent to me the object of my perception with more truth and clearness. And, therefore, I know that nothing of all that I can embrace in imagination belongs to the knowledge which I have of myself, and that there is need to recall with the utmost care the mind from this mode of thinking, that it may be able to know its own nature with perfect distinctness.

what is a thinking thing? It is a thing that doubts, understands, [conceives], affirms, denies, wills, refuses; that imagines also, and perceives.

there are besides so many other things in the mind itself that contribute to the illustration of its nature, that those dependent on the body, to which I have here referred, scarcely merit to be taken into account.

bodies themselves are not properly perceived by the senses nor by the faculty of imagination, but by the intellect alone; and since they are not perceived because they are seen and touched, but only because they are understood [ or rightly comprehended by thought ], I readily discover that there is nothing more easily or clearly apprehended than my own mind. But because it is difficult to rid one's self so promptly of an opinion to which one has been long accustomed, it will be desirable to tarry for some time at this stage, that, by long continued meditation, I may more deeply impress upon my memory this new knowledge

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Descartes' Meditations



In this first knowledge, doubtless, there is nothing that gives me assurance of its truth except the clear and distinct perception of what I affirm, which would not indeed be sufficient to give me the assurance that what I say is true, if it could ever happen that anything I thus clearly and distinctly perceived should prove false; and accordingly it seems to me that I may now take as a general rule, that all that is very clearly and distinctly apprehended (conceived) is true.

in truth, as I have no ground for believing that Deity is deceitful, and as, indeed, I have not even considered the reasons by which the existence of a Deity of any kind is established, the ground of doubt that rests only on this supposition is very slight, and, so to speak, metaphysical. But, that I may be able wholly to remove it, I must inquire whether there is a God, as soon as an opportunity of doing so shall present itself; and if I find that there is a God, I must examine likewise whether he can be a deceiver; for, without the knowledge of these two truths, I do not see that I can ever be certain of anything.

f my thoughts some are, as it were, images of things, and to these alone properly belongs the name IDEA; as when I think [ represent to my mind ] a man, a chimera, the sky, an angel or God. Others, again, have certain other forms; as when I will, fear, affirm, or deny, I always, indeed, apprehend something as the object of my thought, but I also embrace in thought something more than the representation of the object; and of this class of thoughts some are called volitions or affections, and others judgments.[

Now, with respect to ideas, if these are considered only in themselves, and are not referred to any object beyond them, they cannot, properly speaking, be false; for, whether I imagine a goat or chimera, it is not less true that I imagine the one than the other. Nor need we fear that falsity may exist in the will or affections; for, although I may desire objects that are wrong, and even that never existed, it is still true that I desire them. There thus only remain our judgments, in which we must take diligent heed that we be not deceived. But the chief and most ordinary error that arises in them consists in judging that the ideas which are in us are like or conformed to the things that are external to us; for assuredly, if we but considered the ideas themselves as certain modes of our thought (consciousness), without referring them to anything beyond, they would hardly afford any occasion of error.

But among these ideas, some appear to me to be innate, others adventitious, and others to be made by myself (factitious); for, as I have the power of conceiving what is called a thing, or a truth, or a thought, it seems to me that I hold this power from no other source than my own nature; but if I now hear a noise, if I see the sun, or if I feel heat, I have all along judged that these sensations proceeded from certain objects existing out of myself; and, in fine, it appears to me that sirens, hippogryphs, and the like, are inventions of my own mind. But I may even perhaps come to be of opinion that all my ideas are of the class which I call adventitious, or that they are all innate, or that they are all factitious; for I have not yet clearly discovered their true origin. 

 it seems to me I am so taught by nature; and the second that I am conscious that those ideas are not dependent on my will, and therefore not on myself, for they are frequently presented to me against my will, as at present, whether I will or not, I feel heat; and I am thus persuaded that this sensation or idea (sensum vel ideam) of heat is produced in me by something different from myself, viz., by the heat of the fire by which I sit. And it is very reasonable to suppose that this object impresses me with its own likeness rather than any other thing.

I am because I doubt, and other truths of the like kind; inasmuch as I possess no other faculty whereby to distinguish truth from error, which can teach me the falsity of what the natural light declares to be true, and which is equally trustworthy; but with respect to [seemingly] natural impulses, I have observed, when the question related to the choice of right or wrong in action, that they frequently led me to take the worse part; nor do I see that I have any better ground for following them in what relates to truth and error. 

 ideas do not depend on my will, they must arise from objects existing without me, I do not find it more convincing than the former, for just as those natural impulses, of which I have lately spoken, are found in me, notwithstanding that they are not always in harmony with my will, so likewise it may be that I possess some power not sufficiently known to myself capable of producing ideas without the aid of external objects, and, indeed, it has always hitherto appeared to me that they are formed during sleep, by some power of this nature, without the aid of aught external.

I have observed, in a number of instances, that there was a great difference between the object and its idea. Thus, for example, I find in my mind two wholly diverse ideas of the sun; the one, by which it appears to me extremely small draws its origin from the senses, and should be placed in the class of adventitious ideas; the other, by which it seems to be many times larger than the whole earth, is taken up on astronomical grounds, that is, elicited from certain notions born with me, or is framed by myself in some other manner. These two ideas cannot certainly both resemble the same sun; and reason teaches me that the one which seems to have immediately emanated from it is the most unlike.

the idea by which I conceive a God [sovereign], eternal, infinite, [immutable], all-knowing, all-powerful, and the creator of all things that are out of himself, this, I say, has certainly in it more objective reality than those ideas by which finite substances are represented.

Now, it is manifest by the natural light that there must at least be as much reality in the efficient and total cause as in its effect; for whence can the effect draw its reality if not from its cause ? And how could the cause communicate to it this reality unless it possessed it in itself? And hence it follows, not only that what is cannot be produced by what is not, but likewise that the more perfect, in other words, that which contains in itself more reality, cannot be the effect of the less perfect; and this is not only evidently true of those effects, whose reality is actual or formal, but likewise of ideas, whose reality is only considered as objective.

we ought to consider that, [as every idea is a work of the mind], its nature is such as of itself to demand no other formal reality than that which it borrows from our consciousness, of which it is but a mode [that is, a manner or way of thinking]. But in order that an idea may contain this objective reality rather than that, it must doubtless derive it from some cause in which is found at least as much formal reality as the idea contains of objective; for, if we suppose that there is found in an idea anything which was not in its cause, it must of course derive this from nothing. But, however imperfect may be the mode of existence by which a thing is objectively [or by representation] in the understanding by its idea, we certainly cannot, for all that, allege that this mode of existence is nothing, nor, consequently, that the idea owes its origin to nothing.

since the reality which considered in these ideas is only objective, the same reality need not be formally (actually) in the causes of these ideas, but only objectively: for, just as the mode of existing objectively belongs to ideas by their peculiar nature, so likewise the mode of existing formally appertains to the causes of these ideas (at least to the first and principal), by their peculiar nature. And although an idea may give rise to another idea, this regress cannot, nevertheless, be infinite; we must in the end reach a first idea, the cause of which is, as it were, the archetype in which all the reality [or perfection] that is found objectively [or by representation] in these ideas is contained formally [and in act]. I am thus clearly taught by the natural light that ideas exist in me as pictures or images, which may, in truth, readily fall short of the perfection of the objects from which they are taken, but can never contain anything greater or more perfect.

if the objective reality [or perfection] of any one of my ideas be such as clearly to convince me, that this same reality exists in me neither formally nor eminently, and if, as follows from this, I myself cannot be the cause of it, it is a necessary consequence that I am not alone in the world, but that there is besides myself some other being who exists as the cause of that idea; while, on the contrary, if no such idea be found in my mind, I shall have no sufficient ground of assurance of the existence of any other being besides myself, for, after a most careful search, I have, up to this moment, been unable to discover any other ground.

But, among these my ideas, besides that which represents myself, respecting which there can be here no difficulty, there is one that represents a God; others that represent corporeal and inanimate things; others angels; others animals; and, finally, there are some that represent men like myself.

But with respect to the ideas that represent other men, or animals, or angels, I can easily suppose that they were formed by the mingling and composition of the other ideas which I have of myself, of corporeal things, and of God, although they were, apart from myself, neither men, animals, nor angels.

There only remains, therefore, the idea of God, in which I must consider whether there is anything that cannot be supposed to originate with myself. By the name God, I understand a substance infinite, [eternal, immutable], independent, all-knowing, all-powerful, and by which I myself, and every other thing that exists, if any such there be, were created. But these properties are so great and excellent, that the more attentively I consider them the less I feel persuaded that the idea I have of them owes its origin to myself alone. And thus it is absolutely necessary to conclude, from all that I have before said, that God exists.

I clearly perceive that there is more reality in the infinite substance than in the finite, and therefore that in some way I possess the perception (notion) of the infinite before that of the finite, that is, the perception of God before that of myself, for how could I know that I doubt, desire, or that something is wanting to me, and that I am not wholly perfect, if I possessed no idea of a being more perfect than myself, by comparison of which I knew the deficiencies of my nature ?

The idea, I say, of a being supremely perfect, and infinite, is in the highest degree true; for although, perhaps, we may imagine that such a being does not exist, we cannot, nevertheless, suppose that his idea represents nothing real, as I have already said of the idea of cold. It is likewise clear and distinct in the highest degree, since whatever the mind clearly and distinctly conceives as real or true, and as implying any perfection, is contained entire in this idea. And this is true, nevertheless, although I do not comprehend the infinite, and although there may be in God an infinity of things that I cannot comprehend, nor perhaps even compass by thought in any way; for it is of the nature of the infinite that it should not be comprehended by the finite; and it is enough that I rightly understand this, and judge that all which I clearly perceive, and in which I know there is some perfection, and perhaps also an infinity of properties of which I am ignorant, are formally or eminently in God, in order that the idea I have of him may be come the most true, clear, and distinct of all the ideas in my mind.

t may be that all those perfections which I attribute to God, in some way exist potentially in me, although they do not yet show themselves, and are not reduced to act. Indeed, I am already conscious that my knowledge is being increased [and perfected] by degrees; and I see nothing to prevent it from thus gradually increasing to infinity, nor any reason why, after such increase and perfection, I should not be able thereby to acquire all the other perfections of the Divine nature; nor, in fine, why the power I possess of acquiring those perfections, if it really now exist in me, should not be sufficient to produce the ideas of them.

although my knowledge increase more and more, nevertheless I am not, therefore, induced to think that it will ever be actually infinite, since it can never reach that point beyond which it shall be incapable of further increase. But I conceive God as actually infinite, so that nothing can be added to his perfection. And, in fine, I readily perceive that the objective being of an idea cannot be produced by a being that is merely potentially existent, which, properly speaking, is nothing, but only by a being existing formally or actually.

since I am a thinking thing and possess in myself an idea of God, whatever in the end be the cause of my existence, it must of necessity be admitted that it is likewise a thinking being, and that it possesses in itself the idea and all the perfections I attribute to Deity....Then it may again be inquired whether this cause owes its origin and existence to itself, or to some other cause. For if it be self-existent, it follows, from what I have before laid down, that this cause is God; for, since it possesses the perfection of self-existence, it must likewise, without doubt, have the power of actually possessing every perfection of which it has the idea--in other words, all the perfections I conceive to belong to God. But if it owe its existence to another cause than itself, we demand again, for a similar reason, whether this second cause exists of itself or through some other, until, from stage to stage, we at length arrive at an ultimate cause, which will be God.

 the unity, the simplicity, or inseparability of all the properties of Deity, is one of the chief perfections I conceive him to possess; and the idea of this unity of all the perfections of Deity could certainly not be put into my mind by any cause from which I did not likewise receive the ideas of all the other perfections; for no power could enable me to embrace them in an inseparable unity, without at the same time giving me the knowledge of what they were [and of their existence in a particular mode

Finally, with regard to my parents [ from whom it appears I sprung ], although all that I believed respecting them be true, it does not, nevertheless, follow that I am conserved by them, or even that I was produced by them, in so far as I am a thinking being. All that, at the most, they contributed to my origin was the giving of certain dispositions ( modifications ) to the matter in which I have hitherto judged that I or my mind, which is what alone I now consider to be myself, is inclosed; and thus there can here be no difficulty with respect to them, and it is absolutely necessary to conclude from this alone that I am, and possess the idea of a being absolutely perfect, that is, of God, that his existence is most clearly demonstrated.

here remains only the inquiry as to the way in which I received this idea from God; for I have not drawn it from the senses, nor is it even presented to me unexpectedly, as is usual with the ideas of sensible objects, when these are presented or appear to be presented to the external organs of the senses; it is not even a pure production or fiction of my mind, for it is not in my power to take from or add to it; and consequently there but remains the alternative that it is innate, in the same way as is the idea of myself.

considering only that God is my creator, it is highly probable that he in some way fashioned me after his own image and likeness, and that I perceive this likeness, in which is contained the idea of God, by the same faculty by which I apprehend myself, in other words, when I make myself the object of reflection, I not only find that I am an incomplete, [imperfect] and dependent being, and one who unceasingly aspires after something better and greater than he is; but, at the same time, I am assured likewise that he upon whom I am dependent possesses in himself all the goods after which I aspire [and the ideas of which I find in my mind], and that not merely indefinitely and potentially, but infinitely and actually, and that he is thus God. And the whole force of the argument of which I have here availed myself to establish the existence of God, consists in this, that I perceive I could not possibly be of such a nature as I am, and yet have in my mind the idea of a God, if God did not in reality exist--this same God, I say, whose idea is in my mind--that is, a being who possesses all those lofty perfections, of which the mind may have some slight conception, without, however, being able fully to comprehend them, and who is wholly superior to all defect [ and has nothing that marks imperfection]: whence it is sufficiently manifest that he cannot be a deceiver, since it is a dictate of the natural light that all fraud and deception spring from some defect.

I think it proper to remain here for some time in the contemplation of God himself--that I may ponder at leisure his marvelous attributes--and behold, admire, and adore the beauty of this light so unspeakably great, as far, at least, as the strength of my mind, which is to some degree dazzled by the sight, will permit. For just as we learn by faith that the supreme felicity of another life consists in the contemplation of the Divine majesty alone, so even now we learn from experience that a like meditation, though incomparably less perfect, is the source of the highest satisfaction of which we are susceptible in this life.


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Descartes' Meditations



before considering whether such objects as I conceive exist without me, I must examine their ideas in so far as these are to be found in my consciousness, and discover which of them are distinct and which confused.

 I distinctly imagine that quantity which the philosophers commonly call continuous, or the extension in length, breadth, and depth that is in this quantity, or rather in the object to which it is attributed. Further, I can enumerate in it many diverse parts, and attribute to each of these all sorts of sizes, figures, situations, and local motions; and, in fine, I can assign to each of these motions all degrees of duration.

I discover innumerable particulars respecting figures, numbers, motion, and the like, which are so evidently true, and so accordant with my nature, that when I now discover them I do not so much appear to learn anything new, as to call to remembrance what I before knew, or for the first time to remark what was before in my mind, but to which I had not hitherto directed my attention.

And what I here find of most importance is, that I discover in my mind innumerable ideas of certain objects, which cannot be esteemed pure negations, although perhaps they possess no reality beyond my thought, and which are not framed by me though it may be in my power to think, or not to think them, but possess true and immutable natures of their own. As, for example, when I imagine a triangle, although there is not perhaps and never was in any place in the universe apart from my thought one such figure, it remains true nevertheless that this figure possesses a certain determinate nature, form, or essence, which is immutable and eternal, and not framed by me, nor in any degree dependent on my thought; as appears from the circumstance, that diverse properties of the triangle may be demonstrated, viz, that its three angles are equal to two right, that its greatest side is subtended by its greatest angle, and the like, which, whether I will or not, I now clearly discern to belong to it, although before I did not at all think of them, when, for the first time, I imagined a triangle, and which accordingly cannot be said to have been invented by me.

Nor is it a valid objection to allege, that perhaps this idea of a triangle came into my mind by the medium of the senses, through my having. seen bodies of a triangular figure; for I am able to form in thought an innumerable variety of figures with regard to which it cannot be supposed that they were ever objects of sense, and I can nevertheless demonstrate diverse properties of their nature no less than of the triangle, all of which are assuredly true since I clearly conceive them: and they are therefore something, and not mere negations; for it is highly evident that all that is true is something, [truth being identical with existence]; and I have already fully shown the truth of the principle, that whatever is clearly and distinctly known is true.

It is certain that I no less find the idea of a God in my consciousness, that is the idea of a being supremely perfect, than that of any figure or number whatever: and I know with not less clearness and distinctness that an [actual and] eternal existence pertains to his nature than that all which is demonstrable of any figure or number really belongs to the nature of that figure or number; and, therefore, although all the conclusions of the preceding Meditations were false, the existence of God would pass with me for a truth at least as certain as I ever judged any truth of mathematics to be.

I cannot conceive a God unless as existing, any more than I can a mountain without a valley, yet, just as it does not follow that there is any mountain in the world merely because I conceive a mountain with a valley, so likewise, though I conceive God as existing, it does not seem to follow on that account that God exists; for my thought imposes no necessity on things; and as I may imagine a winged horse, though there be none such, so I could perhaps attribute existence to God, though no God existed.

I cannot conceive God unless as existing, it follows that existence is inseparable from him, and therefore that he really exists: not that this is brought about by my thought, or that it imposes any necessity on things, but, on the contrary, the necessity which lies in the thing itself, that is, the necessity of the existence of God, determines me to think in this way: for it is not in my power to conceive a God without existence, that is, a being supremely perfect, and yet devoid of an absolute perfection, as I am free to imagine a horse with or without wings.

each time I happen to think of a first and sovereign being, and to draw, so to speak, the idea of him from the storehouse of the mind, I am necessitated to attribute to him all kinds of perfections, though I may not then enumerate them all, nor think of each of them in particular. And this necessity is sufficient, as soon as I discover that existence is a perfection, to cause me to infer the existence of this first and sovereign being;

there is a vast difference between false suppositions, as is the one in question, and the true ideas that were born with me, the first and chief of which is the idea of God. For indeed I discern on many grounds that this idea is not factitious depending simply on my thought, but that it is the representation of a true and immutable nature: in the first place because I can conceive no other being, except God, to whose essence existence [necessarily] pertains; in the second, because it is impossible to conceive two or more gods of this kind; and it being supposed that one such God exists, I clearly see that he must have existed from all eternity, and will exist to all eternity; and finally, because I apprehend many other properties in God, none of which I can either diminish or change.

of the objects I conceive in this manner, some, indeed, are obvious to every one, while others are only discovered after close and careful investigation; nevertheless after they are once discovered, the latter are not esteemed less certain than the former..with respect to God if I were not pre-occupied by prejudices, and my thought beset on all sides by the continual presence of the images of sensible objects, I should know nothing sooner or more easily then the fact of his being. For is there any truth more clear than the existence of a Supreme Being, or of God, seeing it is to his essence alone that [necessary and eternal] existence pertains.

it may happen meanwhile that other reasons are presented to me which would readily cause me to change my opinion, if I did not know that God existed; and thus I should possess no true and certain knowledge, but merely vague and vacillating opinions. as soon as I cease from attending to the process of proof, although I still remember that I had a clear comprehension of it, yet I may readily come to doubt of the truth demonstrated, if I do not know that there is a God: for I may persuade myself that I have been so constituted by nature as to be sometimes deceived, even in matters which I think I apprehend with the greatest evidence and certitude, especially when I recollect that I frequently considered many things to be true and certain which other reasons afterward constrained me to reckon as wholly false.

ut after I have discovered that God exists, seeing I also at the same time observed that all things depend on him, and that he is no deceiver, and thence inferred that all which I clearly and distinctly perceive is of necessity true: although I no longer attend to the grounds of a judgment, no opposite reason can be alleged sufficient to lead me to doubt of its truth, provided only I remember that I once possessed a clear and distinct comprehension of it. My knowledge of it thus becomes true and certain. And this same knowledge extends likewise to whatever I remember to have formerly demonstrated, as the truths of geometry and the like: for what can be alleged against them to lead me to doubt of them? Will it be that my nature is such that I may be frequently deceived? But I already know that I cannot be deceived in judgments of the grounds of which I possess a clear knowledge. Will it be that I formerly deemed things to be true and certain which I afterward discovered to be false ? But I had no clear and distinct knowledge of any of those things, and, being as yet ignorant of the rule by which I am assured of the truth of a judgment, I was led to give my assent to them on grounds which I afterward discovered were less strong than at the time I imagined them to be... the rule still holds that all which is clearly presented to my intellect is indisputably true.

I very clearly see that the certitude and truth of all science depends on the knowledge alone of the true God, insomuch that, before I knew him, I could have no perfect knowledge of any other thing. And now that I know him, I possess the means of acquiring a perfect knowledge respecting innumerable matters, as well relative to God himself and other intellectual objects as to corporeal nature, in so far as it is the object of pure mathematics [which do not consider whether it exists or not].




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The brain's angular gyrus allows us to formulate ideas. Recent experiments have demonstrated the possibility that stimulation of the right angular gyrus is the cause of out-of-body experiences. Stimulation of the left angular gyrus in one experiment caused a woman to perceive a shadowy person lurking behind her. The shadowy figure is actually a perceived double of the self.[21] Another such experiment gave the test subject the sensation of being on the ceiling. This is attributed to a discrepancy in the actual position of the body, and the mind's perceived location of the body.


Out-of-Body Experience? Your Brain Is to Blame

Corporeal may refer to:

Matter (corporeal, or actual, physical substance or matter), generally considered to be a substance (often a particle) that has rest mass and (usually) also volume
Body, of or relating to the body

Descartes' Meditations



there can be no doubt that God possesses the power of producing all the objects I am able distinctly to conceive, and I never considered anything impossible to him, unless when I experienced a contradiction in the attempt to conceive it aright...the faculty of imagination which I possess, and of which I am conscious that I make use when I apply myself to the consideration of material things, is sufficient to persuade me of their existence: for, when I attentively consider what imagination is, I find that it is simply a certain application of the cognitive faculty ( facultas cognoscitiva) to a body which is immediately present to it, and which therefore exists...I observe that a special effort of mind is necessary to the act of imagination, which is not required to conceiving or understanding (ad intelligendum); and this special exertion of mind clearly shows the difference between imagination and pure intellection (imaginatio et intellectio pura).

I easily understand that, if some body exists, with which my mind is so conjoined and united as to be able, as it were, to consider it when it chooses, it may thus imagine corporeal objects; so that this mode of thinking differs from pure intellection only in this respect, that the mind in conceiving turns in some way upon itself, and considers some one of the ideas it possesses within itself; but in imagining it turns toward the body, and contemplates in it some object conformed to the idea which it either of itself conceived or apprehended by sense. I easily understand, I say, that imagination may be thus formed, if it is true that there are bodies; and because I find no other obvious mode of explaining it, I thence, with probability, conjecture that they exist, but only with probability; and although I carefully examine all things, nevertheless I do not find that, from the distinct idea of corporeal nature I have in my imagination, I can necessarily infer the existence of any body.

I am accustomed to imagine many other objects besides that corporeal nature which is the object of the pure mathematics, as, for example, colors, sounds, tastes, pain, and the like, although with less distinctness; and, inasmuch as I perceive these objects much better by the senses, through the medium of which and of memory, they seem to have reached the imagination, I believe that, in order the more advantageously to examine them, it is proper I should at the same time examine what sense-perception is, and inquire whether from those ideas that are apprehended by this mode of thinking ( consciousness), I cannot obtain a certain proof of the existence of corporeal objects.

what was beneficial I remarked by a certain sensation of pleasure, and what was hurtful by a sensation of pain. And besides this pleasure and pain, I was likewise conscious of hunger, thirst, and other appetites, as well as certain corporeal inclinations toward joy, sadness, anger, and similar passions. And, out of myself, besides the extension, figure, and motions of bodies, I likewise perceived in them hardness, heat, and the other tactile qualities, and, in addition, light, colors, odors, tastes, and sounds, the variety of which gave me the means of distinguishing the sky, the earth, the sea, and generally all the other bodies, from one another. And certainly, considering the ideas of all these qualities, which were presented to my mind, and which alone I properly and immediately perceived, it was not without reason that I thought I perceived certain objects wholly different from my thought, namely, bodies from which those ideas proceeded; for I was conscious that the ideas were presented to me without my consent being required, so that I could not perceive any object, however desirous I might be, unless it were present to the organ of sense; and it was wholly out of my power not to perceive it when it was thus present. And because the ideas I perceived by the senses were much more lively and clear, and even, in their own way, more distinct than any of those I could of myself frame by meditation, or which I found impressed on my memory, it seemed that they could not have proceeded from myself, and must therefore have been caused in me by some other objects; and as of those objects I had no knowledge beyond what the ideas themselves gave me, nothing was so likely to occur to my mind as the supposition that the objects were similar to the ideas which they caused. And because I recollected also that I had formerly trusted to the senses, rather than to reason, and that the ideas which I myself formed were not so clear as those I perceived by sense, and that they were even for the most part composed of parts of the latter, I was readily persuaded that I had no idea in my intellect which had not formerly passed through the senses. Nor was I altogether wrong in likewise believing that that body which, by a special right, I called my own, pertained to me more properly and strictly than any of the others; for in truth, I could never be separated from it as from other bodies; I felt in it and on account of it all my appetites and affections, and in fine I was affected in its parts by pain and the titillation of pleasure, and not in the parts of the other bodies that were separated from it. But when I inquired into the reason why, from this I know not what sensation of pain, sadness of mind should follow, and why from the sensation of pleasure, joy should arise, or why this indescribable twitching of the stomach, which I call hunger, should put me in mind of taking food, and the parchedness of the throat of drink, and so in other cases, I was unable to give any explanation, unless that I was so taught by nature; for there is assuredly no affinity, at least none that I am able to comprehend, between this irritation of the stomach and the desire of food, any more than between the perception of an object that causes pain and the consciousness of sadness which springs from the perception. And in the same way it seemed to me that all the other judgments I had formed regarding the objects of sense, were dictates of nature; because I remarked that those judgments were formed in me, before I had leisure to weigh and consider the reasons that might constrain me to form them.

I also discovered error in judgments founded on the external senses; and not only in those founded on the external, but even in those that rested on the internal senses; for is there aught more internal than pain ? And yet I have sometimes been informed by parties whose arm or leg had been amputated, that they still occasionally seemed to feel pain in that part of the body which they had lost, --a circumstance that led me to think that I could not be quite certain even that any one of my members was affected when I felt pain in it. And to these grounds of doubt I shortly afterward also added two others of very wide generality: the first of them was that I believed I never perceived anything when awake which I could not occasionally think I also perceived when asleep, and as I do not believe that the ideas I seem to perceive in my sleep proceed from objects external to me, I did not any more observe any ground for believing this of such as I seem to perceive when awake; the second was that since I was as yet ignorant of the author of my being or at least supposed myself to be so, I saw nothing to prevent my having been so constituted by nature as that I should be deceived even in matters that appeared to me to possess the greatest truth. And, with respect to the grounds on which I had before been persuaded of the existence of sensible objects, I had no great difficulty in finding suitable answers to them; for as nature seemed to incline me to many things from which reason made me averse, I thought that I ought not to confide much in its teachings. And although the perceptions of the senses were not dependent on my will, I did not think that I ought on that ground to conclude that they proceeded from things different from myself, since perhaps there might be found in me some faculty, though hitherto unknown to me, which produced them.18

I know that all which I clearly and distinctly conceive can be produced by God exactly as I conceive it, it is sufficient that I am able clearly and distinctly to conceive one thing apart from another, in order to be certain that the one is different from the other, seeing they may at least be made to exist separately, by the omnipotence of God; and it matters not by what power this separation is made, in order to be compelled to judge them different; and, therefore, merely because I know with certitude that I exist, and because, in the meantime, I do not observe that aught necessarily belongs to my nature or essence beyond my being a thinking thing, I rightly conclude that my essence consists only in my being a thinking thing [or a substance whose whole essence or nature is merely thinking]. And although I may, or rather, as I will shortly say, although I certainly do possess a body with which I am very closely conjoined; nevertheless, because, on the one hand, I have a clear and distinct idea of myself, in as far as I am only a thinking and unextended thing, and as, on the other hand, I possess a distinct idea of body, in as far as it is only an extended and unthinking thing, it is certain that I, [that is, my mind, by which I am what I am], is entirely and truly distinct from my body, and may exist without it.

I find I possess the faculties of imagining and perceiving, without which I can indeed clearly and distinctly conceive myself as entire, but I cannot reciprocally conceive them without conceiving myself, that is to say, without an intelligent substance in which they reside, for [in the notion we have of them, or to use the terms of the schools] in their formal concept, they comprise some sort of intellection; whence I perceive that they are distinct from myself as modes are from things. I remark likewise certain other faculties, as the power of changing place, of assuming diverse figures, and the like, that cannot be conceived and cannot therefore exist, any more than the preceding, apart from a substance in which they inhere. It is very evident, however, that these faculties, if they really exist, must belong to some corporeal or extended substance, since in their clear and distinct concept there is contained some sort of extension, but no intellection at all. Further, I cannot doubt but that there is in me a certain passive faculty of perception, that is, of receiving and taking knowledge of the ideas of sensible things; but this would be useless to me, if there did not also exist in me, or in some other thing, another active faculty capable of forming and producing those ideas. But this active faculty cannot be in me [in as far as I am but a thinking thing], seeing that it does not presuppose thought, and also that those ideas are frequently produced in my mind without my contributing to it in any way, and even frequently contrary to my will. This faculty must therefore exist in some substance different from me, in which all the objective reality of the ideas that are produced by this faculty is contained formally or eminently, as I before remarked; and this substance is either a body, that is to say, a corporeal nature in which is contained formally [and in effect] all that is objectively [and by representation] in those ideas; or it is God himself, or some other creature, of a rank superior to body, in which the same is contained eminently. But as God is no deceiver, it is manifest that he does not of himself and immediately communicate those ideas to me, nor even by the intervention of any creature in which their objective reality is not formally, but only eminently, contained. For as he has given me no faculty whereby I can discover this to be the case, but, on the contrary, a very strong inclination to believe that those ideas arise from corporeal objects, I do not see how he could be vindicated from the charge of deceit, if in truth they proceeded from any other source, or were produced by other causes than corporeal things: and accordingly it must be concluded, that corporeal objects exist. Nevertheless, they are not perhaps exactly such as we perceive by the senses, for their comprehension by the senses is, in many instances, very obscure and confused; but it is at least necessary to admit that all which I clearly and distinctly conceive as in them, that is, generally speaking all that is comprehended in the object of speculative geometry, really exists external to me.

God is no deceiver, and that consequently he has permitted no falsity in my opinions which he has not likewise given me a faculty of correcting, I think I may with safety conclude that I possess in myself the means of arriving at the truth. And, in the first place, it cannot be doubted that in each of the dictates of nature there is some truth: for by nature, considered in general, I now understand nothing more than God himself, or the order and disposition established by God in created things; and by my nature in particular I understand the assemblage of all that God has given me.

Nature likewise teaches me by these sensations of pain, hunger, thirst, etc., that I am not only lodged in my body as a pilot in a vessel, but that I am besides so intimately conjoined, and as it were intermixed with it, that my mind and body compose a certain unity. 

 nature teaches me that my own body is surrounded by many other bodies, some of which I have to seek after, and others to shun. And indeed, as I perceive different sorts of colors, sounds, odors, tastes, heat, hardness, etc., I safely conclude that there are in the bodies from which the diverse perceptions of the senses proceed, certain varieties corresponding to them, although, perhaps, not in reality like them; and since, among these diverse perceptions of the senses, some are agreeable, and others disagreeable, there can be no doubt that my body, or rather my entire self, in as far as I am composed of body and mind, may be variously affected, both beneficially and hurtfully, by surrounding bodies.

there are many other beliefs which though seemingly the teaching of nature, are not in reality so, but which obtained a place in my mind through a habit of judging inconsiderately of things. It may thus easily happen that such judgments shall contain error: thus, for example, the opinion I have that all space in which there is nothing to affect [or make an impression on] my senses is void: that in a hot body there is something in every respect similar to the idea of heat in my mind; that in a white or green body there is the same whiteness or greenness which I perceive; that in a bitter or sweet body there is the same taste, and so in other instances; that the stars, towers, and all distant bodies, are of the same size and figure as they appear to our eyes, etc. But that I may avoid everything like indistinctness of conception, I must accurately define what I properly understand by being taught by nature. For nature is here taken in a narrower sense than when it signifies the sum of all the things which God has given me; seeing that in that meaning the notion comprehends much that belongs only to the mind [to which I am not here to be understood as referring when I use the term nature]

nature, taking the term in the sense explained, teaches me to shun what causes in me the sensation of pain, and to pursue what affords me the sensation of pleasure, and other things of this sort; but I do not discover that it teaches me, in addition to this, from these diverse perceptions of the senses, to draw any conclusions respecting external objects without a previous [ careful and mature ] consideration of them by the mind: for it is, as appears to me, the office of the mind alone, and not of the composite whole of mind and body, to discern the truth in those matters. Thus, although the impression a star makes on my eye is not larger than that from the flame of a candle, I do not, nevertheless, experience any real or positive impulse determining me to believe that the star is not greater than the flame; the true account of the matter being merely that I have so judged from my youth without any rational ground...I have been accustomed to pervert the order of nature, because these perceptions of the senses, although given me by nature merely to signify to my mind what things are beneficial and hurtful to the composite whole of which it is a part, and being sufficiently clear and distinct for that purpose, are nevertheless used by me as infallible rules by which to determine immediately the essence of the bodies that exist out of me, of which they can of course afford me only the most obscure and confused knowledge.

A difficulty, however, here presents itself, respecting the things which I am taught by nature must be pursued or avoided, and also respecting the internal sensations in which I seem to have occasionally detected error, [and thus to be directly deceived by nature]...thus we can infer nothing from this circumstance beyond that our nature is not omniscient; at which there is assuredly no ground for surprise, since, man being of a finite nature, his knowledge must likewise be of a limited perfection.

 there is a vast difference between mind and body, in respect that body, from its nature, is always divisible, and that mind is entirely indivisible. For in truth, when I consider the mind, that is, when I consider myself in so far only as I am a thinking thing, I can distinguish in myself no parts, but I very clearly discern that I am somewhat absolutely one and entire; and although the whole mind seems to be united to the whole body, yet, when a foot, an arm, or any other part is cut off, I am conscious that nothing has been taken from my mind; nor can the faculties of willing, perceiving, conceiving, etc., properly be called its parts, for it is the same mind that is exercised [all entire] in willing, in perceiving, and in conceiving, etc. But quite the opposite holds in corporeal or extended things; for I cannot imagine any one of them [how small soever it may be], which I cannot easily sunder in thought, and which, therefore, I do not know to be divisible. This would be sufficient to teach me that the mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body, if I had not already been apprised of it on other grounds.

 the mind does not immediately receive the impression from all the parts of the body, but only from the brain, or perhaps even from one small part of it, viz, that in which the common sense (senses communis) is said to be, which as often as it is affected in the same way gives rise to the same perception in the mind, although meanwhile the other parts of the body may be diversely disposed, as is proved by innumerable experiments, which it is unnecessary here to enumerate.

experience shows us that all the perceptions which nature has given us are of such a kind as I have mentioned; and accordingly, there is nothing found in them that does not manifest the power and goodness of God.

It is true that God could have so constituted the nature of man as that the same motion in the brain would have informed the mind of something altogether different: the motion might, for example, have been the occasion on which the mind became conscious of itself, in so far as it is in the brain, or in so far as it is in some place intermediate between the foot and the brain, or, finally, the occasion on which it perceived some other object quite different, whatever that might be; but nothing of all this would have so well contributed to the preservation of the body as that which the mind actually feels. 

And certainly this consideration is of great service, not only in enabling me to recognize the errors to which my nature is liable, but likewise in rendering it more easy to avoid or correct them: for, knowing that all my senses more usually indicate to me what is true than what is false, in matters relating to the advantage of the body, and being able almost always to make use of more than a single sense in examining the same object, and besides this, being able to use my memory in connecting present with past knowledge, and my understanding which has already discovered all the causes of my errors, I ought no longer to fear that falsity may be met with in what is daily presented to me by the senses... for I now find a very marked difference between the two states, in respect that our memory can never connect our dreams with each other and with the course of life, in the way it is in the habit of doing with events that occur when we are awake. And, in truth, if some one, when I am awake, appeared to me all of a sudden and as suddenly disappeared, as do the images I see in sleep, so that I could not observe either whence he came or whither he went, I should not without reason esteem it either a specter or phantom formed in my brain, rather than a real man. But when I perceive objects with regard to which I can distinctly determine both the place whence they come, and that in which they are, and the time at which they appear to me, and when, without interruption, I can connect the perception I have of them with the whole of the other parts of my life, I am perfectly sure that what I thus perceive occurs while I am awake and not during sleep. And I ought not in the least degree to doubt of the truth of these presentations, if, after having called together all my senses, my memory, and my understanding for the purpose of examining them, no deliverance is given by any one of these faculties which is repugnant to that of any other: for since God is no deceiver, it necessarily follows that I am not herein deceived. But because the necessities of action frequently oblige us to come to a determination before we have had leisure for so careful an examination, it must be confessed that the life of man is frequently obnoxious to error with respect to individual objects; and we must, in conclusion, ac. knowledge the weakness of our nature


14:13 So then, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14:14 If 6  I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive. 14:15 What should I do? 7  I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing praises with my spirit, but I will also sing praises with my mind. 14:16 Otherwise, if you are praising God with your spirit, how can someone without the gift 8  say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? 14:17 For you are certainly giving thanks well, but the other person is not strengthened. 14:18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you, 14:19 but in the church I want to speak five words with my mind to instruct others, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.

14:20 Brothers and sisters, 9  do not be children in your thinking. Instead, be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 14:21 It is written in the law: “By people with strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, yet not even in this way will they listen to me,” 10  says the Lord. 14:22 So then, tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers. Prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 14:23 So if the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and unbelievers or uninformed people enter, will they not say that you have lost your minds? 14:24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or uninformed person enters, he will be convicted by all, he will be called to account by all. 14:25 The secrets of his heart are disclosed, and in this way he will fall down with his face to the ground and worship God, declaring, “God is really among you.”


28:9 Who is the Lord 19  trying to teach?
To whom is he explaining a message? 20 
Those just weaned from milk!
Those just taken from their mother’s breast! 21 
28:10 Indeed, they will hear meaningless gibberish,
senseless babbling,
a syllable here, a syllable there. 22 
28:11 For with mocking lips and a foreign tongue
he will speak to these people. 23 
28:12 In the past he said to them, 24 
“This is where security can be found.
Provide security for the one who is exhausted!
This is where rest can be found.” 25 
But they refused to listen.
28:13 So the Lord’s word to them will sound like
meaningless gibberish,
senseless babbling,
a syllable here, a syllable there. 26 
As a result, they will fall on their backsides when they try to walk, 27 
and be injured, ensnared, and captured. 

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Pneuma (πνεῦμα) is an ancient Greek word for "breath", and in a religious context for "spirit" or "soul". It has various technical meanings for medical writers and philosophers of classical antiquity, particularly in regard to physiology, and is also used in Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible and in the Greek New Testament. In classical philosophy, it is distinguishable from psyche (ψυχή), which originally meant "breath of life", but is regularly translated as "spirit" or most often "soul".

In ancient Greek medicine, pneuma is the form of circulating air necessary for the systemic functioning of vital organs. It is the material that sustains consciousness in a body. According to Diocles and Praxagoras, the psychic pneuma mediates between the heart, regarded as the seat of Mind in some physiological theories of ancient medicine, and the brain.

The disciples of Hippocrates explained the maintenance of vital heat to be the function of the breath within the organism. Around 300 BC, Praxagoras discovered the distinction between the arteries and the veins. In the corpse arteries are empty; hence, in the light of these preconceptions they were declared to be vessels for conveying pneuma to the different parts of the body. A generation afterwards, Erasistratus made this the basis of a new theory of diseases and their treatment. The pneuma, inhaled from the outside air, rushes through the arteries till it reaches the various centres, especially the brain and the heart, and there causes thought and organic movement.

The association of physical and spiritual cleanliness is, if not universal, widespread and continues into the 21st century: "To be virtuous is to be physically clean and free from the impurity that is sin," notes an article in Scientific American published 10 March 2009.[5] Some scholarship[6] seeks to differentiate between "unclean spirit" and "evil spirit" (pneuma ponêron) or "demon" (daimonion).

Animal spirits were thought to be weightless, invisible entities that flowed through the hollow nerves to mediate the functioning of the body. The animal spirits theory was related to the notion of the four humours (blood, phlegm, and yellow and black bile), and was popularised by the Roman physician Galen (c. 129 -216) in the second century AD. Because of Galen, animal spirits dominated thinking about the nervous system for 1,500 years

The disciples of Hippocrates explained the maintenance of vital heat to be the function of the breath within the organism. Around 300 BC, Praxagoras discovered the distinction between the arteries and the veins. In the corpse arteries are empty; hence, in the light of these preconceptions they were declared to be vessels for conveying pneuma to the different parts of the body. A generation afterwards, Erasistratus made this the basis of a new theory of diseases and their treatment. The pneuma, inhaled from the outside air, rushes through the arteries till it reaches the various centres, especially the brain and the heart, and there causes thought and organic movement.

In the narratives pertaining to the ministry of Jesus, temptation to sin is not the primary role played by demons, but rather the causing of disease, disability, mental illness, and antisocial behavior; they defile and compel their human hosts to suffer both physically and spiritually. Although healing and exorcism are distinguished

Animal Spirits, a term borrowed from the writings of John Maynard Keynes

 the power of emotions, or “animal spirits,”

and occasionally of the universal nature of man.

The First Article

There is nothing more clearly evinces the learning which we receive from the Ancients to be defective, than what they have written concerning the passions. For although it be a matter the understanding whereof has even been hunted after; and that it seems to be none of the hardest, because every one feeling them in himself, need not borrow foreign observations to discover their nature. Yet what the Ancients have taught concerning them, is so little, and for the most part so little credible that I cannot hope to draw nigh truth, but by keeping aloof off from those roads which they followed. Wherefore I shall here be forced to write in such a sort, as if I treated of a matter never before handled. And first of all I consider that all which is done, or happens anew, is by the philosophers called generally a passion in relation to the subject on whom it befalls, and an action in respect of that which causes it. So that although the agent and patient be things often differing, action and passion are one and the same thing, which has two several names, because of the two several subjects whereunto they may relate.

The Second Article

That to understand the passions of the soul, it is necessary to distinguish the functions thereof from those of the body.
Furthermore, I consider that we observe not anything which more immediately agitates our soul, than the body joined to it, and consequently we ought to conceive that what in that is a passion, is commonly in this an action; so that there is no better way to attain to the understanding of our passions, than by examining the difference between the soul and the body, that we may know to which of them each function in us ought to be attributed.

The Third Article

What rule ought to be observed for the purpose.
Which will not be found a very hard task, if it be taken notice of, that what we experimentally find to be in us, and which we see are in bodies totally inanimate, ought not to be attributed to ought else but the body, and contrarily, that
all which is within us, and which we conceive cannot in any way appertain to a body must be imputed to our soul.

The Fourth Article

That heat, and the motion of the members proceed from the body, and thoughts from the soul.
Wherefore since we do not comprehend that the body in any manner thinks, 'tis but equitable in us to believe that all sorts of thoughts within us belong to the soul. And since we make no question but there are inanimate bodies which move as many or more several ways than ours, and which have as much or more heat (which experience shows us in flame, which alone has more heat and motion than any of our limbs) we may be assured that heat and all the motions within us, seeing they depend not on the mind, belong only to the body.

The Fifth Article

That it is an error to believe the soul gives motion and heat to the body.
Whereby we shall eschew a very considerable error which many have fallen into so far, that I believe it the cause of hindering the passions, and other things which belong to the soul from being explained hitherto. It is this, that seeing all dead bodies are deprived of heat, and consequently of motion, people imagine the absence of the soul wrought this cessation of motion and heat, and so erroneously conceive that our natural heat, and all the motions of our body depend on the soul: whereas indeed the contrary should be supposed that the soul absents itself in death, only because this natural heat ceases, and the organs which seem to move the body are corrupted.

The Sixth Article

What is the difference betwixt a living and a dead body.
That we may then avoid this error, let us consider that death never comes by any defect of the soul, but only because some one of the principal parts of the body is corrupted; and conceive that the body of a living man differs as much from that of a dead one, as a watch or any other AUTOMA (that is any kind of machine that moves of itself) wound up, having in itself the corporeal principle of those motions for which it was instituted, with all things requisite for its action, and the same watch or other engine when it is broken and the principle of its motion ceases to act.

The Seventh Article

A brief explication of the parts of the body, and of some of its functions.
To make this more intelligible, I will in few words display the pieces and lineaments, whereof this machine our body is composed. There is none that does not already know there is within us, a heart, a brain, a stomach, muscles, sinews, arteries, veins, and the like. It is as commonly known, that meats eaten descend into the stomach, and bowels, from whence the juice of them trickling into the liver, and all the veins, mixes itself with the blood in them, and by this means augments the quantity thereof. Those who have heard talk never so little of physics, know besides this, how the heart is composed, and how all the blood of the veins may with facility drop into the hollow vein, on the right side of it, and from thence pass into the liver, by a vessel called the venous artery, then return from the liver into the left side of the heart, through the pipe, called the arterial vein, and at length pass from thence into the great artery, the branches whereof spread themselves all over the body. Yea even all those whom the authority of the Ancients has not totally blinded, and who have vouchsafed to open their eyes to examine the opinion of Harvey, concerning the circulation of the blood, make no doubt but all the veins and arteries of the body are like channels, through which the blood continually and easily glides, taking its course from the right cavity of the heart, through the arterial vein, whereof the branches are dispersed into every part of the liver, and joined to those of the venous artery by which it passes from the liver into the left side of the heart, from thence going into the great artery, the branches whereof being scattered over all the rest of the body are joined to the branches of the hollow vein which carry the same blood again into the right cavity of the heart: so that the two cavities are as it were the sluices of it, through each of which all the blood passes, every round it walks about the body. Moreover it is notorious that all the motions of the members depend upon the muscles, and that these muscles are opposite to one another in such a manner, that when one of them shrinks up, it draws after it that part of the body whereto it is knit, which causes the muscle opposite to it to stretch forth at the same time. Then again if at another time this last shrink up, the first gives way, suffering the other to attract that part it is joined unto. Finally, it is known that all these motions of the muscles, as also all the senses depend on the sinews, which are as little strings, or like small tunnels coming all from the brain, and containing as that does a certain air, or exceeding[ly] subtle wind, which is termed the animal spirits.

The Eighth Article

What is the principle of all these functions.
But it is not commonly known in what manner these animal spirits and nerves contribute to these motions and senses, nor what is the corporeal principle that makes them act. Wherefore, although I have already glanced upon it in former writings, I will not here omit to say succinctly, that while we live there is a continual heat in our heart, which is a kind of fire that the blood of the veins feeds, and this fire is the corporeal principle of all the motions of our members.

The Ninth Article

How the motion of the heart is wrought.  

Hence, only is that pulse or palpitation of the heart and arteries, for this beating is reiterated as often as any new blood gets into the heart. It is also this alone which gives motion to the blood, and causes it incessantly to run very swiftly in all the arteries and veins, by means whereof it conveys the heat acquired in the heart, to all the other parts of the body, and is their nutriment.

The Tenth Article

How the animal spirits are begotten in the brain.
But what here is most considerable is, that all the most lively, and subtle parts of the blood, that heat has rarefied in the heart, continually enter in abundance into the cavities of the brain, and the reason why they go thither rather than anywhere else, is, because all the blood that issues out of the heart by the great artery bends its course in a direct line thitherward, and it not being possible for all to get in, because there are none but very narrow passages, those parts thereof that are the most agitated, and subtlest, only get in, while the rest is dispersed into all the other parts of the body. Now these very subtle parts of the blood make the animal spirits; and they need not, to this end, undergo any other change in the brain, but only be separated from the other less subtle parts of the blood. For what I here call spirits, are but bodies, and have no other property, unless that they are bodies exceeding[ly] small, which move very nimbly, as the parts of a flame issuing from a torch so that they stay not in any one place, but still as some get into the cavities of the brain, some others get out through the pores in the substance of it; which pores convey them into the nerves, and from thence into the muscles, by means whereof they mold the body into all the several postures it can move.

The 11th Article

How the muscles are moved.
For the only cause of the motion of all the members is that some muscles shrink up, and their opposites extend, as has been already said. And the only cause why one muscle shrinks rather than his opposite, is, that there come (though never so little) more spirits to the one than the other.
Not that the spirits which flow immediately from the brain are alone sufficient to move these muscles, but they dispose the other spirits, which already are in these two muscles, to sally forth immediately from one of them into the other, by means whereof that from whence they came becomes longer, and flaggier*; that wherein they are, being suddenly swelled up by them, shortens and attracts the member appendant to it, which is easily conceived when it is known that there are but very few animal spirits which proceed continually from the brain to every muscle, but that there are abundance of others locked in the same muscle, which move very swiftly in it, sometimes in whirling round only in the places where they are (this is, when they find no passages open to get out at) and sometimes by slipping into the opposite muscle. For there are little overtures in each of these muscles through which these spirits can slide from one to another, which are so disposed too, that when the spirits which come from the brain towards one of them, are but never so little stronger than those going to the other, they open all the entries through which the spirits of the other muscle can fly into this, and in the same instant bar up all those, through which the spirits of this might get into that, whereby all the spirits formerly contained in both muscles crowd suddenly into one, so swelling it up, and shortening it, while the other extends itself, and gives.

The 12th Article

How outward objects act contrary to the organs of the senses.
It remains yet to know the causes why the spirits slide not from the brain into the muscles always after one manner, and wherefore they come sometimes more towards some than others. For besides the action of the soul, which in truth, is in us one of the causes, as I shall show hereafter, there are yet two besides, which depend not of anything but the body, which it is necessary to take notice of. The first consists in the diversity of motions, excited in the organs of the senses by their objects, which I have already amply enough explained in the Dioptrics. But that those who see this, may not need to have read ought else, I will here repeat, that there are three things to be considered in the sinews, to wit: their marrow or interior substance, which stretches itself out in the form of little threads from the brain, the original thereof, to the extremities of the other members whereunto these threads are fastened; next, the skins wherein they are lapped, which being continuous with those that envelop the brain, make up little pipes wherein these threads are enclosed; lastly, the animal spirits, which being conveyed through these very pipes from the brain to the muscles, are the cause that these threads remain there entirely unmolested, and extended in such a manner, that the least thing that moves that part of the body, whereunto the extremity of any one of them is fastened, does by the same reason move that part of the brain from whence it comes. Just as when a man pulls at one end of a string, he causes the other end to stir.

The 13th Article

That this action of objects without, may differently convey the spirits into the muscles. .
And I have made it evident in the Dioptrics, how all the objects of the sight are not communicated to us any way but thus; they move locally, (by mediation of transparent bodies between them and us) those little threads of the optic nerves, which are at the bottom of our eyes, and after them, the places of the brain from whence those nerves come. They move them, I say, as many several kinds of ways, as there are diversities of objects in things, nor are they immediately the motions made in the eye, but in the brain, that represent these objects to the soul in imitation whereof it is easy to conceive that sounds, odors, heat, pain, hunger, thirst, and generally all objects, as well of our other exterior senses, as our interior appetites, do also excite some motion in our nerves, which passes by means of them unto the brain. And besides, that these several motions of the brain create in our soul different resentments, it may so be that * without her, the spirits direct their course rather towards some muscles than others, and so they may move our members, which I will prove here, only by one example. If anyone lift up his hand on a sudden towards our eyes, as if he were about to strike, although we know he is our friend, that he does this only in jest, and that he will be careful enough not to do us any hurt, yet we can scarce restrain from shutting them. Which shows it is not by the intermeddling of our soul that they shut, since it is against our will, which is the only, or at least the principal action thereof, but by reason this machine of our body is so composed, that the moving of this hand up towards our eyes, excites another motion in our brain, which conveys the animal spirits into those muscles that close the eyelids.

The 14th Article

That the diversity of the spirits may diversify their course.
The other cause which serves to convey the animal spirits variously into the muscles, is the unequal agitation of these spirits, and the diversity of their parts. For when any of their parts are more gross and agitated than the rest, they pass forwards in a direct line into the cavities and pores of the brain, and by this means are conveyed into other muscles, whereinto they should not, had they been weaker.

The 15th Article

What are the causes of their diversity.
And this inequality may proceed from the divers matters whereof they are composed, as is seen in those who have drunk much wine. The vapors of this wine entering suddenly into the blood mount up from the heart to the brain where they convert into spirits, which being stronger and more abundant than ordinary, are apt to move the body after many strange fashions. This inequality of the spirits may also proceed from the divers dispositions of the heart, liver, stomach, spleen, and all other parts contributing to their production. For it is principally necessary here to observe certain little nerves inserted in the basis of the heart, which serve to lengthen and contract the entries of its concavities, by means whereof, the blood there dilating more, or less strongly, produces spirits diversely disposed. It is also to be noted, that although the blood which enters into the heart, comes thither from all the other parts of the body, yet it falls out often times that more is driven thither from some parts than others, by reason the nerves or muscles which answer to those parts oppress or agitate it more. And, for that according to the diversity of the parts from whence it comes most, it dilates itself diversely in the heart, and at last produces spirits of different natures, as for example, that which comes from the lower part of the liver, where the gall is, dilates itself otherwise in the heart, than that which comes from the spleen. And this after another manner than that which comes from the veins of the legs, or arms, and lastly, this quite otherwise than the juice of meats, when being newly come out of the stomach, and bowels, it passes through the liver to the heart.

The 17th Article

What the functions of the soul are. .
Having thus considered all the functions belonging to the body only, it is easy to know there remains nothing in us which we ought to attribute to our soul, unless our thoughts, which are chiefly of two kinds, to wit, some actions of the soul, others, her passions. Those which I call her actions are all our wills because we experimentally find they come directly from our soul and seem to depend on nought but it. As on the contrary, one may generally call her passions all those sorts of apprehensions and understandings to be found within us because oftimes our soul does not make them such as they are to us, and she always receives things as they are represented to her by them.

The 18th Article

Of the will.
Again our wills are of two sorts. For some are actions of the soul which terminate in the soul itself, as when we will love God, or generally apply our thought to any object which is not material. The other are actions which terminate in our body, as in this case, that we have only a will to walk, it follows that our legs must stir and we go.

The 19th Article

Of the apprehension.
Our apprehensions also are of two sorts: the soul is the cause of some, the body of the other. Those whereof the soul is the cause are the apprehensions of our wills and all the imaginations or other* thoughts thereon depending. For we cannot will anything but we must at the same time perceive that we do will it. And although in respect of our soul it be an action to will anything, it may be said also a passion in her to apprehend that she wills. Yet because this apprehension and this will are in effect but one, and the same thing, the denomination comes still from that which is most noble. Therefore it is not customary to call it a passion, but only an action. thoughts thereon depending. For we cannot will any thing, but we must at the same time perceive that we do will it. And although in respect of our soul it be an action to will any thing, it may be said also a passion in her to apprehend that she wills. Yet because this apprehension, and this will are in effect but one, and the same thing, the denomination comes still from that which is most noble: therefore it is not customary to call it a passion, but only an action.

The 20th Article

Of imaginations, and other thoughts framed by the soul.
When our soul applies herself to fancy anything which is not, as to represent to itself an enchanted palace, or a chimera, and also when she bends herself to consider anything that is only intelligible, and not imaginable, for example, to ruminate on one's own nature, the apprehension she has of things depends principally on the will which causes her to perceive them. Wherefore it is usual to consider them as actions rather than passions.

The 21st Article

Of imaginations caused only by the body.
Among the apprehensions caused by the body, the greatest part depend on the nerves. But yet there are some that depend not at all on them, which are called imaginations too, as well as those I lately spoke of, from which nevertheless they differ herein, that our will has no hand in framing them, which is the reason wherefore they cannot be numbered among the actions of the soul. And they proceed from nothing but this: that the spirits being agitated several ways, and meeting the traces of divers impressions preceding them in the brain, they take their course at haphazard through some certain pores, rather than others. Such are the illusions of our dreams, and those dotages we often are troubled with waking, when our thought carelessly roams without applying itself to anything of its own. Now, though some of these imaginations be passions of the soul, taking this word in the genuine and peculiar signification, and though they may be all called so if it be taken in a more general acceptation,* yet seeing they have not so notorious and determined a cause as those apprehensions which the soul receives by mediation of the nerves, and that they seem to be only the shadow and representation of the others, before we can well distinguish them, it is necessary to examine the difference between them.

The 22nd Article

Of the difference betwixt them and the other apprehensions.
All the apprehensions which I have not yet explained come to the soul by mediation of the nerves, and there is this difference between them: that we attribute some of them to the objects from without that beat upon our senses; some to our body, or some parts of it; and lastly, the rest to our soul.

The 25th Article

Of the apprehensions which we attribute to our soul.
The apprehensions attributed only to the soul are those whereof the effects are felt as in the soul itself, and whereof any near cause, whereunto it may be attributed is commonly unknown. Such are the resentments of joy, wrath and the like, which are sometimes excited in us by the objects which move our nerves, and sometimes too by other causes. Now, although all our apprehensions, as well those attributed to objects without us, as those relating to divers affections of our body, be, in truth, passions in respect of our soul, when this word is taken in the more general signification, yet it is usual to restrain it to signify only those attributed to the soul itself. And they are only these latter which I here undertake to explain under the notion of passions of the soul.

The 26th Article

That the imaginations, which depend only on the accidental motion of the spirits, may be as real passions, as the apprehensions depending on the nerves.
It is here to be observed that all the same things which the soul perceives by intercourse with the nerves, may also be represented to it by the accidental course of the spirits.
And [there is] no difference between them but this, that the impressions which come from the brain by the nerves, are usually more lively, and manifest than those the spirits excite there, which made me say in the one and twentieth Article, that these are only as the shadow, and representation of these. It is also to be noted, that it sometimes falls out, this picture is so like the thing it represents, that it is possible to be deceived concerning the apprehensions attributed to whose objects without us, or those referred to any parts of our body, but not to be served so concerning the passions, for as much as they are so near, and interior to our soul that it is impossible she should feel them, unless they were truly such as she does feel them. So oftentimes when one sleeps, and sometimes too being awake, a man fancies things so strongly that he thinks he sees them before him, or feels them in his body, though there be no such thing. But although a man be asleep, and doate*, he cannot feel himself sad or moved with another passion, but it is most true that the soul has in it that passion.

The 27th Article

The definition of the passions of the soul.
After we have thus considered wherein the passions of the soul differ from all other thoughts, me thinks they may be generally defined thus:
apprehension, resentments, or emotions of the soul, attributed particularly to it, and caused, fomented, and fortified by some motion of the spirits.

The 28th Article

An explication of the first part of the definition.
They may be called apprehensions when this word is used in a general sense to signify all thoughts that are not actions of the soul, or the wills, but not then when it only signifies evident knowledge. For experience shows us that those who are most agitated by their passions are not such as understand them best, and that they are in the catalogue of those apprehensions which the alliance between the soul and the body renders confused and obscure. They may also be called resentments because they are received into the soul in the same manner as the objects of the exterior senses, and are not otherwise understood by her. But they may justlier* be styled the emotions of the soul, not only because this name may be attributed to all the mutations befalling her, (that is all the various thoughts thereof) but particularly, because, of all kinds of thoughts that she can have, there are many that agitate and shake it so hard as these passions do.

The 30th Article

That the soul is united to all the parts of the body jointly.
But to understand all these things more perfectly, it is necessary to know that the soul is really joined to all the body, but it cannot properly be said to be in any of the parts thereof, excluding the rest, because it is one, and in some sort indivisible by reason of the disposition of the organs, which do all so relate one to another that when any one of them is taken away, it renders the whole body defective. And, because it is of a nature that has no reference to extension, dimensions, or other properties of matter, whereof the body is composed, but only to the whole mass or contexture of organs as appears by this: that you cannot conceive the half or third part of a soul, nor what space it takes up, and that it becomes not any whit less by cutting off any part of the body, but absolutely withdraws when the contexture of its organs is dissolved.

The 31st Article

That there is a little kernel* in the brain wherein the soul exercises her functions more peculiarly than in the other parts.
It is also necessary to know that although the soul be joined to all the body, yet there is some part in that body wherein she exercises her functions more peculiarly than all the rest. And, it is commonly believed that this part is the brain, or it may be the heart. The brain, because thither tend the organs of the senses, and the heart because therein the passions are felt. But having searched this business carefully, me thinks I have plainly found out that that part of the body wherein the soul immediately exercises her function is not a jot of the heart, nor yet all the brain, but only the most interior part of it, which is a certain very small kernel situated in the middle of the substance of it and so hung on the top of the conduit by which the spirits of its anterior cavities have communication with those of the posterior, whose least motions in it cause the course of the spirits very much to change, and reciprocally, the least alteration befalling the course of the spirits cause the motions of the kernel very much to alter.

The 32nd Article

How this kernel is known to be the principal seat of the soul.
The reason which persuades me that the soul can have no other place in the whole body but this kernel where she immediately exercises her* functions is for that I see: all the other parts of our brain are paired, as also we have two eyes two hands, two ears; lastly, all the organs of our exterior senses are double and forasmuch as we have but one very thing at one and the same time. It must necessarily be that there is some place where the two images that come from the two eyes, or the two other impressions that come from any single object through the double organs of the other senses, have somewhere to meet in one, before they come to the soul, that they may not represent two objects instead of one. And it may be easily conceived that these images, or other impressions, join to hither in this kernel by intercourse of the spirits that fill the cavities of the brain, but there is no other place in the body where they can be so united, unless it be granted that they are in this kernel.

The 36th Article

An example how the passions are excited in the soul.
Furthermore, if this figure be very strange and hideous, that is, if it have much similitude with such things as have formerly been offensive to the body, it excites in the soul the passion of fear, afterwards, that of boldness, or else an affright or scaring according to the various temper of the body, or the force of the soul, and according as a man has formerly protected himself by defence or flight against noxious things whereunto the present impression has some resemblance. For this renders the grain so disposed in some men that the spirits reflected from the image so formed on the kernel go from thence to fall, part into the nerves, which serve to turn the back and stir the legs to run away, and part into those which (as is spoken of before) let out or draw up together the orifices of the heart, or which else so agitate the rest of the parts from whence the blood is sent, that this blood not being rarefied there in the usual manner, sends spirits to the brain that are fitting to maintain, and confirm the passion of fear, that is, such as are proper to hold open, or open again the pores of the brain that convey them into the very same nerves. For the mere entry of these spirits into these pores excites in this kernel a particular motion instituted by nature to make the soul feel that passion. And because these pores relate principally to the little nerves that serve to lock up or open wide the orifices of the heart, this makes the soul feel it as if it were chiefly in the heart.

The 37th Article

How it appears they are all caused by some motion of the spirits.
And because the like happens in all the other passions, to wit, that they are principally caused by the spirits contained in the cavities of the brain--seeing they direct their course towards the nerves which serve to enlarge or straighten the orifices of the heart either to thrust the blood in the other parts differently to it, or whatsoever other way it be, to feed the self same passion--it may be clearly understood by this: wherefore, I formerly inserted in my definition that they are caused by some peculiar motion of the spirits.

The 38th Article

An example of the motions of the body that accompany the passions and depend not of the soul.
Moreover, as the course which these spirits take towards the nerves of the heart is sufficient to give a motion to the kernel, whereby fear is put into the soul, even so, by the mere going of the spirits at that time into those nerves which serve to stir the legs to run away, they cause another motion in the same kernel, by means whereof the soul feels and perceives this flight, which may in this manner be excited in the body, by the mere disposition of the organs, the soul not at all contributing to it.

The 40th Article

What the principal effect of the passions is.
For it must be observed that the principal effect of all the passions in men is, they incite and dispose their souls to will the things for which they prepare their bodies so that the resentment of fear incites him to be willing to fly; that of boldness, to be willing to fight, and so of the rest.

The 41st Article

What is the power of the soul in respect of the body.
But the will is so free by nature that it can never be constrained. And of two sorts of thoughts which I have distinguished in the soul, whereof some are her actions, to wit her wills; others, her passions, taking that word in its general signification, which comprehends all forms of apprehensions. The first are absolutely in her own power, and cannot, but indirectly, be changed by the body; as on the contrary, the last depend absolutely upon the actions which produce them, and they cannot, unless indirectly, be changed by the soul, except then when her self is the cause of them. And all the action of the soul consists in this, that she merely by willing anything can make the little kernel, whereunto she is strictly joined, move in the manner requisite to produce the effect relating to this will.

The 42nd Article

How the things one would remember are found in the memory.
So when the soul would remember anything, this will is the cause that the kernel nodding successively every way, drives the spirits towards several places of the brain, until they encounter that where the traces (which were left there) of the object one would remember, are. For these traces are nothing else but the pores of the brain through which the spirits formerly took their course, [and] by reason of the presence of that object have thereby acquired a greater facility to be open in the same manner again than the rest can have, by the spirits that come to them so that these spirits, meeting these pores, enter into them easier than the others, whereby, they excite a peculiar motion in the kernel, which represents the same object to the soul, and makes it know, that is it she would remember.

The 45th Article

What the power of the soul is, in respect of her passions.
Our passions also cannot be directly excited or taken away by the action of our will, but they may indirectly, by the representation of things which use[d] to be joined with the passions which we will have, and which are contrary to these we will reject. Thus to excite in oneself boldness, and remove fear, it is not enough to have a will to do so, but reasons, objects and examples are to be considered of, that persuade the danger is not great, that there is ever more security in defense than flight, that there is glory and joy in vanquishing, whereas there is nothing to be expected but
grief and dishonor in flying and the like.

The 48th Article

Wherein the strength or weakness of souls is known, and what is the misery of the weakest.
Now it is by the successes of these contestations that every one may understand the strength or weakness of his soul. For those in whom the will can most easily conquer the passions, and stop the motions of the body that come along with them, have without doubt the strongest souls. But there are some who can never try their own strength, because they never let the will fight with her own weapons, but only with such as are borrowed from some passions to resist others. Those which I call her own weapons are firm and determinate judgements concerning the knowledge of good and
evil according to which she has resolved to steer the actions of her life. And the weakest soul of all is such a one whose will has not at all determined to follow certain judgements, but suffers itself to be swayed with the present passions which being often contrary one to the other draw it backward and forwards to either side, and keeping her busy, in contesting against herself, put the soul into the most miserable estate she can be. As then, when fearfulness represents death as an extreme evil, which cannot be shunned but by flight. If, on the other side, ambition represents the infamy of this flight, as a mischief worse than death, these two passions variously agitate the will, which obeying now the one and then the other, continually opposes its own self, and yields up the soul to slavery and misfortune.

The 49th Article

That the strength of the soul is not enough without the knowledge of truth.
It is true, there are very few men so wake* and irresolute, that they will nothing but what their present passion dictates to them. The most part have determinate judgments according to which they regulate part of their actions. And though oft times these judgments be false, and indeed grounded on some passions, by which the will has formerly suffered herself to be vanquished, or seduced, yet because she perseveres in following them then when the passion that caused them is absent, they may be considered as her own weapons, and souls may be thought stronger or weaker according as they do more or less follow these judgments and resist the present passions contrary to them. But there is a great deal of difference between the resolutions proceeding from some false opinion, and those which are only held up by the knowledge of the truth. Since following these last, man is sure never to acquire sorrow or repentance, whereas following the first, they are inseparably companions, after the error is discovered.

The 50th Article

That there is no soul so weak, but well managed, may acquire an absolute mastery over her passions.
It will be commodious here to know that (as before has been said) although every motion of the kernel, seen to have been joined by nature to each of our thoughts even from the beginning of our life, they may yet be annexed to others by habits, as experience shows in words that excite motions in the kernel, which according to the institution of nature represent only to the soul their sound, when they are pronounced by the will; or by the figure of their letters when they are written and which yet never the less by a habit acquired by thinking what they signify, as soon as ever their sound is heard, or their letters seen, use to make us conceive the signification rather then the form of our letters or the sound of their syllables. It is also convenient to know that although the motions, as well of the kernel as the spirits and brain, which represent certain objects to the soul, be naturally joined with those that excite certain passions in her, yet they may by habit be separated, and annexed to others very different; and moreover that this habit may be acquired by one action only, and requires not a long usage. As when a man at unawares meets with any nasty thing in a dish of meat which he has a very good stomach to, this accident may so alter the disposition of the brain, that a man shall never afterwards see any such kind of meat without loathing, whereas before he took delight in eating it. The very same thing may be seen in beasts, for although they have no reason, nor it may be any thought, all the motions of the spirits and the kernel, which excite passions in us, yet are in them, and serve to foment and fortify (not as in us the passions but) the motions of the nerves and muscles their concomitants. So when a dog sees a partridge, he is naturally inclined to run to it and when he hears a piece go off, this noise incites him naturally to run away. Yet nevertheless, we ordinarily breed up spaniels so, that the fight of a partridge makes them couch and the noise of a discharged piece makes them run to it. Now these things are profitable to know, to encourage every one to study the regulation of his passions. For since with a little art the motions of the brain in beasts who are void of reason may be altered, it is evident they may more easily in men and that even those who have the weakest souls, may acquire a most absolute empire over all their passions, if art and industry be used to manage and govern them.

The 52nd Article

What is the use of them and that they may be numbered.
Furthermore, I observe that the objects which move the senses excite not diverse passions in us by reason of so many diversities in them, but merely because they may several ways hurt or profit us, or else, in general, be important to us. And, that the use of all the passions consists only in this, that they dispose the soul to will the things which nature dictates are profitable to us, and to persist in this will. As also the very agitation of the spirits, accustomed to cause them, dispose the body to the motions that further the execution of those things. Wherefore to calculate them, we are only to examine in order after how many considerable manners our senses may be moved by their objects. And I will here make a general muster of all the principal passions according to order, that so they may be found.


16:26 For all the gods of the nations are worthless,
but the Lord made the heavens.
16:27 Majestic splendor emanates from him,  
he is the source of strength and joy.
16:28 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the nations,
ascribe to the Lord splendor and strength!
16:29 Ascribe to the Lord the splendor he deserves!
Bring an offering and enter his presence!
Worship the Lord in holy attire! 
16:30 Tremble before him, all the earth!
The world is established, it cannot be moved.


73:21 Yes, my spirit was bitter,  
and my insides felt sharp pain.
73:22 I was ignorant and lacked insight;  
I was as senseless as an animal before you.
73:23 But I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
73:24 You guide me by your wise advice,
and then you will lead me to a position of honor.  
73:25 Whom do I have in heaven but you?
I desire no one but you on earth. 
73:26 My flesh and my heart may grow weak, 
but God always protects my heart and gives me stability.
73:27 Yes, look! Those far from you die;
you destroy everyone who is unfaithful to you.
73:28 But as for me, God’s presence is all I need. 
I have made the sovereign Lord my shelter,
as I declare all the things you have done.


35:4 Tell those who panic, 
“Be strong! Do not fear!
Look, your God comes to avenge!
With divine retribution he comes to deliver you.”
35:5 Then blind eyes will open,
deaf ears will hear.
35:6 Then the lame will leap like a deer,
the mute tongue will shout for joy;
for water will flow in the desert,
streams in the wilderness. 
35:7 The dry soil will become a pool of water,
the parched ground springs of water.
Where jackals once lived and sprawled out,
grass, reeds, and papyrus will grow.
35:8 A thoroughfare will be there –
it will be called the Way of Holiness. 
The unclean will not travel on it;
it is reserved for those authorized to use it  –
fools will not stray into it.


4:23 Jesus went throughout all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of disease and sickness among the people.

4:24 So a report about him spread throughout Syria. People brought to him all who suffered with various illnesses and afflictions, those who had seizures,   paralytics, and those possessed by demons, and he healed them.

4:25 And large crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis,  Jerusalem,  Judea, and beyond the Jordan River. 


12:43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a person,  it passes through waterless places looking for rest but does not find it.

12:44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’ When it returns, it finds the house empty, swept clean, and put in order.

12:45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so the last state of that person is worse than the first. It will be that way for this evil generation as well!”


11:22 Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God.

11:23 I tell you the truth, if someone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

11:24 For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

11:25 Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will 37  also forgive you your sins.”


8:1 Some time afterward he went on through towns and villages, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him,

8:2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and disabilities: Mary  (called Magdalene), from whom seven demons had gone out,

8:3 and Joanna the wife of Cuza  (Herod’s household manager), Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources.

The demon returns to the person it had left discovering that he or she is still receptive to the demon’s presence because no superior power occupies that person. Consequently the demon invites seven other demons, a full complement, and they take up residence in the person.


18:1 Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them they should always pray and not lose heart.

18:2 He said,  “In a certain city there was a judg who neither feared God nor respected people.

18:3 There was also a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’

18:4 For a while he refused, but later on he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor have regard for people,

18:5 yet because this widow keeps on bothering me, I will give her justice, or in the end she will wear me out by her unending pleas.’”

18:6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says!

18:7 Won’t God give justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay long to help them?

18:8 I tell you, he will give them justice speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


8:12 So then,  brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh

8:13 (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.

8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.”

8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.

8:17 And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)  – if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.


12:12 For just as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body – though many – are one body, so too is Christ.

12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit.

12:14 For in fact the body is not a single member, but many.

12:15 If the foot says, “Since I am not a hand, I am not part of the body,” it does not lose its membership in the body because of that.

12:16 And if the ear says, “Since I am not an eye, I am not part of the body,” it does not lose its membership in the body because of that.

12:17 If the whole body were an eye, what part would do the hearing? If the whole were an ear, what part would exercise the sense of smell?

12:18 But as a matter of fact, God has placed each of the members in the body just as he decided.

12:19 If they were all the same member, where would the body be? 12:20 So now there are many members, but one body.

12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor in turn can the head say to the foot, “I do not need you.”

12:22 On the contrary, those members that seem to be weaker are essential,

12:23 and those members we consider less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our unpresentable members are clothed with dignity,

12:24 but our presentable members do not need this. Instead, God has blended together the body, giving greater honor to the lesser member,

12:25 so that there may be no division in the body, but the members may have mutual concern for one another.

12:26 If one member suffers, everyone suffers with it. If a member is honored, all rejoice with it.


2:1 ...although you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

2:2 in which you formerly lived according to this world’s present path, according to the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing  the sons of disobedience,  

2:3 among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest… 

2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us,

2:5 even though we were dead in transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you are saved!  –

2:6 and he raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

2:7 to demonstrate in the coming ages the surpassing wealth of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God;

2:9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast.

2:10 For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.


6:10 ...be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power.

6:11 Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.

6:13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand.

6:14 Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness,

6:15 by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace,

6:16 and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

6:17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

6:18 With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints. 

1 JOHN 4

4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test  the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophet have gone out into the world.

4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God,

4:3 but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.

4:4 You are from God, little children, and have conquered them,  because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

4:5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world’s perspective and the world listens to them.

4:6 We are from God; the person who knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this  we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit. 

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