Spinoza


BOOK III, PROP. XXXIX. He who hates anyone will endeavour to do him an injury, unless he fears that a greater injury will thereby accrue to himself; on the other hand, he who loves anyone will, by the same law, seek to benefit him.

Note.–By good I here mean every kind of pleasure, and all that conduces thereto, especially that which satisfies our longings, whatsoever they may be. By evil, I mean every, kind of pain, especially that which frustrates our longings. For I have shown (III. ix. note) that we in no case desire a thing because we deem it good, but, contrariwise, we deem a thing good because we desire it: consequently we deem evil that which we shrink from; everyone, therefore, according to his particular emotions, judges or estimates what is good, what is bad, what is better, what is worse, lastly, what is best, and what is worst. Thus a miser thinks that abundance of money is the best, and want of money the worst; an ambitious man desires nothing so much as glory, and fears nothing so much as shame. To an envious man nothing is more delightful than another’s misfortune, and nothing more painful than another’s success. So every man, according to his emotions, judges a thing to be good or bad, useful or useless. The emotion, which induces a man to turn from that which he wishes, or to wish for that which he turns from, is called timidity, which may accordingly be defined as the fear whereby a man is induced to avoid an evil which he regards as future by encountering a lesser evil (III. xxviii.). But if the evil which he fears be shame, timidity becomes bashfulness. Lastly, if the desire to avoid a future evil be checked by the fear of another evil, so that the man knows not which to choose, fear becomes consternation, especially if both the evils feared be very great.

BOOK III, PROP. XXXVIII. If a man has begun to hate an object of his love, so that love is thoroughly destroyed, he will, causes being equal, regard it with more hatred than if he had never loved it, and his hatred will be in proportion to the strength of his former love.

BOOK III, PROP. XXXVII. Desire arising through pain or pleasure, hatred or love, is greater in proportion as the emotion is greater.

BOOK III, PROP. XXXVI. He who remembers a thing, in which he has once taken delight, desires to possess it under the same circumstances as when he first took delight therein.

Corollary.–A lover will, therefore, feel pain if one of the aforesaid attendant circumstances be missing.

Note.–This pain, in so far as it has reference to the absence of the object of love, is called Regret.

BOOK III, PROP. XXXV. If anyone conceives, that an object of his love joins itself to another with closer bonds of friendship than he himself has attained to, he will be affected with hatred towards the loved object and with envy towards his rival.

Note.–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. This condition generally comes into play in the case of love for a woman: for he who thinks, that a woman whom he loves prostitutes herself to another, will feel pain, not only, because his own desire is restrained, but also because, being compelled to associate the image of her he loves with the parts of shame and the excreta of another, he therefore shrinks from her.

We must add, that a jealous man is not greeted by his beloved with the same joyful countenance as before, and this also gives him pain as a lover, as I will now show.

BOOK III, PROP. XXXIV. The greater the emotion with which we conceive a loved object to be afected towards us, the greater will be our complacency.

BOOK III, PROP. XXXIII. When we love a thing similar to ourselves we endeavour, as far as we can, to bring about that it should love us in return.

BOOK III, PROP. XXXII. If we conceive that anyone takes delight in something, which only one person can possess, we shall endeavour to bring it about that the man in question shall not gain possession thereof.

Note.–We thus see that man’s nature is generally so constituted, that he takes pity on those who fare ill, and envies those who fare well with an amount of hatred proportioned to his own love for the goods in their possession. Further, we see that from the same property of human nature, whence it follows that men are merciful, it follows also that they are envious and ambitious. Lastly, if we make appeal to Experience, we shall find that she entirely confirms what we have said; more especially if we turn our attention to the first years of our life. We find that children, whose body is continually, as it were, in equilibrium, laugh or cry simply because they see others laughing or crying; moreover, they desire forthwith to imitate whatever they see others doing, and to possess themselves whatever they conceive as delighting others: inasmuch as the images of things are, as we have said, modifications of the human body, or modes wherein the human body is affected and disposed by external causes to act in this or that manner.

BOOK III, PROP. XXXI. If we conceive that anyone loves, desires, or hates anything which we ourselves love, desire, or hate, we shall thereupon regard the thing in question with more steadfast love, &c. On the contrary, if we think that anyone shrinks from something that we love, we shall undergo vacillation of soul.

Corollary.–From the foregoing, and also from III. xxviii. it follows that everyone endeavours, as far as possible, to cause others to love what he himself loves, and to hate what he himself hates: as the poet says: “As lovers let us share every hope and every fear: ironhearted were he who should love what the other leaves.” [Ovid, Amores, II. xix. 4, 5.]

Note.–This endeavour to bring it about, that our own likes and dislikes should meet with universal approval, is really ambition (see III. xxix. note); wherefore we see that everyone by nature desires (appetere), that the rest of mankind should live according to his own individual disposition: when such a desire is equally present in all, everyone stands in everyone else’s way, and in wishing to be loved or praised by all, all become mutually hateful.

BOOK III, PROP. XXIX. We shall also endeavour to do whatsoever we conceive men to regard with pleasure, and contrariwise we shall shrink from doing that which we conceive men to shrink from.

Note.–This endeavour to do a thing or leave it undone, solely in order to please men, we call ambition, especially when we so eagerly endeavour to please the vulgar, that we do or omit certain things to our own or another’s hurt: in other cases it is generally called kindliness. Furthermore I give the name of praise to the pleasure, with which we conceive the action of another, whereby he has endeavoured to please us; but of blame to the pain wherewith we feel aversion to his action.

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