If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.

— Baruch Spinoza

The most courageous Baruch Spinoza quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides.


The more you struggle to live, the less you live.

Give up the notion that you must be sure of what you are doing. Instead, surrender to what is real within you, for that alone is sure....you are above everything distressing.


Nothing in nature is by chance... Something appears to be chance only because of our lack of knowledge.


The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is.


Laws which prescribe what everyone must believe, and forbid men to say or write anything against this or that opinion, are often passed to gratify, or rather to appease the anger of those who cannot abide independent minds.


The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak.


I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.


The supreme mystery of despotism, its prop and stay, is to keep men in a state of deception, and with the specious title of religion to cloak the fear by which they must be held in check, so that they will fight for their servitude as if for salvation.


For peace is not mere absence of war, but is a virtue that springs from force of character: for obedience is the constant will to execute what, by the general decree of the commonwealth, ought to be done.


What everyone wants from life is continuous and genuine happiness.


The holy word of God is on everyone's lips.

..but...we see almost everyone presenting their own versions of God's word, with the sole purpose of using religion as a pretext for making others think as they do.


In the mind there is no absolute or free will;

but the mind is determined to wish this or that by a cause, which has also been determined by another cause, and this last by another cause, and so on to infinity.


About Baruch Spinoza

Quotes 218 sayings
Nationality Dutch
Profession Philosopher
Birthday October 16

Academies that are founded at public expense are instituted not so much to cultivate men's natural abilities as to restrain them.


Be not astonished at new ideas; for it is well known to you that a thing does not therefore cease to be true because it is not accepted by many.


We feel and know that we are eternal.


God is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things.


Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd.


Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.


It may easily come to pass that a vain man may become proud and imagine himself pleasing to all when he is in reality a universal nuisance.


Schisms do not originate in a love of truth, which is a source of courtesy and gentleness, but rather in an inordinate desire for supremacy.


If facts conflict with a theory, either the theory must be changed or the facts.


Surely human affairs would be far happier if the power in men to be silent were the same as that to speak. But experience more than sufficiently teaches that men govern nothing with more difficulty than their tongues.


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


We must take care not to admit as true anything, which is only probable.

For when one falsity has been let in, infinite others follow.


Freedom is self-determination.


Nothing in the universe is contingent, but all things are conditioned to exist and operate in a particular manner by the necessity of the divine nature.


Freedom is absolutely necessary for the progress in science and the liberal arts.


I would warn you that I do not attribute to nature either beauty or deformity, order or confusion. Only in relation to our imagination can things be called beautiful or ugly, well-ordered or confused.


A good thing which prevents us from enjoying a greater good is in truth an evil.


Everyone endeavors as much as possible to make others love what he loves, and to hate what he hates... This effort to make everyone approve what we love or hate is in truth ambition, and so we see that each person by nature desires that other persons should live according to his way of thinking.


Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived.


Peace is not the absence of war, but a virtue based on strength of character.


There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.


He alone is free who lives with free consent under the entire guidance of reason.


In practical life we are compelled to follow what is most probable ;

in speculative thought we are compelled to follow truth.


Statesman are suspected of plotting against mankind, rather than consulting their interests, and are esteemed more crafty than learned.


To give aid to every poor man is far beyond the reach and power of every man.

Care of the poor is incumbent on society as a whole.


Big fish eat small fish with as much right as they have power.


The mind has greater power over the emotions, and is less subject thereto, insofar as it understands all things to be necessary.


He, who knows how to distinguish between true and false, must have an adequate idea of true and false.


Faith is nothing but obedience and piety.


The endeavor to understand is the first and only basis of virtue.


Care of the poor is incumbent on society as a whole.


Let unswerving integrity be your watchword.


Those who are believed to be most abject and humble are usually most ambitious and envious.


A free man thinks of nothing less than of death;

and his wisdom is a meditation not on death but on life.


Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods.


Ambition is the immoderate desire for honor.


True piety for the universe but no time for religions made for man's convenience.