Origin of the Mind3

By Benedictus de Spinoza

Edited by J E Bradburn

PROPOSAL 24: The human mind does not (that is of http://www.godsplan.org.uk/internalspirit.htm ) involve an adequate knowledge of the parts composing the human body.

His Proof—The parts composing the human body do not belong to the essence of that body, except insofar as they communicate their motions to one another in a certain fixed relation, not insofar as they can be regarded as individuals without relation to the human body. The parts of the human body are highly complex individuals, whose parts can be separated from the human body without in any way destroying the nature and distinctive quality of the latter, and they can communicate their motions to other bodies in another relation; therefore, the idea or knowledge of each part will be in God, inasmuch as he is regarded as affected by another idea of a particular thing, which particular thing is prior in the order of nature to the aforesaid part. We may affirm  the same thing of each part of each individual composing the human body; therefore, the knowledge of each part composing the human body is in God, in so far as He is affected by very many ideas of things, and not in so far as He has the idea of the human body only, in other words, the idea which constitutes the nature of the human mind; therefore, the human mind does not involve an adequate knowledge of the human body. Q. E. D.

PROPOSAL 25: The idea of each modification of the human body does not involve and adequate knowledge of the external body.

His Proof—We have shown that the idea of a modification of the human body involves the nature of an external body:

 

Genesis 3:21—22 (KJV) (Introduced by Jehovah. Performed by Elohim.) https://levendwater.org/companion/append4.html

21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skin[s], and clothed them.”

22 “And the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:’”

The skin enclosed the http://www.godsplan.org.uk/internalspirit.htm spirit with which Adham and Eve http://www.godsplan.org.uk/ethhaadham.htm enjoyed; until the enemy ruined it http://www.godsplan.org.uk/2%20Peter%203.htm  http://www.godsplan.org.uk/book1.htm

 

BOOK OF ADAM AND EVE, Vita XVI: 3, 4 and XVII (p.137), and John 8:44.

XII 1) And with a heavy sigh, the devil spake: “O Adam! All my hostility, envy, and sorrow is for thee, since it is for thee that I have been expelled from my glory, which I possessed in the heavens in the midst of the angels and for thee I was cast out in the earth.” 2) Adam answered, “What dost thou tell me? What have I done to thee or what is my fault against thee? 3) Seeing that thou hast received no harm or injury from us, why dost thou pursue us?”

XIII 1) The devil replied, “Adam, what dost thou tell me? It is for thy sake that I have been hurled from that place. 2) When thou wast formed, I was hurled out of the presence of God and banished from the company of the angels. When God blew into thee the breath of life and thy face and likeness was made in the image of God, Michael also brought thee and made (us) worship thee in the sight of God; and God the Lord spake: ‘Here is Adam. I have made thee in our image and likeness.

XIV 1) And Michael went out and called all the angels saying: ‘Worship the image of God as the Lord God hath commanded.’ 2) And Michael himself worshipped first; then he called me and said: ‘Worship the image of God the Lord.’ 3) And I answered, ‘I have no (need) to worship Adam.’ And since Michael kept urging me to worship, I said to him, ‘Why dost thou urge me? I will not worship an inferior and younger being (than I). I am his senior in the creation, before he was made was I already made. It is his duty to worship me.

XV 1) When the angels, who were under me, heard this, they refused to worship him. 2) And Michael saith, ‘Worship the image of God, but if thou wilt not worship him, the Lord God will be wrath with thee.’ 3) And I said, ‘If He be wrath with me, I will set my seat above the stars of heaven and will be like the Highest.’

XVI 1) And God the LORD was wrath with me and banished me and my angels from our glory; and on thy account were we expelled from our abodes into this world and hurled on the earth. 2) And straightaway we were overcome with grief, since we had been spoiled of so great glory. 3) And we were grieved when we saw thee in such joy and luxury. 4) And with guile I cheated thy wife and caused thee to be expelled through her (doing) from thy joy and luxury, as I have been driven out of my glory.”

XVII 1) When Adam heard the devil say this, he cried out and wept and spake: “O Lord my God, my life is in Thy hands. Banish this Adversary far from me, who seeketh to destroy my soul, and give me his glory which he himself hath lost.” 2) And at that moment, the devil vanished before him. 3) But Adam endured in his penance, standing for forty days (on end) in the water of Jordan.

 

John 8:44 (KJV) “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  http://www.godsplan.org.uk/markofcain.htm

 

In so far as that external body conditions the human body (immune system) in a given manner. But, insofar as the external body is an individual, which has no reference (a spoken or written comment that either specifically mentions or calls attention to somebody or something or is intended to bring somebody or something to mind), to the human body, the knowledge or idea thereof is in God, insofar as God is regarded as affected by the idea of a further thing, which is naturally prior to the said external body. Wherefore an actual knowledge of the external body is not in God (a reason or purpose for something), insofar as He has the idea of the modification (Genesis 3: 21 above) of the human body; in other words, the idea of the modification of the human body (Internal spirit) does not involve an adequate knowledge of the external body. Q. E. D. (Because when we die):

 

Ecclesiastes 12:7 (KJV) Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

 

PROPOSITION 26: The human mind does not perceive any external body as actually existing, except through the ideas of the modification of its own body.

 

His Proof—If the human body is in no way affected by a given external body, then neither is the idea of the human body, in other words, the human mind, affected in any way by the idea of the existence of the said external body, nor does it in any manner perceive its existence. But, insofar as the human body is affected by a given external body, thus far it perceives the external body. Q. E. D.  

 

Corollary—Insofar as the human mind imagines an external body, it has not an adequate knowledge thereof.

 

His Proof—When the human mind regards external bodies through the ideas of the modifications of its own body, we say that it imagines (see II. xvii note); now the mind can only imagine external as actually existing. Therefore, insofar as the mind imagines external bodies, it has not an adequate knowledge of them. Q. E. D.

 

PROPOSITION 27: The idea of each modification of the human body does not involve an adequate knowledge of the human body itself. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/internalspirit.htm

His Proof—Every idea of a modification of the human body involves the nature of the human body, insofar as the human body is regarded as affected in a given manner (II xvi). But, inasmuch as the human body is an individual which may be affected in many other ways, the idea of the said modification, &c. Q.E.D.   

 

PROPOSITION 28: The ideas of the modifications of the human body, insofar as they have reference only to the human mind, are not clear and distinct, but confused (Who else spreads confusion)?

The confusion emanates from bad input from other sources such as http://www.godsplan.org.uk/doctrineofdemons.htm fall of the four pillars of society http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Fourpillarsofsociety.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/oneworldsystemwithout_God2.htm So there is only the Bible KJV left, and people are so confused they know not where to go, or what to do. Then; the blame can only be to themselves. We cannot save everyone; only God can do that.

His Proof—The ideas of the modifications of the human body involve the nature both of the human body and external bodies (II. xvi), they must involve the nature not only of the human body but also of its parts; for the modifications are modes (e.g. a way of doing something, or the form in which something exists) (Post iii), whereby the parts of the human body, and, consequently, the human body as a whole are affected. But (by II. xxiv, xxv.) the adequate knowledge of external bodies, as also of the parts composing the human body, is not in God, insofar as He is regarded as affected by the human mind, but insofar as He is regarded as affected by other ideas. These ideas of modifications, in so far as they are referred to the human mind alone, are as consequences without premises, in other words, confused ideas Q.E.D.

 

Note—The idea which constitutes the nature of the human mind is, in the same manner, proved not to be, when considered in itself alone, clear and distinct, as also is the case with the idea of the human mind, and the ideas of the ideas of the modifications of the human body, insofar as the human mind only, as everyone may easily see.

 

PROPOSITION 29: The idea of the idea of each modification of the human body does not involve an adequate knowledge of the human mind.

His Proof—The idea of a modification of the human body does not involve an adequate knowledge of the said body, in other words, does not adequately express its nature; that it does not agree with the nature of the mind adequately; therefore the idea of this idea does not actually express the nature of the human mind, or does not involve an adequate knowledge thereof.  http://www.godsplan.org.uk/parables.htm

Corollary—Hence it follows that the human mind, when it perceives things after the common order of nature, has not an adequate but only confused and fragmentary knowledge of itself, of its own body, and of external bodies. For the mind does not know itself, except insofar as it perceives the ideas of the modifications of body. It only perceives its own body (to understand or interpret something in a particular way) through the ideas of the modifications, and only perceives external bodies through the same means; thus, insofar as it has such ideas of modification, it has not an adequate knowledge of itself, nor of its own body, nor of external bodies, but only a fragmentary and confused thereof Q.E.D.

Note—I say expressly, that the mind has not an adequate but only confused knowledge of itself, its own body, and of external bodies, whenever it perceives things after the common order of nature; that is, whenever it is determined from without, namely, by the fortuitous play of circumstance, to regard this or that; not at such times as it is determined from within, that is, by the act of regarding several things at once, to understand their points of agreement, difference, and contrast. Whenever it is determined in anywise from within (feeling or showing firmness or a fixed purpose), it regards things clearly and distinctly, as I will show below.

 

PROPOSITION 30: We can only have a very inadequate knowledge of the duration of our body.    

His Proof—The duration of our body does not depend on our essence nor on the absolute nature of God. But it is conditioned to exist and operate by causes, which in their turn are conditioned to exist and operate in a fixed and definite relation by other causes, these last again being conditioned by others, and so on to infinity. The duration of our body therefore depends on the common order of nature, or the constitution of things. Now, however a thing may be constituted, the adequate knowledge of that thing is in God, insofar as He has the ideas of all things, and not insofar as He has the idea of the human body only. Wherefore the knowledge of the duration of our body is in God very inadequate, insofar as He is only regarded as constituting the nature of the human mind, that is, this knowledge is very inadequate to our mind Q.E.D.

 

Proposition 31: We can only have a very inadequate knowledge of the duration of particular things external to ourselves.

His ProofEvery particular thing, like the human body, must be conditioned by another particular thing to exist and operate in a fixed and definite relation; this other particular thing must likewise be conditioned by a third, and so to infinity. As we have shown in the foregoing proposition, from this common property of particular things, we have only a very inadequate knowledge of the duration of our body; we must draw a similar conclusion with regard to the duration of particular things, namely, that we can only have a very inadequate knowledge of the duration thereof Q.E.D.

Corollary—Hence it follows that all particular things are contingent and perishableness (dependent on or resulting from a future and as yet unknown event or circumstance), except nothing in this sense is contingent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       http://www.godsplan.org.uk/jehovah%27sword.htm

 

PROPOSITION 32: All ideas, insofar as they are referred to God, are true. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/

His ProofAll ideas which are in God agree in every respect with their objects, therefore, they are all true Q.E.D. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/dispensationalplan.htm  http://www.godsplan.org.uk/book1.htm

 

PROPOSITION 33: There is nothing positive in ideas, which cause them to be called false.

His ProofIf this be denied, conceive if possible, a positive mode of thinking, which should constitute the distinctive quality of falsehood. Such a mode of thinking cannot be in God; external to God it cannot be or be conceived. Therefore there is nothing positive in ideas which causes them to be called false Q.E.D.

 

PROPOSITION 34: Every idea, which in us is absolute or adequate and perfect, is true.

His Proof—When we say that an idea in us is adequate and perfect, we say, in other words, that the idea is adequate and perfect in God, insofar as He constitutes the essence of our mind; consequently,  we say that such an idea is true Q.E.D.  

 

PROPOSITION 35: Falsity consists in the privation (lack of the basic necessities of life such as food, housing, and heating) of knowledge  http://www.godsplan.org.uk/knowledgeandwisdom.htm  which inadequate, fragmentary, or confused ideas involve. (Atheists)

His Proof—There is nothing positive in ideas, which causes them to be called false; but falsity cannot consist in simple privation (lack of the basic necessities of life) (for minds, not bodies, are said to err and be mistaken), neither can it consist in absolute ignorance, for ignorance and error are not identical; wherefore (a reason or purpose for something) it consists in the privation of knowledge, which inadequate, fragmentary, or confused ideas involve Q.E.D.   

Note—In the note to (II. xvii). I explained how error consists (to be made up of diverse parts) in the privation of knowledge, but in order to throw more light on the subject I will give an example. For instance, men are mistaken in thinking themselves free; their opinion is made up of consciousness of their own actions (the state of being awake and aware of what is going on around you), and ignorance of the causes by which they are conditioned. Their idea of freedom, therefore, is simply their ignorance of any cause for their actions. As for their saying that human actions depend on the will, this is a mere phrase without any idea to correspond thereto. What the will is, and how it moves the body, they none of them know; those who boast of such knowledge, and feign dwellings and habitations for the soul, are wont (a habit or custom followed by a person or group of people) to provoke either laughter or disgust. So, again, when we look at the sun, we imagine that it is distant from us about two hundred feet (or about 66 meters); this error does not lie solely in this fancy, but in the fact that, while we thus imagine, we do not know the sun’s true distance or the cause of the fancy. For although we afterwards learn, that the sun is distant from us more than six hundred of the earth’s diameters, we none the less fancy it to be near; for we do not imagine the sun as near to us, because we are ignorant of its true distance, but because the modification of our body involves the essence of the sun, insofar as our said body is affected thereby.  

Here is an excellent analogy (a comparison between two things that are similar in some way, often used to help explain something or make it easier to understand) of humans who do not believe that God, Heaven, or Satan exist; showing their lack of knowledge of the aforesaid analogy. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/

 

PROPOSITION 36: Inadequate and confused ideas follow by the same necessity, as adequate or clear and distinct ideas.

His Proof—All ideas are in God, and insofar as they are referred to God are true (II. xxxii) and (II. vii. Corollary) adequate; therefore there are no ideas confused or inadequate, except in respect to a particular mind {cf II xxiv. and xxviii); therefore all ideas, whether adequate or inadequate, follow by the same necessity (II vi) Q.E.D.

 

PROPOSITION 37: That which is common to all (above), and which is equally in a part and in the whole, does not constitute the essence of any particular thing.

His Proof—If this be denied, conceive if possible (form an idea or concept of something in your mind), that it constitutes the essence of some particular thing; for instance, the essence of B. Then it cannot without B either exist or be conceived; but this is against our hypothesis (a tentative explanation for a phenomenon, used as a basis for further investigation). Therefore it does not appertain to B’s essence (to belong or relate to something), nor does it constitute the essence of any particular thing. To put it simply; If it does not exist then how can one concieve it? (If you cannot conceive of something, you cannot imagine it, or believe it.). http://www.godsplan.org.uk/atheistsonreligeon.htm

 

PROPOSITION 38: Those things, which are common to all, and which are equally in a part and in the whole, cannot be conceived except adequately (sufficient in quality or quantity to meet a need or qualify for something).

His Proof—Let A be something, which is common to all bodies, and which is equally present in the part of any given body and in the whole. I say A cannot be conceived except adequately. For the idea thereof in God will necessarily be adequate (sufficient in quality or quantity to meet a need or qualify for something) [II. vii. Corollary], both insofar as God has the idea of the human body, http://www.godsplan.org.uk/2%20Peter%203.htm and also insofar as He has the idea of the modifications of the human body, which involve in part the nature of the human body and the nature of the external bodies; that is (II. xii. xiii), e idea in God will necessarily be adequate, both insofar as He constitutes the human mind, and insofar as He has the ideas, which are in the human mind. Therefore the mind necessarily perceives A adequately, and has this adequate perception (the process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation), both insofar as it perceives itself, and insofar as it perceives its own or any external body, nor can A be conceived in any other manner Q.E.D.

Corollary—Hence it follows that there are certain ideas or notions common to all men; for all bodies agree in certain respects, which (by the foregoing Prop) must be adequately or clearly and distinctly perceived by all.

 

PROPOSITION 39: That, which is common to and a property of the human body and such other bodies as are wont (accustomed or likely to do something) to affect the human body, and which is present equally in each part of either, or in the whole, will be represented by an adequate idea in the mind.

His Proof—If A be that, which is common to and a property of the human body and external bodies, and equally present in the human body and in the said external bodies, in each part of each external body and in the whole, there will be an adequate idea of A in God, both insofar as He has the idea of the human body, http://www.godsplan.org.uk/internalspirit.htm 

Genesis 1:26 (KJV) And God said [Jehovah to Elohim], ‘Let us make man in our image after our likeness: and let them (Adham & Eve) have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’” (Why else would God say this?) http://www.godsplan.org.uk/book1.htm and insofar as He has the ideas of the given external bodies.

Let it now be granted, that the human body is affected by an external body through that, which it has in common therewith, namely, A; the idea of this modification will involve the property A (II. xvi), and therefore the idea of this modification, insofar as it involve the property A, will be adequate in God, insofar as God is affected by the idea of the human body; that is (II. xiii), insofar as God constitutes (to make up the whole or a particular part of something) the nature of the human mind; therefore (II. xi Corollary), this idea is also adequate in the human mind Q.E.D. (sufficient in quality or quantity to meet a need or qualify for something).

Corollary—Hence it follows that the mind is fitted to perceive adequately more things, in proportion as its body has more in common with other bodies.

 

PROPOSITION 40: Whatsoever ideas in the mind follow from ideas which are therein adequate, are also themselves adequate.

His Proof—This proposition is self-evident. For when we say that an idea in the human mind follows from ideas which are therein adequate, we say, in other words, that an idea is in the Divine intellect, whereof God is the cause, not insofar as God is infinite, nor insofar as God is affected by the ideas of very many particular things, but only as insofar as God constitutes the essence of the human mind.

Note 1—I have thus set forth the cause of those notions, which are common to all men, and which form the basis of our ratiocination (to think or put forward an argument about something in a strictly logical way). But there are other causes of certain axioms or notions (a statement or idea that people accept as self-evidently true), which it would be to the purpose to set forth by this method of ours; for it would thus appear what notions are more useful than others, and what notions have scarcely any use at all. Furthermore, we should see what notions are common to all men, and what notions are only clear and distinct to those who are unshackled by prejudice (a preformed opinion, usually an unfavourable one, based on insufficient knowledge, irrational feelings, or inaccurate stereotypes), and we should detect those which are ill-founded (not up to the expected or required standard, e.g. of behaviour or competence). Again we should discern (see or notice something that is not very clear or obvious). Whence the notions called secondary derived their origin (to obtain something from a source, or come from a source), and consequently the axioms on which they are founded, (a statement or idea that people accept as self-evidently true). I. e. Europe is having a bad second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Just take these alarming statistics shared by the European branch of the World Health Organization (WHO) at a press conference on Thursday 19th Oct 2020 [Axiom]. And other points of interest connected with these questions.

But I have decided to pass over the subject here, partly because I have set it aside for another treatise (a formal written work that deals with a subject systematically and usually extensively), partly because I am afraid of wearying the reader by too great prolixity (tiresomely wordy). Nevertheless, in order not to omit anything necessary to be known, I will briefly set down the causes, whence are derived the terms styled transcendental, such as Being, Thing, Something. These terms arose from the fact, that the human body, being limited, is only capable of distinctly forming a certain number of images (what an image is I explained in the II. xvii note.) within itself at the same time; if this number be exceeded, the images will begin to be confused; if this number of images, of which the body is capable of forming distinctly within itself, be largely exceeded, all will become entirely confused one with another. This being so, it is evident (easy or clear to see or understand) that the human mind can distinctly imagine as many things simultaneously. When the images become quite confused in the body, the mind also imagines all bodies confusedly without any distinction, and will comprehend them, as it were, under one attribute, namely, under the attribute of Being, Thing, Something. The same conclusion can be drawn from the fact that images are not always equally vivid, and from other analogous causes (similar in some respects, allowing an analogy to be drawn) which there is no need to explain here; for the purpose we have in view it is sufficient for us to consider one only. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/oneworldsystemwithout_God.htm All may be reduced to this, that these terms represent ideas in the highest degree confused. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/system.htm From similar causes arise those axioms, which we call general, such as man, horse, dog &c. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/doctrineofdemons.htm They arise, to wit, from the fact that so many images, for instance, of men, are formed simultaneously in the human mind, that the powers of imagination break down, not indeed utterly, but to the extent of the mind losing count of small differences between individuals (E.g. colour, size, &c.) and their definite number, and only distinctly imagining that, in which all the individuals, insofar as the body is affected by them, agree; for that is the point, in which each of the said individuals chiefly affected the body; this the mind expresses by the name man, and this it predicates (Blame: to base an opinion, an action, or a result on) of an infinite number of particular individuals. For, as we have said, it is unable to imagine the definite number of individuals. We must, however, bear in mind, that these general notions are not formed by all men in the same way, but vary in according as the point varies, whereby the body has been most often affected and which the mind most easily imagines or remembers. For instance, those who most often regarded with admiration the stature of a man, will by the name of man understand an animal of erect stature; those who have been accustomed to regard some other attribute, will form a different image of man, for instance, that man is a laughing animal, a two footed animal without feathers, a rational animal (governed by, or showing evidence of, clear and sensible thinking and judgment, based on reason rather than emotion or prejudice), and thus, in other cases, everyone will form general images of things according to the habit of his body. 

  It is thus not to be wondered at, that among philosophers, who seek to explain things in nature merely by the images formed of them, so many controversies should have arisen.

Note II—From all that has been said above it is clear, that we, in many cases, perceive the form of our general notions:

1.      From particular things represented to our intellect fragmentarily, confusedly, and without order through our senses; I have settled to call such perceptions by the name of knowledge from the mere suggestions of experience.

2.      From symbols, e.g. from the fact of having read or heard certain words we remember things and form certain ideas concerning them, similar to those through which we imagine things. I shall call both these ways of regarding things knowledge of the first kind, opinion, or imagination.

3.      From the fact that we have notions common to all men, and adequate ideas of the properties of things; this I call reason and knowledge of the second kind. Besides these two kinds of knowledge, there is, as I will hereafter show, a third kind of knowledge, which we will call intuition. This kind of knowledge proceeds from an adequate idea of the absolute essence of certain attributes of God to the adequate knowledge of the essence of things.   

I will illustrate all three kinds of knowledge by a single example. Three numbers are given for finding a fourth, which shall be to the third as the second is to the first. Tradesmen without hesitation multiply the second by the third, and divide the product by the first; either because they have not forgotten the rule which they received from a master without any proof, or because they have often made trial of it with simple numbers, or by virtue of the proof of the nineteenth proposition of the seventh book of Euclid, namely, in virtue of the general property of proportionals. 

  But with very simple numbers there is no need of this. For instance, one, two, three, being given, everyone can see that the fourth proportional is six; one + two + three = six; and this is much clearer because we infer the fourth number from an intuitive grasping of the ratio, which the first bears to the second. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/significanceofnumbers.htm

 

PROPOSITION 41: Knowledge of the first kind is the only source of falsity, knowledge of the second and third kinds is necessarily true. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/

His proof—To knowledge of the first kind we have (in the foregoing note)assigned all those ideas, which are inadequate, and confused; therefore this kind of knowledge is the only source of falsity (II. 35). Furthermore, we assigned to the second and third kinds of knowledge those ideas which are adequate; therefore these kinds are necessarily true (II. xxxiv) Q. E. D. 

 

PROPOSITION 42: Knowledge of the second and third kinds, but not knowledge of the first kind, teaches us to distinguish the true from the false.

His Proof—This proposition is self-evident. He, who knows how to distinguish between true and false, must have an idea of true and false. That is That is (II. Proposition 40 above), he must know the true and the false by the second or third kind of knowledge.

 

PROPOSITION 43: He, who has a true idea, simultaneously knows that he has a true idea, and cannot doubt of the truth of the thing perceived.

His Proof—A true idea in us is an idea which is adequate in God, insofar as He is displayed through the nature of the human mind. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/internalspirit.htm Let us suppose that there is in God,  insofar as He is displayed through the human mind, an adequate idea, A. The idea of this idea must also necessarily be in God, and be referred to Him in the same way as the idea A (by II. xx., whereof the proof is of universal application) But the idea A is supposed to be referred to God, insofar as He is displayed through the human mind; therefore, the idea of the idea A must be referred to God in the same manner; that is the adequate idea of the idea A will be in the mind, which has the adequate idea A; therefore He, who has the adequate idea A; or knows a thing truly, must at the same time have an adequate idea or true knowledge of His knowledge, that is, obviously, he must be assured. Q. E. D.

Note—I explained in the note to II. xxi. What is meant by the idea of an idea; but we may remark that the foregoing is in itself sufficiently plain. No one, who has a true idea, is ignorant that a true idea involves the highest certainty. For to save a true idea is only another expression for knowing a thing perfectly, or as well as possible. No one, can doubt of this, unless he thinks that an idea is something lifeless, like a picture on a panel, and not a mode of thinking—namely, the very act of understanding. And who, I ask, can know that he understands anything, unless he do first understand it? In other words, who can know that he is sure of a thing, unless he be first sure of that thing? Further, what can there be more clear, and more certain, than a true idea as a standard of truth? Even as light displays both itself and darkness, so is truth standard both of itself and falsity.

 

http://www.godsplan.org.uk/pureHeavenlytruth.htm

 

  I think I have thus sufficiently answered these questions—namely, if a true idea s distinguished from a false idea, only insofar as it is said to agree with the object, a true idea has no more reality or perfection than a false idea (since the two are only distinguished by extrinsic mark (not an essential part of something); consequently, neither will a man who has a true idea have any advantage over him who has only false ideas.

 

http://www.godsplan.org.uk/earstohear.htm

 

Further, how comes it that men have false ideas? Lastly, how can anyone be sure, that he has ideas which agree with their objects? These questions I repeat, I have in my opinion, sufficiently answered. The difference between a true idea and a false idea is plain: from what was said in II. Xxxv, the former is related to the latter as being is to not—being. The causes of falsity I have set forth very clearly in II. xix, and II. xxxv, with the note. From what is there stated, the difference between a man who has true ideas, God http://www.godsplan.org.uk/gifts.htm and a man who has only false ideas is made apparent. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/doctrineofdemons.htm

As for the last question—as to how a man can be sure that he has ideas that agree with their objects, I have just pointed out, with abundant clearness, that his knowledge arises from the simple fact, that he has an idea which corresponds with its object GODin other words, that truth is its own standard. We may add that our mind, insofar as it perceives things truly, is part of the infinite intellect of God  (II. xi, Corollary), therefore the clear and distinct ideas of the mind are as necessarily true as the ideas of God.

 

PROPOSITION 44. It is not in the nature of reason to regard things as contingent (dependent on or resulting from a future and as yet unknown event or circumstance), but as necessary. http://godsplan.org.uk/messianicage.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/kingdom.htm

His Proof—It is the nature of reason to perceive things truly (II. xli), namely (I. Axiom vi), as they are in themselves-that is (I xxix), not as contingent but as necessary Q.E.D.   

Corollary I,—Hence it follows, that it is only through our imagination that we consider things, whether in respect to the future or the past, as contingent (dependent on or resulting from a future and as yet unknown event or circumstance). http://www.godsplan.org.uk/secondadvent.htm

Note—How this way of looking at things arises, I will briefly explain. We have shown above that the mind always regards things as present to itself, even though they be not in existence, until some causes arise which exclude their existence and presence. Further, we showed that, if the human body has once been affected by two external bodies simultaneously, the mind when it afterwards imagines one of the said external bodies, will straightway remember the other—that is, it will regard both as present to itself, unless there arise causes which exclude their existence and presence. Furthermore, no one doubts that we imagine time, from the fact that we imagine bodies to be moved some more slowly than others, some more quickly, some at equal speed. Thus, let us suppose that a child yesterday saw Peter for the first time in the morning, Paul at noon, Simon in the evening; then, that today he again sees Peter in the morning. It is evident, from II Prop xviii, that, as soon as he sees the morning light, he will imagine that the sun will traverse the same parts of the sky, as it did when he saw it on the preceding day; in other words, he will imagine a complete day, and, together with his imagination of the morning, he will imagine Peter; with noon he will imagine Paul; and with evening he will imagine Simon—that is he will imagine the existence of Paul and Simon in relation to a future time; on the other hand, if he sees Simon in the evening, he will refer Peter and Paul to ma past time, by imagining them simultaneously with the imagination of a past time. If it should at any time happen, that on some other evening the child should see James instead of Simon, he will, on the following morning, associate with his imagination of evening sometimes Simon, and sometimes James, but not both together. His imagination will therefore waver; and, with the imagination of future evenings, he will associate first one, then the other—that is, he will imagine them in the future, neither of them as certain, but both contingent (dependent on or resulting from a future and as yet unknown event or circumstance)

This wavering of the imagination will be the same, if the imagination be concerned with things which we thus contemplate, standing in relation to time past or time present: consequently, we may imagine things as contingent, whether they be referred to time present, past, or future. 

Corollary II—It is in the nature of reason to perceive things under a certain form of eternity (sub quâdam æternitatis specie) translated  [under the aspect of eternity].

His Proof—It is in the nature of reason to regard things, not as contingent, but as necessary (II, xliv). Reason perceives this necessity of things (II. xli) truly—that is as it is in itself. But this necessity of things is the very necessity of the eternal nature of God; it is in the nature of reason to regard things under this form of eternity. We may add that the bases of reason are the notions (II. xxxviii), which answer to things common to all, and which do not answer to the essence of any particular thing: which must therefore be conceived without any relation to time, under a certain form of eternity. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/kingdom.htm  [Paradise regained].

 

PROPOSITION 45. Every idea of every body, or of particular thing actually existing, necessarily involves the eternal and infinite essence of God.  

His ProofThe idea of a particular actually existing necessarily involves both the existence and the essence of the said thing (II. viii). Now particular things cannot be conceived without God (I. xv); but inasmuch as (II. vi), they have God for their cause, in so far as He is regarded under the attribute of which the things in question are modes, their ideas must necessarily involve the conception of the attributes of those ideas—that is, the Eternal and Essence of God Q. E. D.

Note—By existence I do not mean duration—that is existence in so far as it is conceived abstractedly, and as a certain form of quantity. I am speaking of the very nature of existence, which is assigned to particular things, because they follow in infinite numbers and in infinite ways from the eternal necessity of God’s nature (I. xvi), I repeat, I am speaking, of the very existence of particular things, insofar as they are in God. For although each particular thing be conditioned by another particular thing to exist in a given way, yet the force whereby each particular thing perseveres in existing follows from the eternal necessity of God’s nature (cf. I. xxiv. Corollary.).

 

PROPOSITION 46. The knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God which every idea involved is adequate and perfect.

His Proof—The proof of the last Proposition is universal; and whether a thing be considered as a part or a whole, the idea thereof, whether of the whole or of a part (by the last Prop), will involve God’s eternal and infinite essence. Wherefore, that, which gives knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God, is common to all, and is equal in the part and in the whole; therefore (This statement is true) [II. xxxviii]this knowledge will be adequate Q.E.D.

 

PROPOSITION 47: The human mind has an adequate knowledge of the Eternal and infinite essence of God.

His ProofThe human mind has ideas from which it perceives itself and its own body and external bodies as actually existing; therefore it has an adequate knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of God.

Note—Hence we see, that the infinite essence and the eternity of God are known to all. Now as all things are in God, and are conceived through God, we can from this knowledge infer many things (come to a conclusion or form an opinion about something on the basis of evidence or reasoning), which we may adequately know, and we may form that third kind of knowledge of which we spoke in the note to (II. xI), and of the excellence and use of which we shall have occasion to speak in (Part V or 5) Men have not so clear a knowledge of God as they have of general notions, because they are unable to imagine God as they do bodies, and also because they have associated the name of God with images of things that they are in the habit of seeing, as indeed they can hardly avoid doing, being, as they are, men, and continually affected by external bodies. Many errors in truth can be traced to this head, namely, that we do not apply names to things rightly. For instance, when a man says that the lines drawn from the centre of a circle to its circumference are not equal, he then, at all events, assuredly attaches a meaning to the word circle different from that assigned by mathematicians. So again, when men make mistakes in calculation, they have one set of figures in their mind, and another on paper. If we could see into their minds, they do not make a mistake; they seem to do so, because we think, that they have the same numbers in their mind as they have on the paper. If this were not so, we should not believe them to be in error, any more than I thought that a man was in error, whom I lately heard explaining that his entrance hall had flown into a neighbours hen, for his meaning seemed to me sufficiently clear. Very many controversies have arisen from the fact, that men do not rightly explain their meaning, or do not rightly interpret the meaning of others. For, as a matter of fact, as they flatly contradict themselves, they assume now one side, now another of the argument, so as to oppose the opinions, which they consider mistaken and absurd in their opponents.   

 

PROPOSITION 48: In the mind there is no absolute free will; but the mind is determined to wish this or that by a cause, which has also been determined by another cause, and so on to infinity.

His Proof—The mind is a fixed and definite mode of thought therefore it cannot be the free cause of its actions; in other words, it cannot have an absolute faculty (a mental power or ability such as reason or memory) of positive or negative volition (the act of exercising the will); but it must be determined by a cause, which has also been determined by another cause; &c Q.E.D. (In other words; a cause in God; infinitely)

Note—In the same way it is proved, that there is in the mind no absolute faculty (even quiz celebrity’s associate answers with other things, but are not infallible) of understanding, desiring, loving, &c. Whence it follows, that these and similar faculties are either entirely fictitious, or are merely abstract and general terms, such as we are accustomed to put together from particular things. Thus the intellect and the will stand in the relation to this or that idea, or this or that volition (the act of exercising the will), as “lapidity” (to convert into stone or stony material: PETRIFY) to this or that stone, or as “man” to Peter and Paul.

The cause which leads men to consider themselves free has been set forth in the Appendix to part 1. But, before I proceed further, I would here remark that, by the will to affirm and decide, I mean the faculty (a mental power or ability such as reason or memory) not the desire. I mean, I repeat, the faculty, whereby the mind affirms or denies what is true or false, not the desire, wherewith the mind wishes for or turns away from any given thing. After we have proved, these faculties of ours are general notions, which cannot be distinguished from the particular instances on which they are based; we must inquire whether volitions themselves (the act of exercising the will) are anything besides the ideas of things. We must I inquire, I say, whether there is in the mind any affirmation or negation (yes or no) beyond that, which the idea, insofar as it is an idea, involves. On which subject see the following PROPOSITION, and II Def iii, lest the idea of pictures should suggest itself. For by ideas I do not mean images such as are formed at the back of the eye, or in the midst of the brain, but the conceptions of thought (a general understanding of something).

 

 PROPOSITION 49: There is in the mind no volition (the act of exercising the will) or affirmation and negation (yes or no), save that which an idea, inasmuch as it is an idea, involves.

 His Proof –There is in the mind no absolute faculty of positive or negative volition, but only particular volitions, namely, this or that affirmation, and this or that negation. Now let us conceive a particular volition, namely, the mode of thinking whereby the mind affirms, that the three interior angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles. This affirmation involves the conception or idea of a triangle, that is without the idea of a triangle it cannot be conceived. It is the same thing to say, that the concept A must involve the concept B, as it is to say, that A cannot be conceived without B. Further, this affirmation cannot be made without the idea of a triangle. Therefore,

This affirmation can neither be nor be conceived, without the idea of a triangle. Again, this idea of a triangle must involve this same affirmation, namely, that its three interior angles are equal to two right angles. Wherefore, and vice versa, this idea of a triangle can neither be nor be conceived without this affirmation, therefore, this affirmation belongs to the essence of the idea of a triangle and is nothing besides. What we have said of this volition (inasmuch as we have selected it at random) may be said of any other volition, namely, that it is nothing but an idea Q.E.D.

Corollary—Will and understanding are one and the same.

His Proof—Will and understanding are nothing beyond the individual volitions and ideas. But a particular volition and a particular idea are one and the same (by the foregoing prop); therefore, will and understanding are one and the same Q.E.D.

Note—We have thus removed the cause which is commonly assigned for error. For we have shown above, that falsity consists solely in the privation of knowledge (the act of depriving somebody of something) involved in ideas which are fragmentary and confused. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/doctrineofdemons.htm  Wherefore a false idea, inasmuch as it is false, does not involve certainty. When we say, then, that a man acquiesces (to agree or comply with something in a passive or reserved way) to what is false, and that he has no doubts on the subject, we do not say that he is certain, but only that he does not doubt, or that he acquiesces in what is false, inasmuch as there are no reasons, which should cause his imagination to waver (see II. xliv. 44 note). Thus. Although the man assumed to acquiesce in what is false, we shall never say that he is certain. For by certainty we mean something positive, not merely the absence of doubt.

  However, in order that the foregoing proposition maybe fully explained, I will draw attention to a few additional points, and I will furthermore answer the objections which may be advanced against our doctrine. Lastly, in order to remove every scruple, I have thought it worthwhile to point out some of the advantages, which follow therefrom. I say “some,” for they will be better appreciated from what we will set forth in the fifth part.

I begin then, with the first point and warn my readers to make an accurate distinction between an idea and words, whereby, we signify things. These three—namely, images, words, and ideas—are by many persons either entirely confused altogether, or not distinguished with sufficient accuracy or care, and hence people are generally in ignorance, how absolutely necessary is a knowledge of this doctrine of the will, both for philosophical purposes and for the wise ordering of life. Those who think that ideas consist in images which are formed in us by contact with external bodies, persuade themselves that the idea of those things, whereof we can form no mental picture, are not ideas, but only figments (something produced by or only existing in somebody's imagination), which we invent by the free decree of our will; they thus regard ideas as though they were inanimate pictures on a panel, and, filled with this misconception (a mistaken idea or view resulting from a misunderstanding of something), do not see that an idea, inasmuch as it is an idea, involves an affirmation or negation (yes or no). Again, those who confuse words with ideas, or with the affirmation which an idea involves, think that they can wish something contrary to what they feel, affirm, or deny. This misconception will easily be laid aside by one, who reflects on the nature of knowledge http://www.godsplan.org.uk/knowledgeandwisdom.htm, and seeing that in no wise involves the conception of extension, will therefore clearly understand, that an idea (being a mode of thinking) does not consist (to be made up of diverse parts) in the image of anything), nor in words. The essence of words and images is put together by bodily motions, which in no wise involve the conception of thought.

   These few words on this subject will suffice: I will therefore pass on to consider the objections, which may be raised against our doctrine. Of these, the first is advanced by those, who think that the will has a wider scope than the understanding, and that therefore it is different therefrom. The reason for their holding this belief, that the will has wider scope than the understanding, is that they assert, that they no need of an increase in their faculty of assent (a formal expression of agreement or acceptance), that is of affirmation or negation (yes or no), in order to assent to an infinity of things which we do not perceive, but that they have need of an increase in their faculty of understanding.

1.      Firstly: The will is thus distinguished from the intellect, the latter being finite http://godsplan.org.uk/fleshage.htm  (having an end or limit) and the former infinite (without any finite or measurable limits) http://www.godsplan.org.uk/2%20Peter%203.htm.

2.      Secondly: it may be objected that experience seems to teach us especially clearly, that we are all able to suspend our judgement before assenting (ascending) (moving upwards, especially on a scale to things which we perceive).   http://www.godsplan.org.uk/secondadvent.htm to things which we perceive.This is confirmed by the fact that no one is said to be deceived, insofar as he perceives anything, but only in so far as he assents or dissents. For instance, he who feigns a winged horse, does not therefore admit that a winged horse exists; that is, he is not deceived, unless he admits in addition that a winged horse does exist. Nothing therefore seems to be taught more clearly by experience, than that the will or faculty of ascent (a mental power or ability such as reason or memory) is free and different from the faculty of understanding,

3.      Thirdly: it may be objected that one affirmation does not apparently contain more reality than another, in other words, that we do not seem to need for affirming, that what is true is true, any greater power for affirming, that what is false is true. We have, however, seen that one idea has more reality or perfection than another, for as objects are some more excellent than others; this also seems to point to a difference between the understanding and the will.

4.      Fourthly: It may be objected, if man does not act from free will, what will happen if the incentives to action are equally balanced, as in the case of Burridan’s ass? Will he perish of hunger and thirst? If I say that he would, I shall seem to have in my thoughts an ass or the statue of a man rather than an actual man. If I say that he would not, he would then determine his own action, and would consequently possess the faculty of going and doing whatever he liked. Other objections might also be raised, but, as I am not bound to put in evidence everything that anyone may dream, I will only set myself to the task of refuting those I have mentioned, and that as briefly as possible.

 

·        To the first objection I answer, that I admit that the will has a wider scope than the understanding, if by the understanding be meant only clear and distinct ideas; but I deny that the will has a wider scope than the perceptions, and the faculty of forming conceptions (a general understanding of something); nor do I see why the faculty of volition (choosing: the act of exercising the will) should be called infinite, any more than the faculty of feeling: for, as we are able by the same faculty of volition to affirm an infinite number of things (one after the other, for we cannot affirm an infinite number simultaneously), so also can we by the same faculty of feeling, feel or perceive (in succession) an infinite number of bodies. If it be said that there is an infinite number of things which we cannot perceive, I answer, that we cannot attain to such things by any thinking, nor, consequently, by any faculty of volition. But, it may still be urged, if God wished to bring it about that we should perceive them, He would be obliged to endow us with a greater faculty of perception (the process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation), but not a greater faculty of volition than we have already.      This is the same as to say that if God wished to bring it about that we should understand an infinite number of other entities, it would be necessary for Him to give us a greater understanding, but not a more universal idea of entity than that which we have already, in order to grasp such infinite entities. We have shown that will is a universal entity or idea, whereby we explain all particular volitions—in other words, that which is common to all such volitions (the act of exercising the will). http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Decalogueinscripture.htm As then, our opponents maintain that this idea, common or universal to all volitions, is a faculty (a mental power or ability such as reason or memory), it is little to be wondered at they assert, that such a faculty extends itself into the infinite, beyond the limits of the understanding: for what is universal is predicated alike of one, of many, and of an infinite number of individuals (logic: something that is affirmed or denied about something else).

·        To the second objection I reply by denying, that we have a free power of suspending judgment: for, when we say that anyone suspends his judgement, we merely mean that he sees, that he does not perceive the matter in question adequately. Suspension of judgement is, therefore, strictly speaking, a perception, and not free will. In order to illustrate the point, let us suppose a boy imaging a horse, and perceive nothing else. Inasmuch as this imagination involves the existence of the horse (II. xvii. Corollary), and the boy does not perceive anything which would exclude the existence of the horse, he will necessarily regard the horse as present: he will not be able to doubt of its existence, although he be not certain thereof. We have daily experience of such a state of things in dreams; and I do not suppose there is anyone, who would maintain that, while he is dreaming, he has the free power of suspending his judgement concerning the things in his dream, and bringing it about that he should not dream those things, which he dreams that he sees; yet it happens, notwithstanding, that even in dreams we suspend our judgement, namely, when we dream that we are dreaming.

·        The third objection Further, I grant that no one can be deceived, so far as actual perception extends—that is, I grant that the minds imaginations, regarded in themselves, do not involve error, but I deny, that a man does not,  in the act of perception, make any affirmation. For what is the perception of a winged horse, save affirming that a horse has wings? If the mind could perceive nothing else but the winged horse, it would regard the same as present to itself: it would have no reasons for doubting its existence, nor any faculty of dissent (to disagree with a widely held or majority opinion), unless the imagination of a winged horse be joined to an idea which preclude the existence of the said horse, or unless the mind perceives that the idea which it possess of a winged horse is inadequate, in which case it will either necessarily deny the existence of such a horse, or will necessarily be in doubt of the subject. I think that I have anticipated my answer to the third objection, namely, that the will is something universal which is predicated of all ideas, and that it only signifies that which is common to all ideas, namely, an affirmation, whose adequate essence must, therefore, insofar as it is thus conceived in the abstract, be in every idea, and be, in this respect alone, the same in all, not insofar as it is considered as constituting the idea’s essence: for, in this respect, particular affirmations differ one from the other, as much as do ideas. For instance, the affirmation which involves the idea of a circle, differs from that which involves the idea of a triangle, as much as the idea of a circle differs from the idea of a triangle. Further, I absolutely deny, that we are in need of an equal power of thinking, to affirm that that that which is true, and to affirm that that which is false is true. These two affirmations, if we regard the mind, are in the same relation to one another as being and not—being; for there is nothing positive in ideas, which constitutes the actual reality of falsehood (II. xxxv. Note and 47. Note.). We must therefore conclude, that we are easily deceived, when we confuse universals with singulars, and the entities of reason and abstractions with realities.

·        As for the fourth objection, I am quite ready to admit, that a man placed in the equilibrium described (namely as perceiving nothing but hunger and thirst, a certain food and a certain drink, each equally distant from him) would die of hunger and thirst I am asked, whether such an one  should not rather be considered an ass than a man; I answer, that I do not know, neither do I know how a man should be considered, who hangs himself, or how we should consider children, fools, madmen, &c. It remains to point out the advantages of a knowledge of this doctrine as bearing on conduct, and this may be easily gathered from what has been said. The Doctrine is good.

1.      Inasmuch as it teaches us to act solely according to the decree of God, and to be partakers in the Divine nature, and so much the more, as we perform more perfect actions and more and more understand God. Such a doctrine not only completely tranquilisers our spirit, but also shows us where our highest happiness or blessedness is, namely solely in the knowledge of God, whereby we are led to act only as love and piety shall bid us. We may thus clearly understand, how far astray from a true estimate of virtue (the quality of being morally good or righteous) are those who expect to be decorated by God with high rewards for their virtue, and their best actions, as for having endured the direst slavery (characterized by severe, serious, or desperate circumstances); as if virtue and the service of God were not in itself happiness and perfect freedom.

2.      Inasmuch as it teaches us, how we ought to conduct ourselves with respect to the gifts of fortune, or matters which were not in our power, and do not follow from our nature. For it shows us, that we should await and endure fortune’s smiles or frowns with an equal mind, seeing that all things follow from the Eternal decree of God by the same necessity, as it follows from the essence of a triangle, that the three angles are equal to two right angles.

3.      This doctrine raises social life, as it taches us to hate no man, either to despise, to deride, to envy, or to be angry with any. Further, as it tells us that each should be content with his own, and helpful to his neighbour, not from any womanish pity, favour, or superstition, but solely by the guidance of reason, according as the time and occasion demand, as I will show in part III.

4.      Lastly, this doctrine confers no small advantage on the commonwealth; for it teaches how citizens should be governed and led, not so as to become slaves, but so that they may freely do whatsoever things are best.

 

I have thus fulfilled the promise made at the beginning of this note, and I thus bring the second part of my treatise to a close. I think I have therein explained the nature and properties of the human mind at sufficient length, and, considering the difficulty of the subject, with sufficient clearness. I have laid a foundation, whereon may be raised many excellent conclusions of the highest utility and most necessary to be known, as will, in what follows, be partly made plain.

http://www.godsplan.org.uk/book1.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/gathering.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/knowledgeandwisdom.htm  http://www.godsplan.org.uk/kingdom.htm

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