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as the mind understands all things as necessary, it has the more power over the emotions, or is less passive to them1.

He commences Part III with certain important definitions, which must be mentioned if we would understand his argument. He defines an Adequate Cause as one whose effect can clearly and distinctly be perceived through it; while an Inadequate or Partial Cause is one whose effect cannot be perceived through itself2. He says that we Act, or are Active, when something takes place within us, or outside of us, whose adequate cause we are; and that we Suffer, or are Passive, when something takes place in us, or follows from our nature, of which we are only the inadequate or partial cause3. He defines emotion (affectus) as the modifications of the body by which the power of action in the body is increased or diminished, aided or restrained, and at the same time (for body and mind are one), the ideas of these modifications. And he postulates that the human body can suffer many changes, and yet retain the impressions or traces of objects, and consequently the same images of things. He next argues that the ideas of every human mind are some adequate and some inadequate or confused. The adequate ideas are adequate in God in so far as he constitutes the essence of that particular mind. The inadequate ideas are also in God, but are adequate not in so far as he contains in himself the essence of the given mind, but in so far as he contains the minds of other things at the same time. From any given idea some effect must necessarily follow. And our mind, in so far as it has adequate ideas, necessarily acts certain things, and, in so far as it has inadequate ideas, necessarily suffers certain things. Once again he expounds determinism, giving the famous dictum as to man's supposed power to speak or to be silent, just as he wills. For, says he, surely human affairs would be far happier if the power in men to be silent were the same as the power to speak; whereas experience teaches that men can moderate their desires more easily than their words. Men think themselves free because they are conscious of their actions and ignorant of the causes of them. The decisions of men's minds are nothing save their desires, which are various according to various dispositions. And the decision of the mind, and the desire and determination of the body, are simultaneous in nature, or rather are one and the same thing, which when considered under the attribute of thought we call decision (decretum), and when considered under the attribute of extension we call determination (determinatio). Further, he contends that we can do

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nothing by a decision of the mind unless we recollect having done so before1, and that it is not within the free power of the mind to remember or forget anything2. This last point is of much importance, although the process of repression, by which the memory of painful experiences is removed from the conscious mind, must not be forgotten. Nor does Spinoza forget it. We shall see that he has grasped the idea of repression, although, of course, he does not use the term.

Spinoza then proceeds to a most important point. He has already made the distinction between actio and passio. He now lays down the rule that the actions of the mind arise from adequate ideas alone, while passions arise from inadequate ideas alone3. Emotion is a confused idea wherewith the mind affirms a greater or less power of existing (vis existendi) of its body or any part of it than before, and which being granted, the mind is thereby determined to think of one thing rather than another. He does not mean that the mind compares the present condition of the body with the past, but that the idea which constitutes the form of the emotion affirms something concerning the body, whereby more or less reality is involved than before. What exactly he means by reality we shall see later.

We next have two propositions which lay down (1) that everything so far as it is in itself endeavours to persist in its own being5, and (2) that the endeavour wherewith a thing endeavours to persist in its being is nothing else than the actual essence of that thing. For individual things are modes in which the attributes of God are expressed in a certain determined manner. From the given essence of a thing, certain things necessarily follow, nor can things do anything else than that which follows necessarily from their determined nature. No one would refuse assent to this doctrine as applied to things outside human nature. For the endeavour just mentioned, Spinoza uses the word conatus (effort, or urge). He is most careful to guard against the idea that this tendency to self-preservation is some mysterious power, implanted in things, and antecedent to their existence. The conatus is nothing but the thing being what it is. In my judgment, there is much to be said in favour of the psycho-analytic use of conatus, in place of the somewhat unfortunate term libido.

Granting all this, I think it is possible to translate Spinoza's statements into terms which imply the essential character of the sex instinct.

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We must bear in mind the importance for man, as for all other animal and vegetable beings, of the reproduction of his species. The selfpreserving instinct subserves this. All other activities of man are, as Michael Foster said many years ago, merely "the by-play of ovumbearing organisms1." When we remember, as we always must remember, the extended meaning which Freud attaches to the term 'sex,' we shall find that the essentially sexual character of the emotions can be quite well fitted in with Spinoza's definitions.

Freud teaches, as Darwin taught, that man can no longer regard himself as a unique creation, as the supreme example of a rational creature. Freud has shown that all the most complicated actions of man are instinctive in origin. Further, he has shown that the mainspring of human conduct lies in an instinct which has hitherto formed man's most cherished taboo. This has hurt man's estimation of himself. Had Freud promulgated the view that the mainspring of human conduct was some instinct hitherto regarded as highly laudable, love for our neighbour let us say, the theory would have been welcomed. Instead of this, Freud has shown that many 'lofty' ideas of man, including religion, are of sex origin. It is Freud's great offence, as it was Spinoza's, that he insists that man should regard himself as part of nature, and not as something outside and above nature. Spinoza's teaching is exactly that. Human motives must be analysed in just the same way as the relations of lines, circles and planes.

But we must not suppose that Spinoza had overcome his own sex repressions. There are many indications that he had not done so, in spite of his insistence on the principle that we are to regard nothing in nature with repugnance. He speaks, for instance, of the genital organs as the "parts of shame and excreta 2," almost in the terms used by one of the old anatomists. Again, he defines libido as "desire and love in sexual intercourse3," and clearly means to attach some sense of reprobation to the term. Later, however, he uses libido in a much wider sense1, much more like that which we should now assign to the term. And, in another place, he uses the term as identical with 'pleasure,' contrasting it with riches and fame. Of Spinoza's own sex life, in the narrow sense of that phrase, we know next to nothing. If we except the story, probably apocryphal, of his early fondness for Clara Maria Van den Ende, the daughter of one of his teachers, it would appear that women played no

1 Text Book of Physiology, 1891, vol. iv, page 1555.


3 ш, Def. Emot. 48.

III, 35, note.

5 De Intell. Emend. 3.


V, 42.

part in his life at all. Politically he was what now would be called an anti-feminist. He seems to have been fond of children. But probably most of his sex energy was sublimated into his great intellectual work. He appears to have taken a very limited view of the marriage relation, a view which would be commended by certain eminent ecclesiastics. For he tells us that marriage is only in accordance with reason if the idea of uniting bodies arises from the love of bearing and of wisely educating children1. It is not easy to see why this aspect of the many-faceted sex act is more 'rational' than any other aspect.

Returning to the Ethics, we find that Spinoza deals with the endeavour to persist in being2. This endeavour, when it has reference to the mind alone, he calls will (voluntas): when it refers simultaneously to the mind and body he calls it appetite (appetitus). And he distinguishes between appetite and desire (cupiditas), desire being appetite with consciousness thereof. Here we see a distinct appreciation of the difference between conscious and unconscious desire.

Next he proceeds to a most vital point, that of the meaning, to us, of the word 'good.' He shows that we deem a thing good because we endeavour, wish for, desire, or long for it. We do not desire a thing because we deem it good3. We desire certain things, these things we set ourselves to attain, and we apply the term good to them. I need not stress the importance of this. It is at the root of all the social applications of psycho-analysis. It will not, of course, be accepted by those who hold the idea of an absolute good, outside ourselves, at which we should aim. For Spinoza's view hurts man's narcissism, does not fit in with what is called the dignity of human nature. Hence we are disposed to rationalize. We invent the idea of some absolute morality. We say that certain things are to be desired because they are good in themselves, and we strive to obtain every possible sanction for this view.

Spinoza defines pleasure as the passion by which the mind passes to a higher state of perfection, and pain as the passion by which the mind passes to a lower state of perfection. Perfectus and realitas are to him the same thing. The more perfection anything has, the more reality it has. And he goes on to show that the mind, as far as it can, endeavours to imagine those things which increase or help its power of action". When the mind imagines things which diminish or hinder the power of acting of the body (and body and mind are the same thing) it endeavours as much as it can to remember things which will cut off their existence".

* III, 11, note.


Iv, Appendix, 19, 20.

ш, Def. 6.



III, 9.

ш, 12.

3 Ibid. note.

7 III, 13.

Here we have distinctly the idea of repression. The mind is averse to imagining those things which diminish or hinder its power. From this we clearly see, says Spinoza, that love is pleasure accompanied by the idea of an external cause, and hate is pain accompanied by the idea of an external cause. When the mind is occupied with some painful idea it will continue to remember it until its existence is cut off by some other thing, which other thing the mind as much as possible endeavours to imagine or recall.

If the mind were once affected at the same time by two emotions, when afterwards it is affected by one of them it will also be affected by the other1. Here we have the germ of the conception of the association of ideas in the unconscious. If we imagine a thing, which is wont to affect us with the emotion of sadness, to have something similar to another thing which equally affects us with the emotion of pleasure, we will love and hate that thing at the same time2. This disposition, which arises from two contrary emotions, he calls wavering of the mind (animi fluctuatio). It has the same relation to the emotions as doubt has to imagination3. Animi fluctuatio can easily be expressed in terms of what we should call mental conflict. Spinoza notes that doubt is an essential element in both hope and fear, thus anticipating the views of modern psychology. He says that we endeavour to affirm concerning ourselves everything that we imagine to affect ourselves with pleasure5. And what we find repugnant or conducive to pain we endeavour to remove. Here we have repression again.

Spinoza grasps the importance of the herd instinct in the production of conduct. We endeavour to do everything which we imagine men to regard with pleasure, and vice versa. That is to say, the herd instinct tends to be accentuated by suggestions from those whom we regard with respect. He also has the idea of narcissism, which he styles self-complacency (acquiescentia in seipso)8, or self-love (philautia). Several propositions deal with this10. If we imagine that others have been affected with pleasure on account of anything which we have done we shall be affected with pleasure accompanied by the idea of ourself as the cause. Similarly, if we imagine any one to enjoy anything which only one can possess, we shall endeavour to bring it about that he does not possess it. Our narcissism is hurt by his possession of it, because we cannot possess it. We are able to dispossess another of his envied

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