Learning is conceiving God’s power

In the Scholarium to Proposition 2, Spinoza writes:

“By God’s power ordinary people understand God’s free will and his right over all things which are, things which on that account are commonly considered to be contingent…God’s power is nothing except God’s active essence. And so it is as impossible for us to conceive that God does not act as it is to conceive that he does not exist.” (Spinoza, 1994a, pp. 33, P2 Schol.)

This strikes me as an important part of any Spinozist pedagogy; learners need to conceive of the “free” inter-play of the world which both expresses them and the world around them. Learning involves conceiving the forces that produce us, whether we do that in science in terms of the physical causes and effects that create our material world, or understanding the processes of mind which lead to certain historical events in history. This, in a Spinozist sense, is all conceiving God’s power, which is the infinite inter-play of forces which create any given moment, any given person, an given event.

Journey into Joy

Listen to a piece of music which makes you feel happy, excited, joyful. Feel God’s power!

See also: IV Preface, II/208 (Spinoza, 1994a, p. 115)

Dive underwater. Feel God’s power!