The Love of God

Proposition 14. The mind can bring it about, that all bodily modifications or images of things may be referred to the idea of God. Proof: There is no modification of the body, whereof the mind may not form some clear and distinct conception (5.4.). Proposition 15: He who clearly and distinctly understands himself and his emotions loves God, and so much the more in proportion as he more understands himself and his emotions. Proof: He who clearly and distinctly understands himself and his emotions feels pleasure (3.53.), and this pleasure is (by the last Prop.) accompanied by the idea of God. Proposition 16. This love towards God must hold the chief place in the mind. Proof: For this love is associated with all the modifications of the body (5.14.) and is fostered by them all (5.15). Proposition 17. God is without passions, neither is he affected by any emotion of pleasure or pain. Proof: All ideas, in so far as they are referred to God, are true (2.32.), that is (2. Def. 4.) adequate. Corollary: Strictly speaking, God does not love or hate anyone. Proposition 18. No one can hate God. Proof: The idea of God which is in us is adequate and perfect (2.46, 2.47). Corollary: Love towards God cannot be turned into hate. Note: It may be objected that, as we understand God as the cause of all things, we by that very fact regard God as the cause of pain. Proposition 19. He, who loves God, cannot endeavour that God should love him in return. Proof: For, if a man should so endeavour, he would desire (5.17. Coroll.) that God, whom he loves, should not be God, and consequently he would desire to feel pain (3.19.), which is absurd (3.28.). Proposition 20: This love towards God cannot be stained by the emotion of envy or jealousy. Proof: This love towards God is the highest good which we can seek for under the guidance of reason (4.28.), it is common to all men (4.36.), Note: We can in the same way show, that there is no emotion directly contrary to this love, whereby this love can be destroyed.
  1. In the actual knowledge of the emotions (5.4. note).
  2. In the fact that it separates the emotions from the thought of an external cause, which we conceive confusedly (5.2. and 5.4. note).
  3. In the fact, that in respect to time, the emotions referred to things, which we distinctly understand, surpass those referred to what we conceive in a confused and fragmentary manner (5.7.).
  4. In the number of causes whereby those modifications[17] are fostered, which have regard to the common properties of things or to God (5.9.11.).

[17] Affectiones. Camerer reads affectus——emotions.

5. Lastly, in the order wherein the mind can arrange and associate, one with another, its own emotions (5.10 note and 5.11, 5.13, 5.14).