50 Baruch Spinoza Quotes from Portuguese Sephardi Philosopher

Baruch Spinoza, a 17th-century Dutch philosopher, challenged religious orthodoxy and advocated for liberal democracy, free speech and philosophic life.

Born in Amsterdam to a Jewish family, he was excommunicated for his radical views, influenced by Descartes and Bacon.

He supported the secular regime of Jan de Witt, leading to persecution by the Prince of Orange’s supporters.

Despite this, he collaborated with Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens until his death.


Spinoza’s teachings, deemed controversial and linked to atheism and political liberalism, significantly influenced philosophy, theology, politics, liberal constitutionalism and early political Zionism in subsequent centuries.

Here is a collection of the best quotes by Baruch Spinoza.

Best Baruch Spinoza Quotes

1. “The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).


2. “What Paul says about Peter tells us more about Paul than about Peter.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

3. “The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

4. “Reason cannot defeat emotion, an emotion can only be displaced or overcome by a stronger emotion.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

5. “If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

6. “God is not He who is, but That which is.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

7. “I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of the peace.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

8. “I can control my passions and emotions if I can understand their nature.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).


9. “No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

10. “Men believe themselves to be free, simply because they are conscious of their actions, and unconscious of the causes whereby those actions are determined.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

11. “Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

Top Baruch Spinoza Quotes

12. “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.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

13. “The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

14. “Desire is the very essence of man.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

15. “Freedom is self-determination.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

16. “I believe that a triangle, if it could speak, would say that God is eminently triangular, and a circle that the divine nature is eminently circular; and thus would every one ascribe his own attributes to God.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

17. “Big fish eat small fish with as much right as they have power.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).


18. “Happiness is a virtue, not its reward.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

19. “I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

20. “I call him free who is led solely by reason.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

Famous Baruch Spinoza Quotes

21. “There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

22. “When a man is prey to his emotions, he is not his own master.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

23. “He who seeks equality between unequals seeks an absurdity.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

24. “Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

25. “No to laugh, not to lament, not to detest, but to understand.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

26. “In the mind there is no absolute or free will.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

27. “All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

28. “Reality and perfection are synonymous.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

29. “We feel and know that we are eternal.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

30. “Many errors, of a truth, consist merely in the application of the wrong names of things.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

31. “Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

Popular Baruch Spinoza Quotes

32. “The greatest good is the knowledge of the union which the mind has with the whole nature.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

33. “Everything in nature is a cause from which there flows some effect.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

34. “Love is pleasure accompanied by the idea of an external cause, and hatred pain accompanied by the idea of an external cause.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).


35. “Desire nothing for yourself, which you do not desire for others.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

36. “The endeavor to understand is the first and only basis of virtue.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

37. “The proper study of a wise man is not how to die but how to live.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

38. “I make this chief distinction between religion and superstition, that the latter is founded on ignorance, the former on knowledge.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

Inspiring Baruch Spinoza Quotes

39. “Nature has no goal in view, and final causes are only human imaginings.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

40. “Fame has also this great drawback, that if we pursue it, we must direct our lives so as to please the fancy of men.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

41. “Men who are ruled by reason desire nothing for themselves which they would not wish for all mankind.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

42. “Everything excellent is as difficult as it is rare.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

43. “He who loves God cannot endeavor that God should love him in return.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

44. “Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

45. “So long as a man imagines that he cannot do this or that, so long as he is determined not to do it; and consequently so long as it is impossible to him that he should do it.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

46. “How would it be possible if salvation were ready to our hand, and could without great labor be found, that it should be by almost all men neglected? But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

47. “Sadness diminishes a man’s powers.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

48. “A good thing which prevents us from enjoying a greater good is in truth an evil.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

49. “Let unswerving integrity be your watchword.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

50. “Human infirmity in moderating and checking the emotions I name bondage : for, when a man is a prey to his emotions, he is not his own master, but lies at the mercy of fortune : so much so, that he is often compelled, while seeing that which is better for him, to follow that which is worse.” ~ (Baruch Spinoza).

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar