Selection from – On the Improvement of the Understanding (Page 9)

Spinoza's Words: (on his rules for living)

We must seek the assistance of Moral Philosophy and
the Theory of Education... But before all things, a means must be devised for
improving the understanding and purifying it, so that it may apprehend things
without error. Thus it is apparent to everyone that I wish to direct all science
to one end – that we may attain to the supreme human perfection.

Yet, as it is necessary that while we are endeavoring to attain our purpose,
and bring the understanding into the right path we should carry on our life,
we are compelled first of all to laydown certain rules of life
as provisionally good, to wit the following:-
(1)To speak in a manner intelligible to the multitude
(2) To indulge ourselves with pleasures only in so far as they are necessary for preserving health.
(3) Lastly, to endeavor to obtain only sufficient money or other commodities to enable us
to preserve our life and health.


These are nothing but common sense rules of good living which are not commonly followed.