Selection from – Ethics – Part I. Of Deus sive Natura (Page 5)

Spinoza's Words: (on the nature of (Deus sive Natura))

Proposition. XVI. From the necessity of the divine nature must follow an infinite number of things in infinite ways—that is, all things which can fall within the sphere of infinite intellect.

Corollary I.—Hence it follows, that (Deus sive Natura) is the efficient cause of all that can fall within the sphere of an infinite intellect.

Corollary II.—It also follows that (Deus sive Natura) is a cause in himself

Corollary III.—It follows, thirdly, that (Deus sive Natura) is the absolutely first cause.

Proposition. XVII. (Deus sive Natura) acts solely by the laws of his own nature, and is not constrained by anyone.

Corollary I.—It follows: That there can be no cause which, either extrinsically or intrinsically, besides the perfection of his own nature, moves (Deus sive Natura) to act.

Note - Moreover, neither intellect nor will appertain to (Deus sive Natura)'s nature. I know that there are many who think that they can show, that supreme intellect and free will do appertain to (Deus sive Natura)'s nature; for they say they know of nothing more perfect...

Further (to say a word here concerning the intellect and the will which we attribute to (Deus sive Natura)), if intellect and will appertain to the eternal essence of (Deus sive Natura), we must take these words in some significance quite different from those they usually bear. For intellect and will, which should constitute the essence of (Deus sive Natura), would perforce be as far apart as the poles from the human intellect and will, in fact, would have nothing in common with them but the name; there would be about as much correspondence between the two as there is between the Dog, the heavenly constellation, and a dog, an animal that barks...

The intellect of (Deus sive Natura) is the cause both of the essence and the existence of our intellect; therefore, the intellect of (Deus sive Natura) differs from our intellect both in respect to essence and in respect to existence, nor can it in anywise agree therewith save in name, as we said before. The reasoning would be identical in the case of the will, as anyone can easily see.



Here Spinoza declares some of the aspects of his (Deus sive Natura). (Deus sive Natura) is the cause of everything, including itself (the universe), and the production of an infinite number of things are possible. (Deus sive Natura) cannot moved to act by other than its own nature. By implication prayers are ineffectual.

An important point is made. Altough (Deus sive Natura) is the cause of our intellect it has neither intellect or will as humans know it.