Selection from – Ethics – Part I. Of Deus sive Natura (Page 7)

Spinoza's Words: ((Deus sive Natura) is within the universe, not outside it)

Prop. XVIII. (Deus sive Natura) is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things

Note.—Some assert that (Deus sive Natura), like a man, consists of body and mind, and is susceptible of passions. How far such persons have strayed from the truth is sufficiently evident from what has been said... For all who have in anywise reflected on the divine nature deny that (Deus sive Natura) has a body. Of this they find excellent proof in the fact that we understand by body a definite quantity, so long, so broad, so deep, bounded by a certain shape, and it is the height of absurdity to predicate such a thing of (Deus sive Natura), a being absolutely infinite. But meanwhile by other reasons with which they try to prove their point, they show that they think corporeal or extended substance wholly apart from the divine nature, and say it was created by (Deus sive Natura). Wherefrom the divine nature can have been created, they are wholly ignorant; thus they clearly show, that they do not know the meaning of their own words.


Spinoza's compares his conception of (Deus sive Natura) to the common conception of God. (Deus sive Natura) is within, is the universe, its products and its processes. The common conception pictures God with human form and passions of likes and dislikes. If you think about that, says Spinoza, you surely must see it as absurd. People who hold this common conception also think that the world was created by their God. They say God has a body but of what that body is created they do not know