Selection from – Ethics – Part IV. Of Human Bondage, or the Strength of the Emotions (Page 11)

Spinoza's Words: (knowledge of Deus sive Natura) is available to all)

Proposition XXXVI. The highest good of those who follow virtue is common to all, and therefore all can equally rejoice therein.

Note.—Someone may ask how it would be, if the highest good were not common to all? Would it not then follow that men living in obedience to reason would be at variance one with another? To such an inquiry, I make answer, that it follows from the very nature of reason, that man's highest good is common to all, inasmuch as it is deduced from the very essence of man and that a man could not be without the power of taking pleasure in this highest good. For it belongs to the essence of the human mind to have an adequate knowledge of the eternal and infinite essence of (Deus sive Natura).


Knowledge of (Deus sive Natura) is available to everyone who uses the reason that men are capable of activating. It is not like things of this world which can belong to one and not to another.