Selection from – Ethics – Part V. On the Power of the Intellect; or of Human Freedom (Page 4)

Spinoza's Words: ((Deus sive Natura) has no emotions)

The next several Propositions refer to (Deus sive Natura).

Proposition XIV. The mind can bring it about, that all images of things may be referred to the idea of (Deus sive Natura).

Proposition XV. He who clearly and distinctly understands himself and his emotions loves (Deus sive Natura), and so much the more in proportion as he more understands himself and his emotions.

Proposition XVII. (Deus sive Natura) is without passions and cannot pass either to a greater or to a lesser perfection; therefore (Deus sive Natura) is not affected by any emotion of pleasure or pain. Strictly speaking, (Deus sive Natura) does not love or hate anyone.


A rational man can link everything to (Deus sive Natura). As that rational man understands himself better he loves himself more and, consequently, since he is part of Nature, his love for (Deus sive Natura) increases.

And since (Deus sive Natura) has no emotions [it] can not love or hate anyone.

[I have substituted "it" where Spinoza uses "he" above. I believe the modification I have adopted of using (Deus sive Natura) where Spinoza speaks of his God is especially useful here.

Compare these sentences – God can not love or hate: Nature can not love or hate. No matter how much we try to remember Spinoza's definition of God the sentences evoke different images. All our lives we have heard people referring confidently to God as a person with desires and emotions.]