Selection from – On the Improvement of the Understanding (Page 5)

Spinoza's Words: (happiness depends on what we love)

All these evils seem to have arisen from the fact, that
happiness or unhappiness is made wholly dependent on the quality
of the object which we love. When a thing is not loved, no
quarrels will arise concerning it - no sadness be felt if it perishes - no envy
if it possesed by another, in short no disturbances of the mind. All these
arise from the love of what is perishable.

But love towards a thing eternal and infinite feeds the
mind wholly with joy, and is itself unmingled with any sadness,
wherefore it is greatly to be desired and sought for with all our strength.


This all seems so obivous that we rarely raise the question. "When a thing is not loved..." How many are the things we love? What pain there is when they are gone. Is there something that we cannot lose; something which is eternal and infinite?