Proposition XLII. Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself; neither do we rejoice therein, because we control our lusts, but, contrariwise, because we rejoice therein, we are able to control our lusts.
Blessedness consists in love towards (Deus sive Natura), which love springs from the third kind of knowledge; therefore this love must be referred to the mind, in so far as the latter is active; therefore it is virtue itself. This was our first point.
Again, in proportion as the mind rejoices more in this divine love or blessedness, so does it the more understand [and have] much more power over the emotions, and so much the less is it subject to those emotions which are evil. And, since human power in controlling the emotions consists solely in the understanding, it follows that no one rejoices in blessedness, because he has controlled his lusts, but, contrariwise, his power of controlling his lusts arises from this blessedness itself.