“Do you believe in God?”
That was the recurring question American students asked Albert Einstein at his numerous lectures at Universities throughout the United States.
He always answered. “I believe in the God of Spinoza.”
The god of Spinoza:
What I want you to do is go out into the world and enjoy your life. I want you to sing, have fun and enjoy everything I’ve made for you.
Stop going into those dark, cold temples that you built yourself and saying they are my house. My house is in the mountains, in the woods, rivers, lakes, beaches. That’s where I live and there I express my love for you.
Stop blaming me for your miserable life; I never told you there was anything wrong with you or that you were a sinner, or that your sexuality was a bad thing. Sex is a gift I have given you and with which you can express your love, your ecstasy, your joy. So don’t blame me for everything they made you believe.
Stop reading alleged sacred scriptures that have nothing to do with me. If you can’t read me in a sunrise, in a landscape, in the look of your friends, in your son’s eyes… you will find me in no book!
Stop asking me “will you tell me how to do my job?” Stop being so scared of me. I do not judge you or criticize you, nor get angry, or bothered. I am pure love.
Stop asking for forgiveness, there’s nothing to forgive. If I made you… I filled you with passions, limitations, pleasures, feelings, needs, inconsistencies… free will. How can I blame you if you respond to something I put in you? How can I punish you for being the way you are, if I’m the one who made you? Do you think I could create a place to burn all my children who behave badly for the rest of eternity? What kind of god would do that?
Respect your peers and don’t do what you don’t want for yourself. All I ask is that you pay attention in your life, that alertness is your guide.
My beloved, this life is not a test, not a step on the way, not a rehearsal, nor a prelude to paradise. This life is the only thing here and now and it is all you need.I have set you absolutely free, no prizes or punishments, no sins or virtues, no one carries a marker, no one keeps a record.
You are absolutely free to create in your life. Heaven or hell. I can’t tell you if there’s anything after this life but I can give you a tip. Live as if there is not. As if this is your only chance to enjoy, to love, to exist.
So, if there’s nothing after, then you will have enjoyed the opportunity I gave you. And if there is, rest assured that I won’t ask if you behaved right or wrong, I’ll ask. Did you like it? Did you have fun? What did you enjoy the most? What did you learn?
Stop believing in me; believing is assuming, guessing, imagining. I don’t want you to believe in me, I want you to believe in you. I want you to feel me in you when you kiss your beloved, when you tuck in your little girl, when you caress your dog, when you bathe in the sea.Stop praising me, what kind of egomaniac God do you think I am?
I’m bored being praised. I’m tired of being thanked. Feeling grateful? Prove it by taking care of yourself, your health, your relationships, the world. Express your joy! That’s the way to praise me.
Stop complicating things and repeating as a parakeet what you’ve been taught about me.What do you need more miracles for? So many explanations?
The only thing for sure is that you are here, that you are alive, that this world is full of wonders.
– Baruch De Spinoza, 1632 – 1677
6 thoughts on “Spinoza’s God”
Hi! I really like this quote, and I was wondering where it is from? Thank you 🙂
It’s paraphrasing Spinoza.
Cool! Is the idea/quote? you paraphrased in a book by him? Sorry, I’m just interested in the concept 🙂
I’m interested too! In rereading it, it’s probably a lot more me than him… I am studying Stoicism and found this Guardian article:
“Spinoza’s most famous and provocative idea is that God is not the creator of the world, but that the world is part of God. This is often identified as pantheism, the doctrine that God and the world are the same thing – which conflicts with both Jewish and Christian teachings. Pantheism can be traced back to ancient Greek thought: it was probably advocated by some pre-Socratic philosophers, as well as by the Stoics. But although Spinoza – who admired many aspects of Stoicism – is regarded as the chief source of modern pantheism, he does, in fact, want to maintain the distinction between God and the world.”
My actual belief is that we are the creators of our worlds (our realities) and you can make it ugly or beautiful, positive or negative, helpful or hateful…
Thanks for the info! And I also really like your belief about how we create our own worlds. I definitely think it’s true that our perception of reality really shapes how we approach life. I remember reading somewhere that when someone dies, a whole world dies with them. Anyways, thanks for the quote and the link! It will help if I decide to do more research 🙂 ( I replied to this one bc i couldn’t reply to your other comments)