Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/309

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287
PANTHEISM.

finds room without the intervention of any independent separation from the body."

"As for me I will not attempt to oppose your theory," said Oldenburg; "this co-ordinance, and so to say co-divinity of mind and body, agrees with a favorite idea of my own. I always disliked to hear the phrase, 'fleshly desires war against the spiritual.' This helotry of our body with the godly suppression of the devil-nature of our physical selves, must if consistent, as with the Hindoos, not only excuse suicide, but even represent it as the highest moral duty."

"Paradox, rank paradox!" said Spinoza. "A suicide under any circumstances is guilty of spiritual cowardice, for he lets himself be completely overcome by external things that happen to be in opposition to his nature. From the lowest stage to the higher of the natural order it is the fundamental duty of every component part to fulfil its destiny, and this in a reasonable manner; that is, as our veritable constitution, shown by nature, would do by Virtue. This is no egotistical principle, for this self-preservation is impossible without the corresponding preservation of others. What corresponds externally with our nature and this effort of self-preservation is good, so much the more what lies in our nature itself is good; naturally we must herewith keep firmly before our eyes that only the true knowledge of God and our own nature is the