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essential good, and that we must direct the aim of our lives to this. Good and evil, viewed on their own merits, are not positive qualities (which is also, to a certain extent, the watchword of your General); they are only differing forms of thought or conception which arise because we compare things to one another. Your favorite occupation, for example, Jufrow Olympia, music, is good to the melancholy, bad to the sad, and to the deaf is neither good nor bad." Olympia would have objected, but Spinoza continued with animation:

"We would have it for the ideal of mankind that we should consider the expression Good as answering to all of which we certainly know that it is approximate to the original model of human nature, and Evil, of which we certainly know that it is in opposition to it. No man, thief, murderer or debauchee, no man desires evil for evil's sake; but, in the moment in which he commits the crime, it seems good to him for his self-preservation, for the increase and improvement of his own well-being, and is only erroneous in this, that in following his passions he becomes unfaithful to the laws of his nature. The freeman, that is one who, coming straight from the hands of God or nature, knows naught of the ideas of good or evil, acts in every circumstance according to the immediate impulse of the laws of his nature; then, when the dissension between his wishes and requirements, and the com-