Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/311

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289
PANTHEISM.

mands of his nature first enters, and when he wishes to avoid this by the intervention of others, the knowledge of good and evil, and evil itself, enters. The dissension occurs because he wishes to control himself by another and an external means, and no longer acts in free accord with his internal laws; the discord lies in the fact that, for the fulfilment of his natural laws he requires an agreement with outward circumstances. The free, independent human being, such as the earliest one, knows no difference of good and evil; he acts ever in accordance with internal harmony and freedom. With society entered dissension, sin and history. It must ever remain our highest object again to incorporate this freedom and independence, without disturbing the existing constitution of society. On the contrary, not in solitude, but in communities, where we live in mutual conformity, we are free. We must mentally return to that standpoint of innate freedom where it was given us to know and follow of necessity the laws of God, that is, of our nature. Such was the pure object of Jesus Christ, to lead mankind back to the original freedom of their laws, in natural harmony with them. Therefore was he come, according to his own words, not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it."

Spinoza had carefully avoided all details that could give occasion for a digression; but Olympia,