I love Infinite Intelligence (You can call it God if you like. I don’t care). I’m fascinated by how this Intelligence designed both living and non-living things. I always wonder how it designed the brain, digestive system, sun, stars, and everything in the universe. I’m obsessed with knowing how it works, what it wants, and how it created the world. For this reason, I love studying what great thinkers wrote about it. One of the great thinkers that loved talking about God/Infinite Intelligence was Epictetus, the great Stoic philosopher. I gathered some of his powerful thoughts on Infinite Intelligence/God.
- ‘Were I a nightingale, I would act the part of a nightingale; were I a swan, the part of a swan, but since I am a reasonable creature, it is my duty to praise God.’ (John Bonforte; the Philosophy of Epictetus).
- ‘If any is unhappy, remember that he is so for himself; for God made all men to enjoy happiness and peace.’ (John Bonforte; the Philosophy of Epictetus).
- ‘A person who reasons well, understands, and considers that if he joins himself to God, he shall go safely through his journey. How do you mean join himself to God? That whatever is the will of God may be his will too, that whatever is not the will of God, may not be his.’ (John Bonforte; the Philosophy of Epictetus).
- ‘If you will always remember that God stands by as a witness of whatever you do, either in soul or in body, you will never err, either in your prayers or actions, and you will always have God abiding with you.’ (John Bonforte; the Philosophy of Epictetus).
- ‘Great is God, who has supplied us with these instruments to till the ground; Great is God, who has given us hands and organs of digestion; Who has made us to grow insensibly, to breathe in sleep.’ (John Bonforte; the Philosophy of Epictetus).
- ‘So when you have shut your doors, and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone, but God is within, and your soul is within.’ (John Bonforte; The Philosophy of Epictetus).
- ‘But you are a primary existence. You are a distinct portion of the essence of God, and contain a certain portion of Him within yourself.’ (John Bonforte; The Philosophy of Epictetus).
- Assuredly from the very structure of all made objects we are accustomed to prove that the work is certainly the product of some artificer, and has not been constructed at random – (Oldfather, Epictetus, The Discourses)
- ‘You carry God about with you, poor wretch, and you know nothing of Him. Do you suppose I mean some external idol made of gold or silver? It is within yourself that you carry Him; and you do not observe that you profane Him by impure thoughts and unclean actions.’ (John Bonforte; The Philosophy of Epictetus).
- ‘From God, the seeds of our being are descended, not only to our fathers and grandfathers, but to all things that are produced and born on earth; especially, to rational creatures, since they alone are qualified to communicate with God.’ (John Bonforte; The Philosophy of Epictetus).
- ‘If you fix your desires on riches, health, power, honors, your country, friends, children. In short, on anything beyond the control of your will, – you will be unfortunate. But fix them on God, give yourself to Him, let Him govern, let your powers be ranged on the same side as His, and how can you any longer be unprosperous?’ (John Bonforte; The Philosophy of Epictetus).
- ‘If a person could be persuaded that we are originally descended from God, and that He is the Father of all on earth and in heaven, I conceive he would never think of himself, meanly or ignobly.’ (John Bonforte; The Philosophy of Epictetus).
Friedrich Nietzsche on Why God is Dead and the Effects of God’s Death
“But when Zarathustra was alone, he spoke thus to his heart. ‘Could it be possible? This old saint has not heard in his forest that God is dead!” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900), a German philosopher, is remembered for his popular phrase: ‘God is dead.’ He came up with this phrase after realizing that the society had shifted its focus from religion to science and progress. As well, he observed how the scientific revolution resulted in the society believing that science was more reliable in helping it understand life than religion.
The phrase thus implied that, in the 19th century, many individuals stopped believing in the importance of God because the term ‘God’ became a cultural idea. Furthermore, it indicated that the society stopped perceiving God as the source of creation, and it seldom involved spirituality in everyday social life.
Although Friedrich Nietzsche was an atheist, he believed ‘God’s death’ would bring disastrous effects to the society. For as he wrote, ‘God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, the murderers of all murderers, console ourselves?
He knew ancient people used God to console themselves during hard times, and therefore, God’s death would result in people finding it difficult to face hardships because they would lack a source of consolation. Besides, he claimed that modern folks would despair and find life meaningless if they stopped focusing on God as their helper.
Nietzsche’s idea of God’s death continues to be true in the 21st century because many people have stopped believing in God. To most people, God is just an ancient’s man idea since he doesn’t exist.
For this reason, as Nietzsche prophesied, many people today find life meaningless as it is difficult to find life purposeful in a Godless world. Also, those facing hardships succumb to depression and lose hope in life because they don’t believe that God will help them overcome their hardships.
Nietzsche’s phrase must thus remind us about the importance of believing in a Higher Power/God. This belief reduces the chances of depression when one faces hardships as it makes individuals realize that God is on their side. Lastly, it makes life meaningful as it enlightens us that we were created by a Higher Power for a Higher Purpose.
Thanks for Reading.
Peace be With You
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The Wisdom of Spinoza: Top 5 Powerful Teachings of Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza, born in 1632, was a philosopher who focused on teaching about God, and the limits of religious authority. He also taught about the human mind, science, and morality. As well, he stressed on the importance of freedom, and he provided the masses with a scientific interpretation of the Bible.
Spinoza’s teachings were enlightening, and the elite believed they would expose several religious errors and awaken the masses. For this reason, the elite forced him to flee Amsterdam.
I gathered Spinoza’s teachings from his book, ‘The Philosophy of Spinoza (Edited by Joseph Ratner).
1.How to Achieve Sustained Happiness
We only achieve happiness when we free ourselves from the bondage of our emotions by becoming the masters of our emotions. To become the master of our emotions, we must know ourselves because it’s impossible to control our emotions if we don’t study and understand ourselves.
2.Everything is Divine
‘Whatever is, is in God, and nothing can either be or be conceived without God.’ – Baruch Spinoza
Spinoza opposed the religious belief that some things are divine while others aren’t. For him, everything is divine because everything exists within God. He believed nothing is unholy because everything exists only because God, The Divine Creator, exists.
3.Anyone Can Understand God’s True Nature
‘Everyone can by the light of nature clearly understand the goodness and the eternal validity of God.’ – Baruch Spinoza
Many religious leaders believe understanding God is a spiritual gift only bestowed upon some individuals. However, Spinoza believed everyone can understand God’s true nature by studying nature because nature acts according to God’s laws and thus displays ‘his’ attributes.
4. Miracles are Natural Occurrences
Spinoza disagreed with the idea that miracles are contrary to nature since ‘nothing comes to pass in nature in contravention to her universal laws.’ For him, miracles are part of nature since they obey its laws. He claimed that many people believe miracles are supernatural occurrences because they are beyond their understanding.
5.The Illusion of Good and Bad
According to Spinoza, good and bad are ideas that arise after comparing one thing with another. For instance, an individual only believes Hip Hop is bad because he compares it with Country music, Rock, or Rhumba.
Besides this, people call one thing bad if it makes them sad and call another good if it makes them happy. For this reason, good and bad changes because something that can make you happy might be called bad if it makes another person sad.
Hope you loved Spinoza’s teachings.
Anyway, I gained massive interest in Spinoza’s teachings after realizing that he was banished from the Jewish community and forced to flee Amsterdam. My research on ancient history has enlightened me that all people who provided the masses with teachings that enabled them to realize their true power were either forced to exile or killed. Jesus was crucified, Socrates was sentenced to death, and Pythagoras was burned.
We should all strive to study these folks – who were either killed or exiled – because their teachings contained hidden truths that the ruling classes didn’t want us to know. I will thus continue studying Spinoza’s works, and I’ll share them with you because I believe they contain powerful hidden teachings.
Spinoza, Benedictus de, and Joseph Ratner. The Philosophy of Spinoza. Modern Library, 1954.
PEACE BE WITH YOU
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