What was Spinoza trying to say here ??
Anyone know ?
It’s in his book The Ethics, Part V …. https://amzn.to/3p0Rtyg
At length I pass to the remaining portion of my Ethics, which is concerned with the way leading to Freedom.
I shall therefore treat therein of the power of the reason, showing how far the reason can control the emotions, and what is the nature of Mental Freedom or Blessedness ; we shall then be able to see, how much more powerful the wise man is than the ignorant. It is no part of my design to point out the method and means whereby the understanding may be perfected, nor to show the skill whereby the body may be so tended, as to be capable of the due performance of its functions. The latter question lies in the province of Medicine, the former in the province of Logic. Here, therefore, I repeat, I shall treat only of the power of the mind, or of reason ; and I shall mainly show the extent and nature of its dominion over the emotions, for their control and moderation.
…. This idea, which expresses the essence of the body under the form of eternity, is, as we have said, a certain mode of thinking, which belongs to the essence of the mind, and is necessarily eternal. Yet it is not possible that we should remember that we existed before our body, for our body can bear no trace of such existence, neither can eternity be defined in terms of time, or have any relation to time.
But, notwithstanding, we feel and know that we are eternal.
For the mind feels those things that it conceives by understanding, no less than those things that it remembers. For the eyes of the mind, whereby it sees and observes things, are none other than proofs.
Thus, although we do not remember that we existed before the body, yet we feel that our mind, in so far as it involves the essence of the body, under the form of eternity, is eternal, and that thus, its existence cannot be defined in terms of time, or explained through duration. Thus our mind can only be said to endure, and its existence can only be defined by a fixed time, in so far as it involves the actual existence of the body. Thus far only has it the power of determining the existence of things by time, and conceiving them under the category of duration.
To me it means that we are simply spirits inhabiting a Physical body.
That’s what I think it means.
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience."
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin