To understand is to be free.

spinozageo

In the state of nature, wrong-doing is impossible ; or, if anyone does wrong, it is to himself, not to another. For no one by the law of nature is bound to please another, unless he chooses, nor to hold anything to be good or evil, but what he himself, according to his own temperament, pronounces to be so ; and, to speak generally, nothing is forbidden by the law of nature, except what is beyond everyone’s power.

Political Treatise, 1677.

While in school, Baruch (Benedict) de Spinoza managed to make a quiet, subtle impact in me. His metaphysical views on reality and nature shook me profoundly. Not because it was my first encounter with these thoughts, rather, because I had previously created a similar conception of my own (vaguely developed, of course). In reading him I found, quoting Pessoa, passages that often seem to be the voice of my own thoughts, cantos that often seem to have been written for me to know myself…I read and am liberated. I acquire objectivity. I cease being myself and so scattered. And so was born an unrelenting love for philosophy.

Since today marks his 383rd birthday, I’ve baked a nut, fruit and spice cake roll with roasted eggplant and walnut/pecan flour. It also had raisins, figs and apricots (since he was of Sephardic Jewish descent I tried to use some of their common ingredients).

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Baruch Spinoza

pmfr1auteurbspinozalealundA haze of gold, the Occident lights up
The window. Now, the assiduous manuscript
Is waiting, weighed down with the infinite.
Someone is building God in a dark cup.
A man engenders God. He is a Jew
With saddened eyes and lemon-colored skin;
Time carries him the way a leaf, dropped in
A river, is borne off by waters to
Its end. No matter. The magician moved
Carves out his God with fine geometry;
From his disease, from nothing, he’s begun
To construct God, using the word. No one
Is granted such prodigious love as he:
The love that has no hope of being loved.

Jorge Luis Borges

Translated into English by Willis Barnstone

 


 

Mientras estaba en el colegio, Baruch (Benedicto) de Spinoza hizo un sutil, silente impacto en mí. Sus ideas metafísicas sobre la realidad y la naturaleza causaron un revuelo profundo. No porque era mi primer encuentro con estos pensamientos, mas aún, porque había creado una concepción similar propia (incipiente, desde luego). Leyéndolo encontré, citando a Pessoa, pasajes que a menudo parecían ser la voz de mis propios pensamientos, cantos que parecían haber sido escritos para mí, para que me conociera…leo y soy liberado. Adquiero objetividad. Ceso de ser ese yo tan disperso y desordenado. Y así nació un amor incesante a la filosofía.

Ya que hoy es su cumpleaños número 383, he horneado una rosca de nueces, frutas y especies con berenjena rostizada y harina de nueces y pecanas. También tiene pasas, higos y damascos (como era de descendencia sefardí, traté de usar algunos de los ingredientes comunes que usan).

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Baruch Spinoza

pmfr1auteurbspinozalealund

Bruma de oro, el occidente alumbra La ventana. El asiduo manuscrito Aguarda, ya cargado de infinito. Alguien construye a Dios en la penumbra.

Un hombre engendra a Dios. Es un judío
De tristes ojos y piel cetrina;
Lo lleva el tiempo como lleva el río
Una hoja en el agua que declina.
No importa. El hechicero insiste y labra
A Dios con geometría delicada;
Desde su enfermedad, desde su nada,
Sigue erigiendo a Dios con la palabra.
El más pródigo amor le fue otorgado,
El amor que no espera ser amado.

Jorge Luis Borges

 

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