I.5. There is a knowing and willing being distinct from me.
My consciousness, then, has certain modalities that do not depend on me, which I do not arouse in myself. As it is impossible for them to come from nothing at all, they must be aroused in me by something else. But this other, whatever it may be, must be aware of these occurrences, for it made them happen; but it cannot make them happen unless it knows how.
Though this principle is self-evident, the prejudices that we acquire before we have formed our opinions may obscure it from us. Thus, for a long time I was persuaded that beings which I knew to be irrational and mindless may nevertheless work and act on other beings. I believed that (for example) fire, because its presence produces in me a sensation of heat, makes me hot; interpreting this making hot [calefacere] as if it meant to create heat. Likewise, I believed that when the Sun shines it creates light; and even that when stones fall they hew out vertical paths for themselves, and are the authors of the motion with which they fall. I considered fire, the Sun, and stones to be irrational and mindless, and yet to be capable of doing all this. But after my understanding was informed by the principle that What you do not know how to do, is not your action, I could not fail to see that I had been deluded, and I was astonished that I had ever believed otherwise. I never supposed that I myself could cause heat, light, or vertical motion, because I do not know how to do such things. Why, then, should I have supposed the same of fire, the Sun, and a stone, when it is equally clear that they do not know how either, and are indeed devoid of knowledge?
I.13 I can obtain release without losing myself.
....I can therefore survive death. If death should befall me, what is that to me, since I owe my human condition not to my nature, but to the will of another? All I can do is to await His decision concerning me and the secret government that He imposes on me. He can join me to some other body, perhaps one like my present body (so that I shall return to being a man), or to another kind of body (so that I shall become something other than a man). He can join me to a body that affects me, but which I cannot act upon. He can leave me without a body at all, and absolutely in that state in which I shall find myself when I am released (which one would say seems the most likely); in which case it is clear that I am to be divested of all my senses, even of memory (which no less than any of the senses depends on the body), and that I am to be conscious only of desires and ideas. Wherefore I understand that if I turn to my God when I am released, I shall be happy, and happy for ever; but if I turn away from Him, unhappy. If I turn to Him, I shall understand to what it is that I turn, and how blessedly (but not without repentance, an act of the utmost affliction of mind): if I turn away from Him, I shall understand from what is that I turn away, and how damnably; but I shall not know to what it is that I turn (and not without the utmost confusion of mind). For that to which I had used to turn myself was but an appearance, which will be there for me no longer once I am released from my body.
II.12 From motion there arise time and succession.
....But God can cause a succession of thoughts in our mind without the motion of bodies: therefore, time can exist without motion.
I reply: I am justified in saying that God cannot do such a thing, for the reason that He is one and the same, and always in one and the same state. In order to arouse diverse modes of consciousness in us (and see what I said in connection with this in Part One), He needs an instrument that can be affected in diverse modes; and no other instrument than Body is capable of such diversity.
III.3 He is an ineffable Father.
For His Fatherhood of us, which consists in His bringing us into the human condition, is altogether ineffable. He maintains us in this condition by His ineffable work of arousing thoughts in our mind through the inadequate and irrational instruments (quite unworthy in themselves) of Body and Motion; and by His no less stupendous work of moving parts of our body at the behest of our will, of which we are incapable (see Part One, and my Ethics, The Inspection of Oneself). Wherefore, He is a Father; and the manner in which He is the Father of us all is stupendous and ineffable.
III.8 He has dominion over death.
III.8 He has dominion over death.
Appendix I.14 - Inspection of Oneself [from Ethics]
The following is an epitome of what I have learned from the Inspection of Myself:
1. Nothing in the World outside me can act on me.
2. My every action, insofar as it is my action, remains within me.
3.Owing to divine power, my actions are sometimes diffused outside me.
4. To that extent, they are not my actions but God's.
5. They are thus diffused, and to such a degree, as seems fitting to God, in accordance with the inexorable decree of His sovereign power, and dependent on His personal will; so that it is no less miraculous when by the power of His will my tongue flutters in my mouth as I utter the word 'Earth' than if that same power were to make the Earth tremble at the word: the only difference is that it pleases God to enact the former sometimes, but never the latter.
6. I am nothing more than a spectator of the World.
7. Nevertheless, the World itself cannot produce this spectacle.
8. God alone can produce this spectacle.
9. And He does so in an ineffable and incomprehensible manner; on account of which, among all the stupendous miracles with which God favours me on this scene, I, the spectator, am His greatest and most enduring miracle.
10. I can be removed from this scene, that is, I can be expelled from the World; and indeed at this very moment. Moreover, my being in the World is only that of a spectator of the same (which, though no doubt my World, is from God), and to move certain things in it, that is, certain bodily things (which movement is, however, God's alone, and is only attributed or imputed to me, because it happens at the discretion of my will).
11. I am afraid of that expulsion from the World which is called death.
12. Now, because I have become habituated to corporeal life, and it is hard to tear myself away from it, though I am scarcely aware of myself I am all too aware that the account that I am to render of myself is not in my favour.