"I've been reading Spinoza"

Baruch de Spinoza (1632–1677), Dutch Jewish philosopher of the school of rationalism.

According to Spinoza, the universe is deterministic. Nothing happens by chance. He held good and evil to be relative concepts.

For Spinoza, reality is perfection. If circumstances are seen as unfortunate it is only because of our inadequate conception of reality. Sense perception is inadequate for discovering universal truth; he concluded that emotion is formed from inadequate understanding.

His explanation of how emotions must be detached from external cause in order to master them gives some prediction of psychological techniques developed in the 1900s. The more we are conscious of ourselves and Nature/Universe, the more perfect and blessed we are (in reality). His views provided a bridge between religious mysticism of the past and psychology of the present day.

Larry is working backwards from William James's Principles of Psychology.