I was reading Spinoza the other night, trying impossibly to get an image of what he meant, and finally it became clear to me. I saw a strip like a grey highway going into the eternal source, God, from which all things were "created," or more clearly stated, from which all things were caused. Yet God is not transient and outside of existence, but rather IS existence in it's entirety (by E1P18). If God were not existence entirely or outside of existence, then God's essence would not necessarily involve existence (by E1A7 + E1E9) which, because God must be infinite (E1D6 + E1P11), would be absurd. The strip was my body. It was paralleled by another strip, that was forever directly adjacent to it, yet which never went through it. That strip was my mind. It was colored baby blue, and was directly on top of the road which was my body. Those two strips went forever into the completeness of eternity, which I saw as a big ball of energy that was colored much like an oil puddle, with many different colors swishing around with each other. Then as I thought harder about it, it slowly was faded into a bluish grey, I supposed because I understood that it was my mind and parallel body conceiving it, which then was consumed by the oil-like multicolored ball of energy again. This time I saw the entire energy ball as having many different paths of color, my blue and grey included, in direct contact with every other path of color and all other shades.
Then I realized what he meant by E1P36 and E1P28, that from every cause an effect necessarily follows and that every thing has a cause and creates a cause of some sort (though we may not know it at this point in time); these two parallel roads, my mind and my body as distinctly separate objects (By E2P7 and E2P13), are also in parallel contact with every other mind and body pushing on them with a certain force (through the domino effect), and all other forces that we have yet to understand. This means that everything is pushing on everything else, causing all things to happen (E2P48); the composite units, you and I, cause many different effects in the entirety of the universe. I saw this as a big swirl, with my grey road and my bluish path together amidst other mind body paths, again all pushing equally on one another, but in different ways.
It's all networking together, in perfect balance (not human balance, but the balance of God, or as Spinoza put it "a self caused cause; a substance with infinite attributes (E1P11)," because human balance is weighted toward human preservation and human bias, and therefore sometimes misunderstood [E1App]). So, the fact that you are reading this right now, means that my "object-idea"(E2P7 and E2P13) pushes with some force creating some effect, which causes your "object-ideas" to cause something in you. But you can "freely," choose to accept the premises or not or to stop reading, etc., but the choice that you choose, was determined by the choices that you have made, by the choices your parents made, and the choices that your culture and language made, how awake you are right now, if your kid is crying and you need to stop, if you don't like the thought, etc., which all had causes going back infinitely in time. It only seems finite because we are generally only aware of finitude. So, that you considered "freely" was actually a determined choice as you chose, because of all the "object-ideas" that have moved your ideas around, and that you conditioned yourself with having also moved some "object-ideas" around; your mind and body being an integral part of the network of forces.
The butterfly effect is not exclusively objective; this is the misinterpretation. Everything causes everything. Why can you read the words I type? Why do you understand the thoughts I utter? Why do you understand the word "car," yet an Aboriginal wouldn't? It's all dependent, determined, by where you live, and who you are around. But, that seems simple enough...well, no, not exactly. That means the thoughts that you have were determined by the place you grew up in, your fundamental building blocks as well as your biological structure, household, friends, etc. But why did you grow up in the place that you did? Because your parents mated there or moved you there. Was this free will on your part? Could you, as a fetus, tell your parents where you wanted to live, and around what beliefs and cultural norms, so as to have the certain thoughts that you wanted to be around?
No, of course not; but of course that they chose to live there was also caused by something they liked or didn't like due to the fact that they were raised somewhere with some belief structure, with some habits, etc. Whenever we "freely" choose, there is a reason; which, it being the reason, means its what determined us to choose the way we did. Yet, this determined choice, was determined by many different determinations, which were influenced by many different forces. It is a network, not an instance; and that network is the eternal flux. Bodies and ideas are part of the moving flux, as they are interrelated forces that both exist outside of each other and yet act with each other in the flux of infinite causality.
Consider, why you are thinking and reacting to this post the way you are. Why do you have the thoughts that you do? Really stop and ask yourself why...it's absolutely amazing when you think about it extensively...Are you not delving into your box of ideas that you encountered throughout your life until now? Then aren't those ideas that you encountered throughout your life, being liked or disliked, determining the views of your ideas now? If free will served you and all experiences perceived by you well in the past, is that not the reason you agree to it? Doesn't that mean that reason is what determined you to have the idea of free will? It's seems like Spinoza's right...God is everything and everything is existence, which is nothing more than an infinite causality.
But, this infinite causality means, in essence, that there is no such thing as free will(E1P32)...Which means that the thoughts you have right now, were determined before you thought them(E2P48 and E2P49)...and that God, the eternal Nature, or infinite existence, infinite network of forces, etc., is the infinite cause(E2P40)...It determines our thoughts. This means that God is also not bipartisan toward humans, as every cause, every person, every thought, every action, everything is equal in the flux, and all contribute to the eternal balance of existence. Which means eternity is now, it is existence as we know it forever infinitely going both forward and backward, up and down, etc. We tend to think ourselves special or in the image of God literally, but this only due to our limited, biased, and finite scope. We are in the image of God, but so is a pile of dead rotting mice carcasses, an asteroid field, a lovestruck teenager, any idea, force, body...anything that we can't conceive of as we can only know extension and ideas; as they all contribute to the infinite causality which is the image of God.
Then what is freedom? Freedom is the understanding of the necessity of God's causality, so as to understand the consequences of what must happen. He likens this to an arm full of gangrene. If you know it must be cut off to save your life, and you understand why and accept that, you will be free; if you deny it, then you will be bounded by the gangrene and your own mind. It's understanding and acceptance of everyone, everything, every "evil" and every "good"...freedom is pure acceptance and understanding, to point that it becomes intuitive (like Bruce Lee's conception of an attack becoming instinctive). You gain the acceptance through learning about the causality of God, through understanding, therefore can accept without bias. Therefore, Ethics are the necessity of the infinite causaulity, Nature, God, existence, whatever you want to call it. The ethics of Existence supercede the ethics of finite human judgement, therefore, Nature's ethics are the whatever must be the case necessarily, nothing more nothing less. This is so hard to believe, so hard to swallow, hard to even wrap the mind around, me being bipartisan to human well being, but as Spinoza said, "All things are as hard as they are rare."
Anyone in this group that is even the slightest bit openminded to a radically different mode of thought should read Spinoza. He was the biggest influence to Einstein's thought and belief system, which consequently led quite directly into his special relativity theory. I'm sure I butchered this magnificent man's work, but my professor has the entire book reprinted on this site:
Thanks for reading this...it kept the universe together:)