Short Treatise on God, Man, and His Well-Being:
Part 2, Chapter 07.
- ON JOY AND SORROW
[Note]: B: On Desire and Joy.
Having seen that Hatred and Surprise [N1] are such
that we may freely say, that they can have no place in
those who use their understanding as they should, we
shall now proceed in the same manner to speak of the
other passions. To begin with, Desire and Joy shall
come first. Since these arise from the same causes from
which love ensues, we shall only say concerning them
that we must remember and call to mind what we then
said; and with this we leave the subject.
[Note N1]: B: Hatred and Aversion.
We turn next to Sorrow, of which we may say that it
arises only from opinion
and imagination *which
follows* therefrom: for it comes from the loss of some good.
Now we have already remarked above, that
whatsoever we do should tend towards progress and
amelioration. But it is certain that so long as we are
sorrowing we render ourselves unfit to act thus; on this
account it is necessary that we should free ourselves
from it. This we can do by thinking of the means
whereby we may recover what we have lost, if it is in our
power to do so. If not, [we must reflect] that it is just as
necessary to make an end of it,[N1] lest we fall a prey to
all the miseries *and disasters* which sorrow necessarily
brings in its train. And either course *must be adopted*
with joy; for it is foolish to try to restore and make good
a lost good by means of a self-sought and provoked evil.
[Note N1]: R. Sorrow.
Lastly, he who uses his understanding aright must necessarily
know God first. Now God, as we have shown, is the highest good
and all that is good. Hence it follows incontrovertibly, that one
who uses his understanding aright can fall a prey to no sorrow.
How should he? since he finds repose in that good which is all
that is good, and in which there is the fulness of all joy and
[Note N1]: B abridges the paragraph as
follows: Lastly, he who uses his understanding
aright must necessarily know that God is the
first and the highest; and rest in him as this
supreme good: whence it follows that, since he
finds therein all joy and full contentment, no
sorrow can befall him.
Sorrow, then, comes from opinion
or want of understanding, as explained. [N1]
[Note N1]: B omits the last sentence.