Yoga Standing Split

Let us take a secret, as an example.23 The group hides something from the person who gave his word. Without knowing why, things do not unfold as this person had expected. The group has taken control of some information; the mind of the individual now functions with an inadequate data base, which will transform the affective regulation into a passion. The individual in question will necessarily (according to Spinoza) become dysfunctional. For example, he will spend restless nights asking himself if he ought to take back his word while feeling guilty about it.

The other problem that Spinoza brings up for this person is that the part of the group that holds the secret has greater power. Because they lie, they may also have mobilized other forms of trickery and dangerous intentions that render the individual, who gave his word based on false information, even more vulnerable:

But inasmuch as in the state of nature each is so long independent, as he can guard against oppression by another, and it is in vain for one man alone to try and guard against all, it follows hence that so long as the natural right of man is determined by the power of every individual, and belongs to everyone, so long it is a nonentity, existing in opinion rather than fact, as there is no assurance of making it good. And it is certain the greater cause of fear every individual has, the less power, and consequently the less right, he possesses. To this must be added, that without mutual help men can hardly support life and cultivate the mind. (Spinoza, 1677b, 11.15, p. 296)

This individual will not find salvation unless he forges a new alliance that will serve him better. In a state with reliable rights, he would be able to file a complaint, that is, make an alliance with another group, which in this case would be the judicial system. An individual can only survive if he accepts becoming part of a group and seeks, as much as possible, constructive alliances for himself.

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