reading about spinoza's philosophies today. most of the following was copied from this page with my own comments interspersed [in square brackets].
perpetuation and perfection are equal terms. everything, in so far as it is in itself, endeavours to persist in its own being and succeeding has peace of mind; failing, loss of peace of mind, frustration.
perpetuation is that endeavor that causes a salmon to go upstream, spawn and die...the perpetuation of the species.
[so perpetuation equals perfection in the real sense of the word, when you define perfection as being as close to one's true self as possible, without trying to apply any external or societal definitions of what it is to be perfect]
emotion is a change in one's perpetuation.
[true emotions are a result of a person moving nearer to or farther from his/her own state of perfection]
- sorrow is a decrease in one's perpetuation. its intensity is proportional to the decrease.
- boredom is no change in one's perpetuation. it marks the theoretical transition from joy to sorrow and vice versa.
- joy is an increase in one's perpetuation. its intensity is proportional to the increase.
the changes are objective, real, because change needs a force to cause it and the force exists; the human terms (good-bad, perfect-imperfect, beautiful-ugly, etc.) given to these changes are subjective.
[so the whole perpetuation/perfection thing is central to his philosophy...and the above analysis pattern he repeats applying it to faith instead of emotion:]
faith is belief that an external object will cause a change in one's perpetuation.
- hate is belief that an external object will decrease one's perpetuation. the intensity is proportional to the decrease feared.
- indifference is belief that an external object will not change one's perpetuation.
- love is belief that an external object will increase one's perpetuation. the intensity is proportional to the increase hoped for.
[so faith and emotion are both closely related to our own ideas about our individual perfect state. hate is how we view any force which moves us away from that state, the resulting emotion is sorrow. love is how we view any force which moves us towards that state, the resulting emotion is joy.]