Spinoza on How to Live and How to Die

Jonathan Rée at Literary Review:

When he died in 1677 at the age of forty-four, Spinoza left behind a compact Latin manuscript, Ethics, and his disciples quickly got it printed. It is a book like no other. It urges us to change our whole way of thinking and in particular to rid ourselves of the deep-rooted conceit that makes us imagine that our petty, transient lives might have some ultimate significance. The argument is dynamic, disruptive and upsetting, but it is contained within a literary framework of extraordinary austerity, comprising an array of definitions, axioms, propositions, proofs and scholia. The overall effect is not so much beautiful as sublime, like watching a massive fortress being shaken by storms and earthquakes. Many readers have found themselves deeply moved by Ethics but unable to say exactly what it means.

more here.