I have the need to reply to make some things clear... I had the chance to read Spinoza and your "And freedom, in his philosophy, is self-determination.” made me to understand that completely different. (Until I have read 'him' myself...) He was influenced by Kabbala, his 'substance', his idea of god.......actually not far away from my-self. But why I had to post here again..... ".....musste gezeigt werden, wie in einer deterministischen Welt Freiheit möglich sein soll. Spinozas Antwort lautet: Die einzige Freiheit, die der Mensch besitzt, liegt in seiner Erkenntnis begründet. Nur als erkennender ist der Mensch frei." "....it had to be shown up how in a deterministic world freedom should be possible. Spinoza's answer is: The only freedom a human has got is reasoned on his knowledge / cognition. Only as a cognitive the human is free..." And that is exactly the same what I meant when I said one loses freedom if the 'Self' becomes determined. Only the undetermined is absolute free. "The more is determined the less is possible" I said.. This is called in Eastern Phil. for instance Advaita-Vedanta the Self (The undeterminable 'I'), or the god-essence “Atman” = Odem. OKI, that's all, bye.