[T]he source of the philosopher’s modesty lay not in a low opinion of himself but rather in the low value he attached to the opinions of those who praised him.

— Matthew Stewart, The Courtier and the Heretic

Aristotle said that anyone self-sufficient enough to do without social conventions and comforts must be either a beast or a god. Spinoza, the non-beastly philosopher in question here, certainly had experience with the fickle, volatile nature of public opinion, so it’s understandable that he would put little stock in praise from others. But how could a god be modest? Perhaps by virtue of recognizing that one’s godhood is nothing special; in fact, it’s the most common thing there is.