This study raises the awareness that the fundamental aspects of human ability have been concealed and covered in attempts to define human ability within the cycle of competence, performance, and capital so far. Therefore, in this study, the philosophical foundation of competency and its meaning were derived in the context of lifelong learning, centering on Spinoza’s philosophy, which is defined as the ‘philosophy of competence’ or ‘ontology of competence’. To this end, the core issues and problems were derived by critically examining the various definitions and uses of the concept of ‘competence’ in the context of lifelong learning, as well as the underlying assumptions and discussions. Second, the basic perspective and foundation of Spinoza’s philosophical system, which this study takes as the theoretical basis for the exploration of competence, was checked. It was then examined how the concept and characteristics of competence were identified. Third, the relationship and meaning of lifelong education of Spinoza’s concept of potentia and nature were explored on the basis of this study’s problem setting. Fourth, by presenting the perspective and dimension of competencies that should be considered differentially in the horizon of lifelong learning, the corresponding implications were consequently discussed. The study drew main themes such as ① the ecological characteristics of competency and reinforcement of the relational ability, ② the increase in transforming competence, ③ the competence to create desire as the creation of existence, and ④ the performance ability of the embodied sense of practice. Finally, based on the argument of the ecology, anti-purposefulness, and diversity of Spinoza’s potentia, the ‘selective limitations’ of existing studies were revealed, and the need for diversification of perspectives to understand human competence was discussed.