Epicurus’ aphorism. In “Western” culture, there are several examples of holistic approaches to living happily. Unfortunately, a sizable part of elites decided to ignore them, because such approaches were not considered suitable to the social hierarchy of the times. The Greek philosopher Epicurus is one of such examples. These are some quotes from his writings, most of which are lost:
– It is not drinking bouts and continuous partying and sexual indulgence, or consuming fish and the other dainties of an extravagant table, which produce the pleasant life, but sober calculation which searches out the reasons for everything to be chosen or avoided and banishes those beliefs which are the cause of the greatest agony of the mind.
– We must laugh and philosophize and manage our households and look after our other affairs all at the same time, and never stop proclaiming the words of the true philosophy.
– Of all the things that wisdom advises to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life, by far the greatest is the acquisition of friends.
– We do not need the help of our friends so much as the confidence that our friends will help us.
– Friendship dances round the world, summoning every one of us to awake to the message of the happy life.
– The beginning and the greatest of all these good things is prudence. That is why prudence is more valuable even than philosophy itself: it is the source of all the other virtues.
– Let nothing be done in your life which will cause you to fear if it becomes known to your neighbour.
– The greatest fruit of self-sufficiency is freedom
– If one does achieve great wealth, one could easily share this out in order to obtain the good will of one’s neighbours.
– We should not spoil what we have by desiring what we have not
The Study of Science
– There are two kinds of enquiry, the one concerned with things, the other with nothing but words.
– In a joint philosophical debate, he who is defeated gains in so far as he has learned something new.
Foretelling the Future
– No means of predicting the future really exists, and if it did, we must regard what happens according to it as nothing to us.
– Dreams possess neither a divine nature nor prophetic power. They arise from the impact of images.
– Everyone leaves life as though he had just been born.
– Sweet is the memory of a dead friend.
– Let us share our friends’ suffering not with laments but with thoughtful concern.
– “I was not; I have been; I am not; I do not mind” – written on the gravestones of followers.