Monday, May 15, 2017

The Choicest Pleasures in Life

"Stranger, here you do well to tarry; here our highest good is pleasure."
- On a sign at the entrance to the Garden of Epicurus in Athens. 

"They that seldom take pleasure, seldom give pleasure."
- Fulke Greville, Maxims

"The choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation."
- Martin Tupper, Proverbial Philosophy

Pleasures and Satisfaction: Quotes and Sayings

From the Principal Doctrines of Epicurus:

3. Desires can be based on false, groundless, empty ideals. Be practical and efficient about what you want or desire. What is necessary for a calm, peaceful, satisfying life? If you live simply and more down to earth, what is needed can be rather easily procured. What do you really need rather than what you imagine you might enjoy?

"Of our desires some are natural and necessary, others are natural but not necessary; and others are neither natural nor necessary, but are due to groundless opinion." Principal Doctrines #29

"Those natural desires which entail no pain when unsatisfied, though pursued with an intense effort, are also due to groundless opinion; and it is not because of their own nature they are not got rid of but because of man's groundless opinions." PD #30

"The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity." PD #15

4. Go unnoticed. Mind your own business. Be content with a simple, quiet, private, unnoticed life. Stay clear of public and political notoriety. Don't seek fame.

"Some men want fame and status, thinking that they would thus make themselves secure against other men. If the life of such men really were secure, they have attained a natural good; if, however, it is insecure, they have not attained the end which by nature's own prompting they originally sought."
PD #7

Epicurean Philosophy:  Bibliography, Links, Notes, Documents, Sayings.
Compiled by Mike Garofalo.  

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  1. Isn't it interesting how epicureanism is so similar to Daoism.

  2. Some aspects of the Tao Te Ching advocate some ideas of Epicurean thought. However, Daoism is a popular religion that would be totally rejected by Epicureans. Also, Lao Tzu often advocates ignorance, not knowing too much, not being clever or skilled in argument; totally unlike Epicurean views of philosophy.