66 Enlightening Quotes By Epicurus That Will Broaden Your Worldview
Epicurus was a philosopher who lived in ancient Greece between 341 BC and 270 BC and is credited with establishing the branch of philosophy which is known as Epicureanism all over the world. Epicurus studied the subject of philosophy under the tutelage of Pamphilus, who was an expert on the Platonist school of philosophy and eventually he went to Athens in order to serve the military. After the completion of military service, Epicurus taught for some time before going on to establish a school of philosophy named The Garden. He completed a total of 300 works in the form of notes and letters, but not many of those have survived the course of time but his philosophical ideas have been immortalised in the annals of the subject of philosophy and he is rightly regarded as one of the stalwarts of the subject in the ancient world. Some of the best known examples of Epicureanism include the concepts of ‘moving pleasures’ and ‘static pleasures’; which are now studied extensively by students of philosophy all over the world. Needless to say, a philosopher like Epicurus who went on to establish his own school of philosophy also left behind a veritable collection of profound quotes and here are the most famous one that would certainly appeal to anyone.
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing . Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends. The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity. You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity. Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist. It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself. It is not so much our friends' help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us. I have never wished to cater to the crowd; for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know. Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance. The art of living well and the art of dying well are one. If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one another. I was not, I was, I am not, I care not. (Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo) Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not He who has peace of mind disturbs neither himself nor another. Haec ego non multis (scribo), sed tibi: satis enim magnum alter alteri theatrum sumus. I am writing this not to many, but to you: certainly we are a great enough audience for each other. The noble man is chiefly concerned with wisdom and friendship; of these, the former is a mortal good, the latter and immortal one. He who says either that the time for philosophy has not yet come or that it has passed is like someone who says that the time for happiness has not yet come or that it has passed. We must, therefore, pursue the things that make for happiness, seeing that when happiness is present, we have everything; but when it is absent, we do everything to possess it. Empty is the argument of the philosopher which does not relieve any human suffering. Don't fear the gods,
Don't worry about death;
What is good is easy to get, and
What is terrible is easy to endure. To eat and drink without a friend is to devour like the lion and the wolf. Nothing is sufficient for the person who finds sufficiency too little The fool’s life is empty of gratitude and full of fears; its course lies wholly toward the future. It is better for you to be free of fear lying upon a pallet, than to have a golden couch and a rich table and be full of trouble. I never desired to please the rabble. What pleased them, I did not learn; and what I knew was far removed from their understanding. All friendship is desirable in itself, though it starts from the need of help Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance. If you wish to make Pythocles rich, do not add to his store of money, but subtract from his desires. Let no one delay the study of philosophy while young nor weary of it when old. The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it. The time when you should most of all withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd. He who least needs tomorrow, will most gladly greet tomorrow. Of all the things which wisdom acquires to produce the blessedness of the complete life, for the greatest is the possession of friendship. The wise man who has become accustomed to necessities knows better how to share with others than how to take from them, so great a treasure of self-sufficiency has he found. If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are forever praying for evil against one another I was not; I have been; I am not; I do not mind. The purpose of all knowledge, metaphysical as well as scientific, is to achieve what Epicurus called ataraxia, freedom from irrational fears and anxieties of all sorts—in brief, peace of mind. It is not the pretended but the real pursuit of philosophy that is needed for we do not need the appearance of good health but to enjoy it in truth. Death is nothing to us, because a body that has been dispersed into elements experiences no sensations, and the absence of sensation is nothing to us. Misfortune seldom intrudes upon the wise man; his greatest and highest interests are directed by reason throughout the course of life. With the Epicureans it was never science for the sake of science but always science for the sake of human happiness. We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink. We must exercise ourselves in thte things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and if that be absent, all our actions are directed toward attaining it. Haec ego non multis, sed tibi: satis enim magnum alter alteri theatrum sumus. Two of Epicurus’s early influences, Democritus and Pyrrho, had actually journeyed all the way to what is now India, where they had encountered Buddhism in the schools of the gymnosophists The man who says that all events are necessitated has no ground for critizing the man who says that not all events are necessitated. For according to him this is itself a necessitated event. If a little is not enough for you, nothing is. When you die, your mind will be gone even faster than your body. Therefore, foolish is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will cause pain when it arrives but because anticipation of it is painful. Live in obscurity--lathe biōsas (λάθε βιώσας) If a person fights the clear evidence of his senses he will never be able to share in genuine tranquillity 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. The opinions held by most people about the gods are not true conceptions of them but fallacious notions, according to which awful penalties are meted out to the evil and the greatest of blessings to the good. How unhappy are the lives of men! How purblind their hearts! No es posible vivir feliz si no se lleva una vida bella,
justa y virtuosa, ni llevar una vida bella, justa
y virtuosa sin ser feliz.
The most important consequence of self-sufficiency is freedom.
Vain is the word of that philosopher which does not heal any suffering of man.
We need to set our affections on one good man and keep him constantly before our eyes, so that we may live as if he were watching us and do everything as if he saw what we were doing.
27. Of all the means which are procured by wisdom to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life, by far the most important is the acquisition of firends.
Panta rei (“All things are in flux”), Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.