PHILOSOPHY Epicurus – Free Ebook

This is a philosopher who helps us think about money, capitalism, and our runaway consumer societies Epicurus was an Ancient Greek born in 341 BC. What made him famous was that he spent all his life trying to work out the largest puzzle there is: what makes people happy? Philosophers before him had discussed at length what could make people good Epicurus preferred to look at what is fun Unfortunately, the world was bitter and bitchy even then and when people heard that Epicurus had set up a school to study happiness the rumors went off the scale There were tales that the school hosted ten course feasts, and orgies every night Epicurus was said, by one critic, to have orgasmed 18 times in a single evening in a bed full of virgins It wasn’t true Epicurus and his team were studying happiness, but they were doing it very soberly The philosopher owned only two cloaks, and lived on bread, olives, and for a treat, an occasional slice of cheese As for the bedroom, he merely responded demurely that he’d married philosophy Having patiently studied happiness for many years Epicurus came to a set of remarkable and revolutionary conclusions about what we actually need to be happy He proposed that we typically make 3 mistakes when thinking about happiness: Firstly, we think happiness means having romantic, sexual relationships but Epicurus looked around and saw so many unhappy couples their unions marred by jealousy, misunderstanding, cheating, and bitterness at the same time, he observed how much nicer friendships are: How people tend to be so decent and unpossessive with their friends Friendship seemed to be where human nature was at its sweetest The only problem Epicurus noted was that we don’t see our friends enough The next thing we ordinary think that we need to be happy is a lot of money but we tend not properly to factually the unbelievable sacraficies we gotta have to make to get this money: The jealousy, the backbiting, the long hours What makes work really satisfying, Epicurus believed, ins’t money but it was able to work alone, or in small groups, like in a bakery, or boat repair shop and when we feel we helping others in our own, minor way improving the world Isn’t really large sums or status that we want deep down Its a sense of making a diference and lastely Epicurus observes how obsessive we are with luxury especially involving houses and beautiful serene locations but beneath our love of luxury there is really something else we trying to get out What we want is a feeling of calm We want our minds pure, free… Not full of the normal boredom and chaos But the great question is: Does luxury actually make us calm? Epicurus wasn’t so sure… Having looked happiness in depth Epicurus anounces a revolution reset of insights That we really need only three things to be happy in this life Firstly You need your friends around No sex, no orgy, just your mates Enough of seen them only now and then Its regularity of contact that counts So he did that thing that most of us ocasionally dream of doing but never actualy get around do He bought a big house and start living with all his friends Everyone had your own quarters and there was pleasant share areas too There’s always someone nice to talk to you in the kitchen Secondly Everyone downshifted All the members of the comune stop working for other people They took big pay cuts in return for doing their own stuff some farming, some cooking, some potring or writing And thirdly Epicurus and his friends stop thinking you could be calm just by having a beautiful view to look out to They devote themselfes to finding calm in their own minds To spending time on their own, reflecting, writing stuff down, reading things, meditating The experiment was so successful, the members of the comune so happy the idea spread like wildfire Epicurean communities open up all around the mediterranean at height of the movement there was four hundred thousand people living in comunes from Spain to Palestine It was only the christian church that ending things in the fifth century But in most of the respect to the community somehow cause they converted all in to monasteries what we know as monasteries are really just epicurean comunes with a christian top soil Another interesting fact: Karl Marx it’s Ph.D thesis on Epicurus and what we call communism, a gigantic failed system it’s really a grown up, corrupted, not very successful version of epicureanism The real Legacy of Epicurus is that human beings aren’t very good make themselves happy especially because they think it’s so easy We think we know, it’s about sex, money, luxury We just want to how to secure all this but no, says Epicurus Reflect on the moments that truly bring you happiness and they are to do with this Have the courage to change your life, in accordance with the moments that actually delivery satisfaction You might end up living in a very different way Out in the country with just some cheese, a couple of clothes, a few philosophy books and some very good friends down the corridor

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