Epicurus and Epicureanism in a nutshell
Epicurus is a really important person in history and especially in the history of philosophy. Epicureanism was a highly influential school of philosophy where people believed that they were supposed to live their lives only relying in sensuality, which, although partly true, does not contain the full truth of epicureanism.
Was Epicureanism really about physical pleasure?
The physical pleasure he supported was just a part of the concept and when Epicurus used to mention it, greatly, he thought of it only because of its lack of pain. What Epicurus really meant was that a really great, truly amazing life was a simple and rational one; one that, once the bare necessities were met, it could be enlarged to other things, such as the happiness friends give us or the quietness of nature.
Epicurus believed in the truth which we could accomplish by feelings things, using all of our senses and as he didn’t believe in life after death, the happiness people achieved in this life is what he considered most important.
About achieving happiness..
Epicurus also was a firm believer that people have difficulties in life only when they try to put their will before what the Universe has in store for us.
Therefore, as far as I’m concerned, we could think of Epicurus as a man who believed in faith, in things that are supposed to happen mostly without us knowing, or intervening in any way.
He considered knowledge extremely important as he used to say that from knowing things, the only outcome can be the peace of and the faith of our minds. So taking the myths out of their sacred place and trying to make reality out of them could only be a good thing because it leads us to being stronger, wiser human beings.
How he viewed judging..
Taking all this into account, it is important to mention that Epicurus believed that there are always more points of view to see a story. Therefore, when we accept an explanation and decline another one that is based on facts, what we are actually doing is that we are lacking the real, scientific truth and immersing ourselves into the myths.
Can we be truly happy?
Regarding happiness, he said that in our lives we don’t need madness and useless opinions, but rather a life without confusion because it will be the only way we can bare it and it is the only right way to live. This lets us think further that we, indeed, can’t tie real, raw happiness to illusions.
Human’s natural instincts and how they protect us
You might have heard of an idiom which I can confidently say that might be found in many languages which says that in order to have a clear mind, you need to have a healthy body, and Epicurus really believed that. He said that as far as we know, we are prone to trying to save ourselves from situations where we are put in danger, or we can be afraid, or that might hurt us.
But he greatly mentions that this is not a good-enough reason for us to enjoy pleasure every second of our day. Again, looking further into this, I believe that while we need to enjoy life, there are uncomfortable, scary, daunting situations that we need to find ourselves in, in order to grow.
Through his philosophy, Epicurus tried to keep people far from useless fears and superstitions and make known the fact that we can be happy just by being rational with our choices, which he considered a pretty easy thing. Therefore, he continues, only when our choices will give us peace, will we be able to understand the process of happiness in its true form.
If you’re interested about philosophy, you can read other articles from our magazine: https://www.pov21.com/why-read-philosophy/