Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happyness..Epicurus Style...

Here you go again…happiness!
So it turns out that Epicurus was right about Happiness..almost.
"If a little is not enough for you, nothing is." –Epicurus
All the more..what’s amusing to me is the fact that philosophers..since ages..have been keen to tell the rest of us.. “how to live” and “how to be happy”.
And..if we go by it…the advice comes to us “with the lustre of intellectual achievement”…WTF?
Isn’t this in itself .. Being happy for them?
So..this is what the dude(err..I mean Epicurus) suggested..
1. Don't fear the gods (or fate, or blind chance)
2. Don't worry about death
3. What is good is easy to get
4. What is terrible is easy to endure

Philosophy: Study of philosophy is central to happiness…can help us deal with both..our fear of death and.. of the gods.
Friendship: Friendship is one of the most important aspects of the good life. Not only does it give us many benefits, it also benefits our friends as well.
Now, this is interesting.. Epicurus advised against getting married. He wasn't that impressed with sex either saying we should count ourselves lucky if sex didn't cause anyone any harm(!).
Prudence: is an excellent way of making decisions. All decisions can be seen as leading to pleasure or pain. Thinking ahead, planning for the future with these possible outcomes in mind will help lead a pleasurable life.
Security: Well you have to agree to it as-is…


And, according to the modern school of thought…

1. Epicurus was wrong about the detached life and commune living
2. Epicurus was wrong about avoiding marriage
3. Pleasure is not the opposite of pain

And this is what our dude got right…

1. Using cognitive strategies to deal with death and pain
2. Friendships matter more than status or money
3. Happiness comes from moderate varied pleasure


Tor Hershman said...

You 'may' wish to deal with "The fear and/or pain (another's)" of death BUT you can not 'deal' with death - death IS the end of dealing - death is the end of not dealing - death is the end of ends.

Stay on groovin' safari,

Puneet said...

Beautifully said..Thanks.

Epicurus stands corrected...