Epicurus (born February 341 BC, Samos, Greece – died 270 BC, Athens, Greece) was an ancient Greek philosopher and sage who founded Epicureanism, a highly influential school of philosophy. He was a prolific writer, amassing 37 volumes, but only fragments and four letters have survived.
18 Inspirational Epicurus Quotes 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. The time when most of you should withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd. 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. He who is not satisfied with a little is satisfied with nothing. He who has peace of mind disturbs neither himself nor another. Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempest. The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it. Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little. The greatest fruit of justice is serenity. Knowing your flaws is the first step to health. The things you really need are few and easy to come by; but the things you can imagine you need are infinite, and you will never be satisfied. Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance. There is nothing terrible in life for someone who truly understands that there is nothing terrible in non-life. He who least needs tomorrow, will most gladly greet tomorrow. Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul. He who doesn’t find a little enough will find nothing enough. The most important consequence of self-sufficiency is freedom. 11 Epicurus Quotes on Riches and Wealth
The pleasant life is not produced by continual drinking and dancing, nor sexual intercourse, nor rare dishes of sea food and other delicacies of a luxurious table. On the contrary, it is produced by sober reasoning which examines the motives for every choice and avoidance, driving away beliefs which are the source of mental disturbances.
Epicurus To be rich is not the end, but only a change, of worries. He who needs riches least, enjoys riches most. Riches do not exhilarate us so much with their possession as they torment us with their loss. The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity. 3 Epicurus Quotes on Justice The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool. Misfortune seldom intrudes upon the wise man; his greatest and highest interests are directed by reason throughout the course of life. Fortune seldom troubles the wise man. If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires. A free life cannot acquire many possessions, because this is not easy to do without servility to mobs or monarchs. 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. 5 Epicurus Quotes on Happiness Being happy is knowing how to be content with little. Happiness is man’s greatest aim in life. Tranquility and rationality are the cornerstones of happiness. We have been born once and there can be no second birth. Fir all eternity we shall no longer be. But you, although you are not master of tomorrow, are postponing your happiness. Happiness is the repression of suffering and anxiety. You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity. 6 Epicurus Quotes on Friendship Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends. It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us. All friendship is desirable in itself, though it starts from the need of help. The noble soul occupies itself with wisdom and friendship. Of all the things which wisdom provides to make us entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship. To eat and drink without a friend is to devour like the lion and the wolf. 4 Epicurus Quotes on God Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? If God listened to the prayers of men, all men would quickly have perished: for they are forever praying for evil against one another. Don’t fear god, Don’t worry about death; What is good is easy to get, and What is terrible is easy to endure. 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. 5 Epicurus Quotes on Death 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. Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist. The art of living well and the art of dying well are one. Why should I fear death? If I am, death is not. If death is, I am not. Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not? 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. 16 Wise Epicurus Quotes to Ponder
Men, believing in myths, will always fear something terrible, everlasting punishment as certain or probable… Men base all these fears not on mature opinions, but on irrational fancies, that they are more disturbed by fear of the unknown than by facing facts. Peace of mind lies in being delivered from all these fears.
Epicurus What will happen to me if that which this desire seeks is achieved, and what if it is not? The fool’s life is empty of gratitude and full of fears; its course lies wholly toward the future. We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink. It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself. If a person fights the clear evidence of his senses he will never be able to share in genuine tranquillity. If you shape your life according to nature, you will never be poor; if according to people’s opinions, you will never be rich. Contented poverty is an honorable estate. I never desired to please the rabble. What pleased them, I did not learn; and what I knew was far removed from their understanding. Admonition instead of hate, smile instead of contempt. Live your life without attracting attention. Do everything like someone is gazing at you. Do not avoid doind small services: they will think that you are also capable of big ones. In a philosophical dispute, he gains most who is defeated, since he learns most. In old age, we all regret not having killed laziness in ourselves. Do not marry after 40 — because marriage is not provided by nature. There is no such thing as justice in the abstract; it is merely a compact between men. Justice… is a kind of compact not to harm or be harmed. It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly. And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life. 6 Epicurus Quotes on Pleasure No pleasure is evil in itself; but the means by which certain pleasures are gained bring pains many times greater than the pleasures. The summit of pleasure is the elimination of all that gives pain. To get great pleasure, you need to limit yourself. Pleasure is the first good. It is the beginning of every choice and every aversion. It is the absence of pain in the body and of troubles in the soul. Luxurious food and drinks, in no way protect you from harm. Wealth beyond what is natural, is no more use than an overflowing container. Real value is not generated by theaters, and baths, perfumes or ointments, but by philosophy. Pleasure is the beginning and the end of living happily.