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Ancient Greeks: Epicurus on Abundance

Ancient Greeks: Epicurus on Abundance

Not what we have but what we enjoy,
constitutes our abundance.

~ Epicurus


Epicurus, (born c. 341 bce—died c. 271 bce), is one of the major philosophers in the Hellenistic period, the three centuries following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.E. (and of Aristotle in 322 B.C.E.). Epicurus developed an unsparingly materialistic metaphysics, empiricist epistemology, and hedonistic ethics. Epicurus taught that the basic constituents of the world are atoms, uncuttable bits of matter, flying through empty space, and he tried to explain all natural phenomena in atomic terms. Epicurus rejected the existence of Platonic forms and an immaterial soul, and he said that the gods have no influence on our lives. Epicurus also thought skepticism was untenable, and that we could gain knowledge of the world relying upon the senses. He taught that the point of all one’s actions was to attain pleasure (conceived of as tranquility) for oneself, and that this could be done by limiting one’s desires and by banishing the fear of the gods and of death. Epicurus’ gospel of freedom from fear proved to be quite popular, and communities of Epicureans flourished for centuries after his death.” ~ Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

READ MORE: Epicurus | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Human nature has not changed over the millennia. The question is, do we learn from history?

Abundance is an experience, not a state. It is not tangible.

That’s one of my thoughts. Care to share what you are thinking?


Ancient Greek Wisdom  

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About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends–with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.

4 Comments

  1. Robert A. Vella

    I really enjoy these posts on ancient Greece. Thanks, JoAnn.

    Reply
  2. Animalista Untamed

    Strange how the word epicurean has come to mean someone who indulges, or over-indulges their desires rather than what seems to be his drift – don’t hanker after what you haven’t got, but take pleasure in what you do have. I love these little glimpses into ancient philosophies. Thank you x

    Reply
    • JoAnn Chateau

      That’s an interesting observation! Glad you enjoy the quotes. 🙂

      Reply

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