Epicurus was a Greek philosopher and founded the prominent school of philosophy called Epicureanism. He dedicated his life to the quest for happiness in human life. He was a proponent of empiricist theory of knowledge. His school called “the Garden” allowed women and slaves to join the school, but this policy was highly antagonistic at the time’s orthodox mentality of the Platonic school.
epicurus quotes about life
He categorized the key to happiness in two forms: ataraxia (which is liberation from fear) and aponia (which is absence of pain). He believed people would be able to live their best lives had they been self-sufficient and surrounded by kindred spirits and friends.
- “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.”-Epicurus
2. “The fool’s life is empty of gratitude and full of fears; its course lies wholly toward the future.”-Epicurus
3. “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. “-Epicurus
4. “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.”-Epicurus
5. “Never say that I have taken it, only that I have given it back.”-Epicurus
6. “I was not, I was, I am not, I care not.”-Epicurus
7. “Virtue consisteth of three parts,—temperance, fortitude, and justice.”-Epicurus
8. “The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool.”-Epicurus
9. “The greatest fruit of self-sufficiency is freedom.”-Epicurus
10. “To eat and drink without a friend is to devour like the lion and the wolf.”-Epicurus
11. “A man who causes fear cannot be free from fear.”-Epicurus
12. “The impassive soul disturbs neither itself nor others.”-Epicurus
epicurus philosophical quotes
Epicurus was an empiricist and believed the truth could only be perceived by immediate senses. Epicurus did not believe in an interventionist god and his only concern was to reconcile moral living with happiness free of the fear of death and punishment in afterlife.
- “It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.”-Epicurus
2. “He who says either that the time for philosophy has not yet come or that it has passed is like someone who says that the time for happiness has not yet come or that it has passed.”-Epicurus
3. “If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one another.”-Epicurus
4. “The noble man is chiefly concerned with wisdom and friendship; of these, the former is a mortal good, the latter and immortal one.”-Epicurus
4. “Empty is the argument of the philosopher which does not relieve any human suffering.”-Epicurus
5. “There are infinite worlds both like and unlike this world of ours. For the atoms being infinite in number…are borne on far out into space.”-Epicurus
6. “In a philosophical dispute, he gains most who is defeated, since he learns most.”-Epicurus
7. “There is no such thing as justice in the abstract; it is merely a compact between men.”-Epicurus
8. “If you would enjoy real freedom, you must be the slave of Philosophy.”-Epicurus
9. “Natural justice is a symbol or expression of usefulness, to prevent one person from harming or being harmed by another.”-Epicurus
10. “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.”-Epicurus
11. “The just man is most free from disturbance, while the unjust is full of the utmost disturbance.”-Epicurus
12. “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?”-Epicurus
epicurus quotes about death
He put forth the idea that human anxiety regarding death caused evil and selfish behavior. As he believed death was the ultimate for the body and soul, therefore anxieties and neurosis regarding it is self-serving and redundant.
- “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.”-Epicurus
2. “The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.”-Epicurus
3. “Why should I fear death?
If I am, then death is not.
If Death is, then I am not.
Why should I fear that which can only exist when I do not?
Long time men lay oppressed with slavish fear.
Religious tyranny did domineer.
At length the mighty one of Greece
Began to assent the liberty of man.”-Epicurus
4. “Some men spend their whole life furnishing for themselves the things proper to life without realizing that at our birth each of us was poured a mortal brew to drink.”-Epicurus
5. “Accustom yourself to the belief that death is of no concern to us, since all good and evil lie in sensation and sensation ends with death. Therefore the true belief that death is nothing to us makes a mortal life happy, not by adding to it an infinite time, but by taking away the desire for immortality. For there is no reason why the man who is thoroughly assured that there is nothing to fear in death should find anything to fear in life. So, too, he is foolish who says that he fears death, not because it will be painful when it comes, but because the anticipation of it is painful; for that which is no burden when it is present gives pain to no purpose when it is anticipated. Death, the most dreaded of evils, is therefore of no concern to us; for while we exist death is not present, and when death is present we no longer exist. It is therefore nothing either to the living or to the dead since it is not present to the living, and the dead no longer are.”-Epicurus
6. “Don’t fear the gods,
Don’t worry about death;
What is good is easy to get, and
What is terrible is easy to endure.”-Epicurus
epicurus quotes about happiness and pleasure
He believed that the attainment of happiness in human life can only happen in the absence of physical and mental adversity. If people were no longer afraid of punishment in after-life they would live their authentic lives and act morally because of guilt and conscience.
- “A happy and eternal being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; hence he is exempt from movements of anger and partiality, for every such movement implies weakness.”-Epicurus
2. “No pleasure is in itself evil, but the things which produce certain pleasures entail annoyances many times greater than the pleasures themselves.” -Epicurus
3. “It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and honorably and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and honorably and justly without living pleasantly. “-Epicurus
4. “You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”-Epicurus
5. “We must, therefore, pursue the things that make for happiness, seeing that when happiness is present, we have everything; but when it is absent, we do everything to possess it.”-Epicurus
6. “Happiness is man’s greatest aim in life. Tranquility and rationality are the cornerstones of happiness.”-Epicurus
epicurus about abundance
Since Epicurus was in the pursuit of happiness he realized the inconsequentiality of material abundance. He believed that human anxiety of death caused exorbitant desire and makes them difficult to satisfy.
- “The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity.”-Epicurus
2. “What will happen to me if that which this desire seeks is achieved, and what if it is not?”-Epicurus
3. “He who is not satisfied with a little is satisfied with nothing.”-Epicurus
4. “Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.”-Epicurus
5. “Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.”-Epicurus
6. “Nothing is sufficient for the person who finds sufficiency too little”-Epicurus
7. “If you wish to make Pythocles wealthy, don’t give him more money; rather, reduce his desires.”-Epicurus
8. “Stranger, here you do well to tarry; here our highest good is pleasure.”-Epicurus
9. “My heart is full of fun when I have bread and water”-Epicurus