This is a philosopher
who helps us think about money, capitalism,
and our runaway consumer societies.
Epicurus was an Ancient Greek
born in 341 BC.
What made him famous
was that he spent all his life trying to work out
the largest puzzle there is:
what makes people happy?
Philosophers before him had discussed at length
what could make people good.
Epicurus preferred to look at what is fun.
Unfortunately, the world was bitter and bitchy even then,
and when people heard
that Epicurus had set up a school to study happiness,
the rumors went off the scale.
There were tales that the school hosted
ten course feasts, and orgies every night.
Epicurus was said, by one critic,
to have orgasmed 18 times in a single evening
in a bed full of virgins.
It wasn’t true.
Epicurus and his team
were studying happiness,
but they were doing it very soberly.
The philosopher owned only two cloaks,
and lived on bread, olives, and for a treat,
an occasional slice of cheese.
As for the bedroom,
he merely responded demurely that he’d
Having patiently studied happiness for many years,
Epicurus came to a set of remarkable and revolutionary conclusions
about what we actually need to be happy.
He proposed that we typically make
3 mistakes when thinking about happiness:
Firstly, we think happiness means having
romantic, sexual relationships,
but Epicurus looked around
and saw so many unhappy couples,
their unions marred by jealousy, misunderstanding, cheating, and bitterness;
他们的结合被嫉妒 误解 欺骗和痛苦玷污
at the same time,
he observed how much nicer friendships are:
how people tend to be so decent and unpossessive with their friends.
Friendship seemed to be where human nature was at its sweetest.
The only problem Epicurus noted
was that we don’t see our friends enough.
The next thing we ordinary think that we need to be happy
is a lot of money.
but we tend not properly to fact in
the unbelievable sacraficies
we gotta have to make to get this money:
the jealousy, the backbiting, the long hours.
What makes work really satisfying, Epicurus believed,
but it’s when we were able to work alone, or in small groups,
like in a bakery, or boat repair shop
and when we feel we helping others
and in our own, minor way improving the world.
It isn’t really a large sum or status that we want deep down,
it’s a sense of making a difference.
Epicure observed how obsessive we are with luxury
especially involving houses and beautiful serene locations.
But beneath of our love of luxury
this’s really something else we trying to get out.
What we want is a feeling of calm.
We want our mind pure, free,
not full of the normally boredom and chaos.
But the great question is:
Does luxury actually make us calm?
Epicurus wasn’t so sure…
Having looked happiness in depth,
Epicurus announced a revolution reset of insights
that you really need only three things
to be happy in this life.
you need your friends around.
No sex, no orgies. Just your mates.
你们之间没有性 没有欲 只是朋友
Enough of seeing them now and then,
it’s regularity of contact that counts.
So he did that thing most of us occasionally dream of doing,
but never actually get around to.
He bought a big house and started living
with all his friends.
Everyone had their room quarters
and there were pleasant shared areas too.
There was always someone nice to talk to in the kitchen.
all the members of the commune
stop working for other people.
They took big pay cuts in return for doing their own staff.
Some did farming, some cooking, some portraying or writing.
有人耕作 有人烹饪 有人绘画 有人写作
Epicurus and his friends
stop thinking you could be calm
just by having a beautiful view to look out on.
They devote themselves to finding calm in their own minds,
to spending time on their own
reflecting, writing stuff down
reading things, meditating.
The experiment was so successful.
The members of the commune were so happy.
The idea spread like wildfire.
Epicurean communities opened up all around the mediterranean.
At the height of movement
there were four hundred thousand people living in commune from Spain to Palestine.
It was only the Christian church
that ended things in 5th century.
But they must have respected the community somehow
because they convert them all into monasteries.
But we know as monasteries
are really just Epicurean communes
with a Christian top soil.
Another interesting fact
Karl Marx, his PhD thesis is on Epicurus
and what we called communism
a gigantic, joyless, failed system
is really a grown-up corrupted
not very successful version
The real legacy of Epicurus
is the human beings aren’t very good of making themselves happy.
cheifly because they think it’s so easy.
we think we know it’s about money, sex and luxury.
我们认为快乐与金钱 性 奢侈品有关
We just wonder how to secure all these.
but no, says of Epicurus
Reflect on the moment
that truely bring you happiness
and they aren’t to do with these.
Have the courage to change your life
in accordance with the moments
that actually bring satisfication.
You might end up living a very different way,
Out in the country,
with just cheese and a couple of clothes and few philosophy books,
伴着你的是少许奶酪 几件衣服 几本哲学书籍
and some very good friends down the corridor.
哲学 - 伊壁鸠鲁