Epicurus was born about 342 B.C. in the Greek colony on Samos, but spent most of his active life in Athens, where he founded a school of philosophy. At “the Garden,” Epicurus and his friends lived out their ideals for human life, talking about philosophical issues but deliberately detaching themselves from active involvement in social affairs.
Epicurus whole-heartedly adopted the atomism of Leucippus and Democritus, maintaining that all objects and events including human lives are in reality nothing more than physical interactions among minute indestructible particles. In his Letter to Menoeceus and Principle Doctrines, Epicurus discussed the consequences of this view for the human attempt to achieve happiness. Epicurus believed that death was a total annihilation and could not be experienced. His philosophy focused on the present promoting that we need only live a simple life and seek always to avoid physical pain. Epicurus died in 270 B.C.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.”
“The man least dependent upon the morrow goes to meet the morrow most cheerfully.”
“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.”
“Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.”
“Riches do not exhilarate us so much with their possession as they torment us with their loss.”
“The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.”
“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”
“It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us.”
“Of all the things which wisdom acquires to produce the blessedness of the complete life far the greatest is the possession of Friendship.”
“If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.”