Epicureanism was never meant to be a dry academic philosophy. In fact, it is best kept away from academia, where, as usual with philosophy, long words render it dull, if not incomprehensible. Rather, it is a vital way of living which seeks to free men and women from a life of unhappiness, fear and anxiety. It is a missionary philosophy for the practical-minded with common sense.
While Epicureans have written scholarly works, they have always been most interested in explaining Epicureanism in a manner simple enough for anyone to understand and remember. The following eight counsels are a basic guide to Epicurean living:
– Don’t fear God.– Don’t worry about death. – Don’t fear pain.– Live simply.– Pursue pleasure wisely.– Make friends and be a good friend.– Be honest in your business and private life.– Avoid fame and political ambition.
I would add some others:
– Be polite and considerate; – Try to see the other point of view; meet others half way.– Take the smooth and pleasant road, as free from stress and conflict as possible. – But don’t be put upon!