Welcome Samj!

  • Welcome SamJ! When you get a chance, please introduce yourself and tell us about your background in Epicurean philosophy.

  • Hi,

    Many thanks for the Welcome.


    I'm not sure I would have been able to articulate exactly what I was looking for at the time, but I began reading everything I could on philosophy and religion and this led me on a journey thru the major religions, and the Hellenistic Philosophies and I have until recently been interested and doing my best to practice Stoicism.


    Whilst this has been helpful I returned to Sarah Bakewell's book on Montaigne and this threw up a lovely image where she illustrated that Stoics are like Boxers (Training themselves to take punches) while Epicureans are more like Oriental Martial Arts practioners. (Training themselves to step aside from punches). This resonated with me insomuch I'd be happier if I turned my vision from concentrating on "terrible" things to concentrating on the more positive.


    I was also struck by:


    “Nothing satisfies the man who is not satisfied with a little,” and “Don't spoil what you have by desiring what you don't have; but remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.”


    This reminds me to "be here now" something I liked about Stoicism and Buddhism.


    I've also found the Epicurean system which allows us to judge whether the things we let into our lives deserve to be there, (eg is it natural and is it necessary) rewarding as ways to living well.


    So with all the rambling set aside, that explains a little of why I'm here. I've also been impressed by the content and forum discussions here and so I'd like to continue to develop and deepen my understanding of the Canon, Physics and Ethics (acknowledging I've only scratched the surface) and in time put into practice Epicureanism.

  • (Training themselves to step aside from punches).

    And I would say, COUNTERPUNCH! :-)


    Thank you for joining us Samj!

    You have pointed out many of the reasons that people are initially attracted to Epicurus. From my personal perspective, I am glad that those brought you here, but I would advise you to keep an open mind as to how those ideas fit into the overall philosophy. Epicurean philosophy has much more in conflict with Stoicism (and Buddhism and similar "ascetic" viewpoints) than it has in common with it, which is why there was so much conflict between Stoics and Epicureans in the ancient world. The apparent similarities to which you point are those which are emphasized today by modern Stoics, but they were not considered to be of great significance by the ancient authorities who knew both schools well.


    I say these things not be negative on your goals, but to give you an early taste of what you will read as you go further. In a very real sense Epicurus teaches not that limitation of desire is the goal, but that desire itself is the meaning of life - meaning the desire for pleasurable "feeling" in the full physical, emotional, and mental senses in which it is experienced.


    The standard book I always suggest that people read is Norman DeWitt's Epicurus and His Philosophy. There you will find a full explanation of the true basis of the philosophy without the Stoicism overlay you find in most other places today.


    You will find the points you brought up explained very well, but I think you will also get a better picture of how they fit into the larger context.


    Apparently DeWitt was neither a Stoic or an Academic himself, so he made no effort to draw parallels that really don't exist. He went straight to the underlying issues about the nature of the universe and epistemology that separate Epicurus from not only the Stoics but also all the other major Greek schools.


    Again, welcome!

  • Many thanks.

    I've ordered the DeWitt book unfortunately i won't be able to get my hands on it till June.

    In the mean time I will be reading Epicurus and the Pleasant life and your Elemental Epicureanism.

    Many thanks

    Sam

  • Samj I just noticed today your logo with the medallion. That looks great - what's on the other side? Did you make that yourself?

  • Thanks, as per a previous post I'm keen on pendants and rings with Epicurean imagery and found this. I didn't buy it but liked the design and so will consider about getting one made via Etsy when things return to a normal.

    This pendent comes from https://www.shapeways.com/prod…icurus-pendant-1-5-inches

    You can see the reverse side via the link.


    FYI, I have never bought or used this shop so can't recommend it.

    Also, I have a Samsung venu smart watch and have customised the face with an Epicurean logo so that's a really great constant reminder moreso then my mobile device.

    Edited once, last by SamJ ().

  • OK yes maybe now in retrospect I have seen that one. Pretty well done, and it's good to have it available even at a charge, but I hope at some point we can generate some of our own designs and make them public domain so anyone with access to a 3d printer can make them. No doubt there is room both for people to make and sell their designs, plus having free ones available. And of course there is a time and materials cost in producing things and sending them over the mail, so that has to be factored in too. Even though 3d printers are easier and cheaper than ever, a lot of people might want something and yet never have access to a printer of their own.


    What do you mean via "easy" - is that a service?

  • Apologies, that was auto-correct on my phone I meant Etsy. (I've edited the post above to reflect that).

    Its quite an interesting consortium of small scale craft makers.

    I haven't got much knowledge on 3D printers but from what you write it sounds like it could be a great idea.