Epicurean Prescriptions For Dealing WIth Troubled Times

  • The Mellow Californian to the rescue! ;) Thanks - I needed that!

    How about too:

    "For Thou alone mankind with quiet peace canst bless; because ‘tis Mars Armipotent that rules the bloody tumults of the war, and He by everlasting pains of love bound fast, tastes in Thy lap most sweet repose, turns back his smooth long neck, and views thy charms, and greedily sucks love at both his eyes. Supinely as he rests his very soul hangs on thy lips; this God dissolv’d in ease, in the soft moments when thy heavenly limbs cling round him, melting with eloquence caress, great Goddess, and implore a peace for Rome. For neither can I write with cheerful strains, in times so sad, nor can the noble House of Memmius desert the common good in such distress of things."

  • Okay, now it's a challenge :)

    Letter to Menoikeus, DL, X: 127: Remember that what will be is not completely within our control nor completely outside our control, so that we will not completely expect it to happen nor be completely disappointed if it does not happen.

  • More!

    Here's a passage that's always been one of my favorites, from the opening of Book 3, this time from the Rolfe Humphries translation, which I will always hear in my mind in the voice of Charlton Griffin, from the Audible.com reading of the poem:

    If you would like to know

    What a man really is, the time to learn

    Comes when he stands in danger or in doubt.

    That's when the words of truth come from his heart,

    The mask is torn aside, reality

    Remains for all to see. But avarice

    And blind desire for honors urge men on

    To trespass on the areas which the law

    Forbids them, and they struggle night and day

    As criminal accomplices to win

    Toward heights of wealth - such vital wounds as these

    Are aggravated by the fear of death.

    Men seem to think that bitter poverty

    And the contempt a low position brings

    Are far from sweet and reassuring life,

    Are hangers-on around the doors of death.

    So a false panic harries them; they long

    Too late for flight, for far-off distances;

    Seek, through the blood of fellow-citizens,

    A way to prosper; they amass estates

    In avarice, pile one murder on another,

    Rejoice when a brother dies, and hate and fear

    The table of a kindly relative.

    In the same way compulsive envy, born

    Of the same fear, can make them waste away

    Seeing a man blest with renown or power

    Before their very eyes, while they are held,

    Or so they mutter, in darkness and in muck.

    Some die for lack of statues or a name;

    It goes so far, sometimes, that fear of death

    Induces hate of life and light, and men

    Are so depressed that they destroy themselves

    Having forgotten that this very fear

    Was the first source and cause of all their woe.

    As children tremble and fear everything

    In the dark shadows, we, in the full light,

    Fear things that really are not one bit more awful

    That what poor babies shudder at in darkness,

    The horrors they imagine to be coming.

    Our terrors and our darknesses of mind

    Must be dispelled then, not by sunshine's rays, -

    Not by those shining arrows of the light,

    But by insight into nature, and a scheme

    of systematic contemplation.

  • This could be a good be a really good thread to keep on hand. I am going to take the liberty to rename it for easier finding in the future. Thanks to Godfrey for starting it!

  • Cassius

    Changed the title of the thread from “At all critical times connect your actions to the natural goal of life.” to “Epicurean Prescriptions For Dealing WIth Troubled Times”.
  • This is what I had added earlier to the "Announcements" thread:

    On days when the everyday pressures of life seem extreme, it's a particularly good time to remember Vatican Saying 78: "The noble soul occupies itself with wisdom and friendship; of these, the one is a mortal good, the other immortal."