August 7, 2023 - Monday Night Epicurean Happy Hour

  • Hi Everyone,

    Join in on the fun! This next Monday night at 8pm ET. I'll be presenting on the the topic: "What do happy people do?"

    Open to forum members. Let me know here in this thread if you need the Zoom link.

    We'll go for about an hour. If you like, you are welcome to sip on a beverage of your choice during the meeting. :)

    (fyi - Cassius will be attending and will help guide the philosophy discussion, and keep us all on the right Epicurean track).

  • Just a reminder: Tomorrow night is First Monday Epicurean Happy Hour! 8pm ET

    Super excited...I'll be doing a short presentation, which will touch on "What do happy people do?" But of course we can't say the word "happy" (or happiness) without diving into the meaning of it (perhaps it will be part of the follow up discussion). I'll be combining some findings on modern positive psychology together with Epicurean text.

    And remember you can...byob - bring your own beverage, lol ^^

    Meeting is open to forum members, message me if you need the Zoom link :)

  • There is a strong thunderstorm on its way, and just in case I can't present tonight during our Happy Hour Zoom, here are some slides:

  • Godfrey Thanks for let us know!

    I'll post the text of my presentation after the meeting (it is about 5 minutes long).

    Hopefully the power will stay on tonight (thunderstorm rolling in with a potential for high winds).

  • Kalosyni should have a good presentation for those who can attend, so we look forward to seeing those who are available. We will also talk about whether tonight will substitute for our Wednesday meeting this week -- probably depends on who is available!

  • Fernando's Contribution -- 2 Timothy 3:4 -- LOVER OF PLEASURE -- PHILODONOS

    3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

    3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

    3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was.

    3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

    3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

    3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

  • Great find!!!

    The word in Greek is φιλήδονος (philēdonos) from φίλος (philos) and ἡδονή (hēdonē) or in the plural φιλήδονοι.

    Textus Receptus

    3:4 προδόται προπετεῖς τετυφωμένοι φιλήδονοι μᾶλλον ἢ φιλόθεοι (philotheoi)

  • Here is the text of the presentation I gave this evening:

    What do Happy People Do?

    Vatican Saying 14 says: "We are born only once and cannot be born twice, and must forever live no more. You don't control tomorrow, yet you postpone joy. Life is ruined by putting things off, and each of us dies without truly living."

    This brings up the idea of "carpe diem", since it reminds us not to postpone joy. But I don't think that this is the kind of carpe diem mentality that simply reminds us that we better go take that vacation that we've been putting off.

    In another Vatican Saying (Vatican Saying 52): "Friendship dances around the world, announcing to each of us that we must awaken to happiness."

    When is comes to happiness, positive psychology authors and researchers all seem to have their own favorite recipe for how to become happier. Some of the ingredients are the same and others are different. They are often "masters of the obvious", and studies often contain disclaimers such as this: "Additional research is needed to test whether these results replicate and generalize to other samples and situations."

    Positive psychology is a relatively new branch of psychology which began in the 1990's and focuses on eudaimonia - the pursuit of happiness and the good life.

    Recently I found an article titled: "What happy people do: The behavioral correlates of happiness in everyday situations". A study was done on the subjective versus the objective evaluation of happiness while observing participants being interviewed about themselves, and secondly, they were observed while participating in a social interaction with strangers. The patterns of observed behaviors associated with happiness were highly similar between the two situations. Happier people smiled more frequently, acted playful and behaved cheerfully, while unhappy people expressed criticism or guilt, or acted irritated or anxious. "Overall, the greater positive affect and more enjoyable experiences that happier people have in their daily lives is to a considerable degree reflected in their observable behaviors."

    In another article titled "The number one thing to change to be happier" - Dr. Robert Waldinger, author of "The Good Life: Lessons from the world's longest scientific study of happiness", says the single most important thing to do to increase your level of happiness is to prioritize and invest in relationships with other people.

    I have only just scratched the tip of the iceberg, in presenting some ways to increase happiness. In the reading that I have done over the past week, I've seen referenced many aspects of life that are touted as important to happiness: exercise or physical activity, optimism, self-confidence, and emotional resilience are all thought to be important.

    Action for - Has a page titled "10 Keys to Happier Living. Their homepage states: "Everyone's path to happiness is different. Based on the latest research, we have identified 10 keys to happier living that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling." (I'll add emphasis onto the word "tend").

    And it lists the following:

    Giving - do kind things for others

    Relating - connect with other people

    Exercising - take care of your body

    Awareness - live life mindfully

    Trying out - keep learning new things

    Direction - have goals to look forward to

    Resilience - find ways to bounce back

    Emotions - look for what's good

    Acceptance - be comfortable with who you are

    Meaning - be part of something bigger

    It's important to remember that everyone's recipe for happiness is going to be slightly different, and we have to decide for ourselves what works for us.

    As Epicureans, we take the art of taking pleasure seriously. Our recipe for happiness and joy includes paying attention to what our senses tell us, and using our mind's ability to imagine and plan for the best outcome, through our wise choices and avoidances.

    And as Epicurus already knew, over 2300 years ago:

    "Of all the things that wisdom provides for the complete happiness of one's entire life, by far the greatest is friendship." (PD27)

    As for actionable steps, from the first two of the positive psychology studies that I referenced more and consider all the ways you can improve the quality of your interactions with people, and be sure to make it a top priority to schedule time with your family and friends.


    What happy people do: The behavioral correlates of happiness in everyday situations

    What's the one thing to change to be happier

    10 Keys to Happier Living

  • Interesting thing about 2 Timothy is that it's disputed if Paul actually wrote it.

    >>The remaining four contested epistles – Ephesians, as well as the three known as the Pastoral epistles (1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus) – have been labeled pseudepigraphical works by most critical scholars.[3][4][5] Some scholars have proposed that Paul may have used an amanuensis, or secretary, in writing the disputed letters,[6] although such a solution would not explain the fact that the disputed letters appear to have been written at least a decade after Paul’s death.<<

    Couldn't have written it ten years after he died. ;)

  • Exactly, kochiekoch , thanks for bringing that up! It's still 1st or 2nd century CE when there were still practicing Epicureans. In fact:

    2 Timothy 3 Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

    φιλήδονοι, lovers of pleasure) An epithet of the Epicureans. Pleasure destroys the love and sense of God. Such are our Epicureans.

    Bengel was writing in the 1600s: