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Vatican Sayings of Epicurus

Editor’s note: There are 81 Vatican Sayings. Not included below are any that scholars agree did not originate with Epicurus or ones that are duplicated in the Principal Doctrines. The original numbering is kept. 4. Pain is easily disdained; for a pain that causes intense suffering is brief, whereas a pain that lingers in the flesh is weak and feeble. 7. It is easy to commit an injustice undetected, but impossible to be sure that you have escaped detection. 9. Compulsion is a bad thing, but there is no compulsion to live under compulsion. 11. For most people, to be quiet is to be numb and to be active is to be frenzied. 14. 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. 15. We treasure our character as our own, whether or not it is worthy in itself or admired by others; and so we must honor our fellow men, if they are good. 16. No one who sees what is bad chooses it willingly; instead he is lured into seeing it as good compared to what is even worse, and thus he is trapped. 17. It is not the young man who is most happy, but the old man who has lived beautifully; for despite being at his very peak the young man stumbles around as if he were of many minds, whereas the old man has settled into old age as if in a harbor, secure in his gratitude for the good things he was once unsure of. 18. The passion of love disappears without the opportunity to see each other and talk and be together. 19. He who forgets the good things he had yesterday becomes an old man today. 21. Nature must be persuaded, not forced. And we will persuade nature by fulfilling the necessary desires, and the natural desires too if they cause no harm, but sharply rejecting the harmful desires. 23. Every friendship is an excellence in itself, even though it begins in mutual advantage. 24. Dreams have neither a divine nature nor a prophetic power; instead they come from the impact of images. 25. Poverty is great wealth if measured by the goals of nature, and wealth is abject poverty if not limited by the goals of nature. 26. Understand that short discourses and long discourses both achieve the same thing. 27. Whereas other pursuits yield their fruit only to those who have practiced them to perfection, in the love and practice of wisdom knowledge is accompanied by delight; for here enjoying comes along with learning, not afterward. 28. Those who grasp after friendship and those who shrink from it are not worthy of approval; on the other hand, it is necessary to risk some pleasure for the pleasures of friendship. 29. Speaking freely in my study of what is natural, I prefer to prophesize about what is good for all people, even if no one will understand me, rather than to accept common opinions and thereby reap the showers of praise that fall so freely from the great mass of men. 32. Honoring a sage is itself a great good to the one who honors. 33. The body cries out to not be hungry, not be thirsty, not be cold. Anyone who has these things, and who is confident of continuing to have them, can rival the gods for happiness. 34. The use of friends is not that they are useful, but that we can trust in their usefulness. 35. Don't ruin the things you have by wanting what you don't have, but realize that they too are things you once did wish for. 37. Nature is weak in the face of what is bad, not what is good; for it is kept whole by pleasures and broken down by pains. 38. Anyone with many good reasons to leave this life is an altogether worthless person. 39. A friend is not one who is constantly seeking some benefit, nor one who never connects friendship with utility; for the former trades kindness for compensation, while the latter cuts off all hope for the future. 40. One who says that everything occurs by necessity cannot complain about someone who says that not everything occurs by necessity, because even that claim occurs by necessity. 41. One must laugh and seek wisdom and tend to one's home life and use one's other goods, and always recount the pronouncements of true philosophy. 42. At the very same time, the greatest good is created and the greatest evil is removed. 43. It is not right to love money unjustly, and shameful to love it justly; for it is unbecoming to be overly stingy, beyond what is right. 44. When the sage contends with necessity, he is skilled at giving rather than taking — such a treasury of self-reliance has he found. 45. The study of what is natural produces not braggarts nor windbags nor those who show off the culture that most people fight about, but those who are fearless and self-reliant and who value their own good qualities rather than the good things that have come to them from external circumstances. 46. We cast off common customs just as we would do to wicked men who have been causing great harm for a long time. 48. While you are on the road, try to make the later part better than the earlier part; and be equally happy when you reach the end. 52. Friendship dances around the world, announcing to each of us that we must awaken to happiness. 53. Envy no one. For good people do not deserve envy, and the more that wicked people succeed the more they ruin things for themselves. 54. Do not pretend to love and practice wisdom, but love and practice wisdom in reality; for we need not the appearance of health but true health. 55. Misfortune must be cured through gratitude for what has been lost and the knowledge that it is impossible to change what has happened. 56-57. The sage does not feel a greater pain when he is tortured than when his friend is tortured, and would die on his friend's behalf; for if he betrays his friend then the rest of his life would be troubled and disturbed on account of his treachery. 58. They must free themselves from the prison of public affairs and ordinary concerns. 59. The stomach is not insatiable, as most people say; instead the opinion that the stomach needs unlimited filling is false. 60. Everyone departs from life just as they were when newly born. 61. The sight of one's neighbors is most auspicious if it produces the like-mindedness of one's primary kin, or at least a serious interest in such like- mindedness. 62. If parents have cause to be angry with their children, of course it is foolish to resist, and thus not try to beg for forgiveness. But if they do not have cause and are angry without reason, it is ridiculous to make an appeal to one who is irrationally opposed to hearing such an appeal, and thus not try to convince him by other means in a spirit of good will. 63. There is an elegance in simplicity, and one who is thoughtless resembles one whose feelings run to excess. 64. The esteem of others is outside our control; we must attend instead to healing ourselves. 65. It is foolish to ask of the gods that which we can supply for ourselves. 66. We sympathize with our friends not through lamentation but through thoughtful attention. 67. A free person is unable to acquire great wealth, because that is not easily achieved without enslavement to the masses or to the powers that be. Instead, he already has everything he needs, and in abundance. But if by chance he should have great wealth, he could easily share it with his fellows to win their goodwill. 68. Nothing is enough to one for whom enough is very little. 69. The ingratitude of the soul makes a creature greedy for endless variation in its way of life. 70. Do nothing in your life which would cause you fear if discovered by your neighbor. 71. Ask this question of every desire: what will happen to me if the object of desire is achieved, and what if not? 73. Some bodily pains are worth enduring to ward off others like them. 74. In a scholarly dispute, he who loses gains more because he has learned something. 75. This saying is utterly ungrateful for the good things one has achieved: provide for the end of a long life. 76. I rejoice with you, for you are the kind of person I would praise if you were to grow old as you are, and who knows the difference between seeking wisdom for yourself and for the sake of Greece. 77. The greatest fruit of self-reliance is freedom. 78. The noble soul is devoted most of all to wisdom and to friendship — one a mortal good, the other immortal. 79. He who is as peace within himself also causes no trouble for others. 80. A young man's share in deliverance comes from watching over the prime of his life and warding off what will ruin everything through frenzied desires. 81. One will not banish emotional disturbance or arrive at significant joy through great wealth, fame, celebrity, or anything else which is a result of vague and indefinite causes.
PracticalWisdom
© 2018 This site uses cookies for navigation and analytics only, no personal information is collected.

Vatican Sayings of Epicurus

Editor’s note: There are 81 Vatican Sayings. Not included below are any that scholars agree did not originate with Epicurus or ones that are duplicated in the Principal Doctrines. The original numbering is kept. 4. Pain is easily disdained; for a pain that causes intense suffering is brief, whereas a pain that lingers in the flesh is weak and feeble. 7. It is easy to commit an injustice undetected, but impossible to be sure that you have escaped detection. 9. Compulsion is a bad thing, but there is no compulsion to live under compulsion. 11. For most people, to be quiet is to be numb and to be active is to be frenzied. 14. 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. 15. We treasure our character as our own, whether or not it is worthy in itself or admired by others; and so we must honor our fellow men, if they are good. 16. No one who sees what is bad chooses it willingly; instead he is lured into seeing it as good compared to what is even worse, and thus he is trapped. 17. It is not the young man who is most happy, but the old man who has lived beautifully; for despite being at his very peak the young man stumbles around as if he were of many minds, whereas the old man has settled into old age as if in a harbor, secure in his gratitude for the good things he was once unsure of. 18. The passion of love disappears without the opportunity to see each other and talk and be together. 19. He who forgets the good things he had yesterday becomes an old man today. 21. Nature must be persuaded, not forced. And we will persuade nature by fulfilling the necessary desires, and the natural desires too if they cause no harm, but sharply rejecting the harmful desires. 23. Every friendship is an excellence in itself, even though it begins in mutual advantage. 24. Dreams have neither a divine nature nor a prophetic power; instead they come from the impact of images. 25. Poverty is great wealth if measured by the goals of nature, and wealth is abject poverty if not limited by the goals of nature. 26. Understand that short discourses and long discourses both achieve the same thing. 27. Whereas other pursuits yield their fruit only to those who have practiced them to perfection, in the love and practice of wisdom knowledge is accompanied by delight; for here enjoying comes along with learning, not afterward. 28. Those who grasp after friendship and those who shrink from it are not worthy of approval; on the other hand, it is necessary to risk some pleasure for the pleasures of friendship. 29. Speaking freely in my study of what is natural, I prefer to prophesize about what is good for all people, even if no one will understand me, rather than to accept common opinions and thereby reap the showers of praise that fall so freely from the great mass of men. 32. Honoring a sage is itself a great good to the one who honors. 33. The body cries out to not be hungry, not be thirsty, not be cold. Anyone who has these things, and who is confident of continuing to have them, can rival the gods for happiness. 34. The use of friends is not that they are useful, but that we can trust in their usefulness. 35. Don't ruin the things you have by wanting what you don't have, but realize that they too are things you once did wish for. 37. Nature is weak in the face of what is bad, not what is good; for it is kept whole by pleasures and broken down by pains. 38. Anyone with many good reasons to leave this life is an altogether worthless person. 39. A friend is not one who is constantly seeking some benefit, nor one who never connects friendship with utility; for the former trades kindness for compensation, while the latter cuts off all hope for the future. 40. One who says that everything occurs by necessity cannot complain about someone who says that not everything occurs by necessity, because even that claim occurs by necessity. 41. One must laugh and seek wisdom and tend to one's home life and use one's other goods, and always recount the pronouncements of true philosophy. 42. At the very same time, the greatest good is created and the greatest evil is removed. 43. It is not right to love money unjustly, and shameful to love it justly; for it is unbecoming to be overly stingy, beyond what is right. 44. When the sage contends with necessity, he is skilled at giving rather than taking — such a treasury of self-reliance has he found. 45. The study of what is natural produces not braggarts nor windbags nor those who show off the culture that most people fight about, but those who are fearless and self-reliant and who value their own good qualities rather than the good things that have come to them from external circumstances. 46. We cast off common customs just as we would do to wicked men who have been causing great harm for a long time. 48. While you are on the road, try to make the later part better than the earlier part; and be equally happy when you reach the end. 52. Friendship dances around the world, announcing to each of us that we must awaken to happiness. 53. Envy no one. For good people do not deserve envy, and the more that wicked people succeed the more they ruin things for themselves. 54. Do not pretend to love and practice wisdom, but love and practice wisdom in reality; for we need not the appearance of health but true health. 55. Misfortune must be cured through gratitude for what has been lost and the knowledge that it is impossible to change what has happened. 56-57. The sage does not feel a greater pain when he is tortured than when his friend is tortured, and would die on his friend's behalf; for if he betrays his friend then the rest of his life would be troubled and disturbed on account of his treachery. 58. They must free themselves from the prison of public affairs and ordinary concerns. 59. The stomach is not insatiable, as most people say; instead the opinion that the stomach needs unlimited filling is false. 60. Everyone departs from life just as they were when newly born. 61. The sight of one's neighbors is most auspicious if it produces the like-mindedness of one's primary kin, or at least a serious interest in such like-mindedness. 62. If parents have cause to be angry with their children, of course it is foolish to resist, and thus not try to beg for forgiveness. But if they do not have cause and are angry without reason, it is ridiculous to make an appeal to one who is irrationally opposed to hearing such an appeal, and thus not try to convince him by other means in a spirit of good will. 63. There is an elegance in simplicity, and one who is thoughtless resembles one whose feelings run to excess. 64. The esteem of others is outside our control; we must attend instead to healing ourselves. 65. It is foolish to ask of the gods that which we can supply for ourselves. 66. We sympathize with our friends not through lamentation but through thoughtful attention. 67. A free person is unable to acquire great wealth, because that is not easily achieved without enslavement to the masses or to the powers that be. Instead, he already has everything he needs, and in abundance. But if by chance he should have great wealth, he could easily share it with his fellows to win their goodwill. 68. Nothing is enough to one for whom enough is very little. 69. The ingratitude of the soul makes a creature greedy for endless variation in its way of life. 70. Do nothing in your life which would cause you fear if discovered by your neighbor. 71. Ask this question of every desire: what will happen to me if the object of desire is achieved, and what if not? 73. Some bodily pains are worth enduring to ward off others like them. 74. In a scholarly dispute, he who loses gains more because he has learned something. 75. This saying is utterly ungrateful for the good things one has achieved: provide for the end of a long life. 76. I rejoice with you, for you are the kind of person I would praise if you were to grow old as you are, and who knows the difference between seeking wisdom for yourself and for the sake of Greece. 77. The greatest fruit of self-reliance is freedom. 78. The noble soul is devoted most of all to wisdom and to friendship — one a mortal good, the other immortal. 79. He who is as peace within himself also causes no trouble for others. 80. A young man's share in deliverance comes from watching over the prime of his life and warding off what will ruin everything through frenzied desires. 81. One will not banish emotional disturbance or arrive at significant joy through great wealth, fame, celebrity, or anything else which is a result of vague and indefinite causes.