Epicureanism according to Lucretius.
Lucretius first evokes the pleasure that one feels to avoid torments, then the pleasure, the happiness that knowledge brings. He pities those men who are only attracted by wealth and power, and who do not understand that the soul needs only one thing, the absence of worry:ataraxia.
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“Epicurean Serenity” – Lucretius
It is sweet, when the winds torment the waves on the great sea
to contemplate from the land the great torment of others,
not because there is a pleasant pleasure in seeing someone suffer
but because it is sweet to understand what trials one avoids oneself.
It is also sweet to watch the great warlike combats
unfold on the plains without taking part in the danger.
But nothing is sweeter than to hold well
fortified positions established by the serene science of the wise
from which one can contemplate the other men
to see them wander in all directions and seek the path of life by wandering
compete with talent, fight for fame,
work night and day
by a remarkable effort to rise to the height of wealth and to seize power.
O poor human souls, O blind hearts!
In what darkness and in what danger
to spend the little time of their lives whatever it may be! Don’t you see
that nature claims nothing else for itself but that
that pain be absent and far from the body, and that the soul
enjoy pleasant sensations, free from worry and fear?
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Even today, everything is similar. Man is confronted with exactly the same ambitions: to seek fame – example of reality shows -, wealth – always more growth, more money -, power – to be elected, to control others.
This behavior denounced by Lucretius thus appears as an incessant fight; it is necessary to find the true pleasure – that of avoiding these temptations, these torments – to be led to true happiness, to let oneself be enlightened by the science of the wise, to keep it as a treasure in order not to fall blind again.