130+ Epicurus Quotes About Happiness, Pleasure, & God

In this article, you will learn:

  1. Epicurus God Quotes
  2. Epicurus Death Quotes
  3. Epicurus Quotes Pleasure
  4. Epicurus Philosophy Quotes
  5. Epicurus Sayings
  6. Epicurus Friendship Quotes
  7. Epicurus Happiness Quotes
  8. Epicurus Famous Quotes
  9. Epicurean Quotes

Epicurus was one of the influential greek philosophers and an eminent personality in the history of science. Born on the island of Samos, he lived there during most of his childhood and studied in Athens. However, after studying the philosophies of the greats like Aristotle, Democritus, and Plato, he went back to Samos to open his own school called The Garden. In Epicurus’s quotes, sayings, and writings, you’ll find him describing hedonism, a theory about pleasure being an intrinsic value that he proposed.

Epicurus’s view on pleasure was in contrast to the conventional meaning of seeking pleasure in food, shelter, and sexual intimacy. According to Epicurus, one seeks pleasure in a real sense in the the simplest of things like having conversations about philosophy. This is unlike the conventional concept of seeking pleasure from needless desires.

Epicurus on Pleasure and Moving Away From External

Epicurus proposed that individuals should formulate only those beliefs that are backed by logic and reason. Further, as per his theory of hedonism, pleasure is an intrinsic and not an extrinsic value. As per him, happiness is not an end towards which all other things are aimed as a way to produce happiness.

In fact, pleasure is the point from where everything starts, the choices one makes and things one shows disgust towards. Further, one comes back to pleasure each time to differentiate good from bad.

He further proposes that there are two beliefs that individuals force on themselves. These beliefs are the cause of all the pain and unhappiness in their lives. The first one relates to the fear of punishment by Gods for doing wrong. The second one relates to the fear of death in individuals.

As per Epicurus, both these beliefs result in dread and anxiety in individuals and are unwanted as they have no concrete basis.

In addition to this, Epicurus also differentiates between wanted and unwanted desires. Wanted desires are those that are needed to generate happiness in the true sense. These include the desire to reduce bodily pain and achieving inner peace.

Further, there are certain pleasures that add to the pain. For instance, consuming too much alcohol can cause pain. However, there are certain pains like melancholy that can help you value life and attain a pleasurable state.

Likewise, Epicurus was of the view that external circumstances have an insubstantial role to play in making one happy.

The following are the Epicurus quotes that portray his beliefs about happiness and life.

Epicurus God Quotes

  1. Believe about God everything that can uphold his blessedness and immortality. – Epicurus
  2. The impious man is not he who denies the gods of the many, but he who attaches to the gods the beliefs of the many. – Epicurus
  3. The greatest misfortunes befall the wicked and the greatest blessings the good by the gift of the gods. – Epicurus
  4. Believe that God is a living being immortal and happy, according to the notion of a god indicated by the common sense of humankind.
  5. Truly there are gods, and knowledge of them is evident; but they are not such as the multitude believe, seeing that people do not steadfastly maintain the notions they form respecting them.
  6. Gods are always favorable to their own good qualities and take pleasure in people like to themselves, but reject as alien whatever is not of their kind.

Epicurus Death Quotes

  1. Become accustomed to the belief that death is nothing to us. – Epicurus
  2. For all good and evil consist in sensation, but death is deprivation of sensation. – Epicurus
  3. A right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not because it adds to it an infinite span of time, but because it takes away the craving for immortality. – Epicurus
  4. For there is nothing terrible in life for the man who has truly comprehended that there is nothing terrible in not living. – Epicurus
  5. The man speaks but idly who says that he fears death not because it will be painful when it comes, but because it is painful in anticipation. – Epicurus
  6. Death, the most terrifying of ills, is nothing to us since so long as we exist, death is not with us; but when death comes, then we do not exist. – Epicurus
  7. But the many at one moment shun death as the greatest of evils, at another yearn for it as a respite from the evils in life. – Epicurus
  8. The wise man neither seeks to escape life nor fears the cessation of life, for neither does life offend him nor does the absence of life seem to be any evil. – Epicurus
  9. Much worse is the man who says it is good not to be born, but “once born make haste to pass the gates of Death”. – Epicurus
  10. Death does not concern either the living or the dead, since for the former it is not, and the latter is no more. – Epicurus
  11. When you close your doors and make darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone: you are not alone, God is within, and your genius.
  12. Never to disobey, never to accuse, never to find fault with any of God’s gifts, never to let your will rebel, when you have to do or to bear what necessity demands.

Epicurus Quotes Pleasure

  1. Pleasure is the beginning and the end of living happily. – Epicurus
  2. We have a need of pleasure when we feel pain owing to the absence of pleasure; but when we do not feel pain, we no longer need pleasure. And for this cause, we call pleasure the beginning and end of the blessed life. – Epicurus
  3. We recognize pleasure as the first good innate in us, and from pleasure, we begin every act of choice and avoidance, and to the pleasure we return again, using the feeling as the standard by which we judge every good. – Epicurus
  4. Since pleasure is the first good and natural to us, for this very reason we do not choose every pleasure, but sometimes we pass over many pleasures when greater discomfort accrues to us as the result of them. – Epicurus
  5. We think of many pains better than pleasures since a greater pleasure comes to us when we have endured pains for a long time. – Epicurus
  6. Every pleasure because of its natural kinship to us is good, yet not every pleasure is to be chosen even as every pain also is an evil, yet not all are always of a nature to be avoided. – Epicurus
  7. Plain savors bring us a pleasure equal to a luxurious diet when all the pain due to want is removed, and bread and water produce the highest pleasure when one who needs them puts them to his lips. – Epicurus
  8. When we maintain that pleasure is the end, we do not mean the pleasures of profligates and those that consist in sensuality, as is supposed by some who are either ignorant or disagree with us or do not understand, but freedom from pain in the body and from trouble in the mind. – Epicurus

Epicurus Philosophy Quotes

  1. Let no one when the young delay to study philosophy, nor when he is old grow weary of his study. – Epicurus
  2. The man who says that the age for philosophy has either not yet come or has gone by is like the man who says that the age for happiness is not yet come to him, or has passed away. – Epicurus
  3. Both when young and old a man must study philosophy, that as he grows old he may be young in blessings through the grateful recollection of what has been, and that in youth he may be old as well since he will know no fear of what is to come. – Epicurus
  4. Beyond bodies and space, there is nothing which by mental apprehension or on its analogy we can conceive to exist.
  5. What is finite has an extremity, and the extremity of anything is discerned only by comparison with something else.
  6. The sum of things is infinite and is not discerned by comparison with anything else: hence it has no extremity, it has no limit; and, since it has no limit, it must be unlimited or infinite.
  7. So long as nothing comes in the way to offer resistance, motion through the void accomplishes any imaginable distance in an inconceivably short time.
  8. The ​​resistance encountered is the equivalent of slowness, its absence the equivalent of speed.

Epicurus Sayings

  1. Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. – Epicurus
  2. Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance. – Epicurus
  3. For no one can come too early or too late to secure the health of his soul. – Epicurus
  4. For men being accustomed always to their own virtues welcome those like themselves, but regard all that is not of their nature as alien. – Epicurus
  5. Just as with food a wise man does not seek simply the larger share and nothing else, but rather the most pleasant, so he seeks to enjoy not the longest period of time, but the most pleasant. – Epicurus
  6. He who counsels the young man to live well, but the old man to make a good end, is foolish, not merely because of the desirability of life, but also because it is the same training which teaches to live well and to die well. – Epicurus
  7. We must bear in mind that the future is neither ours, nor yet wholly not ours, so that we may not altogether expect it as sure to come, nor abandon hope of it as if it will certainly not come. – Epicurus
  8. All that is natural is easy to be obtained, but that which is superfluous is hard. – Epicurus
  9. Who, think you, is a better man than he who holds reverent opinions concerning the gods, and is at all times free from fear of death, and has reasoned out the end ordained by nature? – Epicurus
  10. A wise man does not believe that good and evil are given by chance to man for the framing of a blessed life, but that opportunities for great good and great evil are afforded by it. – Epicurus
  11. A well-reasoned man thinks it better to be unfortunate in reasonable action than to prosper in unreason. – Epicurus
  12. It is better in a man’s actions that what is well-chosen should fail, rather than that what is ill-chosen should be successful owing to chance. – Epicurus
  13. For a man who lives among immortal blessings is not like a mortal being. – Epicurus
  14. We must, by all means, stick to our sensations, that is, simply to the present impressions whether of the mind or of any criterion whatever and similarly to our actual feelings, in order that we may have the means of determining that which needs confirmation and that which is obscure.
  15. The existence of bodies is everywhere attested by sense itself, and it is upon sensation that reason must rely on when it attempts to infer the unknown from the known.
  16. Keeping in view our perceptions and feelings, we must recognize generally that the soul is a corporeal thing.
  17. We must keep in mind that the soul has the greatest share in causing a sensation.
  18. So long as the soul is in the body, it never loses sentience through the removal of some other part.
  19. The greatest anxiety of the human mind arises through the belief that the heavenly bodies are blessed and indestructible.
  20. Mental tranquillity means being released from all the troubles and cherishing a continual remembrance of the highest and most important truths.
  21. We must attend to present feelings and sense perceptions, whether those of mankind in general or those peculiar to the individual and also attend to all the clear evidence available, as given by each of the standards of truth.
  22. ​​I learn that your bodily inclination leans most keenly towards sexual intercourse. If you neither violate the laws nor disturb well-established morals nor sadden someone close to you, nor strain your body, nor spend what is needed for necessities, use your own choice as you wish. It is sure difficult to imagine, however, that none of these would be a part of sex because sex never benefitted anyone.
  23. The reasoning faculty alone of the faculties we have received is created to comprehend even its own nature; that is to say, what it is and what it can do, and with what precious qualities it has come to us, and to comprehend all other faculties as well.
  24. We must make the best of those things that are in our power, and take the rest as nature gives it.
  25. Nothing is the rational creature so distressed as by the irrational, and again to nothing so much attracted as to the rational.
  26. If a man could only take to heart this judgment, as he ought, that we are all, before anything else, children of God and that God is the Father of gods and men, t he will never harbor a mean or ignoble thought about himself.
  27. A foul-mouthed and wicked man is no better than a fox or the meanest and most miserable of creatures. Look to it then and beware lest you turn out to be one of these god-forsaken creatures.
  28. If a man tries to avoid any­thing beyond his will, he knows that, for all his avoidance, he will one day come to grief and be unhappy.
  29. If virtue makes to us the promise to produce happiness and peace and calm, surely progress toward virtue is progress toward each of these.
  30. ​​The only place to seek progress is where your work lies.
  31. Progress lies in the region of will; that you may not fail to get what you will to get, nor fall into what you will to avoid; it lies in avoiding error in the region of impulse, impulse to act and impulse not to act: it lies in assent and the withholding of assent, that in these you may never be deceived.
  32. If you merely tremble and mourn and seek to escape misfortune, progress is of course impossible.
  33. One man does not see the battle; he is ill off. This other sees it but stirs not, nor advances; his state is still more wretched. His sense of shame and self-respect is cut out of him, and his reasoning faculty, though not cut away, is brutalized.
  34. Every single thing that comes into being in the universe affords a ready ground for praising providence if one possesses these two qualities – a power to see clearly the circumstances of each, and the spirit of grati­tude therewith.
  35. If God had created colors and, in general, all visible things, but had not created a faculty to behold them, of what use would they be? None at all.
  36. God brought man into the world to take cognizance of himself and his works, and not only to take cognizance but also to interpret them.
  37. It is beneath man’s dignity to begin and to end where the irrational creatures do.
  38. If I am of a great spirit what concern have I in what may happen? What shall shake me or confound me or seem painful to me?
  39. Instead of using my faculty for the purpose for which I have received it, am I to mourn and lament at the events of fortune?
  40. The faculty of disputative and plausible reasoning is a powerful one, especially if it should be developed by training and gain further dignity from mastery of language.
  41. Generally, every faculty is danger­ ous when it comes into the hands of those who are without education and without real force, for it tends to exalt and puff them up.
  42. What do slaves do when they leave their masters, or what do they rely on? Do they rely on fields, or servants, or silver plates? No, on nothing but themselves; nevertheless sustenance does not fail them.
  43. The good man submits his mind to God that orders the universe, as good citizens submit to the law of the city.
  44. For he is free, for whom all things happen according to his will and whom no one can hinder.
  45. Give thanks to the gods that they set you above those things which they put out of your power, and made you responsible only for what is within your control.

Epicurus Friendship Quotes

  1. It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us as the confident knowledge that they will help us. – Epicurus

Epicurus Happiness Quotes

  1. Of all the means to ensure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends. – Epicurus
  2. You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity. – Epicurus
  3. It is not continuous drinkings and revellings, nor the satisfaction of lusts, nor the enjoyment of fish and other luxuries of the wealthy table, which produce a pleasant life, but sober reasoning, searching out the motives for all choice and avoidance and banishing mere opinions, to which are due the greatest disturbance of the spirit. – Epicurus
  4. We must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed toward attaining it.

Epicurus Famous Quotes

  1. A happy and eternal being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; hence he is exempt from movements of anger and partiality, for every such movement implies weakness.
  2. The magnitude of pleasure reaches its limit in the removal of all pain. When pleasure is present, so long as it is uninterrupted, there is no pain either of body or of mind or of both together.
  3. Continuous pain does not last long in the body; on the contrary, pain, if extreme, is present a short time, and even that degree of pain which barely outweighs pleasure in the body does not last for many days together. Illnesses of long duration even permit of an excess of pleasure over pain in the body.
  4. It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly, and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living pleasantly. Whenever any one of these is lacking, when, for instance, the person is not able to live wisely, though he lives well and justly, it is impossible for him to live a pleasant life.
  5. In order to obtain security from other people any means whatever of procuring this was a natural good.
  6. Some people have sought to become famous and renowned, thinking that thus they would make themselves secure against their fellow humans. If then, the life of such persons really was secure, they attained natural good; if however, it was insecure, they have not attained the end which by nature’s own prompting they originally sought.
  7. No pleasure is in itself evil, but the things which produce certain pleasures entail annoyances many times greater than the pleasures themselves.
  8. If all pleasure had been capable of accumulation, — if this had gone on not only be recurrences in time, but all over the frame or, at any rate, over the principal parts of human nature, there would never have been any difference between one pleasure and another, as in fact there is.
  9. If the objects which are productive of pleasures to profligate persons really freed them from fears of the mind, — the fears, I mean, inspired by celestial and atmospheric phenomena, the fear of death, the fear of pain; if further, they taught them to limit their desires, we should never have any fault to find with such persons, for they would then be filled with pleasures to overflowing on all sides and would be exempt from all pain, whether of body or mind, that is, from all evil.
  10. If we had never been molested by alarms at celestial and atmospheric phenomena, nor by the misgiving that death somehow affects us, nor by the neglect of the proper limits of pains and desires, we should have had no need to study natural science.
  11. It would be impossible to banish fear on matters of the highest importance, if a person did not know the nature of the whole universe, but lived in dread of what the legends tell us. Hence without the study of nature, there was no enjoyment of unmixed pleasures.
  12. There would be no advantage in providing security against our fellow humans, so long as we were alarmed by occurrences over our heads or beneath the earth or in general by whatever happens in the boundless universe.
  13. When tolerable security against our fellow humans is attained, then on a basis of power sufficient to afford supports and of material prosperity arises in most genuine form the security of a quiet private life withdrawn from the multitude.
  14. Nature’s wealth at once has its bounds and is easy to procure, but the wealth of vain fancies recedes to an infinite distance.
  15. Fortune but seldom interferes with the wise person; his greatest and highest interests have been, are, and will be, directed by reason throughout the course of his life.
  16. The just person enjoys. the greatest peace of mind, while the unjust is full of the utmost disquietude.
  17. Pleasure in the body admits no increase when once the pain of want has been removed; after that, it only admits of variation. The limit of pleasure in the mind, however, is reached when we reflect on the things themselves and their congeners which cause the mind the greatest alarms.
  18. Unlimited time and limited time afford an equal amount of pleasure if we measure the limits of that pleasure by reason.
  19. The body receives as unlimited the limits of pleasure, and to provide it requires unlimited time. But the mind, grasping in thought what the end and limit of the body are, and banishing the terrors of futurity, procures a complete and perfect life and has no longer any need of unlimited time. Nevertheless, it does not shun pleasure, and even in the hour of death, when ushered out of existence by circumstances, the mind does not lack enjoyment of the best life.
  20. He who understands the limits of life knows how easy it is to procure enough to remove the pain of want and make the whole of life complete and perfect. Hence he has no longer any need of things that are not to be won save by labor and conflict.
  21. We must take into account as the end all that really exists and all clear evidence of sense to which we refer our opinions; for otherwise everything will be full of uncertainty and confusion.
  22. If you fight against all your sensations, you will have no standard to which to refer, and thus no means of judging even those judgments which you pronounce false.
  23. If you reject absolutely any single sensation without stopping to discriminate with respect to that which awaits confirmation between matter of opinion and that which is already present, whether in sensation or in feelings or in any immediate perception of the mind, you will throw into confusion even the rest of your sensations by your groundless belief and so you will be rejecting the standard of truth altogether. If in your ideas based upon opinion you hastily affirm as true all that awaits confirmation as well as that which does not, you will not escape error, as you will be maintaining complete ambiguity whenever it is a case of judging between right and wrong opinion.
  24. If you do not on every separate occasion refer each of your actions to the end prescribed by nature, but instead of this in the act of choice or avoidance swerve aside to some other end, your acts will not be consistent with your theories.
  25. All such desires as lead to no pain when they remain ungratified are unnecessary, and the longing is easily got rid of, when the thing desired is difficult to procure or when the desires seem likely to produce harm.
  26. Of all the means which are procured by wisdom to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.
  27. The same conviction which inspires confidence that nothing we have to fear is eternal or even of long duration also enables us to see that even in our limited conditions of life nothing enhances our security so much as friendship.
  28. Of our desires some are natural and necessary others are natural, but not necessary; others, again, are neither natural nor necessary but are due to illusory opinion.
  29. Those natural desires which entail no pain when not gratified, though their objects are vehemently pursued, are also due to illusory opinion; and when they are not got rid of, it is not because of their own nature, but because of the person’s illusory opinion.
  30. Natural justice is a symbol or expression of usefulness, to prevent one person from harming or being harmed by another.
  31. Those animals which are incapable of making covenants with one another, to the end that they may neither inflict nor suffer harm, are without either justice or injustice. And those tribes which either could not or would not form mutual covenants to the same end are in like case.
  32. There never was an absolute justice, but only an agreement made in reciprocal association in whatever localities now and again from time to time, providing against the infliction or suffering of harm.
  33. Injustice is not in itself an evil, but only in its consequence, viz. the terror which is excited by the apprehension that those appointed to punish such offenses will discover the injustice.
  34. It is impossible for the person who secretly violates any article of the social compact to feel confident that he will remain undiscovered, even if he has already escaped ten thousand times; for right on to the end of his life he is never sure he will not be detected.
  35. Taken generally, justice is the same for all, to wit, something found useful in mutual association; but in its application to particular cases of locality or conditions of whatever kind, it varies under different circumstances.
  36. Among the things accounted just by conventional law, whatever in the needs of mutual association is attested to be useful, is thereby stamped as just, whether or not it be the same for all; and in case any law is made and does not prove suitable to the usefulness of mutual association, then this is no longer just. And should the usefulness which is expressed by the law vary and only for a time correspond with the prior conception, nevertheless for the time being it was just, so long as we do not trouble ourselves about empty words, but look simply at the facts.
  37. Where without any change in circumstances the conventional laws, when judged by their consequences, were seen not to correspond with the notion of justice, such laws were not really just; but wherever the laws have ceased to be useful in consequence of a change in circumstances, in that case, the laws were for the time being just when they were useful for the mutual association of the citizens, and subsequently ceased to be just when they ceased to be useful.
  38. He who best knew how to meet the fear of external foes made into one family all the creatures he could; and those he could not, he, at any rate, did not treat as aliens; and where he found even this impossible, he avoided all association, and, so far as was useful, kept them at a distance.
  39. Those who were best able to provide themselves with the means of security against their neighbors, being thus in possession of the surest guarantee, passed the most agreeable life in each other’s society; and their enjoyment of the fullest intimacy was such that, if one of them died before his time, the survivors did not mourn his death as if it called for sympathy.
  40. Of all this the beginning and the greatest good is prudence. – Epicurus
  41. The virtues are by nature bound up with the pleasant life, and the pleasant life is inseparable from them. – Epicurus
  42. For that which gives no trouble when it comes, is but an empty pain in anticipation. – Epicurus
  43. It is the privilege of the mature student to make ready use of his conceptions by referring every one of them to elementary facts and simple terms.
  44. Nothing comes into being out of what is non-existent.
  45. Those who are well-informed about matters and yet are ignorant feel quite as much fear as those who have no such special information.
  46. If we discover more than one cause, we must not suppose that our treatment of these matters fails of accuracy, so far as it is needful to ensure our tranquillity and happiness.
  47. We must hold that nothing suggestive of conflict or disquiet is compatible with an immortal and blessed nature.
  48. Troubles and anxieties and feelings of anger and partiality do not accord with bliss but always imply weakness and fear and dependence upon one’s neighbors.
  49. Qualities often attach to bodies without being permanent concomitants. They are not to be classed among invisible entities nor are they incorporeal.

Epicurean Quotes

  1. As wood is the material dealt with by the carpenter, bronze by the statuary, so the subject-matter of each man’s art is his own life.
  2. Philosophy does not promise to secure anything outside him. If it did it would be admitting something beyond its subject matter.

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