|Delicatessen of my dreams | Savoie 2012|
Epicurus was a Greek philosopher from these ancient times we picture with old wisdom and stone statues. He is also known for Epucureanism, a philosophy around the pleasures of life. We have however strongly misrepresented Epicureanism as an abundance of sinful and fleeting luxuries, when this philosophy is, at heart, around simplicity and enjoying the ordinary moments of our lives.
Despite the abundance and luxury of Epicurean banquets we imagine today, it seems Epicurus was a simple man, and his philosophy one of celebration for the simple and happy moments of an ordinary life. His objective was to attain a tranquil life, peaceful, delivered from fear and pain. In other words, Epicureanism isn't about running after pleasures all the time, but rather to reach an equilibrium of peace and tranquility.
I see simplicity as a form of this Epicureanism, in a way. The pursuit of happiness isn't about feeling pleasure every single minute of our lives. This would be not only impossible to achieve, leading to constant insatisfaction, but it would also remove the ups and downs that make our lives worth living.
I believe happiness is, in part, being able to be aware of each moment of our life, no matter how ordinary or imperfect, and enjoy them for what they are. It is about finding pleasure in the mundane, driving satisfaction from what we have instead of pursuing delusions.
Epicurus seemed to offer a similar line of thinking, when he presented three categories of simple joys: the essential ones (friends, freedom, shelter, basic goods...), the natural but inessential ones (a beautiful house, luxuries of life), and the unnatural and inessential ones (power and glory). In other words, according to him, if you had friends but no money or status, you could still have a chance to be happy. But get all the money and prestige you want, without friends, happiness is impossible.
I like this hierarchy of joys and necessity, as it is a reminder that the things that make us happy are not what we believe in today's society. It isn't money, power, glory or prestige that we should aim for, but rather decent material conditions, good friends, and being able to see the joy in the simplicity of daily moments.
The problem is, we are saturated with images of luxurious happiness, from advertisments, sociel media, press, blogs, fiction... We tend to associate moments of pleasure with an expensive piece of jewellery, a vacation on the other side of the world, a big car. Treating ourselves with such luxuries could be "natural but inessential", yet we shouldn't limit our daily pleasures to these extraordinary events, nor associate the pursuit of happiness with them.
If only we could see more ordinary joys, more simple pleasures, perhaps would we train ourselves to enjoy the simplicity of life, as the wisdom of Epicurus' hedonism teaches us? In any case, I have decided to make it my mission on this humble blog: share ordinary moments of joy, the beauty of simple things. Something I'm already trying to share via Instagram for example.
If bloggers have to be influencers of their readers, I would like this to be my influence, instead of pushing people to consumption, how I would love to push you to enjoy the delightful imperfection of your day.
What are your simple, ordinary joys? What made you smile today? How would you define Epicurean simplicity for yourself?