Talking about happiness, that is the negation of suffering, I think that the best western representation has been given by Epicurus. I chose to mention this great philosopher for what he was able to pass on to us, but most of all as an enlightening example for us to reflect on how a great master, just like other great ones such as Socrates, can be fought by any means by the official ‘scholars’ of the lesser hierarchies, resorting to the cowardly use of slander and little philosophical lies just to oppose high and clear thoughts, which have the strength to brush away any fabrication.
They never understood that in the face of an apparent defeat, the philosopher cannot be fought and beaten, because he does not use their little weapons and most of all he does not aim at the same little goals. Indeed, the eternal Philosophy that they do not understand and that those thinkers and initiates express will overwhelm them and in time will bury them and their Hierarchies in the absolute oblivion of the darkness of history.
The fundamental note of Epicurus' thought is essentiality. To reduce ourselves to the essential leads us to true simplicity. Not as the aberrant poverty or the painful sacrifice of the man who wants to be a martyr but as a synthesis and essentiality of a mental apex, happy to be able to determine with his intellect his own choices, with a deep sense of discrimination. He taught us how in order to recognize happiness man must first use his reason to recognize delusion and then dissolve it.
To demonstrate this he presented a Rule called Tetrapharmakos, which represented the Principle of Truth.
The Tetrapharmakos is made of the following four Truths:
- Divinity must not be feared,
- Death is nothing to worry about,
- It is easy to get what is good,
- It is easy to endure suffering.
“There is nothing terrible in life for those who truly know that there is nothing to fear in not living any longer. Therefore the man who says he's afraid of death is a fool, not so much because its arrival will cause suffering, but because he will be tormented by constantly waiting for it. What doesn’t faze us once it’s there, foolishly drives us crazy when we are waiting for it.
Death, the most terrible of all evils, doesn’t exist for us.
When we live death is not there; when it’s there we are not. It is nothing either for the living or for the dead. It doesn’t exist for the living, the dead are not any longer….the true sage is not sorry to live and not afraid of not living any more. Life is not an evil for him; neither is an evil the non-living”.
As the Teaching reminds us:
«Friends! Happiness consists of serving the deliverance of the humankind.
Throw away any prejudice, gather your spiritual strengths and assist the humankind.
Turn to beauty what is ugly.
As the tree renews its leaves, men will blossom on the path to uprightness.
Look for happiness and enhance the spirit. Faith in oneself and the search for the truth create harmony.»