Week 5

Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher and sage who founded Epicureanism, a highly influential school of philosophy. He believe that happiness was purely derived from pleasure. The video above goes into further detail and takes focus on the effects of consumerism – as one of Epicurus’s ideas was that we often only know what we want, not what we need, the point was made that advertisements actively prey on this side of us, seducing us to buy products and objects to obtain happiness.
Epicurus believed that we only needed 3 ingredients to obtain happiness:
Friendship – Constant companionship and the idea of sharing your life with multiple others. “When it is time to eat, focus on who you are eating with rather than what it is you are eating”. Friends are able to provide one another the greatest security, whereas a life without friends is solitary and beset with perils.
Freedom  – Having the ability to do live life carefree whilst remaining self sufficient.
Analysed Life – Taking the time to reflect on your emotional well being. He believed that if you gave time to your anxieties that you had the ability to overcome them.

Happiness is Pleasure; all things are to be done for the sake of the pleasant feelings associated with them.

Although the primary focus here was how advertisement were being misused to sell us a feeling of false and temporary happiness – Alain de Botton also went on to show us how Epicuras followers had gone on to use advertisements to educate people on his philosophy’s. For example, Diogenes of Oenoanda, an Epicurean Greek from the 2nd century, created a wall in the centre of his city with the carvings of the Epicurus’s philosophy’s summary. This was put up right next to the cities shopping area and is thought to of acted a warning to the pedestrians that, essentially, you cannot buy happiness.

Bringing this line of thought into today, there have been other Epicureans that have attempted to use advertisements in shopping malls to do the same kind of concept, however they have been few and far between to actually make that much of an impact. But imagine if it became the norm to have these kinds of messages within our everyday space, friendly reminders in between the flashy chaos of advertisements, telling you that there are more sustainable ways to achieve a feeling of happiness?


 Joy is free.

Slowing Minds Down

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