I don’t quite know exactly what but it says something about me that I knew the word epicurean but not about the Greek philosopher Epicurus from whose name it is derived. It is one of those connections that you choose to live your life without bothering to make. I did make it yesterday.
With half an hour to spare between two meetings I decided to drop by at the Naperville Library. In the “Hot Non-fiction” section I saw a slim paperback titled “Epicurus:The Art of Happiness” by George K. Strodach and Daniel Klein(Penguin Classics). That made me epicurious. (Unnecessary coinage).
By some coincidence, earlier in the day I was again reading “Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism” by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy on a whim. So Buddhism was fresh in my mind. As I began to leaf/browse/thumb through Epicurus I was pleasantly surprised to come upon this passage.
Some of you, who may read this blog frequently, would be aware that I have a weakness for these serendipitous fortuities.* Reading this passage brought on a smile on my face at the strange connectedness of things.
Epicurus’s era was 342 to 270 BC, which puts him some 150 years or so after Gautam Buddh. It is fascinating to note that in that age Democritus and Pyrrho had already traveled and returned with Buddh’s philosophy. I like the word gymnosophists for naked teachers, the Indian renunciates who had practically, and, in the case of Digambar Jain monks, fully, given up wearing clothes.
From whatever little I read, Strodach and Klein have written a compelling book about the Greek philosopher whom they think has not been studied to the extent he should have been. I will buy this book as soon as I start earning again.
* Although serendipity and fortuity are synonyms I fuse them because I like the cadence to the expression.