Summer rain always comes inexplicably, mysteriously. The sun was still red just now. Suddenly, it was overcast with clouds, lightning and thunder, heavy rain came suddenly, and the awning outside the window crackled. Suddenly think of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. Those crackling raindrops are like his advice to humans. His advice was so far away, so deafening, I felt an earth-shattering echo. Centuries apart, Epicurus prescribed three happy prescriptions for mankind. The first prescription is: Without friends, there is no happiness. In 306 BC, 35-year-old Epicurus bought a large house a few kilometers from the center of Athens. He is not to show wealth and style, but to invite many friends to live with. These friends include Metdorus and his sister, the mathematician Polyenu, Amarcus, Leo Xiu and his wife Temista, and an unnamed businessman. Often, the way we share happiness is different from Epicurus. Although many people own luxury villas, they still feel empty, cold and gloomy. And in the big house of Epicurus, there is happiness and warmth. A daughter is easy to get, knowing is hard to find, and one knowing in life is enough. The poet Li Bai loved landscapes all his life, but he regarded the love of friends more importantly than landscapes. This is how “Peach Blossom Pool is a thousand feet deep, not as deep as Wang Lun’s love” in “Gift to Wang Lun”. Wang Bo even added the finishing touch to the handed down famous saying “There is a confidant in the sea, and the end of the world is neighboring”. In many cases, you have to confide in your friends what you cannot say to your loved ones. We need such an object, as the British philosopher Bacon said: “He who does not get friendship will be a lifelong pathetic lonely. A society without friendship is just a prosperous desert.” Greek philosopher Aristotle Simply came to the conclusion: “Without friends, even life will become incomplete.”
The second prescription is: wealth is not a factor of happiness. Epicurus believes that when a person’s material wealth exceeds a certain limit, it does not mean much to him. Just like when we eat and our stomachs are full, no matter how delicious the food on the table is, we cannot continue to fill our stomachs, otherwise we will suffer from indigestion. His meaning is very clear. It is good to have moderate material wealth. Not only will it be useless, but it will also bring side effects. Besides, having a lot of money, eating must be the delicacy of the mountains and the sea. The result is high fat, big belly, sickness, and death before old age. Out of compassion, Epicurus reminds us to be calm and rational when pursuing material wealth. He said: “You don’t have to be embarrassed on the walls, and gold is nothing to show off.” “A wealthy world cannot solve the anxiety of the soul, nor can it produce great happiness.” In his view, as measured by natural life goals, poverty is huge wealth, while infinite wealth is huge poverty. Think of Thoreau again. Why does he want to live in seclusion in Walden? Although only a short period of two years and two months, he is doing an experiment to prove to the world that if a person can meet the basic needs of life, he can actually enjoy life more calmly and fully. He listened to the birds there, looked up at the moonlight, observed the changes in animals, flowers and trees, and enjoyed the spiritual happiness that nature brought him. Later, he wrote the awakening “Walden Lake”. Although his life was short, he passed away at the age of forty-four, but when he was alive, he always tried to encourage people to simplify their lives, free up time to go deep into life, and taste life. Through his own experiments, he warned the world not to be deceived by the complicated life, thus losing the direction and meaning of life. My grandmother is a thin woman. The only joy in her life is to raise cats, play with cats, and fall asleep at night holding cats’ paws in her palms. Grandpa didn’t like cats, and even hated cats, so they started a cruel family game. After grandpa retired, she received the pension from the public family. Grandma was very ambitious. Even if there was a shortage of salt and oil in the meal, she never reached out to ask her for money. Grandpa clearly told grandma again and again that as long as she did not keep a cat, his pension would be handed over to her, but grandma shook her head and refused. No way, grandpa had to go to the cafeteria on the street most of the time. A cat, this is the happiness in grandma’s life. We can have no wealth, and her stomach can be hungry, but she will never give up raising and loving cats.
The third prescription is: Don’t pursue excessive desires. Epicurus believes that desire is a non-happiness element that is neither natural nor necessary. To put it bluntly, it is an element that is not necessary for human life and body. He summarized these elements as desire, power, fame, pleasure, drugs, etc. He pointed out that these belong to the abnormal needs of people. In his view, excessive desire and pleasure can only bring pain and pressure to people. He does not have the Chinese House and Meishe, and his diet is very simple. He drinks water instead of alcohol. A meal with bread, vegetables and a handful of olives is enough. He said to a friend: “Give me a can of cheese so that I can have a feast when I want it.” Epicurus, which is so far away from us, sets happiness as the goal of life. What profound enlightenment does this give us? “Happy poverty is a beautiful thing!” Standing in ancient Greece, Epicurus warned his descendants. I often see this phenomenon. Although some people are entangled in their lives, they often feel sad and painful because of many things. They frown during the day and meditate, and wash their faces in tears at night. Even they don’t know why. It wasn’t until one day that Wrinkle crept up to the corner of his eyes, and he suddenly realized that the things that I have been pursuing all my life are not beneficial to my life. Matter exceeds the needs of life, but it suddenly shortens life. There is a saying in the Buddhist language: No desire is strong. It means that if a person has no desires, there is nothing to be afraid of. Desire is a person’s physical instinct. If people want to live, they will have all kinds of “desires.” However, there must be a degree in everything. If you have more desires, you will be greedy. Confucius said: “Food and drink, drinking water, bending the arms and pillows, and happiness is also in it. Unrighteous and rich and noble are like clouds to me.” He taught his disciples to have no struggle with the world, to stay in peace, and to give up. Material desires and a life of pleasure can have happiness. To live, a bed and a bowl of porridge are enough. With more wealth, all kinds of desires will come to you, which will cause troubles and disasters. Studying Epicurus’ prescription for happiness is a unique enjoyment in my life this summer. The sunlight came to the house through the curtains, a weak pair. The cicada screamed on the tall tree outside the window, but it did not affect my thinking at all, but added a lot of fun. At the moment when the cicada was silent, I made a cup of tea to stop my thinking and share the beauty of stillness with the cicada.