More on Epicurus’ Notion of Happiness:
“Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.”
Although Epicurus, like most Greek thinkers, believed in the power of reason to guide and control, he held that the feelings and the senses were even more fundamental and natural guides to the good life and happiness than reason itself. Epicurus’s notion of happiness, in fact, has a decidedly Buddhist quality. Happiness is tranquility, and tranquility comes principally from putting aside worldly desires. Epicurus’s ideas about ataraxia – the freedom from mental anguish and disturbance that is required for true happiness – were, in fact, more directly influenced by Buddhist thought than we might imagine for a Greek philosopher of that epoch.
There is nothing more basic or irrefutable than the testimony of the senses – all 7 of them.
“If a person fights the clear evidence of his senses he will never be able to share in genuine tranquility.”
In other words, a person who doubts his senses (or who is not in contact with his senses or does little to develop them), will either lose contact with the reality of the surrounding world and become psychologically isolated and insecure or he will start to believe all his or her self-limiting and unsubstantiated beliefs.