"he was an Epicurean not in the commonly misunderstood sense, as a seeker after luxury, but in the true meaning, as a pursuer of what the Greeks call ataraxia, or freedom from disturbance."
Epicurus, the founder of Epicureanism
Public DomainEpicurus, the founder of Epicureanism - Credit: Interstate295revisited/Wikimedia Commons
 Epicureanism was the philosophy based on the teachings of the Greek Epicurus (4th century BC) that man should live according to what will make him happiest; he should seek out pleasure and avoid pain. Surprisingly, this did not necessarily lead to a hedonistic, luxury filled lifestyle, for what might bring a momentary pleasure one minute could cause lasting pain for years. For example, Epicurus believed that moderation should be shown in all aspects of life; eating too much or too richly would lead to regret and ill health, buying too many material things would lead to poverty, over-indulgence of sexual yearnings would lead to growing dissatisfaction, and so on. If whims are not restrained, the person will simply want more and more until his desires are unattainable.

The pursuit of power or a political career was to be avoided; it could only bring danger, worry and eventual dissatisfaction. Instead, the best life was one spent in philosophy, as only through learning and the pursuit of higher knowledge could man break from superstitious fears and the petty desires of the body.