~Eudaimonia~

“What is eudaimonia?

Eudaimonia is often translated as happiness or genuine happiness. A somewhat better translation would be human flourishing, the way to reach the perfect life in so far as perfection is attainable by humanity. Something not to be found in outer means but, according to Plotinus, something found within the human spirit, itself.

Socrates thought all human beings wanted eudaimonia more than anything else and that virtue was both the seed and the fruit. Virtues such as self-control, courage, justice, piety and wisdom guaranteed a good and happy life. He contrasted eudaimonia with the life that seeks after honour (modern fame) and pleasure (modern hedonism) because that does nothing for the state of ones soul and thus can never lead to the ‘incomparably more important’ eudaimonia.

Epicurus went even further down this road and said hedonism was the most ethical way of life since pleasure was intrinsically good and pain intrinsically bad. This is different from the way we currently think about hedonism because he thought virtue would bring the most pleasure and so, naturally, everyone would try to be the most virtuous, while nowadays virtue is often viewed as weak or archaic.. it only distances us from our pain and difficult personal issues, but also from our own authentic spirituality, stranding us in a metaphysical limbo, a zone of exaggerated gentleness, niceness, and superficiality.”

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