Vatican Saying 33

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A beautifully distilled, aphoristically phrased summary of the Epicurean doctrine/theory of the desires: what our body "cries" for is simple, i.e. not to be hungry, thirsty, or cold. Once one can satisfy those needs, alleviating the corresponding "pains" with the plainest food, drink, and clothing/shelter, one should be content with one's present state; if one can also harbor reasonable hopes of continuing to satisfy those same needs (by the same means, of course) in the future as well, then one has reached the pinnacle of happiness.

In a poetic hyperbole, Epicurus asserts that such a person, having reached such a level of blissful ataraxia, would gladly compete even with Zeus himself in happiness. The king and father of gods can hardly be more content than the common mortal who has successfully and effectively answered the call of nature, and has heeded the "cry of the flesh" with the humblest remedies for the simplest needs.

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