Is there any concept more natural for a living being that to instinctively seek one’s own comfort?
Was not each of us born instinctively seeking our own comfort?
Does not a newborn cry when hungry? Does not a newborn cry when uncomfortable?
And is not the baby at peace when fed a supply sufficient to appease the hunger? And is not the infant serene when bathed and wrapped in a blanket?
Does not every living being operate according to the natural concept of seeking one’s own comfort?
Does not a dog seek shade on a hot Summer day? Does not the same dog lie in the sunlight on a crisp Autumn afternoon? And is the dog not tranquil once shaded from the heat of the oppressive sun? And is not the dog not also at peace when “sunbathing” on a crisp, cool day?
Does not each and every one of us seek our own personal comfort each and every moment of each and every day?
Do we not put on a robe when we first get out of bed on a cold Winter morning? Do we not adjust the Thermostat to suit our desired bodily comfort? Do we not wear short sleeves on a hot Summer day? Do we not shield ourselves from the falling rain by carrying an umbrella or wearing a raincoat? Do we not wear gloves and a hat when it snows? Do we not eat when hungry? Do we not drink when thirsty? Do we not relieve ourselves when our bodily functions make us uncomfortable?
Indeed, does not each and every one of us seek our own personal comfort each and every moment of each and every day? And do we not experience bodily comfort at the very point that we sufficiently address each and every discomfort in our daily lives; no matter how seemingly minor those discomforts might seem? And furthermore, do we not experience peace of mind at the very point of experiencing bodily comfort?
1. Since it is the case that every one of us seeks our own personal comfort each and every moment of our lives, shall we not rationalize that process instead of rejecting that reality?
2. Since it is only natural for all living beings to be at peace when comfortable, then is it only rational to relearn that process ourselves?
“The wise man who has accustomed himself to the bare necessities knows how to give rather than to receive” (Epicurus)
3. Do we not in fact inflict undue anxieties on ourselves when we reason otherwise?
“Nothing is sufficient for the man to whom the sufficient is too little” (Epicurus)
“when it comes to unlimited desires, even the greatest wealth is but poverty” (Epicurus)
“He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing” (Epicurus)
“If you want to make Pythocles a rich man, do not add to his store but take away his desire” (Epicurus)
4. Finally, would we not then be genuinely happy if we but follow the course of nature by limiting our desires to that of a supply sufficient to provide our personal comfort?
“Natural wealth is limited and easily obtained, the riches of idle fancy go on forever” (Epicurus)
“Happiness and blessedness do not belong to abundance of riches or exalted position or offices or power, but to freedom from pain and gentleness of feeling and a state of mind that sets limits that are in accordance with nature” (Epicurus; emphasis mine; DL)
“Thanks be to blessed nature for making the necessary easy to secure and the unnecessary difficult to supply” (Epicurus)
May you be genuinely happy, at peace, and comfortable;