Letters on Happiness

by Peter Saint-Andre

Letter Twenty-Four: The Four-Fold Cure

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Dear Schuyler,

Thanks for sending that poem — it does a good job of capturing the Epicurean sense of life in contemporary language (and it's certainly a quicker read than Lucretius!).

Speaking of brief summaries, I've discovered an ancient recipe for happiness according to Epicurus, called the "tetrapharmakos" or four-fold cure:

Don't fear god.
Don't worry about death.
What's good is easy to get.
What's bad is easy to bear.

It doesn't get much simpler than that, does it? Although we have picked up some more particular advice along the way, the four-fold cure cuts to the essence and is quite memorable (as Epicurus noted in the Vatican Sayings, "short discourses and long discourses both achieve the same thing").

I know I've certainly enjoyed our discourse about Epicurus, too! Let's do it again sometime. ;-)

Your friend,



Peter Saint-Andre > Writings > Epicurus