Update on Epicurus.info and Wiki

A fellow Epicurean has shared with us the sad news of Erik Anderson’s passing at the age of 47 and a link to his obituary, according to which he was fascinated by astronomy and astrophotography.

His younger sister Kayla, who shared his love of books and astronomy, asks, “When you look up at the stars, we hope you will think of Erik.”

Erik was the author of Epicurus.info and apparently was also in charge of the wiki, which explains why his webpages are unfortunately no longer available, as we recently announced. Please join us in honoring his memory and the memory of all the Epicureans that came before us with a toast while contemplating the stars.

“My name is Jaakko and I am an addict. I am addicted to reading”

I’d like to also honor the memory of another Epicurean-influenced blogger, philosopher and secular activist from Finland, Jaako, who died some years ago and authored the Being Human blog. His final entry, titled Is it Finally Time to Say Goodbye?, was written shortly before his passing while he was fully aware of a life lived passionately and richly and aware that he had only hours to live due to his cancer. In that final assessment, Jaako shared his most intimate joys and pleasures–like his love of books–and biographical details, for the benefit of those who had shared his journey online and didn’t know him personally. Although his goodbye blog seems to be filled with trivia and what may seem like unimportant details, it’s written in a personal style and at a moment of such vulnerability with so much courage and love of life that it is absolutely worth reading with the words of the ancient Epicureans in our minds, that: “Death is No Thing to Us! For When We Are, it is Not, and When it is, We are Not” … that was Jaako’s attitude in his final moment, and should be ours.


Posted in Epicurus | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Epicurus.net and the Importance of Appreciating Our Available Literature

Those of you who are close followers of Epicurean literature and community online may have noticed that the epicurus.info and the Epicurus Wiki webpages both went offline recently. The other major resource that remains (outside of Society of Epicurus–including in Spanish–and New Epicurean with all its related sites) for content within our tradition is the excellent epicurus.net.

Epicurus.net contains the Principal Doctrines, Vatican Sayings, and all the main epistles of the founders, Diogenes Laertius’ biography and history of our founder and initial movement, and many other later works including the blissfully entertaining Alexander the Oracle Monger: a satiric historical narrative about a false prophet. It also contains other works.

If you enjoy and support our content, please visit, share–and, of course, save as backup–the content on epicurus.net, as well as in the rest of the philosophy sites available, to ensure that this content remains available online indefinitely through various means and outlets. You can also support our literary output by buying Epicurean books for your friends by myself, Cassius, or any other kindred spirit, by giving them away as gifts, etc.

Also Read:

Monadnock Valley Press’ Public Domain Translations of Epicurus

Posted in Books, Epicurus | Tagged | 1 Comment

Review of Sam Harris’ Waking Up, Part V

Part IV

On Gurus

Harris believes that the guru-disciple relationship is not necessarily to be avoided or thrown out. Mentors can be useful, and sometimes necessary for gaining certain insights. He gives one sign of a potentially healthy guru: humility.

He also prudently warns about the dangers of having a Guru. He gives four clear indicators of a fraud:

  1. a history as fabulist or con artist (i.e. Joseph Smith)
  2. a fetish for numbers (i.e. Pythagoras)
  3. the uttering of prophecy (i.e. Benny Hinn)
  4. the suggestion that he can change world events through magic



Harris stimulates our philosophical muscles with this book by inviting us to seek an understanding of the nature of the soul or the self. He raises questions about whether a subject even needs an object in order to properly exist, saying that anesthesia awareness is a “cure for much bad philosophy”. I tend to agree.

But he also claims that consciousness is the only thing that’s not an illusion. This implies that there is no concrete, tangible reality out there. I wholeheartedly disagree there. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Harris’ stimulating discourse, and I hope that these conversations will be mulled over and carried forward. Thank you, Sam Harris, for bringing us closer to a science of spirituality.

Further Reading:

Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Reasonings About Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape

Buddhism Plain and Simple


Dhammapada (Buddhanet’s Version and AccessToInsight.org Version)

Posted in Atheism, Books, Humanism, Naturalism, Review | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Review of Sam Harris’ Waking Up, Part IV

Part III

Against the War on Drugs

In Waking Up, Harris takes time to join the many voices that are calling for decriminalization of mind-enhancing drugs and advocates their use to experiment with altered states of mind. This, he acknowledges, is not without its dangers, but unlike other methods of exploring consciousness, he says that psychodelics carry a “guarantee of profound effect”.

The “war on drugs” has been lost and should never have been waged. I can think of no right more fundamental than the right to peacefully steward the contents of one’s own consciousness. The fact that we pointlessly ruin the lives of nonviolent drug users by incarcerating them, at enormous expense, constitutes one of the great moral failures of our time.

In speaking out about exploring consciousness as a spiritual practice, he argues that regulating one’s mental state is not just a civil right: it’s a choice, an art, a spiritual exercise, and even says that consuming mushrooms is “one of the most important rites of passage a human can experience”.

… it seems that psychedelic ecstasies must be steered toward our personal and collective well-being by some … principle.

Harris also argues that ethical guidance is needed in the use of entheogens, and cites the example of human sacrifice by the Aztecs to argue why we should not idealize entheogens in spirituality. This is where we must acknowledge the role of ethics, of philosophy as a moral guide.

It is unclear what Epicurus has to say on this, and some of the Epicureans on social media, when the subject is addressed, have expressed hostility against the idea that entheogens can be a source of insight or pleasure, praising instead sobriety and a clear mind. This remains an open discussion.

Entheogens are believed by some to have contributed significantly to fashioning modern humans. Terrence McKenna proposed the Stoned Ape theory to explain how the human brain grew to twice its size within the evolutionary blink of an eye. Joe Rogan posted an interesting discussion video on this theory, the latter part of which is outlandish but the first part of which makes sense: that our ancestors were following the herds during a period of climate change and, in their droppings, would have found mushrooms. Rogan dismisses the idea that meat eating only caused brain change, because other primates also eat meat.

Part V

Posted in Books, Philosophy, Review | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Podcast Ateorizar: Episodio Epicuro de Samos

Podcast Ateorizar, con la participación de Hiram Crespo; discusión de la filosofía de Epicuro, de la indignación por el maltrato a una atea en la televisión ecuatoriana, visita del papa y otros temas.

Translation: Spanish-language podcast featuring myself discussing Epicurean philosophy, mistreatment of an atheist contestant at Ecuador Got Talent, the pope’s visit, and other subjects.

Posted in Atheism, Epicurus, Philosophy, Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

This Week in Epicurean Philosophy

New Epicurean has setup a newsletter with their weekly updates. If you’d like to stay informed about all things Epicurean, please subscribe here!

Posted in Philosophy | Leave a comment

“Brother, let’s guard life more!”

When you go and buy a car, you’re not buying with money. You’re buying with the TIME it took you to work and earn that money. Therefore, you buy a car and you pay with life! Brother, let’s guard life more! You need to have time to love, for friends, loved beings, for the things that make you happy.Jose Mujica

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment