Well, I can tell you what my views have been about how to live. The first model that seemed to me to be generous, and as good as human beings can hit on is the Buddhist notion. But the Buddhists have a rather crazy view, which I don’t myself completely understand, about how to live without the self, which I don’t understand.

 

But I think the Buddhist are about as enlightened as any organized religion could possibly be. But, I myself, have found, that I am a kind of epicurean, the term in Greek is ataraxia, which means, roughly, equilibrium; that is to live in some way that balances your emotional world, so that you don’t crave too much, and you don’t suffer too much. You don’t put yourself in the way of suffering too much, and that’s good enough for human life; something like that.

 

There is a remark in Epicurus — in a famous letter, known as a Letter to Menoeceus; that was in a way the first important piece of philosophy that I — when I learned of it, I thought one can’t improve on this. And the line roughly goes as follows, “When we are, death is not, and when death is, we are not.” And I thought there’s no way to say that more perfectly.

 

So, that would be a kind of illustration of ataraxia, a way of facing death without longing for it or without fearing it.1 And by and large, one never knows — by and large, I find myself living in accord with that.

  1. Unreasonable Reason []
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