“A man leaves his great house because he's bored
With life at home, and suddenly returns,
Finding himself no happier abroad.
He rushes off to his villa driving like mad,
You'ld think he's going to a house on fire,
And yawns before he's put his foot inside,
Or falls asleep and seeks oblivion,
Or even rushes back to town again.
So each man flies from himself (vain hope, because
It clings to him the more closely against his will)
And hates himself because he is sick in mind
And does not know the cause of his disease.”
“...nothing is more blissful than to occupy the heights effectively fortified by the teaching of the wise, tranquil sanctuaries from which you can look down upon others and see them wandering everywhere in their random search for the way of life, competing for intellectual eminence, disputing about rank, and striving night and day with prodigious effort to scale the summit of wealth and to secure power. O minds of mortals, blighted by your blindness! Amid what deep darkness and daunting dangers life’s little day is passed! To think that you should fail to see that nature importantly demands only that the body may be rid of pain, and that the mind, divorced from anxiety and fear, may enjoy a feeling of contentment!”
“نلاحظ أنّ متطلّبات طبيعتنا الجسدية قليلةٌ فعلًا، وهي لا تزيد عن ما هو لازم لتبديد الألم، وكذلك لإبعاد الكثير من الملذات عنا. لا تسعى الطبيعة عادةً إلى شيءٍ أكثر إشباعاً، أو تتذمّر إنْ لم يكن ثمة صور ذهبيّة للشبّان قرب المنزل وهم يحملون مصابيح متألقة في أيديهم اليمنى لإضاءة الولائم التي تجري طوال الليل. ما الذي سيختلف لو لم تبرق الكرة بأضواء فضيّة برّاقة إلى جانب الذهبيّة، أو يكن ثمة عوارض منقوشة ومطليّة تهتز بفعل موسيقى آلة اللوت؟ لن تُضيّع الطبيعة هذه المباهج لو استلقى الناس مع رفاقهم على العشب الرطب قرب جدولٍ يجري تحت أغصان شجرة عالية، فيُنعشون أجسادهم بلذائذ ذات تكلفة ضئيلة. وستزداد روعة الأمر لو كان الطقس مبتسماً لهم، وصار ثوب العشب مرقّطاً بالأزهار.”
“The supply of matter in the universe was never more tightly packed than it is now, or more widely spread out. For nothing is ever added to it or subtracted from it. It follows that the movement of atoms today is no different from what it was in bygone ages and always will be. So the things that have regularly come into being will continue to come into being in the same manner; they will be and grow and flourish so far as each is allowed by the laws of nature.”
“Another fallacy comes creeping in whose errors you should be meticulous in trying to avoid. Don't think our eyes, our bright and shining eyes, were made for us to look ahead with. Don't suppose our thigh bones fitted our shin bones and our shins our ankles so that we might take steps. Don't think that arms dangled from shoulders and branched out in hands with fingers at their ends, both right and left, for us to do whatever need required for our survival. All such argument, all such interpretation is perverse, fallacious, puts the cart before the horse. No bodily thing was born for us to use. Nature had no such aim, but what was born creates the use. There could be no such thing as sight before the eyes were formed. No speech before the tongue was made, but tongues began long before speech were uttered. and the ears were fashioned long before a sound was heard. And all the organs I feel sure, were there before their use developed. They could not evolve for the sake of use be so designed. But battling hand to hand and slashing limbs, fouling the foe in blood, these antedate the flight of shining javelins. Nature taught men out to dodge a wound before they learned the fit of shield to arm. Rest certainly is older in the history of man than coverlets or mattresses, and thirst was quenched before the days of cups or goblets. Need has created use as man contrives device for his comfort. but all these cunning inventions are far different from all those things much older, which supply their function from their form. The limbs, the sense, came first, their usage afterwards. Never think they could have been created for the sake of being used.”
“At this stage you must admit that whatever is seen to be sentient is nevertheless composed of atoms that are insentient. The phenomena open to our observation do not contradict this conclusion or conflict with it. Rather they lead us by the hand and compel us to believe that the animate is born, as I maintain, of the insentient”
- Description: Titus Lucretius Carus (c. 99 BC – c. 55 BC) was a Roman poet and philosopher. His only known work is the epic philosophical poem "De Rerum Natura" about the tenets and philosophy of Epicureanism, and which is usually translated into English as On the Nature of Things.
Very little is known about Lucretius's life; the only certain fact is that he was either a friend or client of Gaius Memmius, to whom the poem was addressed and dedicated.