The Avoidance of Suffering at All Costs

…the “new paganism” stemming from the more economically developed countries, characterized, now too, “by the pursuit of material well-being at all costs, and by an aversion—a horror, indeed—of anything that might cause suffering.”

–Venerable Alvaro del Portillo, quoted by Javier Echevarría 29 September, 2012


New paganism is a good word for it, because it is like, but fails to live up to the old paganism, which articulated an opposite ideal, viz., to attain peace by training the body, mind and soul to embrace the totality of human experience. That is, not by controlling experience, but by embracing it, to attain peace. This the Stoics, Epicureans and Academics all had in common, even if they pursued it in different ways. And this is why anyone who invokes the name of Epicureanism for mere lack of self-discipline is either deluding himself, others, or both.

He will not find peace.

Self-discipline will always be part of peace, whether we pursue it by materialist or spiritualist paths.

Thanks, dear reader, should you ever find me, for being my gadfly.


About philokalos

Philologist, historian, and lover of great books, I started this blog to keep myself alert to the beauty of what I see amid the demands of my work.
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