Sunday, October 18, 2020

Perfect Happiness is Unachievable

The thinkers of Ancient Greece believed that the gods are envious of human prosperity and happiness, and they interfere to ruin the life of all those who lust for great riches and perfect happiness. Commenting on the terrible fate of Croesus, Herodotus writes in his Histories: ‘‘presumably because God was angry with him for supposing himself to be the happiest of men.’’ Only the gods can be perfectly prosperous and happy. The chorus in, Aeschylus’s play Agamemnon warns: 

In fame unmeasured, praise too high, 

Lies danger: God’s sharp lightnings fly 

To stagger mountains.

The notion that the lust for wealth and happiness leads to perdition is emphasized in several ancient Hindu (and Buddhist) texts and continues to be a part of the Indian ethical theory till this day. 

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