- Happiness is Pleasure; all things are to be done for the sake of the pleasant feelings associated with them
- False beliefs produce unnecessary pain; among them, that the gods will punish us and that death is something to be feared
- There are necessary and unnecessary desires. Necessary desires, like desiring to be free from bodily pain, help in producing happiness, whereas unnecessary desires, like desiring a bigger car or a more luxurious meal, typically produce unhappiness
- The aim is not the positive pursuit of pleasure but rather the absence of pain, a neutral state he calls “ataraxia,” which is freedom from all worry, often translated simply as “inner tranquility.”
- This state of ataraxia can be achieved through philosophical contemplation rather than through pursuit of crass physical pleasures
- Happiness is not a private affair: it can be more readily achieved in a society where like-minded individuals band together to help inspire one another’s pursuit of happiness
1 bunch spring onions (scallions)
chillies to taste
2 cloves garlic crushed
half bell pepper
bunch fresh coriander (cilantro)
splash of oil
Making Salsa can be totally absorbing, as can any task that is repetitive and needs focus. I chop and scrape, and finely chop some more – very therapeutic.
Today a bonus ingredient is a malfunctioning speaker that encourages me to connect my headphones and cocoon myself away from the outside world. I am transported back to my salsa teacher; the lovely Isabel Mournian who was my adopted grandmother although living thousands of miles away in San Diego. We didn’t meet many times over the 20 years or so that I knew her, and that was ok. “Do you like coriander?” she asked. “Yes” I said though had only tasted it once and thought it disgusting. This time I loved it and have been addicted ever since.
Through the headphones comes the beautiful strains of Harvest Moon sung by Cassandra; a wonderful interpretation. The serendipity of tuning into Spotify’s Discover Weekly – especially for me! https://open.spotify.com/track/21HsI1RpRHEjbUjmzHtIyj
I like to add salt and the lime juice before adding the coriander, vinegar and oil – it makes a better texture and I like the way it draws out the juices. I taste and feel the kick of the chillies, adjust the seasoning a little and stir in the aromatic coriander. I’ve thrown the halved limes into a glass of water and enjoy the refreshing taste which also accidentally incorporates some of the other ingredients. Waste not want not. You could call it mindfulness I suppose; I think it’s just cooking and life, especially life.