Tending the Epicurean Garden

My book Tending the Epicurean Garden (available from Humanist Press, Amazon, and elsewhere) is available from amazon and can also be purchased directly from Humanist Press which, by the way, also made available WH Mallock’s Lucretius on Life and Death available as a free companion to it. I am very thrilled that, after the many months of hard work that went into the book, I’m finally able to take others on this adventure with me to discover Epicureanism on its own terms.

There are sources on Epicureanism, but many are indirect and some are hostile. It’s important for us in the Epicurean movement that there exist Epicurean sources for our tradition that explain it on our own terms.

Another reason why this book is extremely important is that there is a huge body of interdisciplinary research that vindicates the teachings of Epicurus, which calls for an update to how they’re presented. This includes not just research by social scientists but also in fields as varied as diet and neuroplasticity.

Epicureanism is not a fossilized, archaic Greek philosophical school but a cosmopolitan, contemporary, scientific wisdom tradition that is alive and changing as new information becomes available on the science of happiness and wellbeing.

Lovers of Epicurean tradition who make a resolution to apply philosophy in their daily lives will benefit the most from the book, which is meant to set the foundation for the work of the Society of Friends of Epicurus.

The best way for Epicureanism to grow, in my view, is organically and slowly beginning with small circles of Friends. I also believe that the current generation of Epicureans has a pivotal role in the future of our tradition, and that the most effective way to revitalize our tradition is by implementing exercises based on the insights presented in the book about katastemic and contemplative practices, by nurturing their wisdom traditions, etc. Insights gained through these experiments, if shared with the larger Epicurean community, might be of great benefit to many.

I hope you find as much pleasure in reading the book as I found in writing it!

Hiram Crespo

Book Reviews

By Michael Fontaine, a Cornell University classicist, written for The Humanist, a publication of the American Humanist Association

By David Tamayo, of Hispanic American Freethinkers

By Rick Heller, written for secularbuddhism.org

By Alan Furth (en español) for the Las Indias blog

NewEpicurean.com review by Cassius Amicus

Balance Pleasure and Structure?, from the Brian Beholds blog

Reviewer Feedback

In Tending the Epicurean Garden Crespo has given all of us a way to think about how we live—our choices, abilities, appetites, freedoms, and responsibilities. He distills the relevant scholarship on Epicureanism in a succinct and unassuming way.

Michael Fontaine, for The Humanist

Hiram Crespo has done a masterful job in describing the teachings of Epicurus and making them relevant to modern life … “Tending the Epicurean Garden” is a breath of fresh air if, like me, you have tried to read the dull prose of some professional philosophers.

Robert and Martha Hanrott, of the Epicurus blog

This is one of the few absolutely pro-Epicurean books to have been written in the last several hundred years … One can read this book without any knowledge at all of the history or doctrine of Epicurus, because the author provides a good measure of both history and teachings in the course of the book … Hopefully there will be more to come from the same author.

Cassius Amicus, of newepicurean.com

This brilliant book may certainly be the first of its kind. There are many academic introductions to Ancient Philosophy out there, just as there are countless self-help books often drawing on various spiritual of esoteric traditions. Crespo’s book is a bit of both … A highly educational and enjoyable read!

Sasha Euler, ethics professor

The more I understand Epicurus the more affinity I feel. This is rare. This guy was sticking it to the superstitious and flipping off the pretentious philosophers consumed with metaphysical nonsense. He sounds like the Christopher Hitchens of the ancient world! Don’t fear God! Don’t fear death! Trust your senses for that is how most knowledge is acquired. Have a few good friends. Concern yourself with what you can control. Find ways to minimize emotional and physical suffering and maximize pleasure with the checks and balances of natural consequences. What’s not to love? Hiram Crespo, I loved your book! Deeply provocative!

Eric Sherman, reader

Hiram Crespo’s book “Tending the Epicurean Garden” is a concise and wholesome presentation of Epicurean philosophy, which I very much enjoyed reading … The basics of Epicurean philosophy is presented in a simple, user-friendly, narrative way but at the same time, when needed, it is corroborated by current scientific findings and it is paralled correspondingly with other similar concepts from various schools of thought and cultures of Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa.

Christos Yapijakis, member of the Athens Garden

The book presents complex material, clearly written … Secular Buddhists can clearly benefit from allowing another stream of ancient wisdom to flow into this emerging project of seeking abiding tranquility and the end of suffering.

Rick Heller, co-founder of the Humanist Mindfulness Group and contributor tosecularbuddhism.org

El libro es una resumida pero muy completa introducción a los principios básicos y la práctica del epicureísmo. Pero también brinda una interesante interpretación de las enseñanzas de Epicuro desde el punto de vista de la psicología positiva, la neurociencia y otras disciplinas científicas que hoy en día corroboran gran parte del legado del maestro.

Alan Furth, Las Indias bloggerBack to the Main Page

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Author: hiramcrespo

Hiram Crespo is the author of 'Tending the Epicurean Garden' and founder of societyofepicurus.com. He's also written for The Humanist, Eidolon, Occupy, The New Humanism, The Secular Web, Europa Laica, AteístasPR, and many other outlets.