How To Choose Your Own Philosophy Of Life

There are lots of roads to take, and not all of them are for you.

Peter Burns
Lessons from History
8 min readOct 17, 2022


Photo by Valentin B. Kremer on Unsplash

Back in the ancient days, Zeus and Hermes, all-powerful gods, wanted to make a quick buck. They had a brilliant idea.

Setting up a marketplace, arranging the chairs, and making everything look neat and tidy, they set to work. Their business? Selling.

Zeus said: “Hermes, you can declare the salesroom open, and a welcome to all comers. — For Sale! A varied assortment of Live Creeds. Tenets of every description. — Cash on delivery; or credit allowed on suitable security.”

Hermes, the messenger of the gods, all giddy with excitement: “Here they come!”

Zeus agreed: “Let’s not keep them waiting.”

All the buyers swarmed in. The sale began.

Hermes turned to the supreme god himself, and asked: “What are we to put up first?”

Zeus replied without hesitation: “The Ionic fellow, with the long hair. He seems a showy piece of goods.”

Hermes: “Step up, Pythagoreanism, and show yourself.”

Thus began one of the most curious tales written in Antiquity, Philosophies for Sale. Penned by Hellenized Syrian satirist Lucian of Samosata, it’s a tongue-in-cheek take on what was happening at the time.

Different philosophies were competing for adherents, each one promising the answers to life’s problems. Some went as far as affirming to reveal the mysteries of the universe.

While Lucian lived in the 2nd century AD, at the time of the so-called Five Good Emperors in Rome, his ideas are as pertinent as ever. For they poke at one of the most basic needs of people.

The need to understand how the world works, and how to tackle its challenges. People are perennially searching for answers. Now, as they were thousands of years ago.

Who am I?

Where am I going?

What should I do?

How should I live?

What is the greater meaning in life and the universe?

All these are questions you have probably pondered about at least once in your…



Peter Burns
Lessons from History

A curious polymath who wants to know how everything works. Blog: Renaissance Man Journal (