I thought this funny "He was a citizen of Sinope who either fled or was exiled because of a problem involving the defacing of currency". (IEP) It is factual that he damaged the money, it just seems funny to be kicked out because of it. He then lived in Athens. About the rest of his life, we have a bunch of sketchy details.
Diogenes took Socrates passion for virtue and rejection of material things to an extreme. He believed that to live a good life one must live a simple life, governed by reason and natural impulses. One lives a good life by renouncing property and comfort, and not living by societal conventions.
He is known as a cynic, one of the first of his kind, that believes one should turn away from social custom and etiquette, living as natural a life as possible. The more you do this, the more you live the ideal life. His life was one of contention, fighting societal norms, telling people TO THINK before they do something, not just do what was expected of them. For instance, if you are hungry EAT, even if you aren't at home.
Diogenes lived under an abandoned tub. Though some stories have in being captured by pirates and living in Corinth being in charge of his master's children.
He believed that by doing so he had the most. The most of what was truly important in life indeed.
I have to admit, when I looked up some famous quotes, many made good sense to me. Take for instance this one below. Makes sense does it not that we should listen more than we talk?
I can understand what he means in some ways.
Take for instance how happy people can be with less stuff cluttering up their lives. Less stuff to worry about, more time to just spend with family and friends rather than keeping up with the Jones'. Less instead of more is an expression often heard these days.
AND Christ himself tells us that we must give up all things in order to follow him, counting all things as loss as we strive for the cross.
BUT Diogenes may have carried things a little too far ... he also didn't do this for the sake of Christ, he did this because he thought it was the way to peace within. Not calling on Christ for the peace but depriving himself in order to feel better inside his own head about how he was living his life.
His willingness to do so makes me think though. It really does. Would I be prepared if asked of God, to give up all the material comforts that I have? My household, my family, my bunnies, and what not? And gasp.. my books!!!! That's a hard one to consider. Yet this is what Diogenes did. WITHOUT the love of God to sustain him. Enduring ridicule and what not as well.
Interesting fellow. My sources are linked below.
internet encyclopedia of philosophy