On Boredom

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posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 04:19 PM
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On Boredom


What is there better to do in bouts of boredom than to contemplate boredom itself? Obviously many things—but sometimes we don’t have that choice. Lately, I’ve been critiquing my own boredom in various moments of prolonged idleness.

Observations


  1. As I become bored, my senses and my memory desire to sense and remember something else. I no longer have room for, or I no longer find pleasure in sensing and experiencing the current situation. To compensate, my senses reach further outward, focusing more on particulars and honing in on different subjects of the current experience. I may eavesdrop in on a conversation and attempt to make out words; I may examine a person or an object; I may attempt to understand this and past experiences, or create my own in my imagination; all this to gain a more memorable experience out of an unmemorable one. I become curious again. Boredom begets curiosity.

  2. In a more social setting, perhaps waiting in a line, sitting on a bus or waiting at a pub for a friend, it can be socially unacceptable or awkward to closely ponder the experience or be overly curious about the surroundings. I would be deemed unusual if I started intimately staring at a person pondering their every move. I cannot just grab any object in the vicinity and start examining it, smelling it and fondling it. I cannot overstep any social boundaries. My senses and memory are at the mercy of the situation, and my lust for memorable sensuality must be curbed in order to be taken seriously in this culture. I can no longer act like a curious child. I must at least appear as if I’m not bored—like an adult. I’ve witnessed others accomplish this by tapping their feet, staring at the ground or pretending to read something on the wall. If they’ve come prepared, they’re staring at their phones, a newspaper, a book or the nearest screen.

    A gathering of people at a subway station pretending they’re not bored is a beautiful irony. The opportunity for human interaction is extremely dense. In these situations, I feel compelled to redirect my curiosity as best I can. I always want to know who I’m standing in this oddly intimate situation with, but withdraw lest they notice me. Others bury their faces in their phones seemingly oblivious to the orgy of pulsating human bodies around them. The sensual experience begins to lack, my memory searches for something new and fresh, and as a last resort, I retreat into the recesses of my thought. Rather than appear as a child, I resort to redirecting my senses.

  3. At home, I am yet again at the mercy of the experience. I cannot find joy in exploring the walls or sitting idly in a chair. I must experience something. I must remember something else. I become productive, creative or entertain myself, solely for the purpose of being able to bear the mediocrity of living in a box. Sometimes I take the path of least resistance and turn on a screen or open a book—problem solved. Other times I become productive. Usually I create something and somehow better myself, or at least attempt to provide myself with some sort of future existence, usually by acquiring the means for my survival and a better quality of life. This involves cleaning my environment, myself, optimizing my day-to-day and planning for the future.

  4. I can never be bored in a natural setting. In the woods, among animals and trees, I always have something to do; my senses and memory are fully satisfied.

Interpretations


Boredom is the byproduct of a sensual organism being denied a sensual experience. When the senses tire, they sleep and try to forget. When they awake, they search and try to remember through sensual experience. When I become bored, I seek something. I may try being productive by optimizing or bettering myself in some manner; I may do it synthetically by destroying it through screens; or, if I’m lucky, and no who cares is around, I do so as a child, lost in play, curiosity, a creative frenzy and a yearning to let down the sails and hit the seas.

Questions


What is a better use of boredom: to destroy it synthetically (television, games)? to become productive? to engage the mind? or to become a child and re-learn and re-discover the world through our senses once again?

Can we define a human by what they do with their boredom?




posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by NiNjABackflip
 


I believe bordem to be our greatest state in which to harness the most out of our creativity. I think some profoundly interesting and amazing concepts are created in this state.

I wonder if your thought process for this very thread was fueled by bordem itself. If it is, then it shows us how deep one can delve into a subject when focused solely on the subject through bordem alone.



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 05:06 PM
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Loved this post. S&F.

Personally, I think boredom is a wonderful opportunity to rekindle the imagination. That's what I do in moments of boredom; I tell stories, write novels and movie scenes, all in my head. They may not be public worthy, but i think it's a lot of fun.



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 05:37 PM
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Here is my perspective on this.

Boredom happens for two main reason, one, we have desire to do something and can't do it at the moment, or two, we do not want to be where we are now or doing what we are doing now but also don't know what we'd rather be doing.


Originally posted by NiNjABackflip
As I become bored, my senses and my memory desire to sense and remember something else. I no longer have room for, or I no longer find pleasure in sensing and experiencing the current situation.


And this is a key clue. Instead of chasing pleasure (the satisfaction is always short-lived) you can be finding reasons to appreciate which is always satisfying.


Originally posted by NiNjABackflip
In a more social setting, perhaps waiting in a line, sitting on a bus or waiting at a pub for a friend, it can be socially unacceptable or awkward to closely ponder the experience or be overly curious about the surroundings. I would be deemed unusual if I started intimately staring at a person pondering their every move. I cannot just grab any object in the vicinity and start examining it, smelling it and fondling it. I cannot overstep any social boundaries.


Whether you are being "socially conformed" or not doesn't matter. It only matters to others and then it may matter to you but only if you let it. I will not stare at another person pondering their move because it may feel weird to them, I respect it, but that does not mean I will suppress myself from my true nature. I will stare at my fingers cleaning (or pretending to clean) my fingernails.


Originally posted by NiNjABackflip

A gathering of people at a subway station pretending they’re not bored is a beautiful irony. The opportunity for human interaction is extremely dense. In these situations, I feel compelled to redirect my curiosity as best I can. I always want to know who I’m standing in this oddly intimate situation with, but withdraw lest they notice me. Others bury their faces in their phones seemingly oblivious to the orgy of pulsating human bodies around them. The sensual experience begins to lack, my memory searches for something new and fresh, and as a last resort, I retreat into the recesses of my thought. Rather than appear as a child, I resort to redirecting my senses.


Another thing that you can do is just stare into the distance looking at the passing trains. Even if you are "caught" (as if this is something bad
) it will just appear like you are daydreaming which is socially "normal" in a boring situation.



What you are talking about sounds like "Flow". What flow really is, is being drawn into something by focus. Understanding this you can increase your "chances" of being in "flow" by concentrating on now and just observing whatever is around you. It will not be weird unless your focus is another person, if you are just focusing on an object people will just think you are daydreaming which is perfectly normal.


Originally posted by NiNjABackflip
At home, I am yet again at the mercy of the experience. I cannot find joy in exploring the walls or sitting idly in a chair. I must experience something. I must remember something else.


You "must do"... this sounds like a symptom of a human "being" turning into a human "doing". If you really wanted to, you could concentrate on the walls and just take in it's features.

Remember it is the focus on "something" that turns it into this "flowing" experience, so you could even daydream about something and just let the imagination go from there. Eventually you'll hop up and do something, but don't force yourself - you don't HAVE to be doing something every time...


Originally posted by NiNjABackflip

What is a better use of boredom: to destroy it synthetically (television, games)?


This is a short-lived solution. It will not stop the boredom at work nor will it stop the boredom of "waiting" in a line (unless you have a phone you can play games on).


Originally posted by NiNjABackflip
to become productive?


There is nothing wrong with being productive (it is the creative you) but it may lead to a false conclusion that you HAVE to be doing something all the time or you are worthless or lazy - which most people fell for and now live their life in a rush...


Originally posted by NiNjABackflip
to engage the mind?


Sure, or even engage on something in your surroundings now...


Originally posted by NiNjABackflip
or to become a child and re-learn and re-discover the world through our senses once again?


Another possibility. Some have never forgotten.


Originally posted by NiNjABackflip
Can we define a human by what they do with their boredom?


Sure, but it's not a necessity.





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