Monday, April 09, 2007


As personal as the phenomenon known as boredom is, there is one thing that all versions have in common: sufferers have ceased being interesting to themselves and thus feel betrayed by whatever source of distraction they’ve chosen for no longer entertaining them. The harsh truth is that only boring people can be bored or resort to blaming externals for their condition. Certainly everyone has experienced the tedium of meaningless repetition to be found in the industrial products of modern civilization’s assembly lines, but to continue to rely on such for a sense of involvement in the mystery of life can only be a case of ignoring ones own curiosity about the natural world within and without ones skin. Epitomes of the encroachment of such vicarious living are the “entertainment industry” and “spectator sports” encouraging sedentary abandonment of ones curiosity, imagination and creativity for the formulaic bath in other's thrills.

I discovered this act of selling oneself short, or out in the extreme case, when I found I could not remain inside when experiencing the effects of psychotropic substances. The enhanced irritation of observing manufactured objects for all their endlessly unsatisfying, mundane explainability drives me to the out-of-doors to see trees and animals and weather whose mysteries are barely explained or contained by the most succinct, yet always open ended theories. Don Juan showed this to his student as Casteneda explained away the possibility of a winged deer to be a branch with trembling leaves. The ultimate statement of the impotence required for boredom is, "There is nothing new under the sun."

I suppose the phenomenon of “cabin fever” experienced by latter day Neanderthals who insist on dwelling in the land of long winter snows is the most general example of the inadequacy of plans and routine to fill in for spontaneity. I know that my recent bout with bronchial breakdown, leaving me weak and mentally pretty puny, has emphasized this feeling of boredom as I remain indoors with little or no will to jeopardize my health further in this extended Texas winter and a sputtering creative imagination that has resorted to purchasing movies and TV shows from iTunes as a distraction from my irritation with my relatively impotent condition. This period is the worst of such times so far in my life, but I have a feeling that sunshine and more clement weather will restore me to my former health with a relish impossible ‘til now. I may even find that I've forgotten to tune in Democracy Now to keep my nose in the business of others by once again fully grokking the business of blooming peppers, tomatoes and squash in my garden.

(2 hours later) I would also like to note that boredom often takes on the aspect of an empty schedule for one who is dedicated to always have something going on if only to have an answer when asked, not out of any kind of creativity but to avoid facing the present where creativity or the lack of it is dealt with. As oral traditions are recorded by translators and digitized by programmers, access to entire cultures may be had and ignored by cherry picking theoreticians seeking only proof of their foregone conclusions. In this same way, the vast value of the present is ignored while serving only as a stepping stone on the way to a foregone future.

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