Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I may be running low on boredom

I blame meditation but it might also be aging.  I guess as I read, think, experience, learn more, it becomes harder to be bored.  I am interested in boredom.  I wrote about the subject here

http://fearfunandfiloz.blogspot.com/2012/02/strange-case-of-mr-donnybrooks-boredom.html and here:


I like to think that if I stay alert and look carefully, there is always something interesting to experience, think, see, do.  But nearly all my efforts are about avoiding boredom.  What if it is valuable, helpful, healthy?  I don't mean all the time, of course.  But since staring out the window at the rain comes so easily, maybe being bored furnishes some rest or inspiration or refreshment that I benefit from.

The first link above leads to a poem of sorts by Ogden Nash that describes a fictional couple who spend their lives seeking boredom.  I suppose that boredom junkies can be satiated by normally boring things and have to up the dosage or the intensity to achieve a high level of boredom.  The idea of deep pleasure or ecstasy from boredom is an intriguing one.  Maybe I have been missing out.  Maybe I have been doing boredom wrong.

Bertrand Russell wrote about the brain cooking an idea on the back burner.  He recommended shaving as an activity likely to bring about an "Aha!" moment in which the talk or the deal or the puzzle settles into a useful form, one that makes clear how to proceed.

We watched Manoush Zomorodi give a good TED talk about the uses and value of boredom and Michael Corballis of New Zealand has his book "The Wandering Mind".  Zomorodi explains that modern smartphones and parenting kids are both activities that keep the mind focused and cut down on the glazed-eye staring that we used to pass the time with.  

Google offers 52 million results for "Is boredom good for you?"


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