Posted by spritzophrenia on November 24, 2010
Day three and the pain is not ending. I have a fear of being bored. It may be because I’m a head person, I live in my mind, as opposed to heart people who live in their emotions and gut people who live in their bodies.
I have many interesting books, but none of them appeal. There is television. Ugh. So banal I want to throw something. I have movies recorded. Yes, but I don’t want THOSE ones. Surfing the net just yields more tedium. Music? Meh. I could go out or talk to friends but I don’t have any money, and more tellingly, I can’t be bothered. Write? I have a killer writer’s block.
Happygirl suggests I go for a walk. But then I’d be left alone with my head, and my thoughts. I want to fill my head so that I don’t have to think. I don’t want to confront whatever horrors are waiting for me in my imagination. I want to get drunk or high to get out of myself, but I have no wine.
According to Schopenhauer, “The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom”. He was a grumpy old git anyway. I recall the rich and jaded Marie Antoinette said, “Nothing tastes”.
I see boredom as similar to depression. (Perhaps it IS depression.) It’s a change of perspective in myself, it’s not real. Nothing objective has changed in the world, therefore it’s my view of things that’s changed. For example, with a quick search I found the following:
* A fascinating and scary interview with a Mexican hit-man.
* According to this article, quoting the NY Times, US Corporations have just posted the biggest profits ever. When do the rest of us see the trickle down?
* Or for entertainment, an Indian teen sings “Club Can’t Handle Me”. One comment suggests the club won’t even let him in.
See? I bet you found at least one of those worthwhile. I can recognise with my intellect that these, and many other things are worthy of comment and attention. Yet my feelings tell me otherwise.
I’m conscious that a great many people in the world would love the luxury of being bored. I feel selfish and indulgent. But I can’t help what I feel. Perhaps it’s a spiritual malaise, but what does that mean? Do I have to just wait this out, or is there something I can do?
I wonder if connecting with nature will help me. Yes, I will try that. At this point, dear reader, we leave our author sitting alone in the garden, enjoying the sun and sifting soil through his hands.
[Edit: The dirt smells like cat piss. Typical.]
Have you ever felt like this? What do you do when you’re bored?
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Posted in agnostic, personal | Tagged: boredom, hardship, I'm Bored | 18 Comments »
Posted by spritzophrenia on July 19, 2010
My twitter friend Anne complimented me recently saying “It takes guts to blog about personal spirituality”. I took a great deal of comfort from that, because she’s right. It’s hard.
The post-Enlightenment West is unusual among many world cultures because we regard talking about religion as a private matter. I read of somewhere – was it Bali? – where a typical meeting of strangers includes “How are you? “, “How is your family?” , “Are you married?”, and “What religion are you?”. I assume not all in the same sentence!
I firmly believe that not talking about the inner life diminishes us, yet fighting your own culture ain’t easy. In the words of the song, “I fought the law, and the law won.” Many people simply do not want to engage with this stuff. I’d probably be a millionaire by now if I switched to blogging Oprah-esque personal development.
Writing about what I do is difficult because it’s personal. It affects me. I don’t talk about spirituality, agnosticism, atheism out of mere academic interest. It’s apatheism, a portmanteau of apathy and theism/atheism which says, “I don’t know and I don’t care that I don‘t know.” I care that I don’t know. The question of whether or not there is some higher reality to be found affects my life, my emotions, my fears and my frustrations.
Not having a firm position feels rather like rowing a solitary boat through a rolling sea. Up, down, no safe haven in which to anchor, and no fellow passengers to share the oars.
“Doing” spirituality is hard and I’ve never been fond of spiritual “work”. If one is going to include spiritual practices as part of one’s search, such as meditation or even just listening openly to a friend of a different faith, that takes time and effort. I can’t honestly say I’ve spent a lot of energy on this yet. It’s ambitious to think I could experience enough in one lifetime anyway. Books are safer.
The search is also hard in an intellectual sense. I’ve spent time reading very obtuse philosophy debates in online forums. “Before we debate God,” says one, “let’s decide if ‘god’ is a coherent concept.” Phew. At the end of this, often my head hurts and I feel stupid. I do value good reasoning, after all, half my undergrad degree was in philosophy. But at the end of the day, there will always be a better argument around the corner and I simply don’t have time to understand them all.
I’m also bruised by the times when someone who likes to be seen to be intellectual wades in and wins the battle, while simultaneously killing her friends. I’ve been one of those people, and I’d rather lose the ego. It’s a weakness of intellectuals; some of us learned to feel self-worth because we knew more big words than someone else. When others do have better arguments, it’s humbling.
Writing about a spiritual search also exposes me on a whole different level. See, there’s a funny thing: When it comes to religion people not only judge what you think, they also judge your character. Online friend Kimh asked if my writing will be abstract study, or more of a memoir. I think it has to be at least partly personal because otherwise it‘ll be dull as iron. But I don’t want it to be about me. I want to hide behind argument and erudition. I don’t want to have my life up for scrutiny as well. Frankly, sometimes I’m not a nice person at all. Apparently we all have secrets, and it’s OK to keep some of them hidden– at least that was the theme of Dexter season three. But he’s an imaginary serial killer.
Writer Matthew Paul Turner recently wrote of the difficulty of being truly honest in a Christian context where you’re not supposed to talk about some things. I think it’s hard being honest full stop, regardless of one’s persuasion. What if I’m making some obvious mistake and people laugh at me? What if my friends disown me? What if I offend people who don‘t share my (non)beliefs? It would be much easier to merely present ideas. Ideas are external to me, I‘m safe. However, in the case of spirituality, ideas are carried within a life.
Right now, the sun is shining through my window, and warms my chest. With support from friends, much of the time I’m happy. I remind myself this is a path I’ve chosen and I can step off it any time. The adventure remains, and also a hell of a challenge.
PS: Go check out Anne’s very cool blog if you’re interested in innovative small business.
How do you feel talking about your personal beliefs with other people?
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Posted in agnostic, hardship, life, personal, personal development, Philosophy, spirituality | Tagged: agnostic, angst, arguments, difficulty, hardship, journey, joy of life, personal, sprituality, suffering | 19 Comments »