What is Boredom?

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Boredom is the psychopath’s nemesis. I often fight it by writing in my blog. So I’m bored now. What do I write about? Boredom, I suppose. But it’s so BORING! A lot has been written about our boredom. What can I say that’s new and conducive to expanding our understanding of this phenomena?

blackholeTwice in my life, I had the experience of being on the edge of an infinite void. Once, when I was a child. I just felt I could fall into something so empty and strange I could lose myself. The second time I experienced this was on my first acid trip. It was accompanied by a feeling of tiredness. So tired! I could just slide into chaos.

WIKIPEDIA says something interesting about emptiness:

Emptiness as a human condition is a sense of generalized boredom, social alienation and apathy. Feelings of emptiness often accompany dysthymia,[1]depression, loneliness, anhedonia, despair, or other mental/emotional disorders, including schizoid personality disorder, post trauma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizotypal personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. A sense of emptiness is also part of a natural process of grief, as resulting of separation, death of a loved one, or other significant changes. However, the particular meanings of “emptiness” vary with the particular context and the religious or cultural tradition in which it is used.[2]

While Christianity and Western sociologists and psychologists view a state of emptiness as a negative, unwanted condition, in some Eastern philosophies such as Buddhist philosophy and Taoism, emptiness (Śūnyatā) represents seeing through the illusion of independent self-nature.

Loneliness will fall on you
Emptiness will see you through

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Well, it’s a human condition. So I’m not a total freak. And it encompasses boredom, social alienation and apathy, all experiences I am well familiar with. But “emptiness” is frowned upon in Western culture. My friend, Lucky Otter says, of psychopaths, “there’s nothing inside them except an vast and endless black void of nothingness….Behind the twinkle, the eyes are still reptilian and dead.” Is this the same void I had experienced? (Well, not “experienced” because I didn’t go over the edge. I was only threatened by the void.) She’s not the only person who has said this about us. The “victim’s” blog, Psychopaths and Love, lists similar descriptions of our eyes:

  • eye1I have noticed that sometimes his eyes looked completely without expression, like glass
  • I couldn’t even look him in his eyes because I felt a shiver running through me. I thought it was because I was in love.
  • My nickname for him was Devil Eyes
  • As the relationship progressed I saw his eyes change to evil, soulless tools and it was frightening and perplexing.
  • I saw that serpent look in the eyes
  • I saw a picture of me and him the first day we hung out. It was like staring at the eyes of the devil
  • Once you look into those cold, dead eyes, you aren’t the same.
  • I have one very eerie photo taken on a holiday where he is looking directly at me eye2through the lens. His eyes appear to be flashing with hatred and contempt.
  • My two year anniversary is Sunday and I looked at our wedding pictures, just to see if his eyes were as dead then as they are now. I was horrified. They were.
  • “Pod Person,” that’s what I call him. The lifelessness, lack of light or soul behind his eyes is chilling. His eyeballs appear as if they are made of stones.
  • It’s eerie indeed, as I recall my psychopath’s lifeless expressions, lizard eyes…
  • I have not a doubt that I was hypnotized by him and I believe I know when. And it was when he told me to “look into my eyes” which I did and his response was, “I love when you look into my eyes.” By the next day, I woke up and thought about him immediately and couldn’t stop
  • My psychopath had a lined face but the eyes were bright and he tended to act as if he was in his twenties (going on 60 in physical terms!). It can be a very sexy eye3combination.
  • Sometimes during sex, mine would stare directly into my eyes for up to twenty minutes at a time. His eyes would not waver…
  • I remember thinking how his eyes were like that of a lizard, alive but somehow dead, at odds with the rest of his face.

Of course, it’s easy for these people to dehumanize us. And a lot of it is laughable. But I wonder if there’s something to it and whether this has something to do with our boredom. If so, perhaps the mistake is embracing the Western/Christian view of nothingness over the Eastern/Buddhist view of the Void as the ultimate consciousness. Doesn’t it seem as if there’s something our eyes see that terrifies the rest of the (western) world? I already know the value of being present, in the moment. Maybe meditation can by my next antidote to boredom.

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Something or nothing. A toggle switch. Being or non-being. To be or not to be. Somehow there has to be something larger that encompasses these two apparent opposites.


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3 thoughts on “What is Boredom?

  1. I heard, recently, of research that found boredom to be essential to creativity (learning a second language also is said to help). Business tends to get in the way. I’ve long been convinced that the Void is the birth place of the new.

    Liked by 1 person

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