A Critical Examination of ‘BOREDOM’

So… a while ago while talking to a friend he casually mentioned that life after school is boring. And immediately the words left his mouth, or more accurately the second my eyes read them off my screen I knew he was horribly mistaken, even worse than mistaken it was a terrible miscalculation on the entire concept of ‘boredom.’ So let’s get to it!
Now like the inconsiderate philosopher that I am I will start by stating the conclusion before explaining the syllogism and premises that lead to it, but that too has its purpose. It is, ‘boredom is death.” Now let me explain.
The question uniquely endowed to tease out the answer from the boredom riddle, because it is a riddle, a bigger one than it seems is ‘when are we truly bored?’ Really. The beauty of this question is that it isn’t at all subjective. In fact it is rather quite objective because it isn’t specific to any particular human such as the question, ‘what bores you?’ It is more concerned with the point of no return to the land of ‘interesting’that concerns all of us equally because as we will see later, boredom is quite irreversible. It is very similar to the question, ‘when are we truly dead?’
And in fact the answering of the latter furthered my cause in answering the former or rather the video that answered it ( exquisitely if I may add.) Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c6C3rHOdf8. For the death question to know the point of no return you must first ascertain the limits of life itself and at the cellular level turns out it isn’t just as simple as the loss of vitality, which is as obscure and as mythical as it sounds, rather it is the entropy within the physical body that is simply and sadly irreversible. Akin to the rationale behind necrosis when tissues have been so deprived of essential nourishment that there is simply no supply of nourishment that will return it to its previous state or as actuaries like to say, that would indemnify it. Thus the death of the limb or appendage.
So for our case, what are the limits of the opposite of ‘boredom’ which we will refer to as ‘interesting’ for purposes of this conversation.
What I did discover is that the trip towards boredom starts at what I will call ‘mundane’, you know, planned, ritual and expected. But beware, this is not yet boredom, the threshold has not yet been crossed. Mundane is just the first stop, boredom is the destination.
For example mundane is how I would describe my life. A 22 year old that spends most of her time repeating the script of chores, books, sleep, pups and math. Right?
Very planned, ritual and expected. Very mundane indeed. And even then, it isn’t yet quite so boring because alas there is some incoherence. Even with such a formidable life schedule you could always wake up late and have to answer to angry hungry pups, shove dog poop onto your leg absentmindedly. Even as I transcribe this piece of writing for the third time since I wrote it in mine own hand first, then typed it onto Word and now onto WordPress. This should be boring, doing the same thing for the third time within a one hour radius but you would be shocked at how many minuscule things I have changed and how they’ve changed me. However you slice it, there is always incoherence, with boredom the limit is arbitrary, almost undefined.
This ‘incoherence of life’ is the force that moves the pointer on the mundane scale back towards ‘interesting.’ Incoherence of life is the joy of life. It is the unexpected, unchallenged, unavoidable spice to our daily helping of life.
So now that we know the limits of ‘interesting’_ boredom and the spectrum of mundane that we must travel to get there. And even the mode of transportation that we will use which is a decrease in the ‘incoherence of life.’
And there we have it, we are only truly ever bored when there is zero to negligible incoherence of life and by our own design our lives are planned, expected and ritualistic, because as always with humans there is always a choice.
This is where it gets interesting (no pun intended) since the condition I just explained is impossible, inconceivable even. Why you ask? I will answer like Michael Jackson would have, ‘it’s just human nature.’
For one, nothing about being human is even close to the term, ‘coherent.’ The entirety of humanness is one big ball of incoherence but I will focus on the tool I find most ‘interesting,’ the tool we use to navigate life, the mind.
Our minds, in their true forms, not the well sculpted fake impostors that we may portray in our speech if we are so lucky to be coherent in speech are more or less nonsensical muddled fits of confusion. I dare say only those we call ‘insane’ show us the true versions of their minds. ‘Sanity’ as we know it are just part of the destructive or constructive (depending on who you ask) inner process of decreasing the inner incoherence of life generated by our minds.
So if we are ‘sane’ enough are we boring then? As we have significantly decreased our internal incoherence of life. This is the simpler question to answer because obviously incoherence of life is not only generated internally but also externally, by the street name you have probably heard of_ fate, kismet, destiny or what I prefer life events. These are the things such as the sudden death of a relative or friend, loss of a job or a gain of an otherwise unforeseen opportunity or even the meeting of a lovely, noble stranger that you didn’t anticipate. These all serve to increase the inner turbulence from the outside in without our input or consent.
So then the only other way to be ‘truly bored’ is if you are ‘sane’ enough in your choices to cancel out the intrinsic inner turbulence and miraculously also isolate yourself from all forms of external ‘incoherence of life’ where everything in life is stipulated, no need for an allegiance to destiny. This should surely and definitively ensure, ‘boredom’.
And the answer is yes, then and only then shall we truly be bored, But beware the ‘we’ in that statement cannot be a human. The assumptions of that scenario are against everything human to the best of my knowledge.
It assumes:
1) You can attain absolute ‘sanity’.
2) Lack of external or more practically ‘substantial’ incoherence of life removes all incoherence of life given that the intrinsic inner incoherence of life has been cancelled out by ‘sanity’ in condition 1)
The first assumption is of course the simpler to refute if for nothing else because of the terminology. Absolutism is not a term that can ever describe a temporal being such as a human, that is a term for ‘gods’, which is just the term I ascribe to beings that can achieve perfectness . This will and can never be the case for humans whose basic aspects are built upon imperfection. No amount of ‘sanity’ can ever tame the madness within. Try as we might with fancy education, proper etiquette, and polite manners and sieving of our real selves, we can never really anesthetize ourselves from who we are inside. And this isn’t any kind of new revelation, many at times we have witnesses seemingly well-adjusted persons resulting to obscene, violent even suicidal ends. This is just because the beast of internal incoherence can and will not be caged by any amount of ‘sanity.’ This is not to say that we must be our vile, ridiculous, perverse inner selves all the time, or maybe it is, at least then we’ll be finally telling the truth.
The second assumption is also wrong but to show this I will use an example. That of solitary confinement, say if you are on death row, marooned on an island of plenty or an agoraphobic person trapped in your basement with all your basic necessities.
This person will more or less be leading a ritualistic life sedated of the common external incoherence of life. Of course not all incoherence of life is removed, this person may still bump into a rat in their room, or notice a longer spear of sunlight creeping into their room one morning. The point is the very substantial incoherences of life are removed, things such as worrying about your next meal, next job or next lover aren’t worries anymore, since the removal.
So it should follow that according to the second assumption materialized by my example especially the death row inmate one, these kinds of people should more or less have reached the end of the spectrum of mundane, in other words they should be bored. And yet you would be sorely mistaken yet again as this is hardly ever the case.
Death row inmates who have been isolated and all they have to await is death are usually some of the more unstable, unhinged individuals. In other words the most ‘interesting.’ Thing is our minds to a large extent don’t derive their incoherence of life from external incoherence of life. The madness within us keep churning and turning long after the switch of external incoherence is switched off, if that can indeed be done. So we remain ‘interesting’ even in true isolation, maybe even more so because then and only then will we be forced to truly introspect instead of just sedating yourself with a mindless routine. This is part of the reason why solitary confinement is so powerful as a punishment. Our ‘interstingness’ can actually malign us if we suppress it too much.
So our minds seem to be the last man standing, for as long as you have one you are by default, ‘interesting.’ The only way to be truly bored is to kill the mind. Hence my conclusion, ‘boredom is death’ and now I’m sure you understand why true boredom is in fact irreversible as is true death of the mind.
What I do wonder though is about the afterlife. My conclusion only carries us as far as the brink of life and then it is yet again put to the test. This is because if Dante’s DC or the bible or literally any other sacred book on the topic is right then ‘boredom is not death.’ Which brings forth and an even more violent and absurd question. What is ‘death’ and ‘boredom’ to begin with? And if we don’t know what these terms truly symbolize which we clearly don’t why do we even have them in our vocabulary?
But that’s way above my pay grade. Later!

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modern woman?

Of all the phrases and terms I have come to know, this has remained the single most cunning one for even after a little over a year of contemplation and research it eludes me swiftly.

Further upsetting me because it is a term I pride my entire life’s existence on. But how could I be a modern woman if I don’t even know what pertains to it?

My trials with this particular definition hail not from ignorance of its substance rather from it indeterminate essential.

Let’s face it we have all at one time or the other, in flesh or by reputation encountered a modern woman of sorts, but what about all these different modern women remains the same? What ties the Rihanna to Michelle to Amanpour?

It has been suggested that a simple definition of the component parts of the term could yield some results so let us get to it. Modern which loosely means a new phenomenon or a new perspective on an old phenomenon tantamount to describing anything and everything that is not encompassed in the traditions of old, and well a woman is basically a female human being last I checked. Therefore using this approach a modern woman should either be the mannerisms of a woman who does not conform to traditions of old at any one point, fair enough, right?

The main problem with this though is that the term being defined in this way lends itself only if we speak of our current times which excludes all ‘modern women’ of the past, who though may not have been labelled as such did very well exist, and therein lies the next hurdle it appears we tend towards a paradox which is never a good way to define anything without the language’s get out of jail free card, poetic license. Lastly it also includes non-modern women because at certain times some traditions will in fact suppress women and therefore the ‘modern women’ of that era will be anti-feminist.

So it goes to show that this is just another phrase whose sum of its part is indeed lesser than its whole.

Another approach is the feminist one, whereby the eternal fight of male versus female is at play. Which is to say that the essential in a modern woman is that she aspires to equate to the male who has been favored since time immemorial, this is not half bad. Modern womanhood has always bore a love for gender equity and the comparison between conditions of the male vis a vis the female have served as an effective way to see how much feminism has grown and spread. The issue here becomes a circular one, in a bid for the girl to catch up with the boy she ends up having to ride on another boy’s back.

This definition kills the independence of women because then modern women cannot exist without men to catch up to therefore leaving them eternal rats in the rat wheel, to run forever but never to catch up which as a matter of principle I disagree with. I am of the opinion that a modern woman can exist in a non-male context because these suppressive mentalities fought by modern women do exist and even thrive without the involvement of men. Therefore again we add to our repertoire of what appertains to a modern woman but not what is essential to her.

Then comes the Madonna approach, the rebel of establishment. That the modern woman is Madonna and not a Madonna, the only woman to single handedly change the meaning of a word that meant pure, holy and chaste to the exact opposite and then some and in so doing open up an entirely new door of acceptance for women and their liberties.  Though this iconoclastic rebellion, namely suffrage, is an epitome of the modern woman’s bible. Is every modern woman a rebel?

I think not, and as quickly as that definition rose so did it collapse in on itself, the essential simply cannot exclude a single modern woman who doesn’t fit the bill.

So after all that I did put myself to task to decide on what definition I will ride on because as you can imagine it is terribly urgent seeing that this is basically the blueprint of my life.

I happen to feel that what all modern women have in common whether they are rebelling against establishment or tradition or inferiority to men is that they are not empowered to soar, to rise and be their best selves. They feel chained and pressured by traditions, rituals, male-preference as well as gender roles because in reality no one trusts them with their own lives, they fight the reality that their lives are at the behest of some other’s.

To put it simply they fight to self-actualize, that they be able to determine themselves with all the rights and respect accorded to others. This is the one similarity I have found in all the modern women I have met, because through their decisions they are freeing themselves from the bondage of foreign determination.

Therefore, for me ‘a modern woman’ is not just the mannerism but rather the infrastructure needed the community attitude and the modern woman herself to actualize herself as best she can without fear of punishment whether she is a housewife, Madonna and everything else in between.

What’s your definition of a modern woman?

Queer little twists and quirks go a long way into the making of an individual.To suppress them all and follow clock and calendar and creed until the individual is lost in  the neutral gray of the host to be less than true to our inheritance….

Life, that gorgeous quality of life, is not accompanied by following another man’s rules. It is true we have the same hungers and the same thirsts, but they are for different things and in different ways and in different seasons….Lay  down your own day, follow it to its noon, your own noon, or you will sit in an outer hall listening to the chimes but never reaching high enough to strike your own.

Virginia Nash

If individualism grasps only part of man, collectivism sees man only as a part; both miss the whole man, in his wholeness. Individualism  perceives man only in his relationship with himself while collectivism does not see man at all, but only society. The former distorts the face of man, the latter covers and hides it.

The answer is the We-a community of a definite number of independent persons who know selfhood and responsibility.

Roubiczek

Just as the melody is not made up of notes nor the verse of the words nor the states of lines…so with the man to whom I say Thou. I can take out from him the color of his hair, or of his speech, or of his goodness. I must continually do this but not at first. And with each time I do it he ceases to be thou.

To experience thou means to have immediate knowledge of the whole man.

Martin Buber

The results of the objective method can be tested, proved and once they are proven, satisfactorily communicated to others, because they can be accepted without further inquiry. Yet they are never final. Although the facts do not change, their interpretation,as the development of science shows, does, and the discovery of new facts incessantly leads to alterations or to complete replacement of scientific theories. Reliability is great, thus making the technical application of science possible; but it must never be taken for absolute certainty, for this would hinder further developments.

The subjective method remains dependent on constantly renewed experiences ; its results cannot be accepted once and for all, because they always have to be translated into our own experience. As personal participation is required, an area of uncertainty must be left open, as we have seen, so as to allow for personal decisions. Thus the application of this method is constantly beset by difficulties and dangers; none of its results can be taken for granted. Yet once certainty is achieved, it is absolute.

Roubiczek