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.
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!