Amerika

The importance of boredom

the_emptiness_of_the_night_sky

Michel Houellebecq says that in order to write, one must first become bored, and then in that emptiness of mind can create. This calls into question the creative process, which is not as random as egalitarian society likes to think, although that makes it much more egalitarian, but consists of noticing the operations of the world and drawing parallels between them.

For example, a great piece of music mimics the storms of the Western sky; a great novel describes the inner lives of people as conditioned by events around them; a great piece of software reconceptualizes a common task using tools from other domains. This is creativity: a practical, studied and reasoned science with art emerging to fill in the gaps of the unknown.

But to reach this state, we must shut off all the voices. The critics in our lives; the fears of insufficiency or everyday events; the worries about our aptitude or abilities. Then we must shut out all the tendencies, clichés of the mind, which complete our thoughts for us by going down paths we have traveled before. Only then is the mind empty like the night sky.

Is it coincidence that modern society attempts to spam every instant of our consciousness? We are inundated in propaganda, news, social chatter, advertising and neurotic theories masquerading as “self-help.” The people around us spin in busy cycles of fears and desires, shuttling between the two in an attempt to create warmth in their souls of activity and purpose.

Of course it is not: of all things, this society fears the silence. In the silence, the world makes sense, and through that, we see the options for pleasure and goodness in life, not mere reactivity to what is going on in the social (and political and economic) world around us. When we explore the inner world, we come to know reality, and through it, we know what is good.

That goodness is not accessible to all. Out of a hundred people, all but one are congenitally unable to achieve it, whether through lack of biological native intelligence or fault of moral character and personality such that they could see a thought with depth through to its conclusion, instead of generating a quantity of tangential observations. The silence is the cold that most fear, and yet it is only through going to that cold that we find warmth again.

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