Schopenhauer

It’s really quite liberating to know just how small we are, and just how pointless everything we do is. The avoidance of boredom becomes the central aspect of our lives, and it doesn’t really matter what we do to achieve that. Love, career, education, and entertainment, all the same. To cease sobbing is to fall into boredom. Life suddenly becomes lighter, freer, and more incredible when you think of how our cities, empires, and economics are built as a natural response to put off boredom for a species that wasn’t meant to be. Of course, development decreases the amount of necessary menial work for survival, forcing us to face our futility in the creation of our own, self-conscious boredom-avoidance devices. This perhaps explains the riskiest things we do. Substances alter our default, bored state to something novel. Risk exposes us to potential death in daily life. Sobering, yet fun. Reflecting on the time when a driver repeatedly attempted to sideswipe me while I was going 40mph down Jackson on my bike, I can’t say the traumatic and angered feelings were of scare or necessarily negative. The feeling was raw, and not directly definable. It was anything but bored. Success.

The hierarchies of the world seem utterly childish. The few demanding financial, racial, gender, sexual, and all other forms of superiority over each other, under a presumption we’ve been taught that this will bring you to a less bored and more meaningful status. House of Cards season 4 gives me this feeling–the couple has fought hard, murdered, and lied for the presidency, the least noble journey. Getting there doesn’t change anything. Power doesn’t give meaning. The arts and sciences are another try at finding fulfillment. Academia offers the same requirement for relentlessness that risk and power grabs have, but expand and develop human knowledge. You can say they make positive change in the world. They help get people out of hard survival work, and into the dilemma we face. I still think that’s a good thing, but existence is always a struggle.

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