Boredom: The greatest affliction Western civilisation has known since the birth of mild luxury. I sit before you today, hands on keys, ready to try and offer an antidote to this disease. I endeavour to transfer a deep understanding of why boredom might be the root of all your suffering, and why you should see it for what it really is. Before we dissect what it really means to be bored in a world designed to keep you entertained every minute of the day, I will spell out the philosophy of the controversial title now.
What does it mean to be bored? This is one of the most significant questions to be asked. It is only man's privilege to be bored because no other animal has the capacity. So why does man have the capacity to be bored? I would argue that it is a by-product of intelligence. There is nothing wrong with it. In fact, only the unintelligent and enlightened are not bored and there are few and far between. The major part of humanity feel more or less bored. What boredom means is that you are intelligent enough to see that life is meaningless - that it is futile to go on living. Is it true or not that nothing comes out of life? I posit that life is an effort of making your signature on water - not even on sand. On sand, your signature will remain for a while before the wind comes and destroys it. No, life is like writing on water - it disappears as it appears, immediately and instantly; nothing is left behind. How many billions of people have lived on earth? What have they left behind? They were all people like you. They were doing everything that you are doing - thinking all kinds of thoughts, dreams, ideas - and they made every effort to be creative, to be fulfilled, to be contented. But what is left? Whether they had been here or not, it makes no difference. If there had not been a single human being before us it wouldn't have made any difference. We would be entirely ignorant to it and it would have therefore made no difference. So what difference are you going to make?
Every man or woman who has ever lived has thought about their life and thought 'What does this signify?', whereas no animal is bored because no animal is bothered about meaning. No animal is concerned about creativity. A buffalo chewing grass is as contented as a Buddha. It's just that it isn't aware of it's own contentment, that's the difference, but nonetheless it is perfectly contented. For a buffalo there is no tomorrow, no yesterday, no problems. If you watch it chew grass you can clearly see the main difference between man and animal. The man may be sitting on a golden throne, or he may be a beggar, but they are both immensely concerned with that simple question 'What am I here for?' 'Is it just accidental?' 'Is there a destiny to it?' These questions remain unanswered, hence the boredom. Frustratingly, you cannot find the answer to these questions anywhere. Contentment, blissfulness and meaning are passing you by every day and you know that death is every day coming closer, yet life still reveals nothing; your hands remain empty.
To really drive this point home I think it's necessary to look at children for a moment. Every child is born with the idea that in life there is going to be something great. They are always looking forward, eagerly anticipating the expected truth. Every child comes with hope, ambition, desire and a confidence that all of this is leading somewhere. This is why children are not bored. They may cry, laugh, weep or sulk, but you cannot find babies to be bored. They have not yet felt that life is not what it's supposed to be; they haven't yet experienced that life isn't made with the same stuff as dreams. They need more growth and more experience and then finally the intelligent child soon becomes bored. The unintelligent ones take a little longer of course, because to see the meaninglessness of life you need a very sharp intelligence. Do not reject your own intelligence, understanding that this is your nature is the first crucial step.
Now we have arrived at a very difficult cross-roads. The bulk of what I have told you thus far has been primarily designed to lighten the load of all the complexity within your own lives. If you have been following it closely you will have no doubt recognised that all the stories you've been telling yourself, the identities you've constructed, the relationships you've entered in to, have all been an effort on your part to create meaning out of a meaningless existence. The whole concept of religion was founded on this exact principle. And while I applaud your enviable gusto, it's more than likely that you've been infusing the recipe of life with a complex array of incorrect ingredients which have left the final dish out of balance and inedible. Fortunately, there is only so long you can go on fooling yourself. The mind can only generate so much illusion before the stack of cards comes falling down. Let this be a liberation, embrace your true nature. Don't go on living your life clinging to fragile concepts and mind made dramas; they are fleeting and common. Nothing can be done that will distract you permanently from this innate wisdom; you will always return back to it. Instead, treat your boredom as a sign that nothing needs to be worried about, nothing needs to be done. Any problem that you face is unoriginal and generic and has been faced a million times before. No matter what it is, fixing it will not change that inner truth.
Should it, at times, be intolerable then address it appropriately. Entertain yourself. But do not expect anything worthwhile to come of it as nothing you do can provide lasting fulfilment. It cannot. You are too wise. Look at others ego's and pride and amuse yourself that just like everyone else, they will also have to leave it all behind. Then turn the magnifying glass on yourself and recognise that no matter what you do, no matter who you become, no matter who you think loves you, no matter how much stuff you accumulate, you will never shake that intelligent, innate wisdom: Boredom.
Your friend always,