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Thread: Boredom

  1. #1
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    Boredom

    As some of you know, ole Slip turned 38 this year. And I think its time for some answers. Not to the real questions we bandy about on here as a result of a thirst for knowledge, conflict, fun, or heck, maybe even a little edification, but a real honest to God, personal and totally selfish question.

    For what reason am I bored?

    Now, in truth, this question seems shallow and uninteresting, but let me lay out some observations from my 38 years on this mud ball.

    Most of my friends are bored. Sometimes we get together, just to ***** about how bored we are. Its sad, but true. We range in ages from 25 to 38, with yours truly being the Old Geezer of the crowd, and all of us are bored.

    We live varying lives, some are married, some aren't. Some have long term careers, some just have a job, some go to school, etc. We all fall somewhere in the same socio-economic class, or roughly so. Our educations vary, but most have at least some college. Some have military backgrounds, and so on and so on.

    The common factors? We all grew up in a rural setting. We all love fantasy genre "stuff" as it were. Books, movies, TV shows, whatever else you can think of...

    And yet, here we are, with a very large chunk of the world's resources at our fingertips via the web, and we are all bored.

    I have 3 wonderful children. 2 of my own, and a stepdaughter. I have a decent relationship with a blond goddess who rocks my world. We laugh at the same things, finish each other's sentences, and don't fight too much.

    I don't do drugs, I drink occasionally, etc., and I am bored out of my mind. One of the appeals to me of ODN was to relieve some of that boredom, at least in the beginning. After my little tete on the Religon board, I just had had enough.

    I went took to City of Hero's like a duck to a June Bug, and that has helped to pass the time for a month or so, and yet........

    Here I am again. Bored. What is it about us (my friends and I) that this condition is so pervasive?

    I seem to only find fulfillment in new things, and those for a short while. After the new wears off, here comes boredom like some great, devouring vampire, to suck the joy out of whatever endeavor I have occupied myself with for the time being.

    I talk to people at work, who occasionally drive me nuts in their inability to understand, who claim that they are NEVER bored. They are perfectly content to turn on a radio and sit, idle in a room, while it plays. A concept I can only imagine for myself through the use of heavy, and I mean heavy, doses of narcotic medication.

    I have tried many things over the years. School, computers, games, books, TV, lifting weights, and so on... but it never lasts.

    So tell me brave sojourners on this mystery of life, how in the hell do you do it, day after day after day after day, and not go stark raving mad? My father recently retired, and for the life of me, I can't decide what's worse. Not having a job to go to, or having to go to the same job for 30 years. Both prospects are enough to send me to my "happy place" where I pull my hair and gnash my teeth for lack of anything better to do.

    Why ask this? Well, I have asked lots of people over the years, and a recent conversation with a co-worker sort of brought this to a head. She made the comment that I was "wired" a lot like her husband. So we started talking and eventually the words, "boredom," "stop gap measures" and so on were used.

    So it isn't just me, or me and my friends it seems, but others as well.

    So here's the question: (at last, huh?)

    What do you recommend to stave off this intolerable beast? What do you do to fight it, and is this a male thing, or do women have it as well? I personally don't know of any that do, but won't discount the possiblity.

    So, ante up, and let's chat.
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  2. #2
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    Re: Boredom

    There is something that is still unfulfilled...At least that's why I think people become bored. There is something you should be doing or wish you were doing that you're not.Maybe it's the job you really deep down wish you had went for, maybe you settled for safe.
    Maybe it's that we live in a right now world.People that work sun up to sun down and have little or no luxury might not be as bored.Things we see as necessary are often frivolous.
    \
    Or possibly it comes down to being spoiled..We know what's out there, what's available.Most of us are too lazy or scared to take risks.We work jobs to pay for things we purchased 5 years ago and replaced last week.We rush to catch up with the people we know and never plan long term for the things we really would prefer.We pacify ourselves with mediocrity when what we want is extraordinary..Wgat's worth having is too difficult and out of reach.

    If you had no one to answer for, no responsibility and money wasn't a factor where or what would you be doing right now?

  3. #3
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    Re: Boredom

    or do women have it as well
    No, I doubt it's just a male thing. I am troubled with the same affliction, Slip. And it sucks. Even with 3 small children, I'm undertaken by boredom for the majority of my days (and nights). I'm going back to school soon and I'm hoping that will help. Like you, I seem to lose interest once the newness wears off.

    I think Tink may be onto something, though. Even at my age (young), I feel extraordinarily unfulfilled, but those things I want are unatttainable for me at the moment due to extenuating circumstances. It's not necessarily material things, like a house, but moreso the intangibles. For instance, I look at my life and realize that many of my peers have just finished earning their Bachelor's degrees, and I'm just starting college---for the 3rd time. I have to literally force myself to take a step back and take a look at the things I have done: I've moved a few times, gotten married, and had 3 children that I've been raising. And still I feel like it's not enough.

    You are lucky, though, in that you have some friends to help occupy your time. I don't really have that, so the only time I spend with other people big enough to ride the rides at the fair is when my hubby has a day off (once a week) and when I visit my parents. Hence, the obscene amount of time I spend here. Maybe you could take a shot at making a list of the things that you've always wanted to do or try (anywhere from sports to home improvements, even bigger goals similar to writing a book or something) and work your way down the list until you find something that really suits you. Heh, maybe I should take my own advice! Good luck!
    Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.--Voltaire

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    Re: Boredom

    I think boredom can be boiled down to our highly materialistic culture, frankly. I am as guilty of it as anyone, but it is strange how you never see a bored African villager on TV. They do not have diddly compared to Americans, but they do not seem to share this plague we call boredom. A true paradox. Or is it? Maybe there was something to Jesus' command to sell your possessions and follow him. But I enjoy my things so much, my computer, my TV , my video games, etc. etc., all the joys of the Electronic Age. Maybe it is not necessary to become an ascetic, but rather to strive to be more content with what one has, rather than always be wanting more, more, more.

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    Re: Boredom

    Maybe you should do drugs, Slip. All the rumors about LSD are actually false, and it can provide entertainment for up to 12 hours. No flashbacks or nothing bad, just keep a person around to make sure you don't kill yourself.
    "The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent." 1984, By George Orwell. Part 2: Chapter 9.

  6. #6
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    Re: Boredom

    Okay, thus far the responses are about what I expected. Here's the deal. I don't "crave" stuff. I am a mininmalist when it comes to possessions. Literally, I have enough stuff to fill a small apartment that is actually "mine" the rest belongs to the SO.

    Sure I enjoy the PC, (the SO bought it, not me.) and the Xbox (borrowed from a buddy who, fittingly enough, got bored with it and quit using it) but these things are the "stop gaps" as I mentioned.

    I have tried writing books. I get about 50 pages in, realize that my fingers are never going to type as fast as I think, start worrying about the dialogue, and it all goes Ka-flooey. I have written poetry and been published. The thrill there lasted about 15 mins. LOL.

    I used to be in a quartet. We sang all over the place. Literally. We would sing at the drop of a hat, sometimes just for someone taking off a hat. Sometimes for a bald guy who was driving by. It was fun, for a while. We even got featured on a local TV talk show, so we had our 15 mins of fame. Big whoop.

    I have a BA in psych. I have an AS (Associates in Science), about a years worth of Computer programming and a years worth of Substance Abuse training. So, school isn't the answer either.

    I have tried my share of *ahem* illicit substances through the sins of youth, and for the most part, they aren't my bag. I get sleepy and giggly, and then take a nap. Not a real "fun" experience.

    I will admit that the lunacy of hallucinagenics appeals to me, simply because I find the concept of an altered reality fascinating. Having worked with schizophrenics for a number of years, I am sometimes envious of their singular ability to tune out reality and live in a far more interesting world of their own devising. I have worked with "god" on several occasions, been witness to invasions of little green men, government plots, television controlled thoughts, paranoid delusions both witty, complex, and fascinating, as well as simple and sad.

    TINK: There is something you should be doing or wish you were doing that you're not.Maybe it's the job you really deep down wish you had went for, maybe you settled for safe.
    I dunno Tink. For the life of me, I can't think of a single thing that I would do, given the opportunity. I hope to return to school once the SO gets over the shoulder/neck injury and all of that stuff is settled. I suspect that returning to school for me is a stop gap measure. It works for a while, because you get caught up in the whole "learning" process, but then when its over, its over.

    Mrs Innocent
    You are lucky, though, in that you have some friends to help occupy your time.
    Yes, when we can all get together. Sadly, those days are less frequent than we would like, but I suspect that is true of any group of adults. Between varying work, school, kid schedules, its hard to do. We all have a great time together as the group has a wonderful synergy, but all too rare these days.

    Another reason I come here as well.

    Kevin B.
    Maybe it is not necessary to become an ascetic, but rather to strive to be more content with what one has, rather than always be wanting more, more, more.
    That's just it, KB. If I had all the money in the world, beyond the basics, a bigger living area, and a new car, and computer, I can't think of anything else I would even buy. I am not a "car" guy, or travel guy, or even sports guy. Frankly, all of that stuff bores the snot out of me.

    I tried Buddhism for a while. Got bored with it, natch. Actually, I found it interesting, and I do indeed meditate occasionally when nothing else seems to soothe my frantic state...

    kneeless
    Maybe you should do drugs, Slip. All the rumors about LSD are actually false, and it can provide entertainment for up to 12 hours. No flashbacks or nothing bad, just keep a person around to make sure you don't kill yourself.
    Well, from what I have learned through *cough* practice and study, I don't have a problem with that, actually. I would like to try the hallucinagenic crowd, just for the experience. All of the other things I have tried, as I said, just make me sleepy and giggly for a bit, then; NAP TIME! I am no longer the party animal I once was. :( Age has a way of doing that.

    As my job has a lax drug policy, and I am for the responsible use of recreational chemicals, philosophically I have no problem with it. Having been "out of the loop" for several years now, I haven't the foggiest notion of how I would even purchase such items. I am sure one of my friends would know, but I look at that and say, stop gap". Sure it would be fun for a day, or even a long weekend, but eventually, ya gotta go clean up the Spaghettio stains, put away the stash, and go to work to pay the damn electric bill.

    So, to date:

    1. I don't think the career choice matters. Unless you are lucky enough to be independently wealthy, all jobs are jobs.

    2. It affects women as well.

    3. It isn't materialism in an individual sense, but I am willing to allow for the impact of a materialistic society on an individuals ideas and thoughts.

    4. Drugs aren't a permanent answer, but might eliminate some of the boredom for the short term.

    5. Tink is definitely on the right trail in terms of fulfillment, but no one that I have spoken to, finds that in anything but short term results. The long term simply either is unattainable, or for some reason escapes our notice. I suspect a "hard wiring" problem, though pervasiveness and culture may indicate a cultural/socio-economic problem.

    So, next? Or do ya'll want to debate one of these topics. Feel free to add to if I missed something. I tried to hit the high points to date...

    And seriously, thanks for your responses. I am quite serious about this issue.
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

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    Re: Boredom

    . I don't think the career choice matters. Unless you are lucky enough to be independently wealthy, all jobs are jobs
    Absolutely untrue for everyone I know. Iget paid (well) for doing something that I would gladly pay to do. When I am out on the road for a few days (giving talks, demos and seminars and officating) I actually begin to miss my students, kids and adults all.I guess it is work but I never feel like I am working.

    To answer your question: (I'll bet you see this coming)..I strongly suggest you at least give martial arts a try. In martial arts the student is always challenged to not only learning specific techniques but to become very skilled and hone each technique till they have mastered it to the point it becomes "muscle memory" so much so that you would then find it easy to do when at first it was difficult. There are 10 levels of belts in most styles until you reach blackbelt. Each rank level comes with it's own set of new challenges. Add to that that you will feel younger, (I wish I could go back to 38!) You will have more energy. It's something you can practice on your own or with fellow martial arts students.

    I have seen M.A. transform so many lives in so many ways. Not everyone wants to dedicate the time and effort required to train in martial arts but if you'd like to give it a go let me know and I'll tell you how to pick a good school thus avoiding the over-charging diploma-mill schools......:O)
    When the power of love becomes stronger than the love of power, there will be peace..........jimi hendrix.

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    Re: Boredom

    Hey Slip,

    Come to Houston and we'll go to the rock gym. You may not have any fun but when you get a few feet in the air I'll let all the slack out of the line and I guarantee you won't be bored! Afterwards we can go get drunk. How's that? :D

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    Re: Boredom

    Quote Originally Posted by KB
    but it is strange how you never see a bored African villager on TV.
    Who would want to watch a bored African villager on TV?

    Your boredom problem sounds like you're going insane and the only cure is massive shock therapy. That is my proffesional diagnosis, and is probably just as accurate as everyone else's.

    If it's really bothering you go see a psycologist or psychaitrist or whatever for a few sessions.

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    Re: Boredom

    I haven't read what anyone else wrote yet, but here is my theory.

    "Boredom" is born out of one major conflict here on this Earth. Our lack of spiritual connectedness to ourselves and one another that leaves us with an "empty" kind of feeling that we can't quite describe. The other is the shallow activities we choose to participate in in order to quench that deeper spiritual void.

    If we worked to attain a deeper level of spirituality (and one does not have to believe in a deity to accomplish this), rather than impulsively trying to fill the void with brain numbing activities, we wouldn't be bored anymore. We'd have more meaning in our lives and we'd be fulfilled.
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

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    Re: Boredom

    If you are bored, this means that you have absolutely nothing to look forward to in your life.
    By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
    Socrates
    A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
    Bob Hope

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    Re: Boredom

    Slip - you sound bored in the sense that you can't find a sustainable diversion. What you're seeking a diversion from is the answer. [/makes little yoda grunts]
    Its turtles, all the way down.

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    Re: Boredom

    Slip, I must say this is a cool thread.
    "I wish I was like you... Easily amused" (Kurt Cobain)

    I'm easily amused. I feel lucky in that respect. Left to my own devices, I ensure that I always have something to read if I have to wait for anything. I can't just sit and watch tv, but I can choose things to watch, or just play on my pc. La di da.

    One game I play with myself and friends is to ask myself at any time what I could be doing if anything was possible. At a personal level, withouth sharing, this can be fairly carnal. After a nice dinner with friends I pose the question and we answer usually with teleportation, a beach, a server, and a massage. But that isn't always the case. I think this can be usefull to some extent to at least have some ideal, depending on the time of day, etc. Occasionally you find that what you are doing at that moment is what your ideal would be.

    Like now. Wouldnlt it be unboring to spend an hour with members of this board bowling? (Teleportation considered). I'd even pick up the beer tab.

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    Re: Boredom

    I'm bored out of my mind a good 80% of my waking hours. It's creepy knowing that there's so much life ahead of me and I have already accomplished personally a lot of what I think I would have wanted to develop eventually. I have been giving unofficial MA a try, in accordance with the theory cyberclown adheres to as well. I don't like too much to be learning a predictable set of MA moves and maneuvers, but I find myself slipping into a particular dojo just because of the people that go to it. One of the goals I find great pleasure in trying to achieve is something (pardon the weirdness-sounding of it but it's tough to describe) I call "Battlemind." I have achieved this mental/physical state a couple times in the last several years, and it can only be described as a perfect unity of mind and body. One time I remember it was during a 100m dash race in high school, when I beat my usual time by a huge margin of over a second and the other times are during sparring (once 1 on 1 and another time against 3 people). The feeling you get is incredible, you are able to move and think together without that conscious movement of limbs or waiting for reflex and reaction. It's a sort of beautiful and deadly fluid state. I found myself moving phenominally quickly and accurately as I thought of what it was I was doing. Like I said it's tough to describe but I find myself pushing to get to that state time and time again. It is one of the few things that I cannot get bored of, a goal that pushes me to my limits but is not unattainable. It keeps me busy when I'm excercising anyway.

    As far as mental demons are concerned, I find that meditation without having anything to contemplate is pretty useless. You should make a point of going out someplace every once in a while with no intention of knowing where you're going, no plan worked out, and just see what happens. Interact with people, try something new. Then contemplate it later. Keep yourself busy and alert with new material all the time, there's plenty in the world to work with. If all else fails you can become a recluse and study the bible all day
    Fortunately, the darkest of darkness is not as terrible as we fear.
    Unfortunately, the lightest of light, all things good, are not so wonderful as we hope for them to be.
    What, then, is left, but various shades of grey neutrality? Where are the heroes and villains? All I see are people.

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    Re: Boredom

    Quote Originally Posted by KneeLess
    Maybe you should do drugs, Slip. All the rumors about LSD are actually false, and it can provide entertainment for up to 12 hours. No flashbacks or nothing bad, just keep a person around to make sure you don't kill yourself.


    Kneeless, sorry, but what you say is potentially very dangerous bol*ocks.

    My wife was slipped 'LUCY' in one of her drinks at the Bristol University Student Union bar and had a very bad trip. She had had a very crappy childhood and memories kept bottled up in her subconscious for a very good reason that she counldn't cope with them, poured forth. Drug taking can mess up psychological 'coping' mechanisms, and can result in suicide.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

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    Re: Boredom

    Your boredom problem sounds like you're going insane and the only cure is massive shock therapy. That is my proffesional diagnosis, and is probably just as accurate as everyone else's.
    After reading this, I must concur with telex......................:O)
    When the power of love becomes stronger than the love of power, there will be peace..........jimi hendrix.

  17. #17
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    Re: Boredom

    This thread is boring. Hey, folks, you won't be able to hear your life's calling unless you shut up.

    (oh, and don't bother limiting yourself to just one life's calling...)
    Its turtles, all the way down.

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    Re: Boredom

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberclown
    Absolutely untrue for everyone I know. Iget paid (well) for doing something that I would gladly pay to do. When I am out on the road for a few days (giving talks, demos and seminars and officating) I actually begin to miss my students, kids and adults all.I guess it is work but I never feel like I am working.
    Well, I believe you to be one of the lucky few. Most of the people that I know, simply work because they need the job. At 38 years of age, I can honestly say, I have no idea what a dream job would even entail.

    To answer your question: (I'll bet you see this coming)..I strongly suggest you at least give martial arts a try. In martial arts the student is always challenged to not only learning specific techniques but to become very skilled and hone each technique till they have mastered it to the point it becomes "muscle memory" so much so that you would then find it easy to do when at first it was difficult. There are 10 levels of belts in most styles until you reach blackbelt. Each rank level comes with it's own set of new challenges. Add to that that you will feel younger, (I wish I could go back to 38!) You will have more energy. It's something you can practice on your own or with fellow martial arts students.

    I have seen M.A. transform so many lives in so many ways. Not everyone wants to dedicate the time and effort required to train in martial arts but if you'd like to give it a go let me know and I'll tell you how to pick a good school thus avoiding the over-charging diploma-mill schools......:O)
    I took MA for about 6 mos, when I was much, much, younger. And if time and circumstances permit, I would love to get all of the children involved. I agree that it is a wonderful thing.

    By all means, if you have advice on picking out a school, send me a PM and I'll take it to heart, even if I can't get to it right away.
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  19. #19
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    Re: Boredom

    Quote Originally Posted by Godlesspagan
    Hey Slip,

    Come to Houston and we'll go to the rock gym. You may not have any fun but when you get a few feet in the air I'll let all the slack out of the line and I guarantee you won't be bored! Afterwards we can go get drunk. How's that? :D
    Dude, if I could break away from the real world right now, I'd show up on your doorstep tomorrow. :p
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

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    Re: Boredom

    Telex:
    Your boredom problem sounds like you're going insane and the only cure is massive shock therapy. That is my proffesional diagnosis, and is probably just as accurate as everyone else's.

    If it's really bothering you go see a psycologist or psychaitrist or whatever for a few sessions.
    Heh. Been there, done that. I think most people that work in the social services field wind up going sooner or later, if for no other reason, morbid curiousity. The therapist diagnosis? Suicide in 3-5 yrs. That's been like 10 years ago. LOL. That'll teach her.

    HL:
    If we worked to attain a deeper level of spirituality (and one does not have to believe in a deity to accomplish this), rather than impulsively trying to fill the void with brain numbing activities, we wouldn't be bored anymore. We'd have more meaning in our lives and we'd be fulfilled.
    I spent years coming to terms with my religion. I spent countless hours in debate, research, and thought. Prayer, contemplation, and meditation. And, when I finally came to the conclusion that I was satisfied, the drive to argue about it went away. I had more fun when I wasn't sure what I believed.

    Spiritually, I have arrived at the point where doubt is no longer a fractor and I am quite at peace with the issue.

    Demo:
    If you are bored, this means that you have absolutely nothing to look forward to in your life.
    I have things to look forward to, as I have children. However, these things do not add to the day to day dealing with the problem. Some day, my kids will graduate, get married, and so on, or so I hope. But for now, they are just kids being kids. Its fun to be with them, do things with them, but when it comes to just me, there is still that ingternal sense of BORING!

    Zen:
    Slip - you sound bored in the sense that you can't find a sustainable diversion. What you're seeking a diversion from is the answer. [/makes little yoda grunts]
    Okay Lucy! You got some 'splaining to do! I have no idea what the answer is, so feel free to spread the wealth, Zen. Trust me, I am all ears! Well, okay. I am listening intently. Alright, reading intently then. Whatever. Lemme know!

    Withnail:
    One game I play with myself and friends is to ask myself at any time what I could be doing if anything was possible. At a personal level, withouth sharing, this can be fairly carnal. After a nice dinner with friends I pose the question and we answer usually with teleportation, a beach, a server, and a massage. But that isn't always the case. I think this can be usefull to some extent to at least have some ideal, depending on the time of day, etc. Occasionally you find that what you are doing at that moment is what your ideal would be.
    We do similar mental exercises. What would you do with 100 bajillion dollars? If you ruled the world, what would you change first? To be honest, if I were able to NOT work, I have no idea what I would do with all the time. I suspect I would have to have some type of work to stave off the feelings of boredom.

    Sure, I have an active fantasy life. Sure, some of it is carnal. Sure, some of it I wouldn't share with Freud, , but that's fairly natural. Honestly, if I had all the time in the world, I can't think of anything that I would like to do, all day, every day. (Not literally all day, but you get the idea.)

    Fysh:
    As far as mental demons are concerned, I find that meditation without having anything to contemplate is pretty useless. You should make a point of going out someplace every once in a while with no intention of knowing where you're going, no plan worked out, and just see what happens. Interact with people, try something new. Then contemplate it later. Keep yourself busy and alert with new material all the time, there's plenty in the world to work with. If all else fails you can become a recluse and study the bible all day
    Going out without a plan? Sheesh. Heretical! I can't even posit a travel plan as to where I would go, much less do. I am not a travel person either.

    Perhaps finding a new social circle would be a benefit though.

    I am fairly reclusive by nature now. Most of my buddies fuss at me for bieng a "home body" as it is. I tell them when they get to be my age, they will understand better. When we don't have the kids, its nice to be able to veg in your own house.

    So, okay. What's the cause? We have lots of possible cures, and those are wonderful, and you have no idea how much I appreciate the sentiment, but what is the underlying cause of this horrible sea of doldrums?

    I just don't see anything, as of yet, that strikes me as being "right". Not that I claim any special knowledge that I would recognize it if I saw it, but hopefully, I might.
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

 

 
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