Boredom is vital

Seriously, the last time I was bored was in 1979. But I should take the time to get bored again, according to psychoanalyst Adam Phillips:

“Boredom … protects the individual, makes tolerable for him the impossible experience of waiting for something without knowing what it could be.”

Legendary Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips on Why the Capacity for Boredom Is Essential for a Full Life – Maria Popova, Brainpickings (19 June 2014)

Brainpickings writer Popova expands on this in her full feature:

When was the last time you were bored — truly bored — and didn’t instantly spring to fill your psychic emptiness by checking Facebook or Twitter or Instagram? The last time you stood in line at the store or the boarding gate or the theater and didn’t reach for your smartphone seeking deliverance from the dreary prospect of forced idleness? A century and a half ago, Kierkegaard argued that this impulse to escape the present by keeping ourselves busy is our greatest source of unhappiness. A century later, Susan Sontag wrote in her diary about the creative purpose of boredom. And yet ours is a culture that equates boredom with the opposite of creativity and goes to great lengths to offer us escape routes.

Learn more from Popova and follow her links through to Phillips’ book On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored (UK Edition, US Edition).

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