The Existential Philosophy of Boredom. What You Need to Know
There are different ways to cure boredom nowadays. Some like to find a new Netflix show to watch, while others just want to max out their credit cards with some online shopping.
Whatever your way may be to cure boredom, ,it’s important to know more about being bored and its history through existential philosophy. And who knows, it may also cure your boredom (and your friend’s boredom, if you share this article with them).
This article will discuss the history of boredom through different philosophical arguments. Take this as an opportunity to achieve your feeling of boredom as you wrestle with the same dilemmas your forefathers did about feeling bored.
I’m Bored, so Let’s Sin!
The existential philosophers of the 19th and early 20th centuries had their taste of boredom and they channeled it into their deeply introspective writing. It enables their readers to reconsider life’s meaning and a chance to tackle a struggle of existence. You may also get a better understanding of your experience of boredom when you read what these existential writers have to say.
For starters, you should appreciate what philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote, who said that “the gods were bored; therefore they created human beings.” Kierkegaard took this a step further by claiming that boredom is also what led Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit.
And when you think about it, Kierkegaard may be right. Isn’t boredom just like being surrounded by a lot of things to do, but you can only stop feeling it when you go out of your comfort zone and try what is out of the ordinary?
Kierkegaard’s thoughts on boredom can also be applied to Phineas and Ferb, who do extraordinary “sinful” things that their sister Candace doesn’t approve of. It really doesn’t give a whole new meaning to sin.
I’m Bored, and God is Dead!
Freidrich Nietzsche took Kierkegaard’s statement about boredom a few steps further by focusing on God saying “the boredom of God on the seventh day of creation would be a subject for a great poet.”
For Nietzsche, boredom is a subject worth capturing through art or creativity. Basically, he’s telling us that you should write something if you are bored. Fortunately, there are more things to do rather than write to cure boredom.
Nietzsche is also telling us that we are an object of sheer boredom. That either means we are like God’s so-called pawns in a game of chess, or he could have done better if he wasn’t bored. I mean, come on, imagine how fun it would be to create a human with wings or laser eyes.
I’m Bored, and That Means We Need Meaning!
Of all the existentialist philosophers who wrote about boredom, Arthur Schopenhauer is the one who put it best through his essay titled Studies on Pessimism. The main message of Schopenhauer is that the existence of boredom in human life is nothing less than an indicator that life lacks meaning.
Even if Schopenhauer didn’t reference this in his essay, the point is it is up to you to find that meaning during periods of boredom and that there are multiple opportunities in life to find meaning. And remember, meaning comes in different shapes and forms.
Boredom has long been in human history for centuries, and it’s natural to feel it. But people of the past had a harder time curing their boredom. They didn’t have fun things like weird websites and free online games that could cure their boredom.
So stop being stuck in the past, find meaning, and cure your boredom today!