Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a mans soul and faith
Mick Jagger, Sympathy for the Devil
One of my favorite Tarot depictions of the Devil is the bored kitty from collector’s edition of Gatti Buffi and i believe it depicts the nature of the most mistaken concept in history the best.
According to Kabbalists, the wise guys who tried to understand the Bible between its literal horror fiction narration, Satan is merely the postponement between the effort we make and the expected result… Let alone that expectations are a chore unto itself – it’s there that dreaded disappointment is born, in that gaping abyss between wrong judgement and expected outcome.
But, not to go too deep into the misconception arisen – like so many others – from a loss in translation, it’s the phenomenon of boredom i want to explore deeper.
There is a customary response in my language to the commonly asked question What’s new/ Vos is neias : thanks goodness, nothing new!
And it’s with time, i believe, that we learn to appreciate such state of affair – and the blessing hidden within it.
Peter Toohey, classical scholar at the University of Calgary, in his book on ennui titled Boredom, a Lively History, differentiates between “simple boredom” and Sartre’s existential boredom.
Apropos, i can’t stand the commies’ favorite nihilist – and for many reasons other than the Judeo-Christian system of values to which i adhere; it’s that Sartre’s infatuation by mostly forgotten Ukrainian born philosopher of despair Leo Shestov in my view had enslaved the minds of Montenegrins for decades and almost led to extinction of the nation.
In my novelette Teshuva (translated by Zoran Paunovic, published by Katedrala, 2010.) i expanded on the psychological damage done to Montenegrin intellectuals – and through them – to an entire nation, who at the time studied at Belgrade’s University (back then) deeply imbued by Sartre’s and Shestov’s thought; i doubt it’s of interest here, except for being one of the best examples how a deviant system of thought can have far reaching tragic consequences.
It’s the simple boredom, the certain predictability of events and the dolce far niente that as of lately became my preferred state of being.
After the adventure seeking twenties , I grew to love the phase when relationships are calm and books and movies good and predictable;
I don’t seek the thrill anymore, I don’t need the drama which entices the emotional roller coasters – more so, i actively avoid people and events which have aura of unpredictable instability.
That being said – all things do fluctuate - and within the predictable and constant change, but once that part is internalized, one can remain within their own familiar unchanging fluctuation - and enjoy it thoroughly.
That’s pretty much what i’ve been doing lately – enjoying the things i know for what they are.
Classics who wrote on tedium include Chekhov, Flaubert, Turgenev, Ibsen and Camus, but it’s genius Joseph Brodsky whom i believe had worded it the best: “The reason boredom deserves such scrutiny is that it represents pure, undiluted time in all its repetitive, redundant, monotonous splendor.
Boredom is your window on the properties of time that one tends to ignore to the likely peril of one’s mental equilibrium. It is your window on time’s infinity. Once this window opens, don’t try to shut it; on the contrary, throw it wide open.”
NY Times book review of P. Toohey’s book: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/books/review/book-review-boredom-a-lively-history-by-peter-toohey.html?pagewanted=all
wiki article on Leo Shestov : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Shestov
Tarotpedia article on Gatti Buffi: http://www.tarotpedia.com/wiki/22_Arcani_I_Gatti_Buffi