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Boredom: Ennui

 
 
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 01:15 pm
Lets take a person has attained pretty much everything they thought they "wanted" in life, has it all beyond theirwildest dreams even, and then they realize: they're bored of it.

I mean, lets say this person has money, freedom, admiration of the opposite sex, love, etc., etc,

And there is still this nagging nebulous desire for something more, and the kicker is they can't even really define that something.

And they slowly become aware that this "something more" they are desiring may not even be available on earth.

Ennui of earth.

Now some will shout out immediately: "Religion!" but perhaps our subject has been through all that for years and eons over and over and over...to the end of it, spit out the other side

What does modern (wo)man do with that?

Has anyone faced the ennui of modern existence, and how do you deal with that? Prescription?

(not that any of us here has this issue of course--this is a Philosophy discussion)
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Sanctuary
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 01:39 pm
An ennui of modern existance?

Sure, I deal with that daily. I am fed up with modern ideals, standards and situations. But I also think you are referring to something different.

I am trying to sit here and imagine someone or something that feels their discontenment is completely insoluble in life...but I can not do so without thinking of some cure.

For anything like this, I would turn to Buddhist philosophies and mentor the person (not convert) on how to be at peace with the world, theirselves, and their lives. But then again, I still feel as if I am not hitting what you're aiming for on the head.

Anything further makes me shrug, perhaps I just do not understand your post well enough?
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extra medium
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 01:57 pm
Thanks for that Sanctuary.

Good answer.

Well, I think if I explained the question more, it might influence the answers too much. And lets say it really isn't a feeling of discontentment. More of a feeling of...a mysterious color missing from an almost complete rainbow. I mean, you still love the color of the rainbow and are in awe of it. But slowly one notices a shade or two not there.

The whole thing is actually kind of a mystery, mysterious. Almost mystical
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spendius
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 02:21 pm
I have a remedy but unfortunately I am unable to offer it to threaders due to the extreme nature of most of the components and taking into account certain sensitivities of my fellows.

It needs to be extreme for cases of ennui found in persons,and I wouldn't dream of speaking for the distaffers,who have money,freedom and the admiration of the aforementioned.

(Editor-spendi,you missed out the love bit.)

Did I?Well just delete the last paragraph.
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spendius
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 02:30 pm
No-hang on.

There's plenty of remedies for those men with money,freedom,the admiration of the opposite sex and love.The advertising industry offers them up all day long.

There's a flaw here somewhere.

EM-are you sure that "admiration" is not just an assertion.If it isn't all you need do is redefine "freedom" to make it more like what cunning means.
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extra medium
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 02:46 pm
LOL!

Everyone is nitpicking the question and no one wants to answer it.

People: if you ever wanted to see ennui in action, this is it.

____

Ahem.

But perhaps you are right S. Admiration is not the precise word. Amused tolerance, guarded mutual attraction, and hypnotized might be more precise there than admiration.
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Terry
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 05:28 pm
Having only been around a half-century or so, I cannot imagine how I could ever be bored with this world. I have not had the money, freedom, or time to experience it all yet and still find endless satisfaction in contemplating nature, delight in art, astonishment in the absurdities of life as a human being, and unlimited possibilities to learn.

One way to relieve the boredom of having too much is to volunteer to help those less privileged.

If you think that what you are missing can be found beyond earth, apply to go into space as a tourist or develop a spaceship drive that can take you to other worlds.

BTW, the missing color is octarine.
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CalamityJane
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 05:47 pm
This sounds probably too goody-two-shoe like, but
going out there in the world an helping other people
doesn't only get rid of utter ennui, it also makes one
feel good in a sense of having accomplished great
things. Helping others elevates you in a very satisfied
state of well being.

Habitat for Humanity has a hammer with your name
on it Wink
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spendius
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 05:47 pm
Listen Terry:-

You don't help the less privileged to relieve your boredom.

We are more civilised than that on here.
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spendius
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 05:54 pm
Actually,I'm not an expert on ennui.It is one of those areas of life I seemed to have passed by.I have heard of it though.Isn't it romantic lassitude?

I shall read these threads with rapt attention from now on in case I ever need to know how to deal with it.
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CalamityJane
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 06:13 pm
liar! Wink
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spendius
 
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 06:26 pm
Not at all CJ.

I have seen it strike.

It is a terrible affliction.



*I must bedtime.Night night.
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val
 
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Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2005 12:41 am
spendius

You are right, sir. Rather romantic. The spleen. Baudelaire. L'idéal.
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extra medium
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2005 02:30 am
This was supposed to be a hypothetical philosophical question about ennui.
It doesn't have to be personal.

I've never really experienced it either, too many things of interest constantly happening, like this pure waterfall falling off the cliff.

But I've known people that experienced it. A semi-famous actor committed suicide some years back. In his note, he said he was doing it because he was "bored of this place." He killed himself cause he was bored! I always thought that was so bizarre. Killing yourself because you're so bored? Is that a tragedy? Does it qualify? Let me go check my catalogues, before Mathos comes...

Lets say you are a ennui doctor. There's 100 people you must cure of ennui. You only have a day to do it. What do you do?

Give them a hammer isn't a bad idea. It worked for Faust. Well he used his brain more to help those in need.

Its a good start. Many of the type that may suffer from ennui might demand a more cerebral hammer to effect a cure.
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spendius
 
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Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2005 02:43 am
One must try occasionally to be serious when a serious subject is up for discussion.

Ennui is a serious matter.A cousin of mine,a literally life long friend and best friend has ennui goodstyle.He had all the things extra motion lists plus he was popular and a figure of some standing in our small world.He owned racehorses even.

Suddenly he became catatonic.It is impossible to describe the state he is now in,and has been for a number of years.It would shock threaders.The mysterious piano player who appeared in Kent recently has what look to be milder symptoms.

His family,his friends and many other members of the community have discussed the case interminably and a large number of remedies have been suggested none of which have the slightest effect.He will speak to no-one apart from the occasional expletive employed in derogatory fashion and not used casually.

Inside,his world must have fallen apart in ways we cannot possibly understand.

I do not like ennui.It really is a terrible affliction.

Having said that,and it must be clear,ennui seems to be a graded affliction.Maybe its mildest manifestation is a drunk who falls into an inner reverie with his elbows on the bar and comes out of it with a sigh and statements like-"what's it all about?"My stock answer to this is "about 75 years old boy or so I read recently".This usually suffices to cause a small laugh,which are easy to cause under the circumstances which I speak of.

It is easy to laugh at such minor outbreaks but I would like it understood that serious cases are no laughing matter.They are tragic.

I thought for a long time that the root cause was taking oneself too seriously and having a contempt for lesser mortals but nowadays I have realised that my flippancy was not only misplaced but arrogant.

I might add that this condition is unheard of here in Lady circles.Women with children never seem to have the slightest inclination to ask the question my fellow slopers have often asked.They may well bore us men to tears with their endless talk of their offspring but it seems to protect them from ennui.

In milder manifestations I think "romantic lassitude" is a fair enough description and I am suspicious of romanticism to a high degree not least because of how popular it is but because of the ease by which one can fall prey to it.For me,it is an empty philosophy and maybe serious ennui is caused by this emptiness suddenly becoming apparent after a lifetime of investment in it.

My hero,Flaubert's Spendius,I do have others,is the perfect anti-romantic as is fitting because dear Gustave fought that battle for us all at a time when Romanticism was in full spate.If one can learn to read Flaubert,and some others,with tears of laughter,it is my opinion,only an opinion,that one will escape the clutches of ennui.My cousin boasted often of never having read a book in his life.

I also think that men of higher intelligence are more prone to ennui that others which might explain why some numbers of professional men join the ranks of football hooligans and The Barmy Army for relaxation.In disguise of course.

Many years ago I read Mario Praz's book The Romantic Agony.This is difficult to find but it sure did the trick for me.I feel immune from ennui.

The more observant readers of this,and one does expect that on a philosophy thread,will be able to see that my reputation,such as it is,for flippancy and corrosive cynicism can,oh slippery word,be employed to head off ennui in its early stages.

You can't be flippant and cynical enough is my motto.

PS.Watch out for "can".It is such a short word and can so easily pass one by whilst a whole edifice of bullshit is built up upon it."May" and "might" are a couple more."It could be said to" and many variations of even longer extension are sometimes used by those with a word target to meet on the white space filling treadmill.

So beware my friends.Philosophy threads are not cuddly little lambs that you can chop up,grill with spices,guzzle and forget about.They are not flavour of the month.
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val
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2005 04:29 am
extra medium

Quote:
Lets say you are a ennui doctor. There's 100 people you must cure of ennui. You only have a day to do it. What do you do?


Not a day, one hour would be enough.
I would put those 100 people in the same building and start a fire. A little one (I mean the fire, not the building). Then, I would shout "FIRE!".
I think I would give those people some purpose in their lives.
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extra medium
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2005 04:38 am
Okay, lets recap:

If someone has ennui, the experts here are saying to give them a hammer, have them read The Romantic Agony, shoot them off in a spaceship, give them a dose of Buddhism, and then start a fire in their building.

Wow, you guys are smart. I think the above would actually work. Seriously.

I'd like to try all the above on someone with ennui. You know, do all that to them in one day. I bet they'd be cured.
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2005 04:58 am
I think anyone who could get bored with such a short life just lacks imagination.
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extra medium
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2005 05:00 am
And if they have the audacity to get bored like that, we should just make them read Romantic Agony and set them on fire.

That'll larn 'em, wouldn't you say?
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val
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Jun, 2005 05:18 am
extra medium

EM, the fact is I don't remember ever being bored. I don't suffer from "ennui". Life is too beautiful. Even the suffering of loosing someone we love, has some beauty in it, at least in our memory.
My work is terribly demanding, but gives me every day new things to study, to discover. And there is the sun, the sea, Schubert, a nice dinner, the smile of a friend.

It is criminal to be bored in such an wonderful world (attention: I HATE ARMSTRONG'S MUSIC!!!).
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