Grappling with boredom
“Against boredom even gods struggle in vain.” — Nietzsche
Much of life is spent sleepwalking through situations without a moment for oneself. And yet, frequently, one finds oneself experiencing existential boredom.
Boredom that’s not a byproduct of free time, but culmination of one’s inability to find meaning in anything they do in life. But enduring this is the price of breaking through the mental prison. We do not have answers, we may never have them all. But this is no reason to embrace blind faith just to fill the void of soul.
The the movie Shawshank Redemption, Red says this of Brook’s sheer fright when he hears of his release from prison: “These prison walls are funny. First you hate ’em, then you get used to ’em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them. That’s institutionalized. They send you here for life, that’s exactly what they take.”
At a more metaphorical level, this is exactly what life’s compelling situations can do to us. We forget that every endeavour is different, and failure in one initiative is no reason that others will meet the same fate. The encompassing gloom soon engulfs our thinking, clouds our mind which refuses to emerge free from the grip of paranoia.
Brooks commits suicide because he cannot think of life beyond prison. This is an independence that he isn’t prepared for. To break free, is to invite chaos. But only from the chaos is true understanding churned.