[-empyre-] Welcome to May: Boredom: Labor, Use and Time

B. Bogart ben at ekran.org
Thu May 14 04:06:31 AEST 2015

Thanks for jumping in Lyn!

You write: "...in anticipation, it requires a moment where expectation
of an event is delayed beyond our expectations."

In the framework I'm thinking through in this discussion (where boredom
is the state when the external world appears to match our predictions
and offers no surprise, at some level of description and arousal is the
state where the external world violates our predictions) then it seems
anticipation is a prediction where the predicted event is desired.

The notion of delay is interesting here. We continue to expect the event
to occur, but it does not (immediately) and yet we continue to expect
it. It seems anticipation is an edge between perceiving signals
indicating our prediction is correct, and yet does not immediately
materialize. There also seems to be some degree of abstraction involved
here, not just expecting that an event will occur, but that it will
occur within a particular period of time.

I would expect that focusing away from the signals that reinforce our
prediction (mind wandering during anticipation) would reduce the
investment in the desired event. I think anticipation then would depend
on continuously expecting and fantasizing the desired event.

I'd like to get a little deeper into this idea of lack and boredom. In
the framework above, boredom is independent of the value we attach to
events that occur or not. We are bored when we are simply not
experiencing anything beyond our expectations. Perhaps lack is related
to abstraction. At a high level of abstraction everything is
predictable, while a low level of abstraction makes everything novel and
unpredictable. It seems we could think of lack as a shift towards higher
level abstractions where more and more becomes predictable because of
the lack of attention to details.

Later you write:
> meditation sometimes is applied to overcome need, to overcome lack,
> to overcome desire. (In buddhism, desire is linked to the root of all
> suffering). If we were to apply meditative practices as an antidote
> to boredom, we find a different problem, particularly as boredom is a
> primary obstacle in overcoming itself. I think if this very
> abstractly as a lack cycle.

I can see how meditation removes the values we attach to events,
thoughts, etc. but if we consider boredom as a state where reality and
exceptions agree, then it seems meditation would be an acceptance,
rather than 'antidote' to boredom. How would you define boredom?

I can imagine that meditative focus on self-control and detachment to
predictions could be an antidote to lack. This could be manifest by
shifting the level of abstraction in other other direction; moving
attention to smaller and smaller details that emphasize the uniqueness
of each moment and each individual.

Lyn, could you elaborate on this notion of a "lack cycle"?

Thanks again Lyn; I really appreciate your comments, and I think this
link with meditation brings the discussion to some interesting territory.


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