Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Needy surroundings and poverty produce pain; while, if a man is more than well off, he is bored. Accordingly, while the lower classes are engaged in a ceaseless struggle with need, in other words, with pain, the upper carry on a constant and often desperate battle with boredom. [Constant reader, that'd be you and me. E@L] The inner or subjective antagonism arises from the fact that, in the individual, susceptibility to pain varies inversely with susceptibility to boredom, because susceptibility is directly proportionate to mental power.

Let me explain.

A dull mind is, as a rule, associated with dull sensibilities, nerves which no stimulus can affect, a temperament, in short, which does not feel pain or anxiety very much, however great or terrible it may be. Now, intellectual dullness is at the bottom of that vacuity of soul which is stamped on so many faces, a state of mind which betrays itself by a constant and lively attention to all the trivial circumstances in the external world. This is the true source of boredom--a continual panting after excitement, in order to have a pretext for giving the mind and spirits something to occupy them. The kind of things people choose for this purpose shows that they are not very particular, as witness the miserable pastimes they have recourse to, and their ideas of social pleasure and conversation: or again, the number of people who gossip on the doorstep or gape out of the window [??? So it's crime to look out my window at the boats coming in? E@L]. It is mainly because of this inner vacuity of soul that people go in quest of society, diversion, amusement, luxury of every sort, which lead many to extravagance and misery.

Can you imagine having this guy over for dinner?

"So, Artie, what do you think about the Cats this year? Bit off-the-boil, eh? Reckon they can regroup before the finals?"

It'd be a scream. Except for the ladies, whom he would trying to have intercourse with, on a level much more personal than social. An inverterate and remorseless fucker of young ladies was our Mr Schopenhauer, at least according to Irwin Shalom's book, The Schopenhauer Cure.


Sorry but once you start reading Schopenhauer go on about misery and other people, you have to keep reading because the laughs just keep on coming!


No comments:

Free Podcast

Related Posts with Thumbnails