This is Why We Grew Up And Got Bored

I stumbled across a writing by Samsaran titled “Boredom”. It said: “Why is it that small children and babies are rarely if ever bored? It is because they live in a state of full mindfulness, or living in the now.”

As Samsaran put it, mindfulness is our natural state of being when we are young. It is only later that we start filtering everything through our conscious minds. When we do this, we translate and reduce our direct sensory input to abstractions and symbols.

Thus, that lovely rose becomes not the thing in itself but an abstraction. A kind of amalgamation of “roses I have experienced before” and an abstract concept known as “flowers”. So we don’t see that particular flower with its own individual beauty, color, shape, scent, and imperfections. When we are in this state we are bored easily unless our experience is either very new, very intense or very unique.

One of the things that happen to people when they experience their awakening is that they get caught staring at a flower or a stone intensely for a long period of time. Friends may ask “what the heck is wrong with you it’s just a rock”. But to the newly awakened it is not just “a rock or a flower” it is “THIS rock and THIS flower.”

People talk about being bored while they are at their computers on Tumblr or Facebook. So, it would appear that boredom is not lack of stimulus or the opportunity for stimulus.

Boredom is a state of mind. It is a sense of satiation with the world, not lack of stimulus. If you doubt this think about it for a moment. You love sushi. You love it so much you’ve had it for lunch two days in a row. Your flatmate says “hey let’s go get sushi” and you say “nah, I’m bored with sushi let’s get a nice curry instead”. You still love sushi but you’re satiated for now. See?

I think as we grow up, we develop a persona over a personality because we think we know better. We don’t see things as they are, but how we are, and everything is filtered through thoughts and insecurities. If we want to dance, we worry about the way we dance. When we dress, we worry about the way we dress in case others disapprove. We may not feel the thrill of the rain the same way as before, but I think the whole idea of being happy and appreciative starts when we focus on the tiny details happening in our present moment.


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