Bored? Embrace it!
We have become a society that craves entertainment in everything we do. A recent book explores this trend, arguing that we are already living in the metaverse, where fantasy and visual/ auditory stimulation has replaced reality. We are so afraid of being bored, the author argues, that we feel the need to interject entertainment into everything - from educational lectures to political campaigns to congressional hearings, even to church sermons and family meals. (cell phones and TV during dinner?) There is nothing wrong with entertainment itself, it serves a purpose. But must it be interjected into every aspect of our lives in order to make things interesting?
We hold access to all the world’s accumulated knowledge in our pockets, on our phones, yet half of all Americans get their news from social media! Why? Because it’s fun, titillating and entertaining, and they are on social medial anyway, making sure they aren’t missing out on the latest entertainment trends. (FOMO anyone?)
Here’s a thought, possibly heresy to many: That bored place in our minds, where there is no immediate stimulation from entertainment sources, is necessary for health, creativity and self examination, maybe even joy and peace. Our surface thoughts are occupied by the ego’s preoccupation with survival - it is where we are constantly comparing, contrasting, competing and conflicting - our insatiable need for entertainment represents another acquisition we feel we need in order to see ourselves as special.
Yet our true individuality, or essential “specialness” lies below the noise, in our quiet minds, the calm waters below the choppy surface current of our chaotic consciousness - it is in the quiet mind where we find inspiration, peace, tranquility and calm. Clarity of thought lives in the peaceful place deep below the surface of what some call our “monkey brain”.
You don’t necessarily need formal meditation training to find this place. Simply turn off the media, put your phone away for a few minutes and just sit in silence. Don’t worry about clearing your thoughts. Rather, be amazed with the clarity and inspiration that find their way into your consciousness.
Dr. Deepak Chopra suggest quieting your mind and replacing the word “God” with “my source”, so that the often quoted phrase of the popular 46th psalm then becomes: “Be still and know that I am your source” It is in silence that you may find peace, healing and inspiration. Try it. I think you’ll like it!
Dr. John Monaco