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Boredom, Boring, Bored

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Boredom, Boring, Bored?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Boredom, Boring, Bored

If I Attempt to Dispel My Boredom I Will be Resisting Where I Am

Truth is always an expression of our True Nature, which is the ultimate truth. To understand your experience, you need to see how it is related to your True Nature, how it is connected to who and what you really are. That is why every time you understand your experience and see the truth, you feel a little more real, you feel nearer to your True Nature—because you are beginning to see how the experience is related to who you really are. Let’s say I am spending time doing a hobby I usually enjoy. After a while, I recognize that I am feeling bored. If I attempt to dispel my boredom, I will be resisting where I am. Because I want to be more real, I choose to stay with my experience even if it is unpleasant. (We will see more about this as we go along.) When I explore my boredom, I realize I’m bored because I am feeling a kind of emptiness, a kind of meaninglessness. I am seeing the truth of my experience, which is the reality of my feeling boredom, which I experience as a meaningless emptiness. I see the truth and that makes me feel a little more real. But I don’t yet understand in my mind how it is related to my True Nature.

Narcissistic Emptiness Underlies the Identity of Both the Normal and the Pathologically Narcissistic Individual

This sense that one’s life is meaningless is related to the boredom and loss of excitement and value that the individual with a narcissistic personality constantly experiences in his various relationships and activities. Writers on narcissism have noted that the experience of meaninglessness is common in very narcissistic people. Narcissistic emptiness underlies the identity of both the normal and the pathologically narcissistic individual, but for the latter the shell has developed inadequately, and hence is vulnerable and brittle. In both cases, this emptiness reveals itself when one’s life situations are not sustaining the narcissistic shell. Although the very brittle narcissistic shell crumbles easily and thus frequently, the normal individual’s more firm, cohesive, and realistic shell can sustain much more narcissistic loss. Thus he can live his life believing in the reality of his identity until his sources of narcissistic supplies finally wear out. The wisdom accumulated in the course of living his life also contributes to making the shell more transparent, revealing its emptiness and ushering in a sense of meaninglessness.

Not Treasuring Your Existence

So the unconscious denial of Being or of its value, which is characteristic of Point Nine, may remain, regardless of your experience and understanding. When you continue to think, feel, and behave as if Being were not present all the time, you are expressing the distrustful belief that love is not your very nature and the nature of everything. If there is no love inside or outside, why stay awake to reality? So the resignation, the apathy, the indifference, the laziness about facing the truth (especially one’s inner truth), arise in response to the perception of a lack of love, to the lack of awareness of the beauty, wonder, bliss, and lovableness of reality, both inner and outer. When you do not treasure your existence, your life becomes a matter of merely surviving and subsisting. Life, then, is dead, superficial, mechanical, and boring because the magic of truth is not present.

Facets of Unity, pg. 224

Our Life Can be Full of Appreciation, Sensitivity and Wonder at All that Surrounds Us

The beauty of life is that it can be a continuous opening to the full range of experience and richness possible for the human being—the dynamic unfolding of the human potential. This life can be a celebration of the mystery of our Being. We can live a life of love, taking joy in ourselves, in other human beings, and in the richness of our home planet. Our life can be full of appreciation, sensitivity, and wonder in all that surrounds us. Such a life can be a thrilling and exciting adventure of learning, maturing, and expanding. But it can also be a life of strife, struggle, misery, and depression, which frequently becomes filled with suffering, frustration, envy, and aggression. We can easily find ourselves leading a life of selfishness, antagonism, and exploitation. When this happens, life soon becomes dull, boring, superficial—while the undertone can feel sadistic and brutal. At these times, life never loses its dynamic and transformative character, but the unfoldment of Being reveals mostly the dark and destructive possibilities of our potential, the negative and depressive side of human experience. The freshness and creativity of the human spirit is eclipsed, the joyous spark dulled and muted, and the sharpness of our clarity blunted and mutilated. We tend to live in ignorance, driven by primitive needs and desires. The sense of humanness leaves us: Even when we know we are human beings, we forget the value and exquisiteness of our gentleness, kindness, and vulnerability.

Shutting Away the Mystery and Destroying the Freshness that is Possible in Experience

Taking the position that we know the present manifestations constrains these manifestations to appear within the conceptual confines determined by this old knowledge. This limits the dynamism of our Being to fixed, rigid, and repetitive patterns. It destroys the freshness of the moment and separates us from the wonder of the mystery that is always confronting us. We lose touch with the mystery if we go about our lives believing that we know all these manifestations that appear to us. You look at a person and say, “Yes, I see; she is made out of skin, nose, eyes, colors. . .” Everything is known. Door closed. No investigation, no inquiry, no mystery, no wonder. After a while, you get bored. If you look at reality this way, you are shutting away the mystery and destroying the freshness that is possible in experience. It might feel secure for a while, but it really isn’t. Many kinds of situations and experiences—the most important of which is death—show us that this view of reality does not keep us safe or secure. One day you might be confronted by this event we call death, and it will make you wonder, “Uh-oh, what is all this? Do I really know what life is about?” When the time comes, you may only have ten minutes to find out. This is one reason why I sometimes say that the Work is partly a preparation for death.

Two Perspectives on the Work; One is Alive and Dynamic, the Other Remains Boring and Static

It is up to each of us to decide what values govern our lives. We can allow our lives to be governed by the pursuit of pleasure, avoiding and trying to get rid of difficulties, or we can allow our lives to be focused on loving understanding and truth. If we are going to wait for the pain to disappear before we come to appreciate truth or to love reality, that will rarely happen. You will have problems, issues, conflicts, and misunderstandings in your life, and in your work here. These are to be seen as only part of the picture, not the focus and center of our Work. These things need to be looked at when they present a barrier. Even when you are looking at an issue, it is more to the point to focus on the mechanisms of the mind with an attitude of appreciation for the process of understanding. This focuses on the truth in the issue, rather than on getting rid of the problem. This may seem to be an insignificant or subtle distinction, but it makes a big difference in the outcome of the work. One perspective is alive and dynamic; the other remains boring and static. If you want to live a more fulfilling life, you have to develop a taste for certain values, a taste for truth and understanding, depth and profundity, precision and exquisiteness, dignity and integrity. These refined values are subtle rather than gross. They will lead to a refined human life, infused with natural beauty, colorful and rich. All of these things are present all the time—you don’t have to achieve them, you just need to appreciate them. You need to begin to love them and orient yourself towards them so that you allow yourself the time and opportunity for them to emerge.

We are Always Someplace in the Field of Myriad Possibilities

So we are always someplace in the experiential field. That place is always changing, but we are always someplace in the field of myriad possibilities. There’s nothing esoteric in that; it is merely what we are experiencing every moment. You can recognize from your own life that the only time you are not experiencing anything is when you are in deep, dreamless sleep. So the moment there is consciousness, there is experience. This applies whether the experience is special (according to your value system) or quite ordinary. Think about what’s going on while you’re having breakfast. You are moving your arms, you are chewing, you are experiencing tastes and flavors in your mouth and movement and textures in your hand, and perhaps you are having a sense of appreciation or revulsion or boredom. Thoughts, feelings, imaginings—all of these are happening. So, something is always going on! And whatever that something is, is related to who you are in the sense that it is more reflective of who you are than of who someone else is. If you are sitting in meditation, your experience is more a reflection of who you are than a reflection of who President Bush is, for instance. So if you are going to find yourself, you don’t go look into George Bush’s experience, you go look into your own experience.

We Need to Penetrate Our Familiar Knowingness and Open Ourselves to the Unknown, to the Mystery

When the manifestations of the universe are seen as essential aspects, each one is perceived on its own as magnificent. Each is also seen to have both profound and practical value. Being beautiful and being useful go together. And part of the beauty is the recognition of the practical functioning of the universe. We can see that the universe functions in a way that is precise and aesthetically appealing. In our work here, we will try to penetrate the veils of our usual beliefs and fixations about what we know, veils that make everything appear old, stale, and boring. “Oh, yes, I know this. This is the world; this is how things work,” we smugly think. We all grow up believing that we see the universe as it actually is; we do not suspect that our perception is largely determined by our accumulated beliefs, feelings, past knowledge, and conditioning. How the universe actually is and how it really functions is hidden from our perception. We need to penetrate our familiar knowingness and open ourselves to the unknown, to the mystery. Then, when we see the mystery of the universe in a fresh way, it is possible to see that the way it functions is exquisite.

Brilliancy, pg. 9

What Boredom Can Look Like in Real Life

What it can look like in real life: If I am bored, but I don’t know that I am bored, how will I ever know that meaninglessness underlies my boredom? If I am bored, but I think it’s just because the food I’m eating is tasteless, there is no chance to understand the situation. So the first thing I need to do is to attend to what is happening. Maybe the first thing that strikes me is not that I am bored, but that the food is tasteless. Maybe I am bored, but I don’t feel I am bored. Instead, I feel it’s me rather than the food that is tasteless. Or perhaps I am not paying attention to the fact that the food is tasteless because I’m on the phone talking to somebody because I don’t want to taste the tastelessness. And the food is tasteless because I am actually bored. And I am actually bored because life feels meaningless to me. And because I prefer not being aware of any of that, I end up talking on the phone about a movie or some family business.

Without that Sense of Precious Attention Creating Your Life, Most of Your Activities Will be Boring and Unfulfilling

Whatever task you’re doing is like an immediate experiment in how your life can be. If you’re washing a window, how can you wash a window and be living? Living is not only when you’re in bed with your husband or when you’re seeing a movie. Living continues when you’re washing a window. How can washing a window be intrinsically valuable? That has to do with the quality of your attention. If you don’t see that you are the preciousness, that your very presence and the quality of care you give the task are what makes it valuable, then the rest of your life will be equally meaningless. Without that sense of precious attention creating your life, most of your activities will be boring and unfulfilling. You can learn to wash a window and be present, to give it the attention and the care that come from knowing the preciousness of who you are. You can learn to wash a window with the understanding that you are essence, that you are goodness, that you are love, that you are the source of strength and beauty and clarity and intelligence. Even though you might not feel that way at the time, you could go about your task from that perspective. You could devote the effort, energy, and time to having the attention necessary to do a good job.

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