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Showing posts from October, 2014

ADAM PHILLIPS ON BOREDOM

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“Boredom … protects the individual, makes tolerable for him the impossible experience of waiting for something without knowing what it could be.” When was the last time you were bored — truly bored — and didn’t instantly spring to fill your psychic emptiness by checking Facebook or Twitter or Instagram? The last time you stood in line at the store or the boarding gate or the theater and didn’t reach for your smartphone seeking deliverance from the dreary prospect of forced idleness? A century and a half ago, Kierkegaard argued that this impulse to escape the present by keeping ourselves busy is our greatest source of unhappiness. A century later, Susan Sontag wrote in her diary about the creative purpose of boredom. And yet ours is a culture that equates boredom with the opposite of creativity and goes to great lengths to offer us escape routes. Children have a way of asking deceptively simple yet existentially profound questions. Among them, argues the celebrated British psychoanalyti…

THE DEATH GROUP

I started a death group, facilitated by a very experienced colleague. The group is for over 60s who are ready to face what lies ahead. As a society we don't really talk about death and dying, we seem to be in denial. And yet it's the one final inevitable experience that we all going to share. It will also be a lonely experience, even if we are well supported. Our own death is ours alone.
Many of us have lost parents and contemporaries, suddenly or through long illness. It never gets any easier and we are shocked, even when it is expected. Most of us lead a privileged life in relatively good health. Modern medicine can work miracles and we are arrogant, we expect it to. But we can't fix death, so let's prepare for it, let's take responsibility, put our affairs in reasonable order, write wills and lasting power of attorney documents. Let's meet up with the people we love and care about before they disappear. Let's talk about our fears and feelings, our hopes…