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On Laziness

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The Last Messiah:
What is one to do with one's life? 

Do you ever feel just plain lazy?

“Let us not be needlessly bitter: certain failures are sometimes fruitful … Let us salute it, then, even celebrate it: our solitude will be reinforced, affirmed. Cut off from one more channel of escape, up against ourselves at last, we are in a better position to inquire as to our functions and our limits, the futility of having a life.”   - Cioran

... the futility of having a life ...

It is ironic that one has to be a little lazy at least, just in order to even begin to study something like mathematics which is certainly not going to pay any bills.  It really is best suited for a dreamy kind of layabout who does not demand of himself to do anything useful.

"I do nothing, granted. But I see the hours pass--which is better than trying to fill them."
      - Cioran

"If you wish at once to do nothing and be respectable nowadays, the best pretext is to be at work on some profound study."       - Sir Leslie Stephen

"I need so much time for doing nothing that I have no time for work."       - Pierre Reverdy

One thing is certain about studying math: it takes years.  This means it also takes days where you are at liberty to "do nothing," to accomplish nothing.  Is this why there are universities which provide the atmosphere where the students can feel they are accomplishing something?

Herein lies the challenge to the autodidact: how to justify all the time it takes to learn, learn, learn?  How to transcend the demand to be doing something useful?

One can devote oneself from morning to night on developing math skills, and, at the end of the day, have contributed nothing to society.  In a sense, one has to accept being perceived as sitting on one's a-s-s all day.  Well, that is what one is doing. 

It just seems ironic to "work" so hard at trying to learn something the masses find difficult, and to wear the label of "lazy deadbeat".  There is something wicked at play which pressures the masses to be "productive".  It encourages fascists who have difficulty with elementary mathematics to kick down the doors of those studying something more difficult, in order to drag them away for the crime of being a parasite, a lazy shiftless and useless "thinker".

I feel like I am on to something here when I zoom in on the praise of action, the praise of productivity, the praise of "doing something", and the abuse one is exposed to when one decides to think and learn.

If only the food were not kept under lock and key.  If only coffee and tobacco grew on trees and eggs fell from the sky!

I'm very interested in these concepts of laziness and idleness and even uselessness.  Committing oneself to developing skills in solving certain mathematical problems or even problems in physics which require a degree of care and concentration,- this requires leisure.  It is ironic and paradoxical to reflect upon this for a moment.

I am too lazy to follow my own train of thought, but I am sure I am on to something ground-breaking here.  I will go about "my business".  Maybe I will have more clarity later.

Do you think that parts of the Unconscious Mind are able to think about other things while the conscious mind is focusing on a mathematical problem?  It is interesting to observe how the mind wanders, how images of people and events from the past erupt into the forefront of the mind when "it" is trying to concentrate on something logical.

For the moment, in between the first and second cup of coffee, resisting the Cioranesque conclusion that the best thing one can do is lay down and go back to sleep, I can only muster the mental strength necessary to state my theory in the form of a question:  Is one's degree of physical laziness inversely proportional to one's degree of mental laziness?   In other words, if one does not want to think about solving problems involving equations such as "work = distance times force", does putting on work boots to move matter from one place to another eliminate the need to think about such formulas?  Again, stated conversely, if one is disinclined to lift heavy objects with one's slender arms, would this disinclination propel the physically less energetic man to pursue mental activity?

When I was frustrated with book learning as a youth, I found that putting on work boots and getting a job solved that problem.  I could say with the rest of the work-force when the shift was over, "It's Miller Time!"

Am I on to something here?  If one doesn't want to think, one can become a soldier or a worker.

If one doesn't want to be a soldier or mule tool for another man, but does want to learn how to solve math problems, one will be condemned as useless or lazy ... unless one is using one's brain to design websites or applications for the gorts' smartphones.

I would prefer forcing my brain to figure out meaningless word problems.

When a problem is just totally ridiculous, where there is absolutely no motivation to exert the mental effort to solve the problem, I try to encourage myself by insisting it is better to be engrossed in such a useless activity than to be a soldier/slave for the rich industrialists.

Preferring to solve meaningless math problems rather than getting my balls shot off in a war or having my throat slit while taking a hit off a crack pipe must mean I am either lazy and unpatriotic, or just bipolar.

raul:
Señor Hentrich,
To be idle or to be lazy is not well considered in this society because I was told that idleness or laziness leads to crime so one should always stay busy. And tell me why does one have the obligation to contribute to society? Take care. Raúl

The Last Messiah:

--- Quote from: raul ---Tell me why does one have the obligation to contribute to society?
--- End quote ---

I don't know why.  I remember reading Thoreau where he wrote, "I am not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society."

So,  I went searching for where he said this: see link below.

I found Thoreau On Working Hours at The Simplicity Collective.

We only have a limited amount of time on earth with which to live our lives, and out of self-respect we should not waste that time. Indeed, Thoreau suggested that we should be as covetous of our time as most people are of their money.

During his experiment, Thoreau discovered – and let this give us a moment’s pause – that in living a life of voluntary simplicity he could meet all the expenses of living ‘by working about six weeks in a year.’ This left him with the whole of his winters, as well as most of his summers, ‘free and clear for study.’

Having thus secured his freedom, which is what he sought, he had no reason to envy (and indeed had reason to pity) the ‘successful’ capitalists, merchants, shopkeepers, mechanics, farmers, lawyers, doctors, etc. who were money rich but time poor. In one of his more acidic moments Thoreau even commented that those who spent their time earning superfluous money ‘deserved some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.’

Their highest duty in life to accumulate colored paper! Does any divinity stir within them?, Thoreau wondered. What are their destinies worth to them compared with coloured paper?



--- Quote from: Thoreau ---If I should sell both my forenoons and afternoons to society, as most appear to do, I am sure that for me there would be nothing worth left living for…. I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting a living.
--- End quote ---

"I am not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society." ~ Civil Disobedience

The Last Messiah:
While many people in the United States see the tycoon or popular celebrity as an ideal to be strived for, Schopenhauer offers us  The Sage - an individual who can overcome their desire, and retreat from the stresses of life to live as an intellectual.

Schopenhauer offered a more practical solution for the rest of us, and advised stressed people to spend as long as possible with art and philosophy, which gives us a moment of clarity. However brief, it is a break from our daily labors to spend in beauty and reflection.

From morning until the end of the night, I hear my mother's worries over living in destitute; and it takes almost a revolutionary effort just to set those anxieties aside for a few hours to become engrossed in some math or programming, or even to just to reflect and ponder upon this life which will inevitably pass.

It would appear that, if one prefers to live as an intellectual, this may require a shirking of duties.   If my life were guided by the Will of a dependent parent, I would most certainly be sold into modern day slavery.   I have no choice but to have sense of humor and see my very life as ridiculous.  After all, my life resembles that of the fictional character, Ignatius Reilly, of Tooles A Confederacy of Dunces, more than it does the life of that Sage, Arthur Schopenhauer.

The Last Messiah:
You think Schopenhauer is an idiot?   You must be a goddamn troll.


--- Quote from: Claude ---The way you put your comment, it's obvious we're not on the same wave length at all, and that you didn't read my previous posts at all...
--- End quote ---

I read your previous posts, but had difficulty following your logic.   Besides that, with your demands to delete posts, how much effort do you think I am going to put into deciphering what it is your cryptic way of writing is conveying?


--- Quote from: Claude ---I think Scaupenhauer is an idiot.
--- End quote ---

 ???

Please refrain from such obvious incitements.   Are you so bored that you wish to poke me with stick?  You have admitted to just learning how to spell the man's name, and yet you wish to invoke anger with some thoughtless insult.   It is as though you are now only trying to provoke me.   

Have I been too polite, or are you just looking to cause some strife here?   Do you find we get along too well here?  Do we need an antagonist?

I've lost the desire to argue.  If you don't mind, from now on I may just ignore your attempts to "push my buttons" or otherwise disturb the bit of equanimity I might muster from this life.

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