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Thailand, A Cure For Boredom

I remember having read a philosopher who said that most of man’s problems can be traced to his inability to stay in one room. It has been clearly demonstrated by Schopenhauer (another philosopher) that maintaining life is a burden which requires us to be in continuous motion. In his own words:

Life presents itself first and foremost as a task: the task of maintaining itself… If this task is accomplished, what has been gained is a burden, and there then appears a second task: that of doing something with it so as to ward off boredom, which hovers over every secure life like a bird of prey. Thus the first task is to gain something and the second to become unconscious of what has been gained, which is otherwise a burden. That human life must be some kind of mistake is sufficiently proved by the simple observation that man is a compound of needs which are hard to satisfy; that their satisfaction achieves nothing but a painless condition in which he is only given over to boredom; and that boredom is a direct proof that existence is in itself valueless, for boredom is nothing other than the sensation of the emptiness of existence. For if life, in the desire for which our essence and existence consists, possessed in itself a positive value and real content, there would be no such thing as boredom: mere existence would fulfill and satisfy us. As things are, we take no pleasure in existence except when we are striving after something – in which case distance and difficulties make our goal look as if it would satisfy us (an illusion which fades when we reach it) – or when engaged in purely intellectual activity, in which case we are really stepping out of life so as to regard it from outside, like spectators at a play. Even sensual pleasure itself consists in a continual striving and ceases as soon as its goal is reached. Whenever we are not involved in one or other of these things but directed back to existence itself we are overtaken by its worthlessness anti vanity and this is the sensation called boredom.”

I am of the belief that most men visiting Thailand are not really in need of getting married. They are simply looking for something to do to avoid the sensation of boredom. However, they fail to realize that once they have gotten married to someone they desired, the boredom is bound to set in again unless they are fully occupied in the pursuit of fulfilling the desires (material) of their new spouse. Even the oft repeated phrase of ‘being happily married’ is not really true since happiness comes only from striving. In that case, either the happily married person is happy in continuously striving to maintain his marriage or the happy marriage is actually a façade for a bored existence. Admittedly, the couple-who-are-bored-with-each-other can together form new desires and then strive together to fulfill the same but that is not called ‘being’ and is actually nothing but striving for something with the same end result.

Life as an expression of the will is basically goal-oriented. We are always seeking something. This is true of all life, but most of all of the higher conscious animals. So long as we seek our goal, we are not satisfied and the unfulfilled desire drives us forward. If we do not satisfy the desire, then we remain unfulfilled. But if we do satisfy the desire and win the goal, then we have no more motivation and life has basically come to an end. Thus, life is motion towards a goal. If we do not get the goal, then we remain dissatisfied. If we do get the goal, then the life-force ceases. Either way, the fulfillment of desire is impossible. We cannot have a fully fulfilled life and enjoy it too.” (Schopenhauer)

Since boredom cannot be completely eliminated, people everywhere would seek momentary pleasures (pleasure is nothing but absence of boredom and pain) and if these momentary pleasures also lead to a state of physical exhaustion (e.g. sexual intercourse, golf etc.), so much the better. The craving for extra marital affairs is also explained on the same basis. This particular activity has charm since it requires ‘striving’ to achieve its goal (we have already seen that striving is life) plus when the goal is achieved, it also leads to physical exhaustion and sleep. However:

In such a world, where no stability of any kind, no enduring state is possible, where everything is involved in restless change and confusion and keeps itself on its tightrope only by continually striding forward – in such a world, happiness is not so much as to be thought of. It cannot dwell where nothing occurs but Plato's 'continual becoming and never being’. In the first place, no man is happy but strives his whole life long after a supposed happiness which he seldom attains, and even if he does it is only to be disappointed with it; as a rule, however, he finally enters harbour shipwrecked and dismasted. In the second place, however, it is all one whether he has been happy or not in a life which has consisted merely of a succession of transient present moments and is now at an end.“

Same same!

Should I then conclude that seeking of momentary pleasures is not an end in itself? I am not inclined to do so on the basis that if every kind of striving is meaningless in the end with the same result, then let it be a striving where I can draw my maximum pleasure. Even though I have been married now for the last 30 years (with the same woman which is quite common in India), I would like to describe the state of my marriage as neither happy nor unhappy. I think this is the truth with most marriages which are put in the category of ‘happily married’, at least after the intense sexual part has passed over. Once the feeling of achievement (getting her to bed in the first instance) is over, an inducement of marriage to her to assess whether she would subdue herself to sleep without needing to be ‘maintained’ is seen as another achievement. After one striving is over, another starts. If she agrees, a marriage takes place. A period of intense lust and sexual gratification follows leading to physical exhaustion as well as loss of desire. The sexual encounters become less frequent. The teasing games played in bed rooms are a substitute for keeping the sense of striving intact but since the male is sure of the outcome being in his favour, the game soon looses its fun element. Eventually, the boredom of non-striving sets in if the demands of the wife are not financially cumbersome. Otherwise, in order to avoid boredom, the male now devotes all his energy to satisfy the demands (mostly financial) of his wife. This was the initial game plan of wife. She has succeeded in getting financial security for herself and her children, and also has fulfilled her own biological needs of fecundity. The male fell in her trap only for one simple reason. To avoid boredom. That is the TRUTH.

The end result would have been very different if the male had not bothered to secure free sex which is available after marriage (and which is not really free also). The male just wanted to make sure that she would agree to marriage with him which would be a major achievement for him (for that will make him feel that he is attractive). Please keep in mind that it was never in his benefit to marry her, the only thing in his benefit was just to be assured that if he wants, he can marry her. While the former will lead to boredom and a total prohibition on any such adventures in future, the later will not only give him a sense of achievement but will also free him to avail of similar achievements in future as well. It is only by recognizing this simple truth that the carefully laid trap of female sex can be avoided.

If you think an encounter with female sex is more beneficial to males than females, then go and ask the male wasps who, after mating, lose their life. Once the female fecundity needs are fulfilled, the role of the male is over.

But there is no love in sexual relationship with a hooker!

You are right! But aren’t you looking for the wrong thing, sir? What other follies are you willing to commit just to avoid boredom? In any case, love is not really a male need. All females, before subjugating themselves, require to be assured of love from their male counterparts while all males, before subjugating themselves, would be more than happy if a female approached them simply due to lust.

Let us try this for example:

A male approaches a female whom he wants to marry:

“Miss, will you marry me?”

“But why, if I might ask.”

“Well, because I lust for you.”

“But do you love me also?”

“Actually, to tell you the truth, it is possible that I may be in love with you but I am unable to recognize this emotion due to the emotion of lust being dominant at this time. However, my lust for you is much stronger than it has been for anyone else recently.”

“Go to hell!”

Just imagine the opposite situation where a female approaches a male with the proposition of mating only because she lusts for him. That, I think, would be heaven.

So let us be the man once again and recognize the traps laid down by the females. It is one thing for a person to think of marriage for the first time but a totally senseless thing to do second or third time. What Thailand is, let it remain that. It is a beautiful place where we can all go and enjoy the scene without getting trapped by it.

Bloody Indian