So what makes life interesting? The answer is ludicrously simple: emotions. Mainly the positive ones. But not exclusively, because people maiinly want to be entertained by emotion to lead an interesting life, and just on top of that want a good life (and both interests sometimes even conflict). This desire for emotions is behind much of people’s activity to make their own life interesting:
- starting a romantic relationship
- starting a romantic relationship with somebody else
- “involuntarily” creating relationship drama in ones life, with mixed joy and sadness
- watching movies
- reading novels; this allows to experience deep emotions (deeper and more faceted than in movies), without the danger and effort of undergoing these experiences in real life
- extreme sports
- meditation, prayer, church going: for many, this is just for the sake of the emotions experienced therein
- listening to and creating music
- travelling, which triggers emotions of surprise and curiosity etc.
- scientific research, which feeds curiosity
- dealing with and marveling at beautiful objects, plants, animals and people
- engaging in flirting and courting, including dancing etc.
- engaging in erotic and sexual activity
- behavior and accomplishments that feed ones pride and self-esteem
The new (at least, new for me) aspect in the above rationale is: people do not do something, in the first instance, because they are motivated by emotion; instead, they are motivated by the desire to experience emotion. That is a hypothesis that has to be checked by psychological experiments of course, but let’s go a step further and for the rest of this article just assume that it is proven correct already …
From a Christian perspective, one can even argue that emotions have been created by God in order to make life interesting for us. At least we can say, God did not create human beings in a way that enables them to easily undergo emotional boredness for any non-trivial amount of time; such an experience is always a time of suffering for a human being.
To master life, everybody has to develop tools and techniques to trigger emotions which let one experience “interestingness of life”. Because, in many cases such emotions are not triggered by ones current circumstances of life on their own. In a modern world, people’s circumstances of life are mostly just plain boring, esp. for poor and otherwise restricted people.
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