A Leisurely Revolution

The Drama Between Freedom & Compulsion

Image for post
Image for post
© Cynthia Decker

Waking to Solitude & Sociality

Waking up as the sun stubbornly poured through my un-curtained windows, I considered the day ahead in which I need go nowhere, need do nothing. If this needless state were extended across an entire lifetime, I’d approach what Henry Thoreau calls the art of life:

Greater Possibilities of Attention

This impulse to commodify time followed me throughout the day. Rather than letting stillness wash over and engulf me, I looked for syringes of dopamine to numb the cravings, to fill the solitude with something of ‘use’.

Image for post
Image for post


And if I’m being programmed against solitude, what of sociality? Can’t we find the same nourishment of spirit in the company of friends as in the company of ourselves? Might this day of mine be better spent popping over to my friend’s apartment down the hall, having a few beers and playing guitar?

Image for post
Image for post
© Bill Watterson

Leisure Is Not a Link in Utilitarian Chains

Nietzsche has an idea called the ‘eternal return’. It asks: if I had to re-live my life up to this point, making the same choices, experiencing the same emotions and thoughts, everything an exact replica, for all eternity — my life played on repeat ad infinitum — would I be happy?

Eco-Mental Design

Reclaiming leisure, then, calls for a change in mentality. It requires the routine stilling of our utilitarian bustling about to remember and commune with what it actually is we’re working, living, for.

Image for post
Image for post
Felix Guattari, by Thierry Ehrmann

Basic Income & What to Do

So what courses of action lie ahead? What modifications to the social and material environment can we make that might sustain changes in our mentalities of work & leisure?

Meditating in the Open

In the corner of my apartment sits a meditation cushion, partitioned off from the rest by a wooden room divider painted white. I try and sit there every morning, in search of both nothing and everything. It’s here that I first learned what solitude feels like.

Written by

Interested in many things, like consciousness, meditation & economics. Sure of nothing, like how to exist well, or play the sax (yet). More: www.MusingMind.org.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store