Want something to happen at all costs—something, anything


A zoologist who observed gorillas in their native habitat was amazed by the uniformity of their life and their vast idleness. Hours and hours without doing anything. Was boredom unknown to them? This is indeed a question raised by a human, a busy ape. Far from fleeing monotony, animals crave it, and what they most dread is to see it end. For it ends, only to be replaced by fear, the cause of all activity. Inaction is divine; yet it is against inaction that man has rebelled. Man alone, in nature, is incapable of enduring monotony, man alone wants something to happen at all costs—something, anything…. Thereby he shows himself unworthy of his ancestor: the need for novelty is the characteristic of an alienated gorilla.

~ Emil Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born

Source: Quote – Schonwieder. Photograph – Tim McCoy


  1. Point very well taken..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Philosophy Impact.


  3. Yes, David; peacefulness sure beats activity – though some things do need to get done… Maybe there’s a middle ground?!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Such a fascinating perspective…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I am half gorilla…………

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Always in pursuit of the next best thing. Is kind of funny, really (not the ha ha kind). If man is incapable of enduring monotony, how come we endure so much of it in our pursuit of whatever it is we are pursuing? Rise at the same hour, workout at the same gym, take the same route to work, work until the same hour, eat dinner, watch t.v., go to bed at the same hour and then do it all over again, every single day. I’d say we’ve gotten pretty good at it.

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  7. I guess that gorillas aren’t thinking about how much they must pack into their lives before they die.

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  8. This seems quite an ethnocentric perspective…. which I disagree with.
    I would say that busy achieving man is characteristic of someone living in industrial and post industrial societies.
    The more I travel the more I see and appreciate others who live more simply and slowly.
    What if our natural state is actually more like the guerrilla 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. meditation is good for the soul. any soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Unlike man, an ape does not contemplate what may be around the next corner. He may sense when something is near, but can not wonder about that when, as we.
    Just as a dog who sits by the front door awaiting his master’s return from work. To him it is as though his master just left.
    I’ve never seen an ape nor dog with a time piece; other than for novelty.
    That is why our animal friends can linger with no distress. They don’t experience boredom as we. Because boredom requires an affect of time.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Wowza. Humbling. I am so very much one for novelty; something to respond to, etc. I am getting better at ‘being’, and can amaze myself on some days at my outstanding ability to do absolutely nothing, but at the same time, my mind is sooo happy when something new to react/respond to presents. I was fascinated to read the line: “Was boredom unknown to them?” What a mind-bending concept – I can’t fathom.

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  13. I’ve met a few humans much like this, society tends to call them lazy. But there’s something to ponder here, anyway. The “just being” aspect.

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  14. You know I have no trouble being still and relaxing! I would get on very well with the Gorilla’s. Its from all that time in Fi…..not going to say it :).

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Aww man … I know this already, but I hate to see it. Look at those eyes. Just look …

    Liked by 1 person

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