Tag Archives: anxiety

The difference between boredom and anxiety

On a more personal note than my current series on Marion, one of the reasons I’ve so enjoyed reading God Without Being is that there is so much material for someone who, like me, is in a more or less constant state of existential crisis. Along these lines, I like the distinction Marion makes between boredom and anxiety. In brief, existential anxiety is chronically worried over the source of beings. What is good? Am I living well or squandering my existence? Is this relationship “real” or founded on fantasy? In contrast, for the bored person beings are there and well-founded and actions may even be clear enough, but who really cares? Boredom is the indifference to the genuine difference that exists all around us.

Between these two, anxiety is something to attend to at least, even if it’s terrifying and debilitating, for “the claim [of…] Being silently utters. Boredom, on the contrary, can hear nothing here, not even the Nothingness/Nothing.” Marion identifies anxiety as the source of Dasein, as that which seeks to found itself on the nothing. In contrast, boredom “displaces man…outside of his status as Dasein.” This because the bored person is not being here and there: he or she is nowhere in particular, nowhere that matters.

So, now you know the difference.