And the emptiness of it; one might almost say, the metaphysical emptiness. At this point melancholy teams up with tedium, and a particular kind of tedium, as certain persons experience it. Not that the individual abstains from serious work, that he goes idle. Tedium of this kind can color a very active life. It implies that the person seeks something, seeks it everywhere and passionately—something that he cannot find. With a painful incompetence he seeks that which in the truest sense can be called bourgeois, a compromise with the possible and a sense of well-being. Tedium looks for that. It tries to see things as it would like them to be, to find in them that significance, that earnestness, that ardor and power of fulfillment for which it longs. But it does not succeed. Things are finite. But all finiteness is a defect. And this defect is a disappointment for the heart that longs for the absolute. This disappointment spreads till it creates the feeling of a great void. Nothing worthwhile exists. Nothing merits a claim on one’s attention.
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