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Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class ftp in /home/danneau/ on line 8 » Blog Archive » Boomeritis


Posted by Dan on Oct 25th, 2007
Oct 25

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Ken Wilber defines Boomeritis, the characteristic psychological condition of Baby Boomers, as Narcissism plus Relativism.

Using the language of the “story”, narcissism is the notion that the story is about oneself, while relativism is the notion that one story is as good as another. Combining these, we get the notion that we can have whatever story we want. This appears in various forms:

I don’t feel the need to limit myself to linear logic.

I choose to live life on my own terms and not be guided by charts based on statistics.

I like to consider myself a co-creator with the powers that be in the story of my life.

Like my fellow Boomers, I’m so vain, I think this song is about me. I acknowledge that there is no one right way to be. There are, however, wrong ways to be. The universe sets limits on our stories.

The problem with Boomeritis is that Mother Nature has a story too, and that story is not about us. In Mother Nature’s story, our survival is a matter of complete indifference. In Into the Wild, Alex thought he was living an adventure story, but in fact he and the Alaskan wilderness co-created a story in which he starved to death.

4 Responses

  1. J. D. Ellsworth Says:

    There is another -ism that “Boomeritis” entails, or at least results in, Solipsism. I quote an earlier anonymous commentator who appears to be an advocate (or is it victim?) of Boomeritis, “This may also indicate that the rest of you don’t exist outside my conceptualization of you.” Perhaps the commentator is anonymous because he/she doesn’t exist outside of his/her conceptualization of himself/herself. This is solipsism squared. But then there is always DesCartes. But what if the primal thought is “I think that I don’t exist, therefore … “

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Well, J.D. are you intending to be hostile or are you just a young pup, envious of those of us who are Boomers?

    Actually, I am one of the eldest Boomers, born in the 7th week of the BOOM. I have always felt I have lived on the crest of a crashing wave. I was close enough to see what society was like before we overwhelmed it, I was an active part of the changes and I have observed the results of change, good and bad, and the reactions against change, good and bad.

    Solipsism-1874, coined from L. solus “alone” + ipse “self.” The view or theory that self is the only object of real knowledge or the only thing that is real.

    Either/Or. So, a deaf/blind person knows (has knowledge of) only what their sensors are capable of ascertaining and sending to their brain.

    A quadraplegic doesn’t feel the burn on their leg, so that isn’t part of their reality until it turns into gangrene and kills them. Just like we are not aware of how Mother Nature feels because we don’t have sensors sensitive enough to communicate that to our conscious selves. 1 part per billion will kill you even when we could only measure 1 part per million.

    The feeling of solipsism is one of absolute aloneness. It was at that point that I decided that if there isn’t anyone else who can comprehend my thoughts, then I needed to have a God who would understand me.

    When I created the belief in God inside myself for my own selfish reasons, so I wouldn’t feel alone, I was following the advice of our host who once queried, “If I think I am happy and that causes me to feel happy, how is that different from being happy?”

    People who think they have knowlegde of anything other than themselves say things like, “God wants you to do this!” when it furthers their own agenda.

    Who is this Ken Wilber when he is at home?
    Is that what the blue line is about? A link, how clever. The story is about one’s self unless you take enough drugs to see through another’s mind. With media we can temporarily put ourselves in close approximation to another’s story, but it usually only resonantes if it is very close to our own story. And however our own story works out is the way it is until it gets too painful or too boring to live it anymore and then we choose to live the story differently or a different story. There are allegedly only 21 stories. What makes the story interesting is what matters and that is how we know who we are: by what matters to us. What matters is our response: playful bliss.

    CET - I haven’t figured out how to blog yet, so I appreciate our host permitting me to participate as anonymous.

  3. The Language Police Says:

    An -itis is an inflammation, an -osis is a condition, so it should be Boomerosis.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Boomeritis is an inflammation. Rage against the machinations of institutions that lied to us, still lie to us. I am expecting that within the next 9 years, enough Boomers will have retired to once again take up enmass the causes of our youth. With the wisdom of having watched many of our number do themselves in with stupidity, it will be interesting to see what happens next.

    Laying down on the railroad tracks, not a good idea.

    and other such pearls of wisdom.

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