Thursday, December 15, 2005

On Ennui (on-we)

"This is the basic state of the creative soul when work has no meaning and brings suffering. In this state, employees feel they are doing the same things day after day. They repeat the same tasks, fill out the same forms and talk to the same people. They work in an environment they cannot change. They are merely the executors of other’s projects. They believe their bodies are the extension of other people´s minds.

In this stage, employees are not supposed to be creative. Don’t think, just do it! They are told. They don’t feel their work is important because they feel replaceable. Finally, they are not satisfied with what they do. When someone spends half their life doing something they don’t enjoy, it impacts their soul. Indeed, it has a deep impact.

This is the stage of Sysiphus. Sysiphus was a character of ancient Greek mythology. He represents two states of the soul at work: suffering and lack of meaning. Albert Camus explained the fate of Sysiphus with these words:

“The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor”.

But the soul tends to move. It is like a river that always finds a channel."

-- The Life Cycle of the Creative Soul

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