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    The Groundhog Day Syndrome
    By Evan Morris | March 1st 2009 07:59 PM | 2 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    This feeling is known to everyone, it does not discriminate.   Most people do however learn to adapt to the overwhelming emotions ( perhaps exclusively negative ) that are inherent in this syndrome. I am referring to the feeling of perpetual repetition in our daily lives, where no matter what you do, you cannot shake the sensation of being stuck on a muddy never-ending plateau.

    To get a first hand observation of this syndrome look at people ( pedestrians ) motoring around the city, paying close attention to their expressions and aura. Or you could of course just observe yourself.

    Its a grim discovery that we generally learn as we enter our school years. Here we are as children, gradually familiarising ourselves to our skeleton ( the bones/largely set and unchangeable/constant ) personality and discovering our creative niches, when we are so crudely plucked and placed in a system that welcomes and teaches linear thought patterns and discourages idyllic and creative expression. In a sense schooling is the bastardization of our uniqueness.

    It is a tool that society so aptly uses to mold a population and encourage blanketed chains of thought. Perhaps this is the breeding ground for groundhog day syndrome. This coupled with constant reminders from parent etc. of how to behave and other "shoulds" lead to a distant lack of freedom.

    Our once free flowing creativity is no longer graspable, at least without expended effort, and certainly is not as grandiose. The stamp of schooling and other indoctrinations has been forever etched on our minds. So, how can we break this linear plateau, are we doomed to an existence of limited higher expression. Most are certainly gravely ill equipped to break down the walls of this condition.

    The existence of groundhog day syndrome can be largely traced back to a lack of inspiration. The soul feels lethargic and flat, hollow. Any efforts to break the cycle are short-lived. The task is just to great to overcome and emotionally draining. The feeling of burnout is ever so present. This is where a whole garden variety of cures are prescribed, either self administered or otherwise. Some common supposed cures ( mostly all are transient and finite ) are drugs/alcohol, outlets of creative expression, therapy, incessant doing of activities ( which at the time seem so important and meaningful, but are really nothing more than distractions ), travel, religion and spirituality and altruistic undertakings/philanthropy to name a few.

    We feel we are operating in a claustrophobic cage. Something akin to the matrix, where societies rules and norms form the infrastructure of the matrix. Any means necessary that will break this cage are explored. Perhaps this is why drugs and alcohol are so prevalent in society. When under the influence of a mind altering substance, the sky really can  appear to be the limit. Or at last a mind numbing period can be experienced.  Once the effect wears off, the realisation that today brings just another form of the daily grind are sobering. The bulk of most peoples live are predictable. Wake up, have breakfast, shower and brush your teeth, go to work, come home and watch T.V, socialise on weekends and so on.

    Its not a very pretty picture when relating to an inspired and spontaneous life.

    Comments

    Hank
    1.  The Matrix is a movie, not an actual reference point for neuroscience, since no one has actually experienced it.  Without the special effects, it wasn't even particularly good.  It certainly wasn't original.

    2.  Unlimited freedom and spontaneity in a finite world means some are going to be more unlimited than others.   You can't blame society because you don't get everything you would like to have.     If everyone could be equally spectacular we could all have guaranteed income with no jobs yet all the stuff we want - it makes no sense.

    3.  You must have some idea by the name that this is a science community, right?
    logicman
    " ... lack of inspiration. The soul feels lethargic and flat, hollow. Any efforts to break the cycle are short-lived. The task is just to great to overcome and emotionally draining. The feeling of burnout is ever so present." Have we met? :) But seriously, the 'groundhog day' feeling must be fairly universal since there are so many terms for it. Being 'ground down', and 'the daily grind' date back, I think, to the days when every household ground its own corn. ( I'm not sure how that relates to 'groundhog', but I expect the hog will not enjoy being ground. :) 'What a drag!' has links with the term 'drudgery'. A drudge was a person entasked with hauling heavy loads. Hey!, Where's the fun in wheels when you've got serfs to whip? And what could be more 'boring' than spending every day in a dark, dank, claustrophobia-inducing hole digging for flint or minerals?