Humans need mental stimulation. I’ve been in places without it, and I don’t recommend it. Humans are apes. You wouldn’t put an ape in a concrete box and call it moral.
The Atlanta Zoo has nice facilities now. My dad, who grew up in Kenya, cried when he came to the States and saw the gorillas and animals literally behind bars.
I had a similar experience at the Portland Zoo. If you’ve seen the new Planet of the Apes movie, imagine the playground in the ape house where Caeser was kept. At the zoo there were tiny concrete rooms for the chimpanzees and monkeys. It’s disheartening.
There are worse places. You still wouldn’t want a human child there. You couldn’t expect him to be happy and reach his potential. That’s what it comes to, other apes don’t have the potentials we have. We try not to think too much about our lack of courtesy.
Human apes create vast systems without a stimulating environment. Imagine government public schools. It’s a prison designed to produce factory workers. Society progresses with innovative thinking adults. Not factory workers. But there’s no short-term fix for this problem. It’s deeply set in the culture.
We can control our individual stimulation. You can choose what life you want to lead. If you do the work up front, you can have anything. That low-grade misery of feeling trapped by possessions is a damning critique of the philosophy of More is Better.
You can’t constantly be stimulated, you need time to rest and process. But the upper-bound of what you can handle moves as you progress. Too much action will scare a baby. An adult tunes it out.
Feeling at peace comes from enough stimulation and interaction. You feel content. It’s a gradual internal tweaking of your needs. It’s also a gradual external shifting in your environment.
The most potent stimulation comes from communication. Talking, reading, and writing are all communication. Art is communication. These are highly gratifying acts, but take real time.
A different form of mental stimulation is travel. Everything is different elsewhere, but you can’t imagine what. That discovery changes your perceptions.
What is missing in my life? Enough stimulation.
What about you?