The Weltanschauung, Ignatius J. Reiley spoke of, if you haven’t already guessed or if
you’ve forgotten your high school German, is a kind of personal world view.
Yesterday I had a confirmation of sorts of my current weltanschauung. I’d picked up a translation of Montaigne’s ‘Essays’, and flipping through the collection literally ‘at
random’, I read this passage from “Of idleness”:

“Lately when I retired to my home, determined so far as
possible to bother about nothing except spending the little life I have
left in rest and seclusion, it seemed to me I could do my mind no
greater favor than to let it entertain itself in full idleness and stay
and settle in itself, which I hoped it might do more easily now, having
become weightier and riper with time. But I find-

Ever idle hours breed wandering thoughts
–Lucan

“–that, on the contrary, like a runaway horse, it gives itself a
hundred times more trouble than it took for others, and gives birth to
so many chimeras and fantastic monsters, one after another, without
order or purpose, that in order to contemplate their ineptitude and
strangeness at my pleasure, I have begun to put them in writing, hoping
in time to make my mind ashamed of itself.”

And the moment for me took on the aspect of revelation. I shit you not. The experience of,
‘seeing as in a mirror, dimly’ my own reflection, reminded me of one of
the things that first attracted me to art and literature; a process of
discovery, of learning to be human.

Montaigne wrote this passage in the
late 16th Century
and it is just as relevant today as ever. Not in the term ‘idleness’ per se,
but more specifically, in the false industry of instant information availability.  For example, do
something like Google your name–’chimeras
and fantastic monsters’ indeed!

This is not the idleness artists need. What we need, what I need, is
to be still; to listen to the wind in the trees. Godard said we need
more films with wind in the trees. I trust Godard. I’ve got to go back
into my DVDs and find the scene. Was it “Helas Pour Moi” or something
much earlier?

Here’s one from YouTube: