Free time between ambiguity and ambivalence

Aristotle considered the free time privilege of the free individual, who can devote himself to intellectual life and philosophy. Recognizing to the slave only the need for rest and leisure, to restore the physical energies dissipated from work. Following the advent of Christianity, free time acquires a new meaning both as a religious holiday, to which everyone is called, to celebrate the glory of God, and as the overcoming and integration of time created in an eternal time.

He looks at Eliade: (A celebration always takes place in the original Time. It is the reintegration of this original time, which makes human behavior during the feast different from the one before and after the party). In modern industrialized society, machine invention, and consumer goods production, they provide many more free time, but at the same time lead to an impoverishment of the quality of it, both psychologically, because it is considered only An interval to be able to do more in the work, both culturally, because the abundance of consumer goods leads to the dispersal of entertainment.

Leisure is present in contemporary society in all its ambiguity and ambivalence, because it can be an occasion for personal fulfillment and social participation, but also for alienation and dissipation. This is all the more true because in contemporary society tiredness is more nervous than muscular, more psychic than physiological. We are all easily stressed. You need to have fun and fun to relax and disinhibit after fatigue. In this way, as he had already noticed B. Pascal, fun becomes a fictitious evasion, because he wields us but does not free us: it makes us insensibly get to death.

Comedy and humor, which is so much fun in entertainment, is a first sign of overcoming fun, but perhaps only a free, uninterested culture, beyond any logic of production and consumption, can free up leisure. It certainly gives the free time to be realized in the group’s shape, in the experience of our friendly and convivial, with no purpose other than to be together; And more when, together, something is produced that goes back to the benefit of those who are in need or who, however, are socially and communityly useful.


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