What if we could read other’s mind?
I am reading [amazon_link id=”0307278824″ target=”_blank” locale=”US” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link] these days. I must say that I am big fan of Michio Kaku for his sheer ability to elucidate complex Science for the common people to understand. Although his books are not meant for a layman, but anyone with a little background and interest in Science would appreciate his writing style.
This particular book is all about looking at the scientific viability of certain phenomena which currently lie in the realm of science fiction and paranormal experiences. One of them is the ability to read other’s mind. While I was reading up this section from a scientific standpoint, I couldn’t stop myself from wondering how would this impact us, if this were to become true. And the conclusion is nothing sort of a disaster of the highest order!
Let’s imagine for a while that this was possible. We could read what was going on in anyone’s mind. And before we discuss the effects, following are some of the points which I believe are rooted in the thought process of every human being with no exceptions:
- All of us are selfish by nature. While we care for people around us and wish to make them happy, it is because ultimately it makes us happy. And yes, there are people who can’t see others happy, but that is not the type of selfishness I want to discuss in detail here.
- All us have mixed opinion about every individual we know of. Haven’t you been in a situation where your boss is saying something and you are just thinking “What bullshit?”. If you don’t think so, there’s something terribly wrong with you. Stop reading and analyze yourself.
- We all process and manipulate information between the time it arises in our minds and is expressed in words, actions or writing. We all want to make things look/sound/feel good.
Now you could question, there are people who don’t care about all this. And they straightway tell whatever comes to you mind, whether good or bad. Well, that is with everyone to some extent. But I am sure, there are enough situations, almost everyday, when you don’t speak what you mean.
Our entire social ecosystem runs very delicately on perception. You believe what you perceive and not necessarily what is true. All this is applicable to all aspects of our lives; our personal lives, our work lives and our social lives. You may be more honest with expressing your thoughts in your personal life than your official life than your social life (this order may be different for different individuals), but I can’t believe that one always speaks his/her mind and still enjoys a healthy living. Manipulations and lies are as important to our social fabric than speaking out the truth. Again, I want to stay away from the debate of motive behind the manipulation and lies. And I am not encouraging manipulations done to harm people. What I rather want to emphasize is the fact that unless we manipulate a few things, it is impossible to survive. I think it is a survival instinct we have developed. Truth will lose its meaning if lies don’t exist.
No matter how hard I think, I can’t imagine a society without lies and manipulations. Coincidently, I am also reading the [amazon_link id=”0814720595″ target=”_blank” locale=”US” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link] and I can easily correlate how human beings have developed the instinct of processing our thoughts before it comes out to be able to survive in society as we know of. If this was not the case, we would still be running around in jungles, probably hunting for each other.
Combining what Darwin has inferred and how Science is headed, I think nature has imposed some inherent limitations which otherwise will become a threat to our survival. And no matter how hard we try, we can’t get beyond those limitations. It we were to get through those, it will forever change the world we know of.
We are therefore better off not reading other’s mind 🙂