Do you remember those superheroes or futuristic adventurers who could read minds and would possess an advantage that always allowed them to defeat the villain?
I do, and I always thought it would be so cool to have Telepathy. If we could understand what everyone else was thinking, would that not make life easier?
There would be no more guessing what your partner, family, coworkers thought. You just would know. It would improve understanding and make communication easier. Sounds like a good thing.
But, now I think there are a couple of really good, solid, and practical reasons we did not evolve to have telepathy: Self-preservation and our need for solitude.
Our self-preservation would be compromised If we knew exactly what other people were thinking. We would probably go insane if we had no way of shutting out another’s thoughts. Our own minds are crazy enough, so I would not also want to know everyone else’s thoughts. We would hear every stupid, hostile, and inane thought which would have us ending up in mortal strife with everyone. Look how poor communication creates problems already.
Solitude allows us to keep secrets, plan in private, mull things over, and ultimately find some semblance of peace. In many ways modern technology and the internet has given us almost telepathic abilities. We now have daily communication via cellulars and email where we are completely kept up to date with what everyone is doing. Thinking and doing is easily tracked thanks to Twitter and Facebook. While it can be fun, it is also painfully distracting.
All mystical traditions teach us that the only way to true happiness is through concentration and solitude. It is coming from a position of solitude that the preciousness of our relationships begin to matter. Being alone in our thoughts allows for spirituality, invention, artistic creation, and secrets. Not being able to read another’s thoughts is actually a blessing and has likely contributed to our survival as a species.
Unfortunately, I have just cursed you because you are reading what I am thinking via this blog post. Sorry about that. Good thing I don’t know what you’re thinking. 😉