Wednesday 10 March 2021

If You Could Read My Mind

What are you looking for?

If you could read my mind, what will you do with the thoughts that you find therein? Will you with your knowledge of the predictable and already known seek to change the thought process to suit something else or some other purpose under your own control?

What would you want to influence by knowing what I am thinking long before it is expressed and acted on? Why would you want to pre-empt if not checkmate me at a game of chess having known all my forward moves that you can anticipate them and compensate for each variation in the way I play?

Cheating at the game

The chess analogy brings it to the fore, to seek to rummage through my mind is to cheat at the game, the game of unpredictability, of individuality, of uniqueness and whatever sense of mystery I might have. More so, my thoughts are processed in the confines of mental privacy, I having the choice of what I reveal and what I conceal.

Even with an open book, you can only be on a page or two at a time, you have to flip to other pages, and the order in which you read the book might give you a story or a jumble of incoherent writing. No one reads a book by just reading the last page. You might find out the conclusion from the synopsis on the dust cover, but what is the joy in that, if you have not followed the telling of the whole story.

A poor choice of occupation

In our impatience to unravel and discover we excuse ourselves from the world of mystery and the mystique of the person, we lose the element of surprise and spontaneity, the accident of moments that makes things worth cherishing.

If we were aware that our minds were being read, I do wonder if we would even be rational or out of wanting to thwart or confuse, we become impulsive, disconnecting ourselves from thought to act almost like animals, uninformed of drive, inclination, passion, or intention, we might be groping in the dark and crash shins against the sharp edges of glass-edged coffee tables.

The mind is part of what defines our humanity, to inveigle one’s way into the mind of another is to rob them of agency and dehumanise them. Each person does have enough going on in their minds, I would think that the idea of sitting in the limbo of another’s cranial activity must be an ambition not suffused with elegance or achievement.

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