Societal Constraints…with Telepathy

I think about super heroes too much. As in, I think that if I want powers badly enough, I might one day attain them. I was reading something a long time ago which said that people who daydream of having super powers feel as though they cannot meet the world and other people on even footing and therefore need something to boost them upward. That may be the case, but I just like the thought of powers. I think that psychologist just doesn’t understand geeks (or did he?).

My favorite super power is and always has been telekinesis, which makes Jean Grey/Phoenix my favorite super hero. I was having a conversation with my massage therapist the other day and she asked me what powers I would have if I had to narrow it down to three. Jean Grey is a telekinetic (able to move or affect objects with the force of one’s mind) and a telepath (able to read and influence other people’s thoughts). I was about to put them as number one and two when I remembered that people are assholes and I don’t know that I would want that window into their heads. (My third choice was shapeshifting, a combo of Mystique and Beast Boy, in case you were wondering). It started me thinking what would life be like if we were all a little bit telepathic or even empathic.

What would the societal constraints be if everyone was telepathic to some degree? What would the laws of attraction be if everyone you liked knew how you felt? How could we judge people if we could feel their thoughts and feelings as though they were our own? How could we plot against someone or hurt another if we could feel that pain, too?

Assuming the person in question isn’t a sociopath, it would change everything we know and how we treat everyone. Or, we would become so dead inside that emotions would be eradicated from our lives as we built up calluses to the suffering and happiness of others. There are so many downsides that I nearly abandoned the idea as living hell.

But let’s go back to attraction, shall we? What I wouldn’t do to know when someone was attracted to me or had a crush on me. Some astute people can tell, can read body language and flirtations and glances as though there is a thought bubble above someone’s head writing out their feelings. I am not one of those people. When I tell the stories of Prince Scientist, it is even sounding to me like he likes me. There are so many Jane Austen moments — sideways glances, smiles, lingering gaze-locks, etc. — for it to be nothing, especially between two guys. Yet nothing has happened.

I have been told that I am confusing. My actions — which I think are overt and a clear sign of my intentions — have been criticized as pathetic and so sad they can’t even be laughed at. “You were just standing in the hallway with him! He stopped and lingered, pretending to look at his phone, giving you sidelong glances…and you didn’t even look his way!” I was standing there; wasn’t that enough? Or, “He stopped to talk to you and all you did was say hi and turn away!” I said hello! And my reaction was obviously that of someone who is shy! Or, “He was looking right into your eyes when he was talking to five other people about his new haircut, and you couldn’t even say a word, much less that it looked nice!” Well, I looked back, didn’t I? (Yes, all these things really happened, and those were my actual responses. Don’t judge.)

So, yeah. Societal constraints are killing me. I want him to know, yet I don’t want to have to talk to him and I’m too scared to talk to him when he’s around his friends. It’s like the workplace is just as bad as high school. He probably thinks he’s being overt yet I need him to drape himself across my desk and ask if I would care to give him my babies.

In a telepathic society, this wouldn’t be an issue. He would know; I would know. How would a murderer ever get away with anything? How could someone cheat on a loved one? What crime could be committed that wouldn’t be detected? There are so many goods and bads to this thought. I started thinking, what if there were judges who could do exactly this, from whom no injustice was hidden…but that’s another story altogether.

In the end, I put telepathy on my list of desired super powers. But I would be the Catwoman of telepaths. I would cross the line into both bad and good, moral and heinous. Ironically, I would have no societal constraints. I would make that rapist feel the pain he inflicted. I would force a murderer to confess and I would make him feel what his victims felt. But I would also be a matchmaker. I would help people express themselves. I would heal. And I would have me a goddamned Prince Scientist, or at least know one way or the other.

As for the real world…well, I guess I’ll have to actually TALK to him someday. Primitive.


~ by Darren Endymion on May 11, 2015.

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