To Hear Your Thoughts – March 5, 2006

There is a blog in my head. That blog is unfiltered, caught from second to second expressing thoughts that would get me excommunicated in a moment, by friends, by religions, by Middle America, by those who think I am a well-rounded building block with no sharp edges, a perfect cog in the machine of 21st-century professional civilization.

It is the most interesting blog in the history of the universe.

That blog is not this blog.

It upsets me, sometimes. I would like nothing more than to share it all, spew thoughts across the pages red as the side columns and let the world decide. But it wouldn’t work. Our society doesn’t work that way. If you want to hold a job, belong to a community, have love from the vast majority of human beings who walk this Earth, you will toe the line. You will shut up. You will respect boundaries.

I see the usefulness. I talked with a friend recently about what it would be like, a world in which boundaries had disappeared. What if everyone could hear everyone else’s thoughts? It seems simplistic, but it isn’t. I think chaos would reign. It would overthrow everything we know about how we are supposed to behave around each other. Unacceptable standards of behavior would be redefined. With advance notice of planned crimes, actual crime would all but vanish. On the other hand, we all would be thought criminals. Who among us hasn’t imagined for a moment stepping off a building or stealing a car or trying heroin or telling the boss to fuck off or kicking someone black and blue, just in idle thought?

Anger would be a constant presence in our lives, trickling out whenever someone cut in line or thought an un-compliment at us or simply decided we weren’t worth their time. Politics would be honest. Military strategy would cease to have meaning as it currently exists. Sex would go from mind games to direct, honest exchange. Businesses would have to abandon the pretense that their employees might aspire to nothing more than an existence fulfilling a job description laid out in two paragraphs. Ambition would be far more openly accepted. Deviance would be the norm. We would have to face the truth that we are, often, ugly creatures. Truth would reign. Love would win probably far more often than it had before.

And our dreams — if we could hear them, perhaps we would finally realize the full dimension of what it means to be human, colorful and violent and peaceful and sad and full of love and anger and joy and curiosity and laughter and hatefulness. We all know it already on some level, but it’s a sad, locked-in level that makes me hope there really is an afterlife where we step out of ourselves and see it as a whole. It just would be cool to know. Cool is really a misnomer here, but I can’t think of a better word to describe it. There is no word.

On this plane, it’s too much, though. Other people would be a cacophony around us. More people probably would live alone, with sound-proofed walls to create a silent refuge for overwhelmed minds. Cities might call for earplugs, if they’d even work. We would have to learn politeness in the face of constant insults, despite resentment that would be impossible to hide. We would become expert in ignoring each other, finally understanding why autistic children go silent. Too much feedback. Too much input. Beautiful, but too much.

So I keep my blog inside my head, and I let little trickles out, when the mood strikes me, when it feels right, when I know I won’t be hurting anyone. And it works. I think.

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