Telepathic communication: the latest trend?

Very often, when local and U.S. news sources seem dry or redundant, I go the BBC news online to see what our cousins “across the pond” are reporting as newsworthy. Such was the case today.

While browsing, I did run across an intriguing report. But before I share that, I’d like to make a connection to something that happened yesterday.

I go to the salon only once a quarter to get my hair professionally cut and styled. Since these visits are so far apart, my hairdresser and I usually spend around 90 minutes together. We generally talk the majority of that time, catching up on life since my last appointment.

Her big story to share with me yesterday was a recent trip to Vegas for the Redken hair show. I inquired about the show and asked her to explain what they do there. For the most part, she explained, they predict trends for the coming year and show techniques and products to support those trends. My immediate response was that, rather than predicting trends, these companies (who sponsor hair shows and similar shows) are actually setting trends due to the context of their “predictions” and the suggestibility of the market.

Later, as our time together was coming to an end, I told her I wanted to ask her something, but not too loudly: “If you were to leave this salon, would you have access to my information so that you could let me know where you are?” She replied, “Are you inside my head?” brain waves

Now, we can return to the BBC story. As part of their Future series, “Will we ever …,” today’s article is titled, “Will we ever … communicate telepathically?” It opens with the story of a man in a Harvard lab who sends a mental message to a rat, detected by electrodes and processed by a computer, causing the rat to wag his tail. There are other tales of rat-to-rat brain wave communication, facilitated by computers. The point is, it seems to be working. Of course, the looming question that accompanies these technologies is “How far will we go?”

It seems obvious to me that these efforts are not only predicting future trends, but are in fact creating future trends in technology. Where there is enough interest to invest in research of this kind, there is also a plan to implement it. If you Google the question, “What will replace the internet in the future?”, you will see predictions that brain-to-brain communication — linked by computers, of course — is the future many foresee.

Communication is hard enough as we engage our minds and bodies in an effort to say something to each other that is honest and loving and worthwhile. Can you imagine your thoughts being broadcast, filtered only by an external computer?

I suppose there are times I’ve wished someone could read my mind. As a writer, I love to share my thoughts. But, as a spiritual being, I hope my brain remains disconnected from the WorldWideBrain.

What do you think? Oh wait, I already know.

Why history is important

History is the only class I’ve ever failed. Seriously. It was the summer of 1984 and I was enrolled in a history class that met every weekday at 8:00 a.m.  I might have made it to three classes the entire session. (I remember waking up around 11:00 in the morning, having had a vivid dream that I was in class …) The ungodly start time, coupled with the fact that I found it atrociously boring at the tender age of 17, deprived me of any motivation at all to attend. I couldn’t have cared any less than I already did about history or that class.

Since those reckless days, I have grown up and learned a lot about the importance of knowing what people before me have experienced, learned, and accomplished. Knowing history allows us the luxury of not having to reinvent the proverbial wheel. If we’re smart, we look at history and learn not to repeat the same dumb mistakes. At least, that is our hope.

I grew up in a Baptist church, but I really never learned anything about Baptist history and tradition. I knew about missions, and my dream as a child was to be a missionary in Spain. (I figured we could get there quickly by boat from my home along the coast.) I participated in GA’s and I sang with my mother for revival meetings all across our northeastern North Carolina region. No one ever told me about the earliest Baptists who fought and died for the separation of church and state or taught me what that meant. As a matter of fact, where I grew up, there wasn’t much of any separation of church and state. We prayed at school the same way we prayed at church.  We recited the Pledge of Allegiance at school and sang “America, the Beautiful” at church. I was a Baptist, but I had no knowledge of what that meant in a denominational sense, other than that we “get dunked.”

Bill of Rights

In light of the recent attempt in North Carolina to pass legislation that would allow our state to establish a state religion – and my attendance at a private Baptist university – I looked online for a Baptist historical perspective on the subject. One article by Bruce Gourley seemed to speak to my experience. The concept of Christian Nationalism isn’t new at all for me – and likely not for anyone who grew up in an evangelical religious culture in the rural South. For those of us who are Baptists, however, it strikes me as being extremely important to understand how certain ideas and sentiments crept into our practice of faith and how some of those ideas are entirely un-Baptist.

For those who are members of Baptist churches, here is a link to a biography of a man who shaped our denominational beliefs and established the first Baptist church in America: Roger Williams


It’s a free lesson in Baptist history. And you don’t have to attend an 8:00 a.m. class to learn it. You’re welcome.