Autism is Not a Handicap: this is the title of an essay I found on a fascinating website, called In the Beginning, by Avril and Malcolm Jenson, about Avril herself who is a “High Functioning Asperger Syndrome woman” (born in 1947) who can demonstrate autistic savant abilities. Her husband Malcolm “learned the way of Tibetan Buddhism and its emphasis and understanding of attested multifarious levels of consciousness and the study of Mind from an Eastern perspective, his personal and private research over the last decade presenting a valid case for a tangible connection between various Schools of the Eastern Buddhist’s search for enlightenment and the unfolding and ongoing evolution of the autistic consciousness as evinced in the common aspiration of turning within, detachment and elaborate ritual.”
I was actually Googling “autism telepathy” when I found this website. Not only did I read this article, but I ended up reading the whole website, as I found it so interesting, and refreshing to see such “different” ideas – many of which I could identify with, including things I’d forgotten, like my own fascination with “living on the ceiling”, as Avril did. As a small child she was fascinated by imagining a complete spatial room reversal, floor becoming ceiling. I used to do something similar, lying on my back on the polished linoleum floors of my childhood home and looking at the ceiling to navigate as I pushed with my feet and slid myself around the house. I felt I was in another world and I could amuse myself endlessly by doing this. Similar to Avril, I also had a fascination with mirrors, seeing them as portals to another world; a world of opposites and new possibilities for adventure and excitement outside of my own ordinary reality.
Anyway, I really liked the website, so please have a read. So many of the ideas in it are similar to my own thoughts – and I find that strangely reassuring. 😉
Here is part of the article that initially captured my attention…
The Autistic Vision
The world as seen by the truly autistic, the autistic vision of all that is around it, differs from that of the non-autist whose brain functions in accordance with a different system. A differing consciousness naturally accompanies. Consciousness has been described as “the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind”. That consciousness is dependant on the functioning of the brain has been recorded dating back to ancient times. Although understanding in detail of the neural mechanisms of consciousness has escaped achievement, correlations between states of consciousness and functions of the brain are possible, but as in the same way that the function of the autistic brain is not understood, neither is its related (raised) consciousness.
A Nightmare World
Why do we constantly refer to the autistic world as a nightmare? Why do we say children are ‘trapped’ in the ‘nightmare world of autism’? Why do we refer to autism as a ‘terrible affliction’?
What makes people think that an autist is not happy in their own world or frame of mind? Reality as viewed by the autist is purely an alternative reality. Who dare say that in the vastness of this universe there is but one reality? Autism is not a handicap brought about by a brain disorder or a disorder of the brain. It is perfectly in its correct order for a species that is in itself an alternative order of being, and so, yes, they will see, hear, smell, taste and feel things differently.
Reality is simply a term of convenience as is the acceptance of man-made clocks, watches, calendars etc to designate and entrap a concept of Time. Who dare say there are not alternative time scales? We can look at a burnt out star light years away – we still see it, but in reality it is not there, we are viewing its abandoned image or echo of its past existence, owing to the time lapse it has taken its once light to reach us. Some classic autists are on a differing time scale functioning in the same manner as larval cocoons such as found in the world of the entomological Lepidoptera family, the primary stage of the autistic spectrum containing residents who are living as if in a cocoon not to be disturbed throughout this passing, transient existence.
The collective vast experience shared by the majority of world population on our daily time scale is a process self-programmed by each and every individual’s brain. Here we speak of those without the condition we call autism. The ‘reality’ of all around us is self-programmed at such a great speed that we are completely unaware that we are assuming the role of an Editor in his editing suite – as can be seen in any standard television broadcasting studio – editing a cinematic film in our constantly flowing video, or daily life. Non-autists using the vastly common open departments of their brain in this fashion, edit out a very great number of things that are going on about us in this world, which include all manners of vibrations, frequencies and rays that are generally referred to as unseen and unheard. In ‘reality’ they are there, and do exist. Because we rely so heavily on this system of editing out, we are then automatically put at odds, or out of synch, with the hyper sensitive person with autism and their strangely opened additional channels and alternative brain functions. The autist is unbridled from a conditioned perception. Confusion as to our finalized everyday product (ie, all that is around us and how we interpret it) and perspective with what is actual external reality, is the Maya (or illusion) of normal consciousness, as spoken of by the Buddha.
Inside-Out & Mirror Images
Recent advances in scientific study have begun to demonstrate reasonably the reality of that we have called telepathy, both short and long range. Some commentators wonder if telepathy was once something so natural in the remote past that we have lost the ability in the same sense that we are losing touch with Nature by our manifold ways of abusing it – the Amerindian rainforest, pollution via toxins and heavy metals etc. The telephone, as science has replaced nature, is therefore an externalised physical manifestation of what was/may still be an innate and quite natural ability. It is an example of an ‘inside out’. Autists are ‘inside out’, a peculiar statement, I agree, but one I hope to explain, although how can we look into something that is inside out? We can quickly view this inside out effect if we pick up a long elastic band and twist it into a figure eight. At the point of intersection, the outer edge will become the inner. The bizarre mannerisms of autists are also externalisations – they are the externalised versions of non-autists’ senses and emotions. Their condition is an externalised blindness, deafness and mutism. They do not ‘see’ as we mistakenly perceive them to, neither hear nor speak. It is as a child in the womb as yet unborn.
I draw emphasis to the ‘mirror image’ effect of the autist, the inside-out of autism, a condition like a swan swimming in and through glass. This image in the mirror returns us to the ‘imago’, a term describing an insect in its mature stage after metamorphosis. The autist, as discovered in the middle 1940’s, is in the earliest stages of a gradual process, evolutionary, in which something changes into a significantly different, especially more complex or sophisticated form. Did we never stop to think that the human race as we know it, rather like a train arriving at a station at its final destination and hitting the buffers, would come to an end and start to mutate ?
What is happening? All is changing and evolving, for all is change. Nature/natural evolution is in its earliest stages of producing a revised neurological order capable of adapting to accommodating living requirements for this changing planet, the same way that black/brown races were designed with an overload of melatonin to give a skin that protects the increased sun exposure that their geography subjects them to. Autistic births are the earliest stage of this new directive.
Liable critics of some of the statements made on this web site may say that our definitions and explanations are, to use a popular cliché, “far out”. The sun, our nearest star and solely responsible for all life forms on our planet, is some 93,000,000 miles distant. Quite “far out” itself.