Someone out there is looking for truth

What a unique quest this person is embarking on.  What huge questions are forming in his (I think it’s a him, but it could be a her) mind.  This young searcher is in for quite a journey.

Perhaps a few musings will help.

English: Double-slit experiment Deutsch: Doppe...

English: Double-slit experiment Deutsch: Doppelspaltexperiment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Number 1:  If you’re not already familiar with it, watch Dr Quantum’s nice easy explanation of the famous double slit experiment.  Those are electrons he’s talking about.  Not just some weird geeky stuff in science labs, but the stuff inside the atoms that YOU are made of.

The important thing to notice is that those electrons are potential – they could fetch up behaving in various ways until (this is the important bit) they are observed.

Once they are looked at, the potential collapses into one single outcome.  Their path becomes fixed.

So it is with life.

Our young truth searcher is doing as we all do during adolescence – minutely observing every aspect of his being, thinking and doing; noting the behaviour and responses of everyone around him and searching the media, the neighbourhood and his own imagination for answers to the questions that haunt him.

“Which box do I fit in?  How should I be classified?  Am I autistic/ gay/ attractive/ overweight/ addicted…?”

Would he listen if I suggested he was all and none of these things?  He has limitless potential (well, within certain genetic parameters, obviously – he can’t choose to grow wings or a third leg) but as he observes, all that potential collapses down to become a yes or no answer.  His electrons enter this slit or that, rather than neither or both.

 

The young truth seeker I have in mind is specifically wondering whether he is on the autistic spectrum.  There are so many others – young people, parents and teachers asking that question.

There are, as he’s discovered, tests and questionnaires designed to observe the potential and categorise.  A precise diagnosis can be obtained.  Once he has it, he will have a clear list of his strengths and weaknesses.  To be honest, the diagnosis will most probably highlight the perceived weaknesses – the ways in which he can expect to differ from the neurotypical population.

Once he has his label, he will start to function within the box society has provided.  A kindly expert will confirm all his innermost doubts and fears about his socialisation skills, his obsessions and single-mindedness.  Perhaps he will feel somewhat comforted by this.  Perhaps he’ll feel limited and imprisoned.  Or both.

All is potential until the choice is made.

Your choices are like cart ruts on a muddy track.  The more you select that particular route, the deeper the ruts become, and the harder it is to vary your path and head in a different direction.  Certainly they make it easier to travel, but they limit you.  Before long, it will take a huge effort to climb out of your rut and negotiate a new direction.

 

Avatars

Avatars (Photo credit: Phillie Casablanca)

Number 2:  You chose your avatar.  We all did.  In advance of commencing this particular attempt at playing The Game of life, we picked our character.  Some vaster aspect of ourselves, which we’ve almost forgotten in our intense concentration on the game we’re playing, selected the start location, the gene pool (parents), the prevailing zeitgeist and sundry other aspects that would make this little character scuttling around the planet into YOU.

If you selected a genetic predisposition for Aspergers, you did it because that was a potential you wished to explore.  Think of it like building a character for your favourite role player game on your console, and selecting a particular weapon or strength which will enable you to excel at particular challenges.

Sure, it’s easy for me to say.  I’m neurotypical.  I don’t do battle every second of my life with a sensory overload that would flatten a tank.  I don’t have to avoid eye-contact because I can see so much of you when I look into your eyes that I’m completely overwhelmed.  I don’t need ear plugs, sleep masks, alcohol or medication to calm my senses enough to make life almost bearable.  I don’t over-analyse every experience and consider the inherent dangers and pitfalls to the point that I’m holed up in my room, terrified to venture out.

I know.

Just remember, though, you chose this.

I’m not being callous here – nothing could be further from the truth.  You chose it because you are an amazing being.  You’re up for this.  You have chosen a very different way of experiencing life.  You can delve deeper into it than I ever will.  You will find truths that I can only dream of.

 

Number 3:  There is a growing number of you, and you are working – alone and collectively – at discovering multi-dimensional aspects of life, while somehow cramming yourselves into a 3D human body.

I believe – and I’ve been pondering this for many years – that you are working to find ways of communicating this to the rest of us, and helping humanity to expand.  The language you choose will depend on the strengths and potential you allow yourself.  Perhaps you will write, make films, use mathematics or telepathy.  All these and more are at your disposal.

Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNZVV4Ciccg&feature=player_embedded and you’ll begin to see what I mean.

 

My book coverNumber 4:  I wrote a book about this.  It might help.  It explores all the ideas here and then some, and I wrote it for you, young truth-seeker.  It only contains my truth, of course, which may be completely different to yours, but nonetheless, you may want to explore it.

Click on the book cover if you do.

 

 

I wish you success on your quest and I look forward to reading or watching your journey as it unfolds.

Accept Aspergers – or any other label that serves you – but never accept the limitations it tries to place on you.

By all means consult those experts, but NEVER let them collapse your potential.

It’s limitless, and so are you.

Wishing to be your writer

The Dreamtree

The Dreamtree (Photo credit: Thorsten Becker)

This morning my dream became my reality.  This morning I discovered that a lady in California – someone I’ve never met or spoken to – has placed me on her personal list of Inspirational People.

Now wouldn’t that be a coincidence, if such things existed?  They don’t.  So it’s what Deepak Chopra would call ‘synchrodestiny‘.   It’s a perfect example of the power we all have to attract what we focus on.

Earlier this week, on the most bitterly cold day Somerset could muster, two friends came to my door bearing gifts.  As they struggled in my tiny hallway to remove backpacks, winter coats and boots, they began to thrust these presents into my hands – some vegetable spaghetti gourds, a beautiful framed photograph of a toadstool, a tub of home-made cake, and a book which, they told me, I ‘needed’.

I thanked them, made steaming mugs of tea and we settled in the living room to chat.  I’ll call them Frank and Iona, these friends.  Both are warm, wise and very special people.

Our conversation moved to the intentions and aims we were putting out for the future.  Iona seemed happy and settled in her chosen path.  Frank seemed suspended between exhilaration and consternation at the huge range of possibilities stretching before him, given his multiple skills and talents.  I was wondering which direction to take too.  Since publishing Life: A Player’s Guide last year, I’d been plied with much advice on how to publicise it, take it forward, move into other media and so forth.  Much of it felt uncomfortable, tacky or inauthentic.

My friends gave me another gift.  They listened gently and reflected back to me my own wishes and dreams.  Frank summarised:

You don’t want to become famous, like the American Mind-Body-Spirit superstars who are blocked and shielded by their media machines from their readers.  You don’t want your output to be priced in hundreds of dollars, so that only the rich can access it.  You want to keep writing.  You have more to say – particularly about the special, and often misunderstood, young people on the autistic spectrum or with other so-called disorders.  You want, above all, to get your message to all the people who need to hear it.

That was all it took.  No marketing strategy was required.  I set my intention and knew that the Universe would do the rest.  It always does.

The story doesn’t stop there, though.  Not quite.  You see for this method to work, we need to be very specific about what we are intending.  That message has come through loud and clear over the last few years from a wide variety of sources.

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull (Photo credit: mortenjohs)

The evening after Iona and Frank had visited, I picked up the book they’d handed me.  It was a novel by Richard Bach.  I smiled, remembering how Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by the same author had shaped my life when it first came out – how it had changed and expanded my perception and helped me to find aspects of myself hitherto unimagined.

That led me to thinking about ‘my’ other writers – those who had helped to shape my life with their words:  Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Jane Roberts’ incredible Seth books…

I felt a deep inner glow as I remembered them, and a deep longing.

THAT was what I was wishing for – to be one of your writers!   I would love to write the words that will enable you to find deeper and more wonderful parts of yourself.

Maybe I’ve already done so.

Maybe those words are yet to be written.

I’ll keep writing and I’ll keep focussing on my intention.  If my words are meant to reach you, they will, because both you and I will have intended that.

Shifted or Shafted – Whatever Happened to 2012?

new dawn over Tor
Sunrise at Glastonbury Tor on December 21st 2012.

Erm, was that it then?

You were expecting what, exactly?  Epic, Hollywood disaster movie scenarios?  Beams of something-or-the-other from that cosmic alignment with the galactic centre?  The much vaunted birthing of the New Earth/Age/Consciousness?  The End of Time, perhaps?

Hasn’t it all gone quiet?  Apart from this, of course……………

What if I were to suggest that everything has shifted – in the most fundamental way possible?  Allow me to share my take on the 2012 Shift with you, but remember this is just MY truth.  It may not be yours, and that’s fine.  We all have our own truths now.

So – A New Cycle:

When we were very young and new to all this, it was made nice and easy.  If we wanted to cycle, we were given a dear little toddler trike with three wheels for extra stability and in most cases a watchful parent who checked up on us continually.  In Life: A Player’s Guide I call this humanity’s infancy – the time when all the rules were made for us by ‘God the Father’ and we would be rewarded or punished according to how well we behaved.

As we got older we wanted a bit more independence.  We graduated to a bigger bike – one of those brightly coloured ones with the two little stabilisers at the back, just to hold us steady.  We pedalled off, ever further from Our Father and into what we called The Enlightenment.  Here, the twin stabilisers of Reason and Science allowed us to think (or ride) for ourselves, but they held us in check, saving us from tipping too far.  This was humanity’s childhood.

The time was bound to come when we wanted the stabilisers removed.  We longed to ride off by ourselves, taking true control of our journey.  No doubt you remember that transition from your own childhood.  It involved some very painful falls and knocks before you mastered the skills.  Possibly that patient parent was called back into action, holding on to the back of the saddle and puffing along behind you, wheezing, “Keep pedalling! (puff… gasp) I’ve got you…”

I’d argue that this is exactly where we’ve been for the past few decades.  We’ve had an explosion of channelled material,  self-help books, articles, workshops and gurus offering all the support we could possibly need.  Many of us have had dreams, inspiration and ideas from guides, spirit, angels or whatever aspects of Consciousness we believe in.

Cycling

Cycling (Photo credit: Neo-grapher)

We’ve grown in confidence with that  guiding hand on the back of the saddle.  But then there’s a moment when we realise we can’t hear the footsteps any more.  They’ve let go!  For a moment we wobble madly, but we stay upright.  We’re doing it – we can ride on by ourselves!

 

You can build your own reality now.  It’s all been building up to this.

You know that you are made of atoms, and those atoms are made – quite simply – of energy.  It’s your consciousness that decides where you put all that energy.  You’re steering the cycle yourself.  Those are your hands on the handlebars.

So give it a try.  Put your energy into, say,  catching a cold.  Work at it  and you can have one within 48 hours, or decide not to.  It’s not luck or chance.  Many people put huge amounts of energy into being ill.  Others don’t.

I’d suggest getting into the habit of directing your energy into positive places all the time.

I’d suggest giving none of it to judging or condemning yourself or others.

I’d suggest searching out the wonderful, the inspirational and the beautiful – in the world and in the mirror.

I’d suggest – because I’ve no right to do more than suggest – that when you’ve mastered that, you’ll find that you’ve shifted into a New Cycle.

More advice – should you want any – is available in my book Life: A Player’s Guide

 

Who is playing Version 2.0 of the Game of Life?

Imagine a huge 3D video screen – bigger and brighter than anything yet invented.

On this screen, imagine a massively exciting, unpredictable and totally addictive role player computer game playing out.   Untold numbers of fully functional little avatars are scurrying around, busily engaged in their tasks, quests and challenges.  They interact with one another and drift apart, making new connections and gaining extra experience as every moment passes.

You are participating in this game.

Yes, right now.

You call it life.

And before you tell me that it isn’t remotely exciting, let me point out that you have completely free choice about where you go and what you do.  There’s plenty of interesting and challenging stuff out there… just be careful what you wish for.

 

The real question is this: How exactly are you participating in the game?  Are you one of the on-screen characters, or avatars, as they’re called?  Or maybe you’re the person controlling them, the one with the game controller in your hands.  You could even be the designer and creator of the game – the one who came up with the whole idea.

I would argue (in fact I do, in my book Life: A Player’s Guide) that at some level, you are all three.

Insofar as you are linked to the rest of the creative energy of the Cosmos, you have designed and built this amazing, astoundingly complex Game of Life within a 3 dimensional matrix of time and space.

Game Controller

Game Controller (Photo credit: RambergMediaImages)

 

Given that you have a consciousness that extends beyond your physical body, that is the part of you which selected the avatar, chose its start location and the challenges it wanted to explore.  That  greater consciousness continues to provide guidance and set up opportunities for the on-screen character throughout the whole game.  That part of you is holding the controller.  As in any game, though, there are unexpected twists and turns, hazards and surprises.

 

If you’re playing Version 1 of this game of life, though, you won’t be aware of much of that, because there’s an in-built ‘amnesia chip’ that leaves you believing this 3D action on the screen of life is all there is.  You’re so caught up in the on-screen action that you have more or less forgotten the rest.

In Life: A Player’s Guide I put it this way:

You are more than your avatar. You are a perfect holographic part of the creator. You are conscious energy; so is everything and everyone around you.

 

Some people, most of whom started ‘playing’ within the last 30 or so years, are experimenting with what we might term the upgraded version.  These people are playing Version 2.0 of the game.  They have an enhanced awareness of the multiple dimensions involved.  In short, they’re less caught up in what is happening on the 3D screen and more aware of all that’s going on around and beyond it.  We can call that the Cosmos, the Multiverse, the Mind or whatever you like.

These people are regarded with deep suspicion by the vast majority of the Version 1 players, who find their differently orientated brains and altered focus strange, worrying or just plain weird.

Having worked in education for many years, I have become an interested spectator.  I have listened in awe and delight to the growing number of young people who have knowledge, innate skills and comprehension far beyond my own.  I have watched parents, the media, the ‘experts’ and those in authority attempt to classify, suppress and ‘normalise’ them.  I’ve watched as they are drugged with Ritalin, branded as disordered, forced to abandon their inner knowledge or derided as geeks, nerds or weirdos.

Yet if we Version 1 players can move beyond our fevered attention to the game and look beyond the screen for a moment, we will start to recognise the gifts our psychic and wonderful young teachers are bringing us.

Though we seem to be sleeping there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the Truth of who we are. —Rumi

 

Autistic by any other name?

I know I’m not alone in being neurotypical but utterly fascinated by the autistic mind. (How many other people loved Spock the best on Star Trek?) I want to explain why this way of being seems to me so interesting and exciting.

Let me begin by saying I have a big problem with many of the names/labels applied to people whose minds work this way.

I’m not wild about the word Autism. The first bit’s fine – it’s from the Greek ‘autos’ meaning ‘self’, and I’m quite happy to think of my autistic friends and contacts as being very unique individuals. It’s the ‘ism’ tag I don’t like. -Isms imply a lack or limitation, whether they are medical or social in origin: thus dwarfism and autism can be lumped with sexism or racism. They’re ugly words implying an inability to reach a desired potential. I’m with the wonderful and inspiring Satish Kumar here, when he says, “Let all ‘isms’ be ‘wassums’!”

I also object strongly to ANY label that includes ‘disorder’ or ‘dysfunction’. They both imply ‘dissing’ or disrespecting. They’re often seen with the words ‘suffers from…’
Now I’ve come across many people in my life who felt they were suffering in some way. Many of them had a condition which felt very limiting to them. I recall overhearing a group of six-year-olds planning a ‘let’s pretend’ game together. “Let’s pretend,” said the one with Cerebral Palsy, “that I can walk properly and…”
She was suffering.

Yet I’ve never heard anyone on the autistic spectrum complain or object to the way they are. On the contrary. Those who use words to express their feelings will tell you they wouldn’t swap lives with a neurotypical person for anything, and their reasons are always the same. They know they have abilities and skills the rest of us lack. Yeah, yeah – and vice versa, of course. The fact remains – they are differently ordered, not disordered.

So, given that I’m so picky about labels, which will I be happy with?
My favourite to date comes courtesy of a very special man called David Rowan: Autistic Spectrum Perception. That works for me on all levels and it gets to the heart of it. There’s a tremendously broad spectrum of individual ways of being which co-exist under the autistic umbrella. That diversity is to be appreciated and celebrated. And just look how different it sounds when Disorder is replaced by Perception. It removes the idea of ‘They’re not normal-like-us, so there’s something wrong with them’ and replaces it with a recognition that an autistic individual has levels of perception that differ markedly from that of the neurotypical population.

Now we have the label sorted, I’d like to explore that perception.

What follows are my own observations, based on ASP people I know and books, articles and other information that has come to me once I identified within myself a desire to understand. I’m not a neuroscientist; not a scientist, even. I’d welcome comments and corrections from others – particularly members of the ASP population.

A very dear ASPie friend once wrote me the following email. He was explaining his conviction that the increasing number of individuals diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum could provide our world with an advantage, should climate change or some other cataclysmic condition change our way of life dramatically.

What I suspect is the different ways of thinking, viewing information and processing that information – whether consciously or not – provides a better understanding (or different one which could be more relevant in a different or changing world) of what’s going on around them and also potentially have the ability to provide more accurate predictions of the future which could easily prove to be a valuable survival skill and very beneficial to non ASD people around them.
I think there could be very beneficial relationships between the 2 groups of people, though I’m not convinced that non ASD people would be able to develop the ability to think in the same way; particularly when not everything is necessarily done consciously.

It reminds me of Temple Grandin’s famous quote:

Who do you think made the first stone spears? The Asperger guy. If you were to get rid of all the autism genetics, there would be no more Silicon Valley.

Neither of them sound like they’re ‘suffering’ with anything, do they? Far less ‘disordered’…

So why and how are the ASP population different? I unexpectedly picked up some pointers when I watched the following Ted Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html?source=facebook#.UOlP0c_KPz0.facebook

An amazing story in its own right, but Jill Bolte Taylor also eloquently explains the differences between the two hemispheres of the brain. She mentions that in the neurotypical brain, the corpus callosum has 300,000,000 connections that link the two. What is the effect of that?

It means that in every new life experience, my right hemisphere is thinking in pictures, in the ‘now’ and absorbing vast amounts of sensory information as energy. This is connecting me to every other source of energy in the cosmos. It’s huge, transcendent and – if I could only focus clearly on what it is showing me – it can provide unending streams of information and allow me to connect telepathically with everyone and everything else.

At the same time, though, my left brain is analysing the new data in a very different way. It is methodically sifting through its vast bank of memory files in order to categorise my experience – identifying how it relates to past events and computing logical steps to follow in order to minimise discomfort or produce a favourable result in the future. This part of my brain thinks in language. I could live very successfully by listening to the chatter of my left hemisphere, except that I tend to get distracted by all that sensory and emotional stuff coming from the right.

Thus my NT (neurotypical) brain is playing some ultra-fast game of ping pong with every new piece of information that comes to it. That allows me to understand idiom, sarcasm and all those complex interplays and nuances of meaning that can only be interpreted if we are able to use both hemispheres together at an optimum level.
The downside is that I find it difficult to quiet my brain chatter and meditate, for example, or to apply clear logic to a complex problem without noticing my desire for a coffee or a walk in the park. I sacrifice depth of perception for mental agility.

In the ASP population, the linking mechanism between the two sides of the brain, the corpus callosum, is differently formed. It’s not as thick. It’s often not symmetrical. It sometimes follows winding paths, deep into one hemisphere or the other.

Depending on each ASP person’s unique brain profile, the way they experience a new situation will vary. What they can all do, though, is to partially or even totally block off the stimuli from one side or the other. As my friend pointed out, this isn’t always intentional or conscious. However it allows them to delve deep, deep into the information provided by just one of the hemispheres.

Spock was super-logical, with a brilliant left-brained mind. Yet he also possessed tremendous telepathic powers and could link at will to the mind of another. Remember that Tesla, Newton and Einstein are commonly now regarded as having been autistic and you can see where the advantages lie.

Fascinating.

I strongly suspect that as we begin to work together, with both populations using their specific skills as equal and opposite partners, we will find massive mutual advantages. The first step is for the neurotypicals to drop their chauvinistic idea that anyone different to them is ‘disordered’. The second is to find alternative ways to link with those ASP people who don’t tend to think or communicate in language. (Suzy Miller in the US, among others, is doing pioneering work on this.)

What comes next is anyone’s guess, but I’m betting it could be extremely exciting.

The battle of the brain – an in-sight

Ok, so I live alone and I’m a writer. Those seemed two very good reasons to take it seriously when I noticed that the vision in my right eye had become noticeably cloudy and blurred over the last week or so.

My brain began its battle. One side was telling me, “You create your own reality, remember – so you can fix this. Just focus on getting rid of it.”
The other side was just as insistent: “This is your SIGHT we’re talking about here. Get it checked out. Get round to the doctor.”

After several days of mood swings and brain battles, I finally decided yesterday to make an appointment with my GP. To my amazement, he saw me that morning. I told him my symptoms and suddenly he looked very serious. Within seconds he was on the phone to the hospital, telling someone there about suspected retinal detachment.

Half an hour later, I was in my friend’s car as she skillfully negotiated her way around detours and diversions (Somerset still has some lakes where there used to be roads) and got me there for my emergency appointment.

Several hours of stinging eye drops, excruciatingly bright lights being shone into my eyes and even the insertion of a lens (which gave me great sympathy for all those Star Trek actors who had played Borg – it looked just like theirs and was very uncomfortable) I was given the diagnosis.

My retina was still firmly attached. The problem was a small but unfortunately placed cataract. Because of its position and type, removal would involve 2 or maybe 3 long operations under local anaesthetic. It might get worse or it might stay as it was for many years. I could opt for an operation there and then, or I could leave it until my sight was badly impaired. It would make no difference.

Then the doctor looked at me. “You know I deal with eyes all the time,” he said. “Compared to most people I see, you have excellent eyesight. I accept that you have noticed a deterioration, but it’s not huge.”
With that, he sent me away to decide what to do.

Last night I slept for 12 hours straight. I fell asleep almost as my head hit the pillow, but not before the battling sides of my brain finally reached a truce and gave me their joint response:

Stop trying to focus on what you can’t see. Celebrate and enjoy the vision you have. Put your focus there from now on.

Now I understand why I had this whole experience. So much of my life is spent wishing I could understand more, grasp ideas and find solutions for this and that problem. I’ve given relatively scant attention to what I HAVE learned and discovered; to what I now know and can do.
Time for a shift in emphasis, I feel.