There are many ways of looking at this game of Life we’re playing. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to narrow them down to three.
The first way is what it’s proponents refer to as common sense. In their world view there is cause and effect; time travels neatly from past to present and from there, they hope, into a yet-to-be-determined future. The world can be classified neatly into living and non-living things, liquids, solids and gases. Things move about in the space we see before us and as long as they don’t try to exceed the speed of light, all goes along just fine. Humans interact with this cosy, fairly predictable world via their senses until the day they die and stop being here.
Now let’s move to a very different, but still widely accepted view of life – the one where ‘quantum weirdness’ holds sway. No wonder it bothered Einstein so deeply. It’s all rather unsettling.
In the quantum world, we have notions such as entanglement – the idea that two objects can forge a link that transcends space, so that the behaviour of one affects the other no matter how far apart they might be. Then there’s the peculiar ways in which particles can move in and out of existence. Even the most diligent scientists seem unable to locate them in both time and space at once. It’s almost as if they don’t truly belong in the common-sense world…
Before leaving our visit to this counter-intuitive universe, it may be worth mentioning the role of the observer – that’s you, me or the person in the lab coat who watches what is going on. Everything, as I understand the theory, is possible. There is a duality in which an electron is pure potential – it can be wave, particle, both or neither until it is observed or measured. Then, the scientists tell us, the wave function collapses – which means that the little subject of observation becomes one definite and observable object.
That gloriously anarchic world of pure potential is where we find the third way of viewing life, the universe and everything – the amazing world of A-Thought.
I discovered the term in one of my favourite books, The Crack in The Cosmic Egg: New Constructs in Mind and Reality by Joseph Chilton Pearce. It’s not – as he freely admits – an ideal term, but Mr Pearce had considerable difficulty finding a description for this way of thinking which wasn’t riddled with negative connotations. When I explain what A-Thinking is, you’ll see what I mean.
A-Thinking is the Fool card in the tarot. It is the way a small child typically thinks – naive, random and with an unwavering belief in magic. It is an unshakable conviction that anything is possible and that we and all things around us exist in a state of pure potential. It is the complete antithesis of common sense. A-Thinking is knowing that if something can be imagined, it can be.
Now I’ll tell you what the ‘A’ represents. It is short for Autistic Thinking.
Just consider for a moment how society treats such an attitude in all but the very young. I’d be hard-pressed to count the number of people I’ve known on the autistic spectrum who are patronised, laughed at, teased and criticised for the ideas they hold, for ‘wasting time’ on activities or interests mainstream society sees as unimportant or for refusing to respond to ‘common sense’ conditioning or scientific parameters.
“Is there anything you don’t believe in?” I once asked my young Asperger’s friend.
“No,” he admitted, after thinking for a while. “It’s less complicated that way.”
When he was about 14, that young man decided to build a time machine. I was happy to go along with his ideas and allowed him to set up his prototype in my back garden.
Imagine a ring doughnut with sprinkles on top. The technical name is a ring torus. Now imagine cutting through it and somehow twisting it so that the sprinkles from one side now meet the underside next to them and it forms a whole like a 3D mobius strip (or are Mobius strips 3D already? That was the paradox he was exploring.). He was attempting to build this shape of indeterminate dimensions with a few discount store tarpaulins and huge quantities of duct tape. I held the materials and followed instructions. He became ever more excited at the prospect, despite the technical difficulties. This little video shows roughly the concepts he was grappling with. He had me just about believing that this was possible. Then my decades of common sense conditioning kicked in and I became the rational scientist.
“Do you actually believe you can build an object that will enable you to travel in time?” I asked.
He looked at me then and – the wave function collapsed. Up until that point, the potential had been infinite. Suddenly he saw it through my eyes – a messy pile of plastic on the lawn. The project was promptly abandoned and I felt wholly responsible. What wonders might have taken place if I’d remained silent?
I’d believed the scientists. Once we started to apply common sense – to observe and measure and rationalise, the magic vanished.
Now, though, I see things differently. I no longer believe solely in the common-sense world, or even the quantum one. I believe – as many spiritual leaders and channelled guides have been telling us – that everything IS pure potential, magic, imagination. Didn’t Jesus say we needed to become like little children if we were to grasp what is really going on?
Maybe we, the observers, don’t collapse the wave function, it’s just that thinking as common-sense people, we can only observe ONE of the possibilities. The rest are still there, patiently waiting for us to expand our perception.
The A-Thinkers are way ahead of the rest of us on this. I hope to continue to learn from them – and share my discoveries with you.
Yes, I believe they may be ahead of us in many respects.
Your pieces always fire up my brain and take me to places I’ve never been before.
Guess I should thank you!
Well thank you for reading, Wendy, and being willing to travel to those new places! Hope you enjoy the ride xx
This is so wonderfully worded. Such a relief to see this line of thought in words expressed. Freshly pressed, in deed!
I feel relief that someone else ‘gets’ what I’m trying to say, so thank you so much for your comment.
Yes, putting such ideas into words is far from easy, and I lay awake the night after I’d written it berating myself for making it far too simplistic. Obviously it’s more complicated than this post suggests, but I feel that at least I’ve put my thoughts out there, for others to make of them what they will.
I think each one of us speaks our own version of alienese, meaning a language by which a person most easily makes sense of the world around and tries to communicate with the people populating this world but is so much relieved when someone else understands our ‘alienese.’ I am amazed at how you could put something so complicated in such easy-to-understand words in your blog post about A-thought. Respects for your effort and depth of thought.
Our paths are crossing in wonderful ways, i am reading ‘Breaking the habit of being yourself’, Dr. Joe Dispenza, and ‘Autism and the God Connection’, both very insightful, very much moving to the rhythem of your thoughts here and very much on the flow of the extraordinary autism mind, and if we can get out of our own way and theirs, we too could be thinking in these extraordinary unlimiting ways. Really enjoying your work, thank you.
It’s such a delight to have ‘met’ you, Carly.
I’m glad you found this piece, and thanks for reblogging it, by the way.
I haven’t yet read the first book you mention although the second is a treasured possession.
My favourite books on this subject – and I think you’d love them – are ‘Autism and the Edges of the Known World’ by Olga Bogdashina and ‘The Reason I Jump’ by a young Japanese boy whose name escapes me.
Also, if you’re interested, last year I helped William (the lad who tried to build the time machine) to publish some of his thoughts and articles. You can read about it here: https://janstoneblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/the-words-of-william/
His little book is now available as a paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon and is an example of how the autistic mind can free itself, with a bit of gentle encouragement.
I look forward to reading more of your thoughts on this subject xx
Reblogged this on autism life site.
I love that you have documented your Williams words, such a wonderful way to share his thoughts and hopefully entice greater understanding and awareness for this life we are all co existing in. We too often make notes on words and ideas that seem not of this time nor space, that are of the intriguing kind, from our William, who is all but five. Im so looking forward to reading it. CarlyX
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