There’s much more to say about this. And I intend to. I’m coming to believe that much of the drama and contention around autism has its actual roots in western mainstream society’s (pathological) fear of the physical realities of life — especially those which resist the override of the mind.
According to our western you-can-do-it-if-you-try mythology, the right frame of mind, the right attitude, the right motivation, the right philosophy, can (and will) assert primacy over every single one of the uncomfortable physical realities that threaten our very existence. That existence can be social or individual, economic or biological. But in any case, no physiologically based challenge should — or can — resist the glorious primacy of our mentality.
But what if there’s more to that? What if the body is every bit as central to our thought-and-reality-creation process, as the mind? What if the body in fact overrides the mind at times? What if there are circumstances under which the mind simply CANNOT assert its primacy, because the body has the proverbial upper hand?
This question, I believe, lies at the heart of our current conflict about autism, Aspergers, neurodivergence.
Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. But I do think I’m right about this.
It’s not enough to get your thoughts in order. The body also has a say.
So, I’m back from a four-day graduation celebration / reunion marathon with my in-laws. These are folks who speak quickly in accents I don’t immediately understand, which can be challenging — especially when I’m tired. The whole “shindig” took place in a major metropolitan area where the traffic is heavy and unpredictable. I almost got hit a couple of times by people who were driving faster than they were watching. That seemed to be the overriding theme of the whole long weekend. People moving too fast. Not paying attention. Endangering others with their excesses.
The airport arrival, rental car pick-up, a crowded and loud graduation, four group meals, and the rental car / airport return were one extended experience in general melee. Chaos. Unrecognized patterns. A way of life that’s diametrically opposed to my own, with…
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