Healing methods that rely on dissolving structures assume two things; that our structures are wrong and that we will never get rid of them all through “just” the power of the mind so we can go into the process fairly gung-ho, confident that we will always have a body to come back to (which we can then fill it with “healthier” thought forms). I would say, never underestimate the power of the mind; least of all when that person is autistic.
In the case of autism, we have spent whole lifetimes carefully selecting our structures; they are not (so much) this inherited thing, a bad habit passed on from one neurotypical (NT) to another. Being fuelled, pretty much only, by the motivations of genuine joy and enthusiasm for our special topics (why else would we bother?), our structures tend to be higher-vibrational; especially when compared to many of the belief systems that become the internalised structures and motivations of the neurotypical pathway. Peer group pressure doesn’t cut it for us and we are famously resistant to other people’s methods, preferring to do things our own way. If we are considered functional enough for school and onwards into “normal” life paths, as in the case of Asperger’s, we tend to stand aside and watch all those other habits forming…without joining in…then go home to our own self-created fixations.
Of course, we are still human and it is often the wounding we suffer at the hands of being so very different, so lonely and often rejected or abused by others that forms scar tissue in our mental, thus our physical, form. So, yes, to release these kinds of scar tissue is a healing opportunity, the same as with an NT…and I have done very much work to release such wounds myself…but there is a limit. We dont need the wholesale surrender into softness that is called for in the New Age healing communities (as per my last post …but it didn’t work for me, which I suggest is read in tandem with this one). For us, there is not the ability to assume “one size fits all” where alternative therapies are concerned…we can’t “just” submit to a massage, a reiki, a regression or whatever and assume there will be no harm done. Rather, I tend to think those things we hold onto so resiliently…if we still hold onto them well into our maturity…are there for a reason; we WANT to remember them. We have TASKED ourselves in this lifetime to remember them. We carry important information that will be needed in this lifetime, by ourselves and perhaps by other people too.
And, here’s another bullet point, it very much matters to us where we do our healing.
This point seems so obvious to me now I have grasped it (at last) but I had been missing it though looking at meditation through NT eyes; that whole “do it anywhere” concept. One meditation cushion and a candle will do and off you go…how lovely to be so impervious. However, here I am, this super-sensory being with very little limitation upon how far my sensors unfurl into the environment about me at all times, even when I sleep (and no, I don’t believe I am “broken”; I consider this to be “by design”). I feel other people, I feel clouds of EMFs, I feel the energy of traffic and of electricity substations, of airplanes passing over, of the wind and the birds, of all of nature, the positions of the sun, the moon, the planets…yes a cacacophy of sensations, each of them a “structure”…no need to cover this topic in any further detail as it has fed this blog with posts about living with super-sensitivity for years.
So, as happened a few months ago prior to my health crash, I spent day after day sitting down to do my “rewire the human body system” meditations in which I empty out my cells of all memory of structure in order to clear the path for something new to flood in…but where do I sit myself down to do this? I am more attuned to environment than any NT could fully understand; it asserts itself “loudly” at me at all times so where is this quiet place in which I can safely dismantle my own inner structures, which are the only things between me and that environment?
In my house, there is a constant grumble of electro-interference, something prickling my skin…just something or other catching my attention through the very fabric of the furniture. So, being summer, I decided to do my daily audios outside under my tree. However, my garden is pretty tiny, bordered by two roads, one of them so busy that traffic makes my house shake and, even with bare feet on grass, I feel “current” that is far from being entirely natural. Planes and helicopters come over, their vibration even more assertive than their noise drone. My neighbour routinely pulls up outside her house at varying times in the afternoon, blaring thrash metal out of her car window. I hear spats between pedestrians, people beeping their horns because they couldn’t get parked outside the shops, the whole noisy urban things. More than hearing it, I take it all in with my subtle senses…drawing it all in as though through a drinking straw to replenish structure-thirsty cells that I have just so diligently emptied-out of all their substance. After all, its a given in nature…nothing attracts like a void!
In fact, I would say this is why people with autism are generally more vulnerable…we already hold that degree of neutrality inside of ourselves, as out given state, which is a liability in an overstimulating, desperately over-assertive world built to very different priorities to our own!
Its why out chosen structures are so important to us…
Plus, there have been sudden outcomes created by the focus of my mind (see my last post) where I have been forced to admit, in abject astonishment, that I really don’t know my own power; when I say “release” I release. But then there are always consequences when structures are taken down without a neurotypical mainframe to be relied upon to still be there when I reopen my eyes. If I don’t have any structures left to assert, the nearest structures to me will assert for me…which could be anything that happens to be passing me by at the time. Even those who undergo near death experiences, that I have read about, have thrived on returning from their near-ultimate state of void because they had NT support systems in place; a sense of relating to and fitting into their world, friends, social adeptness and communication skills that I lack (as evidenced by how they typically go on to write books and do the talk circuits…). I have none of that so if I dissolve all my structures away, I risk nothing being there to greet me on opening my eyes….or that I will have taken on lower-vibrational structures from other things and people around me in place of my own.
The same if I were to do my releasing at some retreat; say, a room full of dozens or even hundred of people, as often go to these popular events. Presumably fine for an NT but for me…well, I know now why I have such resistance about attending such a gig, though I had been blocking the real reason with trivial excuses until now. The very idea of group sessions…group anything…for someone on the spectrum is usually quite abhorrent, with good reason; we can’t process anything clearly with all that cacophony going on, even in a space that, to NTs, seems perfectly “quiet”.
The night before my health crash, I was using my meditation audios to block the horrible sensory distress of a car rally taking place right outside the cottage that (so ironically) we had booked because of its extreme isolation and tranquility, as shared about in a previous post. For four hours in the dead of night, 90 cars raced their way past our door and I tried to loose myself “usefully” to my meditations, since I couldn’t sleep. The next day was the start of a health collapse that lasted months.
I find there are many more scenarios where I have struggled due to the location of the “surrender” of my inner structures. For instance, when I go for treatment sessions, they are generally in the therapist’s house. Am I the only one to feel an oddness about other people being in the house during such a vulnerable process, the sense (without having been introduced) that there is a husband in the building who is not so keen on these appointments taking place, a couple of noisy teenagers banging around, that whole family-vibrational thing, which I distinctly pick up on as an “alien” space (something I seldom ever experience since I rarely go to other people’s houses), right before surrendering myself into an energy session. I even “feel” things like all the laundry pilled up by the washing machine in the kitchen nearby, all the stagnant clutter and unfamiliar smells of a chaotic family life that is not at all similar to mine. At other times, I’ve been to treatment rooms in urban settings, with noisy traffic right outside the window, the sterile smells, the vibe given off by the receptionist and even other people waiting outside. None of this is irrelevant to someone with autism at the point they dismantle any of their boundaries to the outside world. They would not be a problem to me, in most other scenarios; but at an appointment where I am instructed to “let go”…that is quite another thing.
These structures we maintain are not some mere accident, as I have already said. They are considered, have taken years in the making, have been measured and weighed carefully against something most particular and here’s my theory about that.
For the neurodiverse person, our divine blueprint isn’t stored in some cosmic library “out there” beyond the physical world; we are not trying to find our way “back” to something off-planet. Rather, we bring it with us, kept safely in a vault deep inside those structures we so carefully maintain as our lives. Its as though we have been set a task, an undertaking to “go find” whatever there is, made manifest in the three dimensional world, that is a close match to this divine blueprint. Only on finding it “out there” in the physical world (and we get to play a part in manifesting it more readily) do we then get to attach it to ourselves, to (as it were) add it to our collection. You could say, its the hobby of all hobbies. Our structures are how we do the work. By comparison, NTs on the spiritual path seem to be trying to get back to something extranious; a perfection that lies beyond the physical world, for which they believe they need to surrender their structures in order to go soft and pay visits to it; bringing it back to their physical world like handfuls of stardust to play with in their newly gilded lives. Which is great, they are getting somewhere important with their task of manifesting spiritual tenets since they now get to mix them in with their NT version of physicality. But it’s not the same process as we follow.
In their insistence that “their way” is the only way, such people seem to forget that divinity is not all about the ethereal; it is also about the form itself…divine form, which makes up fifty per cent of the manifest deal!
Our neurodiverse lives are therefore a matter of comparison….looking for that match between what we see on the divine blueprint, which we refer to every day, and the outside world. When we find the same coherent patterns, the unmistakable sheen of unconditionality or the glow of love light around a situation, we feel a resonance and it fuels our very existence. When we don’t find them, we do our best to replicate those structures, creating the “make-do” out of our repetitious habits and by drumming up the odd rhythms of our own behaviours and interests, which seem incomprehensible, obsessive, even retarded to NTs. Yet to us it makes perfect sense to assert these structures in our world; at least until we find evidence of divine structure which is (for now) the great rarity in our world. When they ask autistic people without speech, via facilitated methods, to explain why they bang their heads rhythmically on the floor, for instance, they usually explain its to block out the chaotic sensory overwhelm of a world created by NTs.
Though I have never banged my head, I know I have other stims plus numerous other distractionary methods and I can so relate to the reason why! In creating our own inner world, through habits, routines, stimming and so on, we are doing our very best to replicate the orderly blueprint we have (always had) access to until such a time as we find a match “for real”. Put them in a room with lovely music or some other beautiful, coherent experience and many people with quite challenging versions of autism are observed to become calm, centred, better able to sit still or even communicate like never before. Sadly, the world as it is doesn’t generate many such moments but this is why structure is so important to people on the spectrum, is also why its fair to assume that these structures have hidden importance to that individual (so it is not the rightful place of an NT to tell an ND to drop their habits; which is not to say a parent can’t suggest an alternative structure to a child who seems to be harming themselves…but that means they should work to replace one structure with another; not take it away altogether). Our chosen structures are how we survive in 3D; plain and simple.
I started this post suggesting that autistic structures aren’t necessarily “wrong” and, therefore, that they are not generally suitable for a sledgehammer approach to dissolving “old structures”; that extreme care needs to be taken around them. What if they are even more than that; what if they are refined and quite exquisite in some way that the world has yet to fully notice or appreciate? In a way that is called for yet not fully understood? Perhaps this is why there is so much inbuilt struggle and resistance in people with autism; those who, like me, resist utterly when faced with the prospect of handing those structures over…to peer pressure, to neurotypical attitudes and “accepted” or “fashionable” methods and behaviours, to healing modalities that command “let go and it will all be fine”…etc. Perhaps we know we are protecting something valuable within ourselves. Out of all the healing sessions I have ever had, most of which have been a blur of nonentity, one always stands out to me (in fact the topic of it came up twice, with a very intuitive healer, many years ago, at a time that was very auspicious to me in relation to the date). She told me…in fact she wept as she told me this…that she saw me caught up in a pattern of long endurance, whereby people kept wanting to flay me, that she vividly saw them removing my skin while I was alive and yet I endured and endured and endured. When this session played back to my thoughts, out of nowhere, this morning, I finally felt I had my answer as to what it was all about; she wasn’t dredging up some past-life horror, the information she was offering me was current!
But note I said skin, not a suit of armour; and skin is permeable membrane, not a suit of armour. This is a choice…its the autistic choice. We feel all because we must. It’s who we are. I wouldn’t know how to be me unless I felt all that I do, though its hard. Its an undertaking we agreed to when we came to life in this format.
I see it this way; through the eyes of the obsessive evolutionary that I am. If the world is indeed undergoing a massive evolution at this point in our history; if many, MANY tired-old structures are in the process of being dissolved right now (which is great news),who are the divine pattern holders? How do we ensure that healthy patterns, based upon love, unconditionality, truth and deepest compassion, are ready to replace those that are defunct? Who are the ones that are (perhaps quite rigidly thoughout these challenging times that are rocking all our boats) gripping onto inner grid systems and divine orchestrations that they have carried within them, often at huge personal cost, for many years now. Carried so diligently because…if they are honest…they sense that the information they carry is really important and very-much needed by this world. My gut feeling is that it is the neurodiverse amongst us who are those very individuals; because they came into this life knowing what it was that we collectively aspire to since it is their natural state, here and now…not only in some other dimension. Whether they know it or not, they are delivering a precious cargo and only once that cargo is ready to be received will they let down their guard, open up their white-knuckle grip and let it all fly out but until then…perhaps we need to let them get on with doing things their way.
Relevant End Note
Am I spinning a fairy tale to suggest those on the autism spectrum hold some sort of inner knowledge, that they feel as though what they know innately is somehow important and even worth the challenging experience of autism? (By the way, that’s how I feel, though I appreciate my challenges are not as severe as some people’s.)
When William Stillman, also referred to as the “autism whisperer” for his innate ability to understand and interpret children and adults on the spectrum (author of “Autism and the God Connection”) called a meeting of people with autism under the topic of “autism and spirituality”, he was astonished by the extra large turnout, requiring that they move the meeting to another location. The topic certainly seemed to have garnered some especial interest in the autism community compared to other meetings regularly held in that location. Amongst those attending, many had limited or no speech but had other methods of communicating, such as writing their responses which were read out by their helpers. When Stillman had finished talking about his experiences (the material of his book) and about the profound link between spirituality and autism that he had played witness to in his own and other people’s lives, he was bombarded with enthusiastic reactions.
“They stated that I understood them better than most others, and that I spoke truthfully. I was told, “You are a blessing.” “Not everyone understands,” said another. A young woman responded, “I know people who couldn’t handle it also, but that can’t keep the truth out of our discussion.” Then someone acknowledged, “Cursed with gifts people don’t understand, we pretend to be almost normal.” One woman agreed, “We are challenged but we are blessed.” Another young woman seated to my right was succinct in typing, “I teach loving. I picked my life…I have an old soul that is nearer to Heaven. I was an old soul a long time. I love my life…I want to give my gifts to all”.
He describes how carers began to cry because they learned things about their charges, that day, that they had never realised since these were off-limits topics that those contributing had never felt comfortable enough to share with anyone else before. This new level of understanding and appraisal, between autistic and non-autistic people, is what Stillman’s experiences time and again, when he goes into families and opens up the potential to consider that the “physically impaired” family member is not necessarily “mentally impaired” and may actually be extraordinarily switched-on in other ways. Stillman continues:
“Not only are people with different ways of being our teachers, here to guide our understanding of compassion, sensitivity, and unconditional love; they may be among our most revered spiritual mentors and valiant visionaries if only we regard them with such deference. At the least, we have much to learn from their patience, forgiveness, resilience, and resourcefulness in how we should all endeavor to interact with one another”.
Another common thread he has found, from his vast experience of working with such people, is that of multisensory abilities are pretty common amongst them. In fact, that they are often “exquisitely sensitive” (a phrase he uses a lot) in a way that suggest to me that these sensitivities could be such a gift in another place and time, as I have often tended to think about mine.
“I’m not suggesting that every person with autism possesses multisensory abilities; I don’t know this to be true. But, in my experience, there is a magnificent preponderance of persons who do share this common thread.”
Of his book material in general he says:
“there is absolutely nothing I’m exploring here that’s not already well known to individuals with autism, their families, friends, and relatives—albeit usually in the context of clandestine conversation. In my travels, I have invited audience members to remain after each of my autism presentations to participate in a discussion about autism and spirituality, and, inevitably, about a dozen or so people stay behind. I am never disappointed when, given a safe and comfortable forum in which to speak openly, parents and caregivers absolve themselves of amazing, joyful anecdotes, believing all the while to have experienced them in isolation”.
All quoted from “Autism and the God Connection: Redefining the Autistic Experience Through Extraordinary Accounts of Spiritual Giftedness” – William Stillman
4 thoughts on “The exquisite gift of autism”
One of my greatest joys, bliss, really is to find the internal synaptic structure of my brain replicated in the natural world… pinnate leaves, swirls of cloud. Pure joy!
This post has much for me to think about.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I was just out on my walk thinking that very thought….it all looks so random, so messy even at this time of the year as autumn leaves hang over the river but I can sense the same sacred geometry inside of me that makes those very leaves, those tree trunks, everything I most value and consider beautiful and ordered….wonderful way to be!
Oh, how amazing! How beautiful we both find our internal patterns replicated externally! I wonder if this is common for autistic people! I know that many of us love birds and most love nature and the sky….
LikeLiked by 1 person
Birds…have just written on that very theme (as I spot your reply). I think there is a great deal of overlap on these themes and ways of interacting with nature…and like we are all gearing up in some way that feels oddly synchronised for all we are the very poster models of autonomy. Interesting times!!
LikeLiked by 1 person