429: The Pool of Oughts

I have been living through a familiar dread—one that I have carried with me my entire life.

A major part of my predicament is in the stringing of my thoughts—in the way my mind instinctually expands off one concept onto another. At times I seem to be thinking, or at minimum existing, at multiple levels. Not in a psychedelic way; yet, in a very definite effectual state in which I am neither here nor there, but everywhere. There aren’t any lights or awakenings, but there exists this extremeness of a structure or building, as if I were a skyscraper itself expanding out in exponential infeasible directions beyond the view of the naked eye. And here, I slip simultaneously beyond what I am able to see and into the place of invisibility.

I recognize I am absent, with my faraway stare. I recognize I have lost my leash to the rest of self. I see from beyond that I am standing outside of where I am, holding a string to the other place of where the rest of me exists; my body in most ways remaining a shell.

In life as in fiction, I can be watching a scene play out, and at the same instant be analyzing the characters’ personalities, the actors’ personalities, the screen writer’s purpose, the landscape, the environment and feasible psychological ramifications of the spoken words and actions of the people. My mind seems spider-like in its ways, capable of reaching out in a potentially infinite array of directions, with its spindly legs sprouting and spurning in fanatical rupture. The rhythmic zeal moves from abstract to concrete, and I am swept up in the weaving of a thousand stitching legs—the legs themselves as streams pouring out of a waterfall, each spawning another waterfall. Picture after picture. Image after image dripping down in a thousand ways. All of this birthed into a whirlpool of thought that is neither disorganize or organized, but collected in the same manner in which one would forge food for the winter or build a nest for safety. Here is where everything is.

In sitting to do or think of anything, I am sitting as the aching spider, as the legs, as the fountains, as the streams, as the nest. Some large living machine pulsating with connections. I can sense this happening, as I am thinking about thinking about thinking. I take an elevator in thought or jump through the illusion of self that is in actuality the mirrors set upon mirrors—each image further, smaller, deeper, but just as real and just as exact.

I don’t actually see a spider and legs, and the rest, but I feel this movement as such; where if I had to describe the pulsating chains of me, this is as close as I could come. But in truth there isn’t anything I can follow or find, just this sense of substantial never ending depth akin to the collective pool of unconsciousness or perhaps liken to a life-size mold where self enters to be reinvented again and again.

Here in this space of no space, I meander through the chambers that hold the record of all experience, shifting through the files and bringing up into the light that which has yet to be discovered: a scaffolding mechanism reviewing what has been, what will be, and where I ought be.

The trouble begins, need I say trouble, when I open the files of ‘ought.’ There is where the stinging nettle comes, with the burning so distracting that all else falls down. The ‘ought’ files take over. For some reason or another, my essence absorbs the rules, regulations, how-tos, structure, system of being, and so on. I don’t know why, and it hurts to try to figure out the why of why I need to know the whys. I just do.

And in so being immersed in the ‘ought’ files, I get lost. I become over-expanded, swelled, and pressurized. A sponge in a pool expansive and foreboding, each movement of thought yet another burden onto self. Here in the pool of ‘oughts’ I become confused, primarily because there exists contradiction beyond contradiction. One school of thought against the other. One way of being beyond the other. Each standing in line shouting to be heard. Here is a room that has too many choices and too many directions. Too much depth. For a child as I be, I become mesmerized and trapped in the gooey notions of ‘ought.’ I begin deciphering each segment, each crumb, reaching the same conclusion continually: That all is an illusion and all is not.

I stand there ashamed of my own being for not being who I ‘ought’ to be. As I stand there, too, erect in self proclaiming who I am. I stand there crying in the confusion. And I sink there too, the strokes of my arms useless, as I wade through the muck of nonsense.

I become useless onto myself with so many options that lead to either dead ends or the opposite or the contradictory voice of a mass of many; the ‘oughts’ tie up the whole of the machine into a ball of inability. Motionless enters. I remain trapped, focusing and refocusing on what is evidentially lies or mistruths. I hear the echoes of the all. The ways in which the ‘wrongness’ hurts the masses. The ways in which we are each silently tormented in our minds by the rules established by the ones who are equally predispositioned to torment. It becomes a jumble of confusion and mayhem; something far beyond the enchantment of mystery and far closer to the bowels of a bleak twisted jail yard.

I am myself here, still. Uncorrupted, unmoved, but nonetheless made into something I don’t want to be. I am crying on the inside while strong on the outside. And then I am strong more so in the depths of self and made weak on the outer layers. I am bathed in this place of non-discrepancy, baptized in a sense by the very alive confusion. Drowned too, unable to breathe, and then spat out, left as naked and brought back to this place I am now. Here. Present. Aware. Alive.

I go through this in a way so swift and abstract, yet so expansive in distance and very real, that I cannot help but to be altered, existing as this being reborn and reborn again, through the loud shattering chaos that the world whispers as truth.

Day 224: The Screaming World

The Screaming World

The lady with the neckbrace, a result of some accident I’m guessing, stood at the corner of the sidewalk, screaming. Her partner, joined in, only more light-heartedly.

“Oh, good for you! Just drive through! Did you not see my brace? What the fu** is wrong with you?” the lady shouted. She looked like an Italian in the middle of a full-blown rage, the way her arms were tackling the sky and her body enveloped in emotion, only she was very white and freckle-covered, and likely not European at all.

Yes, I noticed a lot in a few seconds. I tend to—to take in a whole movie in a matter of no time at all. That’s me. And I guess that’s what made the occurrence that much more troubling.

I’ve been processing this scene of the outraged, neck-braced caucasian in my mind for three days now, and have come to the conclusion of why the situation bothered me so. It comes down to fear, and how, as a result of fear, humans often assume the worst about other people.

In terms of fearing others, most people with Aspergers are over-trusting, at least for the start of their life; until they are more than likely hurt by not one but a multitude of people; primarily because others exhibit actions and behaviors the person on the ASD spectrum did not count on, and perhaps wasn’t able to understand. However, for the most part, individuals with Aspergers start out very trusting; and even after continual “let downs” and hurts, they tend to remain trusting, despite their best efforts to emulate the anti-trust phenomenon all around them.

I used to think I lacked an ability to adjust and adapt to the surrounding societal roles and values of fearing others. Now I believe the attribute to over-trust is a spirit-born gift and an ability to transform our world.

Throughout my life, I’ve been warned by various people not to over trust, not to be naive, not to expect that another will be there for me. And especially not to expose myself. I was taught through experience, and from others, that if I was myself I would be rejected, shunned, compartmentalized and ostracized. I am still warned, that if I over-share, people will have more ammunition to use against me. In essence, I have been taught, through experience, example, and through others’ cautionary words, to not trust and to not be myself.

What a terrible way to live: to carry within my being a perpetual fear of being me because I might be hurt.

But that is my world at this instant.

Despite the warnings and potentially looming dangers, I have made the conscious decision to be me.

I know enough to understand that no matter the preparation and shielding, the pretending and hiding, that ultimately people cannot escape fear; and that the fear does not reside outside in the scary world, but inside in the choice to not be real, and the fallout of non-genuineness that causes people to lose touch with who they are.

In looking at fear-based living, what is troubling, beyond the potential loss of self-understanding and authenticity, is the way society perpetuates fear.

Today, I readily view the fear indoctrination through our media, big business, and government. Although, with the sharing of beds, big business, media, and government, are potentially all one ancestral family.

Presently fear is perpetuated through the bombardment of looming cancer. Even at the amusement park, I went to yesterday, there was a huge  pink ribbon symbolising breast cancer awareness painted on the concrete. And the whole ride was painted pink. When I shop, I am asked to support cancer research. When I drive down the freeway, I see billboards about sickness and cancer. When I turn on the radio, television, or read a magazine, I view cancer, cancer, cancer.

My world is painted with the fear of cancer. It’s not that I am against awareness or finding a cure; it’s that I am against fear. Or not even against it, but tired of fear being put on a throne set upon a pedestal. Tired of fear being the foundation of my society.

Fear has been indoctrinated into my mind since I was born. American born and bred, I arrived fresh and innocent into a world that had for over a decade already been pushing fear into society to encourage others to buy, buy, buy, to stimulate the economic market. Then it was only television that reminded my generation and the ones before and after me to buy to subside fear. Now everything is media. I can’t go anywhere, beyond the beauty and grace of the forest, without the fear-factor.

And cancer research and awareness are not the answers, nor the solutions to our problems. The problem is literally the problems—the view and bombardment set upon us that everything is a problem.

And in considering these presented problems, we already have solutions, solutions echoed by the Native Americans long before us. Cancer is not the disease and enemy. Cancer is merely a result of our overly polluted environment: the toxins in our food, water, air, and prescription drugs. The disconnection and disrespect for our environment and nature. The disconnection from ourselves.

Food has become our poison. Much of what is added to our processed foods, in the form of corn syrup, in mutated form, is actually classified by the companies themselves as pesticide. It seems rather simple to me, a first step in fighting cancer and illness, would be to stop selling pesticides disguised as food.

Also, in America, it is fact that economically deprived neighborhoods don’t even have grocery stores. There are no opportunities to buy fruits and vegetables. Why? Because grocery store establishments have deemed the low-income areas non-profitable and have as a result pulled out of those neighborhoods. Cancer, diabetes, and obesity are on the rise everywhere, but particularly in the areas where the people are under-educated and living at poverty-level. In these neighborhoods, the giant fast food industries move in to make up for the lacking. So our young generation is being fast-food fed on mutated, poor grade meat and poultry, loaded with chemicals and over treated in fat and oils, and are without the money to travel to find a store with real food, and without the education or mind-energy fueled by nutrients to know better. Suddenly a corn-fed, antibiotic, disease-ridden, slaughtered mixture of multiple cows added with toxins, additives, overly processed oils, and fat, has become the staple meal of the poor. Suddenly an apple is deemed not as nutritious as poison. Or not so suddenly, in actuality, I suppose.

So what does this have to do with trusting my fellow human or the lady on the street screaming?

First off, the lady was yelling because there was a misinterpretation. I thought she wanted me to drive through the crosswalk, that she wasn’t ready to cross the street. She thought I was going to wait. And then she went further to think that my intention was to be inconsiderate and down right rude. She chose to see the worst in me, to believe I didn’t care about her, that I wasn’t willing to bother to stop. She chose not to trust me.

And that bothers me, because the more I think about it, the more I realize, as a collective we don’t trust. We have been raised a fear-based, paranoid society, made to fret over each moment of our day, to wonder what traumatic event will befall us, and to spend our last dime in creating a reality around us of distractions and comforts in hopes of diminishing our fear. We carry an emptiness around that we believe at moments can be filled with food or material goods. We believe solutions are found in a pill, not in nature. We believe the only way out of turmoil is through polluting our environment more through consumerism and over spending. We carry an urgency for a way out and not a way in.

We have been taught to live a life escaping death, escaping loneliness, and avoiding ugliness.

We have been taught that we are dying, we are unworthy, and that we are ugly.

We have been taught we are wrong and in need of fixing.

We have been taught to give of ourselves completely in the wealth of our minds, our bodies, our spirit, and currency, in order to be fixed.

We are trapped in a cycle of fear feeding fear, trying to fix that which was never broken with placebos that only injure at every level.

We are ready to return to the spirit, who knows awareness without fear.

We are ready to stop fighting and fearing and to become aware that we no longer need to build our world on a foundation of fear.

Because despite all of this indoctrinated fear, this misshapen world that has been painted onto our souls, some of us still carry hope. Some of us still trust. Some of us are not afraid to be our true selves, to shine and be authentic no matter the imaginary threat.

Despite the lies we  have been told, the trickery, the sadness, and devastation, we can choose to not fear, to see the light in people. We can continue to carry hope wherever we travel. We have the spirit-given eyes to see through the illusions, to know that this reality is temporary, that we are in transition, and that together we can transform our reality into a place of soul awareness.

This fear can be leached out and drained away, the more we pour in love and truth.

We must see the lady on the street screaming as pure beauty in disguise.  An instigator of change. A symbol of our screaming world. An obvious sign that the world is not happy and not trusting.

We can choose to look at the person screaming out as the innocent submerged in the sea of sadness perpetuated by the ongoing waves of fear and mistrust.

We can bring her out with a gentle hand to the shore and let her shine.

But first we must crawl out of submersion ourselves and stand in the light of authentic being.

Thirty: I am Elephant!

Days like today I want to find the highest mountain and shout in my loudest voice, “I am Elephant!”

I want to charge forward with my tusks at a massive pile of hay. Stab and stab with all my might, until no barrier is left, only scattered remnants that the animals can feed upon, digest, and carry away.

I hate, if I ever were to hate anything, the aspect of being misunderstood. I hate that my son is being misunderstood. I hate that I am misunderstood.  I feel as if we, as an Asperger’s “species,” have been set up for failure. As if we are supposed to make ourselves less genuine and honest, in order not to threaten others’ norms.

I understand we represent the unknown that exists outside the comfort box of many individuals. And when we surface, stand there face-to-face in conversation, the anomaly, if you will, is seen as a threat, an oddity, a discomfort; and we are made into this perceived entity that requires some degree of change or adaptation on our part.

I question what is it about the way I think and function that requires fixing and change. What if the way I think and function is ideal? Why is it that the majority believe their way is the right way, when all about them the world is falling apart from war, famine, lies, manipulation, blackmail, disease, hatred, bigotry, and poison? These named leaders play these games using their tricks. Wherein I, coming from a place of honesty and genuineness, am perceived as a threat.

Is the feeling of threat erupting from others’ insecurity or perhaps from the uncomfortable feelings that arise when one’s foundation of what is believed to be the right way is confronted?

Perhaps the way communication is currently played out is from a very limited and self-centered scope. Wherein there is this unspoken dance where I am expected to filter what I say, how I say it, when I say it, and how much I say, as to not risk causing discomfort to someone else.

Assuming I am reasonably self-aware, which I am, and I have no intention of ill will or harm, which holds true, and that I have generally mastered the basic social norms of avoiding insult or rudeness, then what other rules must I add?

It seems to me the other rules include this basket of techniques, sayings, buffering, limitations, and balancing that enable the recipient to feel better about him or herself, or at least not any worse. It seems to me a game where the first priority is to not make waves, to win the person over, to sound strong, and to sprinkle evidence of high intellect and likability, in order to allow the other person to feel comfortable enough to maybe begin to trust me.

Why is it that if I accurately and purposely reflect what the other person wishes to hear and see, that they embrace me and wrap the tentacles of interest around me; but other times, when I am entirely authentic, and I share without pretense, plan, or caution, I am questioned, perhaps even distrusted, judged, singled-out, ridiculed, or admonished? Why is it some human beings want to converse with clones of themselves and make me into their egocentric mirror, instead of knowing me?

Communicating is like driving down a dangerous road where there are warning signs at every turn. Beware!  Make sure your words are continually reinforcing the other person’s identity, perception, and worthiness. Avoid offending, weakening, or threatening a person’s idea of truth. Know that complete honesty triggers alarm in people. Understand that ultimately most people you approach already don’t trust you and you have to build and build trust before they will. Even then, know there will be people who will never trust you.

Why is it when I speak my truth some question my intention, my motive, my want, my need, my desire, my expected outcome, my reasoning, my life, my identity, my self-worth, my perception, my judgment, and/or my personhood? Are these seeds I need to plant seeds of dishonesty?

What if I am not the anomaly? What if my son is not the anomaly? What if the teenagers persecuting him with their bullying and snide remarks are the anomaly? What if my son is the teacher? What if Aspergers isn’t a syndrome or a disorder? What if Aspergers is a new mirror: a mirror that reflects back truth and honesty, and genuineness of spirit?

If communication is to based on a scale dependent on levels of trust, then a person sitting across from me in conversation is continually establishing how much they know me and trust me in order to decide what to share about him or herself, or his or her perception, facts, or experience. How do I decide which parts of me to hide?

Why isn’t communication the opposite of distrust? Why don’t people strip themselves of protective layers and speak their truth? Aren’t we all in search of love and attention? Companionship and sharing? Why don’t we all wear T-shirts that read: Love Me, Please. Isn’t that what we crave? Why is it so hard for someone to walk up to a stranger and say, “You look sad and lonely. I’m sad and lonely, too.”? Why is it people say so easily, “It’s a beautiful day” instead of “You’re a beautiful being”?

Strangers ask me, “Why are you being so nice? How did you become so kind?” or say “No one ever asked me that. Thank you so much for taking an interest?” And yet I am the one who knows not how to communicate naturally?

If withholding information is the norm, then I question the integrity of the establishment who dictates such norms. If one is to say to me, “Impossible; if we all spoke are truth the world would fall apart,” then I ask: “Is the world not already falling apart?”

The majorities’ opinion of what counts as the correct mode of communication style appears backwards and disproportionate. This fear-based approach contradicts the doctrines of many spiritual and religious foundations of unconditional love. I don’t understand this barometer I am supposed to carry into conversation—this inner dialogue, gut-feeling, or what have you, that informs me of what to withhold.

I understand to avoid crudeness, rudeness, defensiveness, argumentation, blame and downright meanness—as I see those derivatives of communication equally fear-based as the self-regulating barometer that predisposes the mind to beware of each and every encounter with another human being.

I do not understand the harm in sharing my authentic self and true feelings, if intention to harm and do ill will are abstracted, and what remains is the representation of the true being. Isn’t this what human race is striving for—the disrobing of falsehoods? Don’t people long for genuineness? If so, then why do I feel so oppressed? Why since my youth have my peers and authority continually been trying to snuff my light? Why do I feel as if I am to be locked in some prism of isolation, left alone with my thoughts, so the world outside doesn’t have to fear my reflection?

I am not bold, I am not brave. I am me! But so many people can’t see me.

I crave purity and truth. I abide by these elemental necessities. Yet, I am continually punished for not partaking in a ritual game, of following some unspoken norms of what is supposed to be. When everywhere I look around me the world is falling apart because of all the unspoken lies, manipulation, greed, and trickery.

This dictated “right” way to communicate, the fear-based approach where people say what is expected, and what the other person probably wants to hear, in order to get at some unspoken goal, appears manipulative, preplanned, and superficial.

Why in society is there a limit to what we are supposed to reveal? I understand donning clothing to conceal the taboo of the naked flesh. I can abide by this norm by simply cloaking my body. But to understand the taboo of sharing the naked spirit—I can find no such cloak. I do not know what to cover my truth in so that a person will listen without their ears first burning or their anger first churning. I do not know how to persuade someone to my side. I see no need, have no want of these things. And for this, again, I am lacking.

I watch as those that conform pass untouched in the night. While I remain oppressed because of my nonconformity. Why must I become an untouchable in order to walk freely? Why must I stay hidden in order to be accepted? As many times as I’ve been crushed and hurt, debased and stabbed in the back for sharing myself, I cannot learn another way to walk in this world. It as if the legs that carry me can walk no other way than the way in which my spirit intends. I am made to be silent or to remain in constant affliction. I am imprisoned by my own desire to be.

This is such a lonely and unspeakable place of pain and shame. And all about me professionals with man-invented degrees are claiming their “truths” of what I am, when they do not even know how to even see who I am. They are aliens dissecting me with their eyes, though they wear spectacles with blackened and tarnished glass. They can see nothing but their own imaginings and what has been told to them by others; others whom had things told to them; whom in turn had things told to them by others, with the origin residing in some theorist, who himself was likely twisted in his views and perception by his need to conform.

In my view, I am an elephant. Being an elephant, I know myself as an elephant. I know how an elephant eats, sleeps, dreams, and walks. And I know other elephants who walk in the same way. Who think in the same way. Yet, I have hyenas all about me telling me what an elephant is like. How an elephant should look and be. Who listens to a hyena to know what the elephant is, when an elephant is standing right beside?

Something must change. That is why I shout, “I am Elephant!”