I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while. After all, I started to notice it a long time ago. But I wanted to be sure – sure that it wasn’t just Newbie-Me, fresh on the spectrum scene, desperately seeking and grasping for parallels in order to finally feel like I belong, to finally feel like I had something in common with someone. I wanted to be sure that it wasn’t a wishful illusion, a pure coincidence, something my mind invented in order to feel like part of something special.
Because I had never before been any of those things. I’d never belonged. I’d never been parallel to anyone, let alone a group of any kind. I’d never been a part of something special.
But now, after one day shy of eight months of reading, chatting, commenting, mentally comparing notes, nodding, and being able to say, “yes! I actually, totally get that!”, or “yes! That’s exactly what I was thinking”, or “yes! I could’ve written that post myself!” (lots of “yes!”s), I think that’s enough empirical data. I can safely say that a “Hive-Mind” of sorts genuinely exists.
I’ve long lost count of how many times, to my joyful amazement, I’ve seen someone unknowingly take the words right out of my mouth. I’ve also been excitedly, gleefully told that I’ve done the same thing to someone else. It seems like each day, someone puts into (eloquent) words exactly what I was thinking, what I was feeling, what I have experienced, or how it happens for me (whatever that “it” may be; there are plenty of “it”s, too). This has happened with blog posts. It has happened in social media conversation. It has happened so often that no one example sticks out, because it’s practically an every-day occurrence. It’s almost as regular as waking up in the morning.
I’m starting to think that mysteriously, we are somehow, subconsciously, wired in to each other. Forming this ginormous global neural-net, a super-wifi on steroids, almost a sixth-sense telepathy, a heightened super-empathy. Unknowingly synchronizing with each other, downloading from each other, playing off each other, all without effort or, in many cases, realization.
It’s the most magnificent enigma I’ve ever seen. A perfect cognitive choreography. A magical and enchanting dance.
I can’t say that I didn’t/don’t get some of my ideas from others; I probably have, probably still do, and probably always will. And I know that other people have gotten, and do/will continue to get, some of their ideas from me. I’ve been both the originator and the follower. I think that we all have, at some time or another. Most often, however, I believe that we tend to germinate and sprout these ideas, thoughts, and writings of ours independently…but at the same time. I know this because I’ve written countless thoughts (always born offline before publishing), only to find that someone else has written something eerily similar that I had not seen before! And I’m sure the reverse has happened–again, countless times.
How many times have I written on social media something along the lines of: “the Asperger’s/autism (or Aspie or what-have-you) Hive-Mind strikes again!” followed by at least three or four emojis depicting grinning, laughter, and love–or at least, “strong like”.
OK, I guess some examples do flash into my mind. Take the neurological variant/orientation theme: a fellow (and talented!) blogger and I volleyed that idea back and forth. It germinated in my mind early on, in the spring, that Asperger’s/autism is not a pathology, but a neurological variant/orientation, something amazing that happens not commonly, but not “disorder-ly”, either. It must have germinated in this incredible blog-writer’s mind, too, because poof!–the post appeared.
Another example might be an anxiety theme–specifically, what it’s really like to have anxiety. I wrote something that apparently was very parallel to a social media post, and as it turns out, the other person’s post had been written either the same day or within the past few days.
Yet another example involves the topic of routines and how they come to serve as a safety net/security blanket of some sort (my paraphrasing). I had the offline outline notes typed up and had for several months, and my brain had warmed itself to the idea of posting them that day; apparently, on the very same day, another blog-writer posted something along the exact same lines! We’re friends (I’m friends with the other people mentioned in the two examples above as well), so we laughed about it.
There’s no way some of these people could’ve known what I had thought of, what I had written out offline as a rough draft (and there’s no way I could’ve known what they had thought of or written, either), or what we were each feeling like posting that day. After all, my rough drafts are not available anywhere until I publish them; only I can see them. And I imagine there are thousands of blogs and blog posts that I haven’t yet come across, and I can also imagine that many of our thoughts might share similar under-currents. So, I’m convinced that somehow, somewhere, there must be a mother/master “server” from which we all subconsciously draw, and fairly often, perhaps resembling a fountainhead, or a super-brain in some unseen dimension…or something.
To me, it’s not so important who came up with what first because from what I have witnessed (and how I feel myself), it’s not a contest. I don’t think any one of us cares too much who came up with a particular idea or topic or thesis statement first. We’re all usually simply uploading to the ultimate collective Hive Mind. We share our thoughts and experiences in hopes of claiming our voice and benefiting all. Aside from the published authors in the community, there’s no ownership, no claim, no stake of territory, no royalties to be made. We’re all simply adding to the collective knowledge base, in unison and unity. (Which is not to detract in any way from the fantastic literary creations of the talented published authors who do–rightfully–receive royalties for their work; those contributions are infinitely valuable, and I gladly pay for them and give them their due credit!)
It’s not a competition, mainly because 1) we’re generally not like that, and 2) we all have something different and unique to say, a different knowledge base to draw from, and a different perspective to offer. We express ourselves in different ways–some of us with imagery, others with factoids and linked references, others with analogies, others with jokes and lighthearted sarcasm, others with bulleted lists, and still others by telling a personal story. Our personal styles and “pieces of flair” are all incredibly divergent; two people may take the same main idea and spin two completely different shimmering finished products. We’re unique individuals…
…which makes this all the more a beautiful unfolding process to watch. It’s even more exquisite to take part in, to be a part of, to be involved and in-line with.
I can’t explain it, other than I know that others are in situations not unlike my own, experiencing similar thoughts and emotions, on similar timetables.
But although that’s miraculous and unprecedented in itself, I think the wormhole (and the miracle factor) goes even deeper and more significant than that. There seems to be a universal cosmic link-up of some sort. I can’t explain how someone else’s experience could mirror my own with such eerie synchronicity. And I mean “eerie” in a (very) good way.
Because now I feel like I’m all of those things I had never been before. Things like truly belonging somewhere. Parallel with not just someone, but a whole group! A part of something truly special. A full-fledged, card-carrying Neuro-sibling.
Let’s take it and run…and keep running… 🙂