As someone on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum, I look at life, the universe, and everything from multiple angles. My Asperger’s/autistic operating system plays no small part in that.
Autism is not my cage. It is not my limitation. In reality, it is my infinity. It may appear to erect certain barriers, such as the dreaded social situations and navigating tumultuous waters of unwritten social rules.
But it also removes other barriers. Barriers like demographics and the requirement to tie thoughts to verbiage.
My thoughts are separate from language. I can think in pictures, animations, or feelings, without attaching any words to the thoughts.
My thoughts whisk me away to all kinds of places, through all kinds of filters. Temple Grandin once said that her brain is like Google Images. Mine is like Adobe Photoshop.
My world got Photoshopped, too. Not in any sense of fakery, satire, or illusion. Rather, through whichever lens I want to apply at any given time. My lenses are my filters. Between each filter, everything and everyone are “reduced” to a more “minimalist” state, in which everything is what it is and everyone is what they are, without borders or boundaries.
There is a geographical filter, where political borders and boundaries are drawn, and each person is a citizen of This nation or That one.
There are demographic filters, where each person could be seen on any one or combination of various spectra, such as those of race/ethnicity, gender, wealth, and others.
There’s a biological filter, which allows me to consider the biological processes inherent in every living being–humans, trees, plants, insects, microbes, and other animals. Every living being has a Kreb’s cycle of one form or another. Each takes in certain biochemical substances and releases others, all in a chorus of symbiosis.
There’s a genetic filter, in which I can visualize the theoretical/imagined genetic lineage and family tree and the nomadic movement of humans about the earth. It’s probably not accurate, but I can imagine it nonetheless.
There’s a yin-yang filter, in which all that is in the universe could be classified according to its yin-yang makeup, creating a sort of yin-yang spectrum.
There’s an ancient elements filter, made of air, earth, water, fire, and sometimes ether (depending on the specific system used), in which the contents of the entire universe could be classified according to its ancient elemental makeup, assigning it the appropriate proportions of each element.
There’s a scientific elements filter, made of the elements on the contemporary periodic table, in which all of the universe’s contents can be classified according to its scientific elemental composition, too.
There’s a spiritual filter, which has several sub-filters. Each sub-filter represents a particular religion or philosophy. One is Buddhist, one is Hindu, and so on. It’s not that I’m imagining each person as a member of any one religion or philosophy, nor am I considering a religious/philosophical map according to geography. It’s more like looking at the world through the eyes of a Buddhist or Hindu or what-have-you. That’s the point of a filter, after all.
For example, a Buddhist might see the world in terms of excesses and deficiencies, and suffering due to materialism, and attempts to reach enlightenment by following their own various paths.
There is a cosmo-energetic filter, which allows me to perceive the world in various frequencies of energy. It’s like if you take the entire electromagnetic spectrum, which includes light, sound, palpable sensation, X-rays, and other, and expand it to include all matter, that which is both alive and inert. Inanimate objects don’t necessarily differ all that much from bouncing humans, when seen through this filter; the difference between a hula-hooping child and a rock on the sidewalk is one of energetic frequency; the child is operating at a much higher frequency, whereas energy has condensed much more in the inanimate rock.
This isn’t to say that non-autistic people don’t or can’t think of the world in these ways. Opportunity is equal, even if tendency may not be. I think my Asperger’s/autistic orientation gives me the freedom to break from social rules. Perhaps my lack of ability to relate on a neurotypical wavelength might actually set me free, free to think along certain lines and create different spectra, free to consider other alternatives. It certainly gives me the spare time and alone time needed to contemplate such concepts.
In the end, it’s not like I have all the answers. But with an alternative way of thinking, I do have a lot of fun. 🙂