Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ever Shifting Paths

When I started this blog in January 2005, it was my intent to share one Taoist's perspective on the world. For the past 3+ years I kept to this same path, more or less. In recent weeks, I've discovered I have Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and I have now woven this thread into the tapestry.

It dawned on me tonight that both Taoism and AS share a unique characteristic -- both lead a person to view the world and universe differently than the vast majority. Both embrace the idea that there are many paths and that we each must find for ourselves which path is the one on which we shall tread.

Though it's only been a short time that I've come to understand the many aspects of being an aspie, these traits have been with me all along. The only thing that has changed is that I now have a little box with which to toss all my quirks and neurological differences into.

So, it leaves me to wonder if being an aspie is what lead me to Tao?

Think about this concept for a minute. The Taoist philosophy turns western civilization on its head. While western thought extols the virtues of the individual, Taoist principles embrace the idea of the connectivity of all things. Western religion provides a cloak of finality and rigid answers, while philosophical Taoism is open-ended and encourages each being to find our own answers.

I'm not suggesting that all Taoists are aspies and all neurotypicals (a term many aspies use to define "normal" folks) are religious. But it certainly wouldn't suprise me in the least if aspies are more prone to search for cosmic understanding outside of the typical established boundaries. By our very neurological nature, we view the entirety of the world differently and so it stands to reason that we would be more open to the exploration of different philosophical perspectives.

One of the things that I must remind myself of again and again is that a person's path is not static. You don't find "your path" and then never change your stride. Life is fluid and so each path must be fluid also. If our chosen path curves to the right or the left, we end up leaving it if we stubbornly keep walking devoutly in a straight line!

So, while Taoism will continue to be one of the main premises of this blog, so too will be the interplay between it and Asperger's Syndrome. There may be a very tenable tether or I may decide the tether is very thin or nonexistent. Only time will tell.

I welcome you -- regardless of your perspective or neurological state -- along for the ride.


  1. "both lead a person to view the world and universe differently than the vast majority."

    I used to think my views were unique and different from other people's too. Now, I think my views are what is universal, and what most people think is what is different. They simple absorb the common viewpoint rather than recognizing that their own situation truly is unique. Then they're messed up because they think they just aren't strong enough or not rich enough or not whatever enough to handle this artificial world around them....

    But if you know and recognize that you are unique and yet also part of everything, then you simply are enough, no matter what, and the world around you begins to seem to provide what you need. And you understand that the "common" view is neither correct, nor common. If you asked a dog or a bird what the world is like, they wouldn't give you the human answer, nor would you expect them to. And yet, humans are all supposed to give the same answer? It is baffling to think that way. We live in an artificial, created world that has little to do with what is real and true. And neither do our "common" beliefs that this majority seems to share.

    I think your new understanding of yourself is great, but doesn't change who you are. It just makes you realize that your perceptions are indeed uniquely your own. But they always were. ;^)

  2. I agree that there is no static norm when it comes to a worldview. Each person views the world through their own lens.

    However, neurological processes impact the way each of us views things and it has been shown that the neurological pathways of aspies differ significantly from the general population.

    This is what I'm trying to deal with. (I'd write more, but it's all really jumbled in my head right now.)


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