Ever Shifting PathsTo read the intro to this retrospective series of posts, go here.
Original post date: November 30, 2008
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 surprise 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.