This I Believe

Mark - Ventura/93003, California
Entered on September 6, 2008

Autism and Spirituality

I believe that autism is the beginning of the next quantum evolutionary step of the human mind. It is nature’s way of showing us how to understand reality, as it exists. I believe that autism expresses itself and communicates through feelings rather than rational thought. There is no rationality behind feelings, whereas rational thought is based on feelings. When I change my mind or am enlightened, it is not through rationally accumulating new facts, but because it feels right. Feelings are the essence of thought and guide it. No matter what we discover about the limbic system, there is no scientific proof that the subtle chemical fluctuation and resulting electromagnetism in the brain is connected to our sense of self. I believe such a physical understanding is not illuminating. The spiritual self exists outside of the labels of cause-effect science and philosophy.

Over the years, my twelve-year-old autistic son has taught me more about my spiritual foundation than any other person, book, or experience. He is my teacher in the truest sense of the word. My son does not ask “why” but simply accepts the world as it is. He doesn’t ask “how” but deals with the events, in his life, as given. He doesn’t ask “who”, but acts towards everything with the same passion. My son does not care about time, but lives in the moment, in the Now. Music is my son’s spiritual connection to the world, as it is now mine. He loves me and all else unconditionally. He exists as Intended.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from the autistic child and adult. Those who are able to communicate in “our” way, display an understanding that is far beyond ours. Many spiritual teachers, philosophers, and innovative scientists could be described as autistic. Rather than trying to “fix” them, we should study their way with the open mind of changing our behavior. Autistic thought is close to mystical thought. To fit them in to our system is the best way to destroy any shaman or mystic. Teaching an autistic child to be self-centered like others is a battle that will be lost. Teaching through example, of love, giving, and understanding will be quickly picked up and taught right back to us. While I don’t believe our society, as we have created it, can function through autistic thought, I expect that someday it will, if we give it a chance.

I believe the essence of everything is Good Intent. I believe the autistic mind understands this, and wants to remain free of all contrary imposed beliefs. It is nature’s Intent that we be free of mind. I believe that an understanding of the fulfillment of the autistic mind will help us in our wonderful evolutionary development. It is fully in line with the teaching of the great religious teachers of our past, present, and future. I believe the autistic way is good for all.