I have it in me in every way, shape, and form.
I’m always trying to figure out why we do the nonsensical things people do. Being autistic I have done more seemingly inappropriate things than anyone I can personally think of. I say seemingly because without knowing why I’m doing things, I’m lacking enough information to really say one way or the other… and so are the people judging my behavior as inappropriate. I don’t know why and you don’t either.
I’ve spent my life trying to answer one single question… Why? It makes me about the most annoying person there is at times. I was that kid adults wanted to beat to death just to get me to stop asking questions, especially “why”. I was considered anti-social even back in Sunday school. Absolutely none of what they were preaching made any sense to me so I did what any good student would do and asked questions… lots of questions. The answers were always non-answers “because the bible says so” or similar blow off. The more nonsense I got in return the more provocative and demanding I’d become in trying to make sense of it all. I was disruptive because I questioned things, and they can’t have that type of behavior going on in a bible study class.
So eventually I did stop asking people why, not because of peer pressure but because people don’t actually know why we do the things we do. We think we know sometimes, but we can never truly figure it out because we can’t see “why”. I’m talking about real cause and effect here, not action-reaction.
The what, when, where, and to some extent how are all right in front of us, the one that isn’t is “why?”. The first four describe what something is, when it is, where it is, and how it got there. Why is intangible, we can’t see it in an objective sense so we literally can’t see it at all. At least not in our objective world.
I stopped asking the question directly, but I didn’t stop trying to figure it out. Life became a laboratory to experiment in and search for answers. I’m low budget so I use what’s around me, which are usually the people I interact with on a day to day basis and things in nature that anyone can observe. One thing I’ve noticed is that “nature” is our nature, we’re seeing our own internal nature externalized when we look at anything in “nature”.
If you were to ask ANY of my friends they’ll tell you what a giant pain in the ass I can be. If you asked them why they still put up with me they ‘d probably be scratching their heads wondering themselves at times. I can’t say why, but I can say that most of my friends want to know why. Maybe not as fervently as I do, I’m like facing the inquisitor at times, but you also find out a lot about yourself in facing the inquisition.
I’m not proud of it, I get no joy from pressing people to their limit because I feel every bit of their frustration, I’m just innately driven to know them and how they tick. Consciously they may want to throw a slushy in my face, but subconsciously they want to understand as much as I do. We can cover the Earth with our knowledge of who, what, where, and how, these are all things. If we want to understand ANY of those things, we must ask… Why?
I think I’ve figured out why people stop asking why at a very early age and how I managed to escape the same fate. I’m only half here in what we call the waking or objective world, the other half of me is in the subjective world. I never completely wake up and I never completely fall asleep. Kids are like this, and so are autistic people. Normal adults “grow out of it”. Why is not a question for the objective world because the answer just isn’t here. Why is subjective… meaning, and there is no meaning in the objective world.
This is where I hope to actually be of some use to our Human society. We have acquired sufficient knowledge to “fix” any problem mankind has ever created. The reason nothing has been fixed yet is a lack of understanding. We don’t understand why we created the problems in the first place. We do know that it was us who created us and we know when, where, and how. What we don’t understand is why? Why would perfect beings engineer imperfect beings to replace themselves?
Why would we in our divine state of grace with perfect knowledge AND perfect understanding let ourselves decay into ruin to become what we are now? I know why, and the reason is as divinely perfect as we were when we made the decision. My problem now is that trying to explain any of it to a “normal adult” is a bit like them trying to explain “appropriate behavior” to a sugared up two year old.
The why is especially important when we have come to the point where we can literally re-engineer ourselves. What if in our lack of understanding we were to go a fixin’ what ain’t broke? What if autism is my key to understanding? What if autism is OUR key to understanding? Am I still a broken and unproductive member of society or, am I society’s contribution to a new level of human understanding? What would happen if we were to genetically “weed out” autism before we achieved that understanding?
Children understand but they can’t explain it to the adults making the rules. Adults know, but can’t understand unless they don’t grow up. Autistic kids turn into adults who never grow up. Adults who refuse to grow up may not be genetic mistakes at all, but the missing bridges between knowledge and understanding. None of this is revelatory, what is going to come as a huge surprise is just how much autistic people are doing for humanity that has gone completely unrecognized by modern society.
In the old days you could visit any tribal village and there would be a bunch of people engaged in tribal duties and one weird guy off on his own trip, smoking weed or eating mushrooms so he can sit there and trance out all day. Today we’d call that guy worthless because we can’t see him doing anything worthwhile to contribute to the welfare of the tribe. The villagers would have a good laugh at the expense of modern ignorance “who doesn’t recognize a shaman or know what he does?” 🙂