Meeting Olga Bogdashina

Meeting Olga Bogdashina for this week’s podcast, The Autism Bridge. Confirmation of a calling. Experiences from my childhood, sensory distortions and overloads, and body pains of my adulthood, all found a new, deep context and meaning while talking to Olga. This week’s podcast is another exemplary of why I do the podcast. Discoveries can be made through dialogues that don’t and maybe can’t happen any other way: not by thinking, writing, dreaming; only through interface with the other.

Olga, as the mother of an autistic person, is a powerful spokesperson for the autistic perceptual mode, and offers an interesting contrast to Temple Grandin, the spokesperson which Neurotypica has chosen to represent the autistic experience.

One of the notions that came up and became clearer during this conversation (the first of two parts, next part is up this Wednesday) was that language is not restricted to words. Everything is language insofar as everything in our environment, internal and external, carries information that can be interpreted. Energy itself moves as a form of language, atoms have spin and it’s the spin that makes the atom, not the atom that makes the spin.

Talking to Olga was another big step (after my talk with Lethem) towards a kind of working secular spirituality. Based on perceptions, observations, energetic facts, and direct experience and knowledge, rather than systems of belief passed down through priestcraft and millennia of “psyops.” It is refreshing, a breath of fresh air for the psyche. The first stirrings of autonomy—of perceiving free from the shackles of inculcated ideology. It begins with the agreement of two, an agreement not to agree, but to question, explore, and discover, based on the agreement that we haven’t a clue. Or rather, that we have countless clues, but that we have only just begun to recognize them, and that so far none of them amount to a verdict.

I especially liked Olga’s accent and her Zizekian matter-of-factness, intellectual ferocity, and aplomb, and the way she said “Sorry!” a lot—also a Zizek “tic.”

On a perhaps irrelevant side note: this is the 30th podcast, meaning I have now completed the Stormy Weather season cycle. A few weeks ago it seemed like the male-female ratio was going to be horribly imbalanced (3 women to 25 men, meaning less than 1 in 8); but in the subsequent weeks I have been connecting to women in unprecedented numbers (next week also, my conversation is with Ann Diamond, five hours of it!), so the balance has shifted, pleasingly, to a ratio of  closer to 1:4. Who knows how it happened, but I suspect it had something to do with a very successful run of connecting to/receiving validation from my male peers, men whom I deeply respect such as Kunstler, Greer, Watts, and Lethem.

So my thanks & blessings go out, from heart and bone and soul, to the guys and the gals of liminality.


The artwork in this post is from a lovely short film called A LIFE WITH ASPERGER’S, by Jamie Ekkens and Emmett Goodman which can be seen here.

6 thoughts on “Meeting Olga Bogdashina

  1. Wow talk about serendipity. Relating the idea of the autistic persons erratic, and oversensitive perception, with the idea of Castanedas erratic assemblage point rings very true to me.
    The autistic person continuing to have the sensations of something that has stopped, makes me think of the assemblage point not completely moving to a new point, but shifting back and forth. Or not focusing, and remaining more like a fog.

    Really enjoying the direction you are taking Auticuture. Looking quite like the seasoned pro you are. Please continue!

  2. My profession, and one of my great passions in life is horticulture. A thing I always tell people about growing plants, is to not grow plants, but instead build soil. The plants will grow themselves.
    You are defiantly building a deep loam, rich in nutrients.
    Conventional wisdom makes a face of disgust as they look upon your guest list of fish heads and banana peals. Alas these are the catalyst for vibrant growth!

  3. Hmm. I was putting them in the context of the fringe. Ya know how people see things that are good as bad and bad as good. Ya know “conventional wisdom.” I guess fish heads and bananas are a bit to early in the break down process to be valued by most.
    OK. They are like well finished compost spread out on the dreams of tomorrow!
    That’s flattering as a mofo 😉

  4. This was awesome, Sorry Olga but i have to read your books! I felt so comforted by all that,recognizing myself with greater definition. Wanted to say thank you and how spot on, to get over ourselves! 🙂

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