From an unfinished graphic novel, art by Lucinda Horan
This week’s co-conversationalist is Benett Freeman, whom some readers will already have encountered in the comments section as “consentient.” Benett had some questions to ask me so I suggested we do a podcast. We spoke for two hours but as usually happens the conversation had its own trajectory and we never did get to his questions. Benett sent me the questions after and, rather than plunge into another long conversation, I’m going to use them as a platform for the accompanying blogpost this week. My answers may be a bit cursory, as I don’t want this to take all morning, and also because Benett & I may get to them at some future point; but in the meantime, it’s a way to keep them alive.
Benett: What is the autistic spectrum?
If you’re looking for my definition it is more of a perceptual spectrum than anything diagnosable, though it does also relate to neurology and biology.
Benett: What is being measured on this spectrum?
Depends who is doing the measuring. Mostly it is outer behaviors, though also to some extent neurological patterns and the like. Real measurement requires exploring the inner perceptual experience, which by definition can’t really be done.
Benett: Given that autism is not a single identifiable condition, why then do people who identify with it such as yourself identity with this single essentialist concept? “I am ‘autistic’” or “I am ‘neurodiverse’.” Surely no-one is truly typical in the sense of neurotypical?
It’s a convenient way of establishing difference. I am not like you. Do not expect me to function, perceive, or express in ways that are familiar to you. If for example I do not want to shake people’s hands, the simplest way is to say “I am autistic.” This way no one’s feelings get hurt and I don’t have to go too far out on a limb by talking about energies and stuff. It’s also a good way to open dialogue with people. My own reasons also include wanting to increase general awareness about what autism is. If I take on the label willingly, some people are obliged right there to rethink what they think they know about autism. And since I am on the spectrum, I can’t tolerate small talk!
Benett: I don’t really understand the idea of ‘normal’ people. Most normal people in the sense of frequency are clearly not normal as in healthy.
Hence the term typical. It relates to a collective identity and group think. People think in ways that are predetermined, or regulated, by the social collective they belong to. I understand your question at a theoretical level, but at a purely experiential level, to me it’s quite palpable when I am dealing with neurotypical behavior and when not. Admittedly, this is also a spectrum, and pertains more to behaviors and perceptions than individuals; it’s only that, in many or even most cases, individuals are more or less consistent in their perceptions and behaviors, i.e., they seem more or less the same each time we encounter them. Of course they aren’t, and this perspective ironically is a fairly neurotypical one. As I said to Olga, the idea of autism is a neurotypical idea because it’s based on the premise that we exist as discreet individuals, which is an egoic perspective. So as a word, “autism” is oxymoronic. But for something outside the dominant paradigm to be understood within it, it has to wear the clothes of that paradigm.
Benett: You talked about a kinship of people that can pass in the night, assist each other, and share a sense of not belonging to the dominant culture, but not live together. Have you ruled out the possibility of living with like-minded people?
Not ruled out entirely, but it’s not on the agenda at present. More a desire to find and connect with those likeminded people whom I already live in proximity to, or who are “out there” in the world. Community doesn’t need to be a physical thing.
Benett: And on a related note, when Kunstler asked you who would be your ideal group, you asked him to clarify and he said “the one you kinda have”. I’m far more interested in the one you would want most of all. What would it look like?
What I want is something sourced in the past, patterns of trauma and abandonment which have laid down the tracks of need and desire in my psyche. They aren’t necessarily that valid as a means to shape my current behaviors. So what I would really want in this regard is something which I won’t know what it looks like until I find it (pardon the clunky grammar)
Benett: What is the difference between ‘wholeness’ and ‘happiness’ ?
Happiness is an emotional state that is fleeting. Wholeness or embodiment is a total body state that is permanent and unchanging. Or so I’ve heard.
Benett: Why is it that some people DON’T need a group identity for their survival? What is difference about these people?
I am not sure I accept the premise. Show me the person who does not need a group identity, and then we can ask them. But even accepting the premise, I don’t see how the question either requires or can ever have an answer. The question “why?” rarely does. Why do bees make honey and mosquitoes suck blood?
Benett: Why is it so important to flesh out all the details of conspiracies and the occult? I mean, are overarching principles not more important in looking for happiness and inner calm? You’ve researched the occult for a lot longer than I have – what do you feel you’ve gotten out of it?
Anything you can use as a mirror to map invisible tracks in the psyche, group and individual. What we are drawn to explore and map, we are drawn to for a reason. Mapping it then becomes a way to discover those reasons, and by knowing the world, we can know ourselves. One measures a circle beginning anywhere. It doesn’t matter what we choose to “flesh out all the details” of, as long as it engages all of our attention and allows the soul to “lock on” to it.
As I said during our talk, it is all metaphor, including ourselves. (Identity is a metaphor.) Finding out what sort of metaphor, the shape of the trauma that created the metaphor by which we keep reality at bay, the construction of our own armature, seems to allow for a gradual letting go of that metaphor-armor and an opening up to something more like pure, undefended perception.
Benett: You mentioned that talking to Ann Diamond was a threshold moment for you in accepting a conception of society as a mass psychological assault. What do you see as the goals of this particular strategy of the psychopathic elites? What do they gain from the abuse of Ann, for example? How has the abuse of Ann affected, for example, my life (BF).
That’s one of those lazy questions. It is a bit like asking a writer to tell you how his novel ends up so you don’t have to read it! Try that some time and see if you get satisfaction.
To be continued in the comments section (I suspect).