personal space / noun: the variable and subjective distance at which one person feels comfortable talking to another. Also called personal distance. Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
This distance is allegedly about 3′ away from another person. Yikes! To me, this is extremely close. The discomfort of a person who requires more distance, who is suddenly “surrounded” by people with “small” personal spaces, can be extreme: sensitivity to sounds, smells and acute detailed vision serve to produce the experience of being overwhelmed. Physical invasion creates physical responses in Asperger people.
Observational distance is important to me: in order to see patterns and structures, I need to be “outside” the chaos and turmoil of social interaction, the majority of which is about the establishment of social status, which is in constant competitive disequilibrium. The actual words and phrases of social communication are used as tools and weapons; they have no meaning outside of “the pyramid game.”
An observer (me) may discern the “flow” of the social river from the vantage point of a bird, which may be interesting. Of course, social people understand the social river by being “in it” – a kayaker or river runner experiences what cannot be experienced any other way.
This doesn’t imply that I can’t converse with individuals.
Psychic boundary / no set definition: this “idea” falls into the “psychics, shamans, New Age religion” domain and is frequently mentioned as a problem for “psychics” who believe they possess (are cursed with) psychic empathy.
However, I do think it is a useful concept, especially for Asperger individuals. The phrase I would choose is psychic domain, meaning space that belongs to me, in the same sense that a mountain lion has a territory, which it establishes and maintains. The “edges” are physical and defined by need: a secure den; secluded vanishing places; cover for hunting and sufficient prey. A psychic domain also belongs to me in the sense that it arises from my personality – it is the space needed to relax and express myself. I discover the environment that allows my “being” to flourish, which is no different a task than for any other animal. For me that means a “big” natural environment without the “chatter” of human activity. Like finding the correct frequency (and ignoring the rest) when obtaining electromagnetic “signals” from space; visible, microwave, x-ray, or radio waves.
NO, I do not want to “come across” a mountain lion up close. Cats ambush from behind, so we don’t walk where there is cover for them to hide; there really is no cover – just sagebrush and no trees, but they do travel through our area.
Mountain lions are solitary. They are very territorial and avoid other cats except during courtship. Their ranges vary – 10 square miles to around 370 square miles.
Mountain Lion / National Park service info.
Common Name: Mountain Lion
Scientific Name: Felis concolor
Size (length) English & Metric: 6′-9′ (1.5-2.75 m)
Habitat: all mountainous regions and swamps
Diet: commonly deer but also anything from elk to mice
Predators: wolves, other Mountain Lions
These large cats, as adults, can be 30 inches in height at the shoulder, and approximately 8 feet long from nose to tail. The tail of the Mountain Lion is about one-third the entire length of the body. Mountain Lions usually weigh between 75-175 pounds. The largest Mountain Lion ever to be documented weighed 276 pounds, but a Lion of this size is extremely rare.
Biology & Behavior:
Mountain Lions can survive in a variety of habitats, including high mountains, deserts, and swamps. Human activity has encouraged Mountain Lions to retreat to the rugged terrain that remains largely uninhabited by humans. Mountain Lion habitat must provide an adequate prey base as well as cover for hunting.
The vision of the Mountain Lion is one of the animal’s most important adaptations for hunting. The animal’s eyes are quite large, and the retina contains more rods than cones, lending to the cat’s excellent night vision. Although Mountain Lions cannot see in complete darkness, they can discern details in much lower light than humans.
In addition to its’ excellent vision, the Mountain Lion has extremely sensitive hearing. This is also an important tool for hunting in low light. Lions can detect high frequency sounds that allow them to detect hidden prey. By comparison, Mountain Lions have a weak sense of smell. This is the trade-off cats made millions of years ago. Evolving short muzzles increased biting power, but decreased the sense of smell.