My morning cognitive ritual is a matter of sorting through mail from the unconscious. What news is there from sleep, from the dream dimension? I wake abruptly – no gentle transition: I pop awake like one of those red and white fishing bobbers, which has been briefly pulled underwater by a snag – or was it a fish toying with the bait? Up it pops, righting itself on the surface. Rarely can I go back to sleep, but jump out of bed and head straight for the kitchen and coffee. I revive the computer and quickly begin writing: the fish are biting.
Words begin to arrive, almost telegraphically, and a message unfolds. Can an Asperger write interestingly, when we are supposedly unable to venture beyond stilted and boring language? One likens intuition to mail or telegrams – words, but the other, deeper source is visual: the pond or lake. And fish as food, creative nourishment, and carriers of messages from the depths.
A visual that I used when I was a child, and into young adulthood, was a compass, or the Arrow. My Arrow. It didn’t really have much to do with navigating the environment like a magnetic compass or GPS. The Arrow was a built-in “clue pointer” that led me on, as if life is a treasure hunt. The Arrow created boundaries that let me know what actions were proper to me; a restriction, yes – but simultaneously it served as a pathfinder that allowed for discovery and experimentation. And I can identify that the episodes in my life that have taken me “off the correct path” coincided with The Arrow having disappeared; it was terrifying. Did I somehow loose my connection to the Arrow, or had it been a silly conceit?
Of course, as an adult, I’ve had “reasoning functions” available in addition to intuition, but often reason has yielded poor results; reason doesn’t take one very far in modern social contexts, and indeed, seems to make matters worse.
Reason needs a reasonable partner – healthy human interaction requires a “reasonableness” that sets aside impulses such as control, anger, aggressiveness, and selfish intent, dressed up in insincere language.
“Empathy” (so touted by psychologists as “missing” in Asperger individuals) is different in Asperger types, and has everything to do with reasonableness as “the doorway” into sympathetic interaction with another.
I think also that we “sense” and intuit human states of mind, which curiously is “painful” – this pain is energy depleting, disturbing, and drives withdrawal; in a secure and quiet place we may then begin to contemplate the “other person’s” particular circumstances and reactions (emotions) to events in his or her life. This can’t be rushed, and unfortunately, in the fleeting and superficial social world, immediate emotional gestures are required with claims of “developmental disability” thrown at those who need time for a considered response. Immediate “emotional” responses are dictated; social humans are not free to be themselves.
In the inevitable “What have I learned?” department peculiar to modern society, I would say that I trusted intuition blindly when young and thought it (the Arrow) had failed me when things went wrong, and blamed myself. Why didn’t it work anymore? Where had it gone and was it my “fault” that I’d lost it? What I didn’t understand was that I had “grown up” and was tasked with negotiating The Real World with the tools I had (logic, patterns, strategies and logistics; critical analysis) which simply had little to no application to surviving modern social contexts, except when applied directly to projects on my desk. Intuition was still “there” but my “gut feelings” also transgressed the Social Order. A large number of the posts in this blog address why – The Social Order is harmful to natural human beings. Activity driven by a hierarchy of privilege in wealth, dishonesty, exploitation, cruelty, injustice and the disposability of living beings goes against everything I intuit as necessary to human fulfillment.
Modern social humans have set up a false either / or relationship between intuition and reason – and in the extreme, have made the two into enemies.