Musings on THE SELF /

 

Excerpts various posts: 

https://aspergerhuman.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/co-consciousness-social-typical-dependence-on-word-thinking/

A child is told who it is, where it belongs, and how to behave, day in and day out, from birth throughout childhood (and indeed, throughout life.) In this way culturally-approved patterns of thought and behavior are imparted, organized and strengthened in the child’s brain. Setting tasks that require following directions (obedience) and asking children to ‘correctly’ answer questions along the way, helps parents and society to discover if the preferred responses are in place.

I don’t remember blurting out “Cogito ergo sum!” in school one day. Achieving awareness of my existence was a misty process, a journey taken before I “knew” of an existence of a “self”. Identity (which is not the same as personality) does not pre-exist; it is constructed. Long before a baby is conceived and born, family and society have composed an identity and a comprehensive world picture for it. The majority of those who belong to a religion or a social class are members by accident of birth, not by choice. We are born into cultures and belief systems; into versions of reality invented by humans long departed.

https://aspergerhuman.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/self-awareness-omg-what-a-hornets-nest/

Self awareness comes as we live our lives: true self-esteem is connected to that process, not as a “before” thing, but an “after” thing: a result of meeting life as it really is, not as a social fantasy. Self awareness is built from the expression of talents and strengths that we didn’t know we possessed. It also arises as we see the “world” as its pretentions crumble before us. Being able to see one’s existence cast against the immensity of reality, and yet to feel secure, is the measure of finally giving birth to a “self”. 

https://aspergerhuman.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/express-yourself-or-express-oneself-social-vs-hyposocial/

As a “hyposocial” individual, tattooing is somewhat of a mystery: tattoos are a social “sign of commitment” to a group or belief system, whether or not that group is large or consists of one other person. My reaction is: But what if you change your mind? What if your “self” changes? The notion of a “static” self is difficult to grasp.

Me, me, me, me, me! The social typical orientation. This is how NTs “look” to me. 

https://aspergerhuman.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/what-is-the-asperger-blank-stare-all-about/

One of the big mistakes that social typicals make is to attribute intent to Asperger behavior. This is because social typicals are “self-oriented” – everything is about THEM; any behavior on the part of a human, dog, cat, plant or lifeform in a distant galaxy, must be directed at THEM. Example: God, or Jesus, or whomever, is believed to be paying attention 24/7 to the most excruciatingly trivial moments in the lives of social typicals. We’re not as patient as God or Jesus.

The Asperger default mental state is a type of reverie, day-dreaming, trance or other “reflective” brain process; that is, we do “intuitive” thinking. The “blank face” is because we do not use our faces to do this type of thinking. 

Sorry – we’re just busy elsewhere! When you ask a question, it can take a few moments to “come out of” our “reverie” and reorient our attention. If you are asking a “general question” that is meant to elicit a “feeling” (social) response, it will land like a dead fish in front of us. Hence the continued “blankness”. 

https://aspergerhuman.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/to-see-with-the-minds-eye-what-does-it-mean/

The self is “imported” from a socio-cultural menu.

It is a very common assumption that all people “think and act” exactly alike. (Thus the insistence that “underneath it all, everyone is the same” – often said by white people to end discussions of racism) When I was a child I also thought that everyone had “the same brain” as if they roll off an assembly line into our skulls, and it created no end of problems! How could people “come up with” bizarre conclusions and irrational explanations for perfectly logical occurrences? And then one day, I realized that my brain “worked” differently than just about everyone I had ever met. This was a giant leap toward self awareness of the good news / bad news type.   

It is exactly this human self-centeredness that makes the “Theory of Mind” and “mind-reading” so laughable.

Neurotypicals assume that the other person thinks and feels as they do: this is a good “guess” when social people account for 99% of the population and the self is “imported” from an extremely limited socio-cultural menu. And, social people are taught to automatically agree with what others say, in order to be considered a “nice person”. 

Who am I?

The answer for me turned out to be simple: I am everything I have ever seen. Meep! Meep!

especially when young, asks,

 

 

 

 

 

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Gangs of great white sharks / Researchers Dumbfounded

I fell for one of those “cute and clever” (gag me with a spoon) gotcha! articles on pop-media: In my “not quite awake” Saturday morning state, I fantasized that Asperger behavior resembles that of the Great Whites….

Yes, great white sharks are typically solitary creatures, so researchers were a bit surprised to realize just how many of them travel to the same spot halfway between Hawaii and Mexico’s Baja California. And yes, it’s true that the strange behavioral patterns the sharks exhibit once they get there – diving 1,000 feet toward the ocean floor and back up again, as often as every 10 minutes, for example, have never been previously recorded in any study of great white shark migration. 

We do know that they can swim up to 25 miles per hour. We do know that they are nearly impossible to hold captive and will either refuse food, kill other sharks in the tank, or bash themselves against the glass of the aquarium until they die or are released. (Shark meltdown?) And we know that at this moment, hundreds of them are circling the depths of the Pacific Ocean, diving for some unknown goal that’s incredibly important to them. That’s fine. They’re fine. This is all probably going to turn out fine.

Dear “Nervous Neurotypicals”: Asperger types aren’t at all like great white sharks: we live on land. Amongst you. Next door to you. We might be your brother, sister or cute grandkid. We’re not like sharks at all. Are we?

Also popular:

“Jaws” is back. The 1,326-pound great white shark named Hilton has been spotted off the coast of Georgia this week — and he’s not alone. Miss Costa, a 1,668-pound great white, is close by. Both of the 12-foot great whites are currently being tracked by OCEARCH, a non-profit organization that researches great white sharks and other apex predators. The sharks were fitted with tags that ping to transmit their location as soon as their fins break the surface.

Although we look nothing like the great white, the similarities of “NT” ideas about the species are creepily familiar if you are AS. 

Asperger’s are visual / sensory thinkers….we notice patterns right away…

And we are social, when we’re hungry… 

The truth? While sharks kill fewer than 20 people a year, their own numbers suffer greatly at human hands. Between 20 and 100 million sharks die each year due to fishing activity, (yeah, you can call it that, but “our cousins” die due to stupid neurotypical superstition… sound familiar?) according to data from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File.

Vacation in Normdom / I see what I’m missing

Not a vacation exactly; house and dog sitting while friends are away. My dog and theirs are buddies. Compared to my 95 year-old “cabin” their house is a 5 Star hotel. Notably a DOG DOOR, a “vast screen TV” for NHL playoffs, plus Netflix. I’m marathoning not-historically-accurate historical docuseries. Lots of magazines arrive in the mail each day: Women’s Magazines, with instructions for EVERYTHING. Reminds me of the poster above. I tried scanning a couple of select “neurotypical” advice pieces, but my friends’ computer lacks almost any useable apps.

Here’s a favorite: Topic? Tricks for not thinking about work while on vacation.

Before going on vacation, I write down what my intentions are for going on the trip.”

I might write, “I desire this to be a really rejuvenating time.” Or “I hope to be at ease when going through check-in.” I meditate on those intentions and put them on an altar in my house, which is where I put all the things I want to come to fruition. I also take crystals and stones with me. Rose quartz  for love, citrine for happy energy, and carnelian, because it’s grounding. Anytime things happen on vacation that agitate me, I take out my crystals and hold them to help me stay in a restful state.” –by a “business attorney”

Other “essential” advice that warrants wasting paper, printing ink, fuel costs for delivery and USPS manpower?

How to maintain sneakers: Don’t bleach your dirty white sneaker laces. It may damage the fibers and lead to breaking. Instead, soak laces in warm water with an all-purpose bleach alternative (like OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover, $8.00; Target.com)

How to maintain a stand mixer: “Pay special attention to the nooks and crannies where bits of food and batter can get lodged….”

Gifts for grads: Whether or not her career path involves chemistry, give her a trio of scented candles in quirky chemistry lab beakers. $75.00 for 3.

Are you putting on enough sunscreen? Find out at stupidpeople.com/sunscreen

Freeing oneself from “phone addiction” – Investigate the Impulse (ACTUAL title)

According to a study by the research firm xxx, the average smartphone user touches her phone 2,617 times a day. Troolie Bonkers, a mindfulness and meditation teacher and author of “Stupid People Need to Buy My Book” advises: “Before you reach, take a deep breath. How do you feel? What is leading you to reach for the phone? Is it just habit? Loneliness? A desire to escape a particular feeling?” Taking that pause offers a sense of freedom and empowerment, so we can be more intentional about checking our phones…

“When uncomfortable feelings arise, acknowledge the emotion but accept it as normal and healthy, suggests psychiatrist ThreeHundredBucks PER30Mins, MD, author of “DIY: Fix Your Child’s Brain using Simple Electrical Kitchen Gadgets,” $39.95 Amazon.com

“You should feel good about the fact that you’re letting your brain stretch, rest, resolve a problem or work through an emotion every time you resist using your phone.”

Two things are true: 1. the American Empire is being destroyed from within by the Psych/Psych Industry. 2. There is something terribly wrong with the NT brain. 

Let’s end with a feature labeled “Lists I’ve Been Meaning to Make” I KID YOU NOT:

Things to do with avocados before they go bad.

Things to do with rotten avocados.

Reasons I need to let things go.

Witty come backs I didn’t think of in time.

Ways celebrities really are just like us.

Ways they are totally not.

Vacations I will never take but like to plan.

Bikinis vs. One pieces: Pros and Cons

Gyms offering discounts for the first three visits

Another list of lists to make.

 

Body language: The crotch displays of men (primates)

Right: This is one area where I’m relieved that “social conventions” restrict males from walking around naked. If they did, we’d have to put up with this type of behavior. LOL

Bipedalism was not a result of the crotch display, but it gave male bipeds a great opportunity to enhance traditional primate displays, and to threaten and intimidate other males. 

 x

The original “blue balls”

Body language: The crotch displays of men

(nipped for brevity)

https://www.psychmechanics.com/2015/05/body-language-crotch-displays-of-men.html

One way in which males display dominance is by displaying their crotch…this behavior is something that we’ve inherited from our ancestors. The most common way in which men display their crotch is by taking up the thumbs-in-belt gesture.

Thumbs in belt or pockets

This gesture is used by men to display a dominant, sexually aggressive attitude. It’s perhaps the most direct sexual display a man can make towards a woman. (You’ve got to be joking!) Men also use this gesture to stake their territory or to show other men that they’re not afraid. This gesture communicates the non-verbal message, “I am virile, powerful and dominant”. 

The Obama White House criticized Putin’s posture. I guess the seated crotch display, when done properly,  does intimidate the Hell out of other males. LOL

In a seated position, it becomes kind of difficult for men to assume this gesture but they don’t shy away from displaying their crotch if they want to communicate the message of dominance. They’ll spread their legs and lean slightly backward so that their crotch comes forward and in full display.

Watch any group of young men who’re engaged in an activity that requires them to display a macho attitude and you’ll notice that they often stand with their legs apart and their hands somehow highlight their crotch.

For instance, when sports teams are ready for ‘action’ you may notice the players continually adjusting and re-adjusting their crotch as they unconsciously try to assert their masculinity. Interestingly, this crotch display gesture is also seen in apes and some other primates. Even though the apes don’t wear any belt or trousers, still they highlight their crotch with their hands when they have to stake their territory and show other apes that they’re unafraid.

Some primates such as baboons are a bit more direct. They display dominance by spreading their legs and displaying their penis, giving it continual adjustment or even waving it at their enemies.

What’s even more mind-boggling is that the same penis-waving tactic is also employed by some New Guinea tribes even today who are essentially cut off from modern civilization.

This clearly indicates that such a behavior is an evolved tendency in homo sapiens.

Dropping the pants

I must have been around 11 or 12 years old. It was a bright Sunday morning and we had arranged a cricket match with some schoolmates. Everything was normal as the game progressed and as usual, both the teams rejoiced at the high points and wore disappointed expressions at the low points of the game.

A rather strange thing happened when the game was over. It was a narrow contest right to the end but our team lost. Needless to say, the other team was elated. They jumped with joy, yelled and screamed. But one particular boy was over-excited. He felt so powerful and dominant due to the win that he dropped his pants and showed his penis to our team. (Why not to the other team?)

My team-mates laughed it off but I was taken aback.

I never forgot that incident. I wanted to know why he did that. What possible motive or desire could force a person to resort to such an extreme behavior? (Was the writer really so naive?)

It remained an unanswered question, an unresolved problem in my psyche for a long time until years later, when I read about human evolution and body language, the whole picture became clear to me.

Another similar and common incident that men experience at least once in their lives is when they jokingly question the size of their friend’s penis, the latter usually gets defensive and retorts with something like, “If I show it to you guys, you’ll become afraid and run away”. (Really? Guys say this?)

He may not realize it but unconsciously he knows that the penis display is an effective way to display dominance, and so do his friends.

I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to understand, by now, why people display their middle fingers when they want to offend someone and/or to feel dominant.

It’s not an acceptable behavior anymore in a civilized society for adults to drop their pants and show their penises so they use their middle fingers to symbolically convey the same feelings.

Some of you might ask, “Why do women who wear jeans assume the ‘thumbs-in-belt’ gesture?” or “Why do women show their middle fingers, when they have no actual penises to display?”

Well, it’s most probably a behavior that they’ve learned from men. (Ya think?) Penis display, symbolical or not, has come to be strongly associated with offending someone or showing dominance in the human psyche, thanks to its effectiveness.

I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to understand, by now, why people display their middle fingers when they want to offend someone and/or to feel dominant.

It’s not an acceptable behavior anymore in a civilized society for adults to drop their pants and show their penises so they use their middle fingers to symbolically convey the same feelings.

So, women are just using a tool from men’s psychological repertoire because they know how effective it can be.

Subtle forms of crotch display

No, no, no, never…

Yes. 

Belt and crotch grabbing while dancing is a subtle (?) form of crotch display and men across different cultures do it- from Michael Jackson to Salman Khan. Other subtle forms include wearing tight fitting pants, small-size speedo swimming trunks or even dangling a large bunch of keys/chains on the front or side of the crotch.

Baseball players are particularly “crotch grab prone”. The NHL crotch grab: a puck to the nuts. 

Rather ambiguous message, don’t you think?

The wallets that have those chains dangling on the side of the crotch became popular among men because it helped them draw attention to their crotch. 

To conclude consider what George Carlin, the late American comedian, had to say about wars:

“War is nothing but a whole lot of prick-waving. War is just a lot of men standing around in a field waving their pricks at one another. Of course, the bombs, the rockets, and the bullets are all shaped like dicks. It’s a subconscious need to project the penis into other people’s affairs.”
______________________________________________________________

Are Japanese women tired of neotenic males, perhaps? 

Caption: REALISTIC male mannequins. How pitiful…

“Wired Brains” / STOOPID Neurotypical Headlines

Intelligent people’s brains are wired differently: Researchers say ‘smart minds’ are more likely to be happy, well educated and earn more (EXCEPT IF YOU’RE ASPERGER, then you’re doomed) 

  • Scientists who analysed brain scan data on 461 volunteers 
  • Found patterns linked positive aspects of life, such as having a good memory and vocabulary, feeling satisfied, and being well educated
  • People at the other end of the scale were more likely to display negative traits including anger, rule-breaking, substance use and poor sleep quality (Dumb people are criminals)

___________

CAPTION: Male, Female Brains WIRED Differently

The problem with atheists: Not wired for direct connection to “God”

Bring your kids into AUTO CENTER to have their electrical system checked. FREE tire rotation with tune up. 

CAPTION: How millennials are WIRED. Note the little bridges connecting hemispheres of the brain. How cute!

Well, no wonder men and women can’t connect. “Red” electricity and “White” electricity originate in different universes.

    

Neurotypical wiring: DANGER

 

 

Unwritten Social Rules / Attending Weddings – Mother’s Day

I don’t know why the memory of a particular wedding I attended many years ago popped into mind this morning, but I think it has something to do with Mother’s Day advertising – all those weepy, teary, heart-tugging moments when Mom gets handed one of millions of cheap diamond pendants sold as “unique” and “just for her” by retailers  from Walmart to the “junk jeweler” at the Mall.

As I’ve related before, legislated holidays were a problem for the emotionally inept members of my dysfunctional family. My father was Asperger and utterly clueless as to romantic or social gestures, so leaving to him the challenge of selecting a gift for the Mother of his Children was “asking for it.” The gift would be guaranteed to hurt my mother’s feelings rather than help to cement their relationship… a card was about as good as it got; maybe brunch after church, except that Dad would forget to make a reservation and we’d have to trudge from eatery to eatery, crowded with joyous, flower-bedecked women and their family entourages, only to end up at the “seat yourself” Pancake House.

When I recall my mother’s face, she’s perpetually on the verge of tears; life seemed to be a long, long journey of disappointments. There was a conflict point, a turning point, when she had chosen my father for practical reasons that were perfectly reasonable at the time, during war time in the 1940s. She had been the Belle of the Ball in her small town; lots of suitors, presenting ardent affection, presents, offers of marriage. She turned them all down as not “good enough” to get her out of the small town she hated and into a middle class life of social respectability.

Her “eggs” were getting old, not that she would ever say such a thing. She was pushing 30 – a disgrace and sign of doom in those times. “Beaus” were becoming scarcer;  everyone was married. A chance visit with friends to a bigger city; a chance meeting with my father. A “catch” in her eyes. College-educated, a good job, conscientious and not terribly experienced with women. They married within three months. My mother “sealed the deal” by getting pregnant immediately, despite the two having agreed to wait at least a year. I have no idea what the birth control situation was; one didn’t discuss such things with parents, or at least my parents. They must have had access to something, because I was “planned” and didn’t appear until six years later.

My father’s parents had divorced; it affected him deeply, and he had vowed to make his marriage work for the sake of the children. My mother knew that once a child was born, he would never leave. That’s an Asperger, for you. Loyal unto death, like a Rottweiler. But, that wasn’t “good enough” for her, even though that’s “the deal” she had made. Where was the fawning romance, the constant attention, the man that she could “retrain” to be a constant suitor for her affection, the type of affection that would not ever be forthcoming from an Asperger male?

The marriage sank into routine: my mother’s constant dissatisfaction – and my father’s satisfaction in his work as an engineer, became two anchors of contention. Life for my father was designing wonderful gadgets in a secure, predictable universe of mathematics and engineering two feet from his nose on the drawing board. Then home, precisely at 5:30 p.m. Dinner on the table, the house clean, the kids scrubbed and dressed and “normal”. My parents had date night every Saturday, going out dining and dancing with other couples from church or the neighborhood. He really did try to conform to a social routine that was typical in those days, but fell short on social “niceties” – he didn’t drink or smoke; play golf, go bowling, or hang out at the bar with the guys, or play poker, gamble or fool around. He worked, he provided, he loved his children, a bit awkwardly, yes, but consistently, attentively and devotedly.

My mother secretly wept over her “lost world” of ardent boyfriends and became a perpetually resentful buzz killer for all of us. Not surprisingly, my brother never married. I tried it once, but the “picture” of my parents marriage was too cruel: as an Asperger female, it was apparent that I could never “settle for” the prison each of my parents had volunteered to commit to for LIFE.

The “wedding” anecdote that popped into mind this morning is really of no consequence; it was my parents’ wedding that I was forced to attend for the eighteen years that I lived with them. After my mother died, my father stated that after one month, he’d known that the marriage was a mistake. But he’d given his word, his promise, his vow never to divorce. I stifled my own opinion: Without marriage to my mother, my father’s life would have been miserable: he wouldn’t have had children or anything, really, except his job. She agreed to “put up with” his (undiagnosed) Asperger-ness in exchange for a nice house and strange gifts on holidays. They lived out a destiny that they both committed to back in the 1940s, after knowing each other for three months. The fact that they never came to know each other is simple destiny, given the circumstances.

But – let it be a “warning” to Asperger types; extreme loyalty is not always the best policy.

I do not blame my parents for my aversion to marriage, although it certainly didn’t help. My incessant curiosity about “what’s next” in life made sticking to one person, one career, one location simply impossible. And it precluded having children. If I had, there would be one or more “screwed up adults” screaming at me today, Mother’s Day, claiming that I had ruined their lives, that is, if they were speaking to me at all, and those accusations would be true. Parenting necessitates so much sacrifice, even in “happy marriages” and I wouldn’t have been able to do that.