I came across this site (Beyond Kindness There Lies Harmony) while looking for information on “trance” states in autism and Asperger’s. The site is about a method to treat behavior syndromes in dogs. I’m looking for ideas from outside the “autism industry”, and this person’s analysis “resonates” with my experience and observations.
Folk knowledge is an arena fraught with myth, fantasy, supernatural belief, hearsay, awkward repetition of “strange stories” etc, but it is also the domain where one finds the human brain-mind-culture feedback to remain active, whereas the so-called “experts” become more and more deeply imprisoned by their own systematic dogma.
To find clarity we must observe human behavior as a creation of the brain as it interacts with the environment over the period of childhood. This attention to organic growth presents a “humane” view of human behavior, and is the needed antidote to the cruelty of a “mechanistic prescriptive psychological plan” for conformity to a rigid and imaginary child developmental path that serves a hierarchical social system.
(My Comments in gray) Text tweaked to make it more coherent)
Can we not substitute child for “animal” in the following statements, and parent, caregiver, teacher, and therapist for “owner”?
It is one of the saddest things I personally find to have to deal with to meet an animal that has entirely shut down within itself and is no longer able to make attention energy exchange based relationships with others. Autism is a rainbow scale of a naturally existing neurological function, not an on and off switch – and autistic behaviors in animals are often, and once again, very sadly, mistaken for “being stubborn” or “willful” or “disobedient”.
As autistic animals cannot provide the owners with “attention energy” (as they are trapped within themselves), the owners may actually go through attention seeking escalations that can end up with attacking the creature just so it will take notice, to respond and to acknowledge the owner’s existence.. And demand for instant obedience!
This is incredibly important for understanding the abuse and cruelty aimed at children in many cultures (in fact a parenting “style” common in the U.S.) not only toward ASD types, and those labeled-diagnosed as mentally ill, developmentally defective, or otherwise disabled, but minority children who are prejudged as “problem children”.
Trance Behaviours & Repetitive Behaviours
A safety mechanism of any social creature’s neurological set up is to induce autistic-like deep trance states to protect themselves from the systemic catastrophe.
· Repetitive rocking in small human and monkey babies who are left to themselves,
· head weaving in elephants and horses,
· flank sucking in Dobermans,
· shadow chasing and tail chasing in collies,
· crib chewing in horses,
· pacing endlessly in a ritualistic way in caged cats
… are just amongst the many, many examples of this. In pet dogs, spaniels and crosses thereof are highly pre-disposed to enter these trance states in moments of stress and there are many variations on the theme.
Self-mutilation and ritual howling/vocal expressions also lead to the security of a deep trance state where the individual may find respite from external environmental conditions that have become unbearable – these external conditions being a system-wide short fall of energy of the correct kind to re-balance the stressed and overwhelmed creature.
It is my supposition that the individual creature’s choice of which route into trance they will take is a mixture of genetic pre-disposition and chance; I have seen many animals who have developed a chance behavior into a ritual, and the behaviors may seem quite bizarre to an unsuspecting onlooker; the behaviors are, indeed, secondary to the trance state that they induce.
Note how attention–seeking disorders have become a serious social problem. Extreme need for attention (narcissism) has been revealed by the availability of “smart” phone social technologies and apps, the existence of which has expanded exponentially, and with it, an attention-seeking epidemic: Viral is the word correctly used to describe this mass disorder.
The Harmony Programme In Brief
Let us back up and go through the main points of the energetic circumstances and causes and effect of “attention seeking behavior disorders” in mammals (this includes people) step by step.
1. There is a form of energy that is exchanged between social creatures that is derived from the attention of another. This attention is focused, direct and involves eye contact, no matter how fleetingly this takes place. See post on human thermodynamics:
2. This energy form is as important to a social creature as is sleep, or food. In experiments, primate babies died when attention was withheld (although the babies were fed and physically taken care of ). Adults develop severe behavior disturbances including rage, deep trance type repetitive behaviors, antisocial behaviors and autistic behaviors under similar conditions. In the U.S., the “helping, caring, fixing industry” is controlled by psychologists, psychiatrists and Big Pharma, these “disturbances” are labeled “mental illnesses” that are blamed on the individual.
Note how the “take over” of parenting by government programs, agencies, and policy institutions, has focused on “feeding children minimal amounts of food to sustain life” while denying children the stable family environments children need by actively promoting economic and social inequality. Distribution of minimally nutritious “junk food leftovers” is a political gesture that feeds high profits to corporate food producers. Real nutrition is absent.
No attention is paid to the impoverished environments children endure; to true education, to proper care by parents and community. It’s the traditional American attitude: A human being is like a house plant. Ignore it: If it doesn’t grow and thrive, say, “We tried everything – These people are simply hopeless.” Invoke the “survival of the fittest” distortion of evolution, which continues to legitimize racism and discrimination.
3. Western adults have been trained from birth to withhold attention, especially when it is being “demanded” (by infant animals and human children as a necessary behavior for survival) – a learned response due to their own energetic attention needs having been repeatedly ignored and left unfulfilled when young.
Abusive Old Testament-style parenting is entrenched in American culture: a child-hating theory of child development that prohibits nurturing of babies in the proper and natural way. See post: how hunter-gatherers raise their children – with kindness and tolerance.
4. Companion animals (children) vary widely in how great their tolerance is to being denied “enough attention energy”.
Junk food, toys, TV and video games – cartoons and violent films, neglect, and beatings, are not a substitute for parental attention and engagement.
It seems to be specific to an individual if their first choice response to a shortfall of this form energy is withdrawal towards autism or escalating fiercely in their “attention seeking behaviours” before systemic collapse and those, too, falling into autism. I think what the author is trying to say is this: Individual children are predisposed to react in different ways to deprivation of healthy and caring attention; either by “withdrawal” (autism) or by “battle” until exhaustion and collapse are the result.
5. Attention Energy is Attention Energy – in general, creatures do not seem to care one way or the other if the attention energy they receive is of the loving or of the non-loving kind. (I highly disagree with this contention, but do agree that) among Western parents and caretakers, living things find it far easier to obtain negative attention by responding with disturbing, annoying and ”naughty” behaviors, than to elicit positive attention. Indeed, a great many caretakers “train” their animals into ever more outrageous behaviors by failing to give positive attention and secondly, by ignoring escalations of negative behaviors when they are still fairly mild.
This pernicious American “strategy” of rewarding negative behavior with punishment instead of consistent “being present and caring” comes directly from religious tradition now hiding as psychological theory; a shallow reward-punishment scheme that seeks to merely enforce external control (whether by punishment or psychoactive drugging) that has “taken over” control of child-rearing, education, employment, personal relationships, and all aspects of social behavior in the U.S. It’s the same old vicious patriarchal religious system, which in practice, encourages conformity, child abuse, elevation of socio-psychopathic behavior in “leadership” and perpetual conflict over social status.
6. Focusing attention on escalating negative behavior in the beginning, not only stops the escalation, but over the long term, “heals” the individual and re-sets their energetic exchanges to a natural sociable state.
A bit too optimistic? How does one peel back generations of “child abuse” as the “norm” in parenting? What about epigenetics; pre-birth trauma, and an entire socio-cultural environment of indoctrination that enforces abusive social policies as an absolute requirement for social order?
7. With the energy system balanced, a creature truly blossoms and becomes more self-assured, self-balanced and will gain access to (unconscious and healthy) resources for problem solving, interaction, communication, thought and experience that were previously out of reach.
I would claim that Asperger “withdrawal” (as I experience it) allows for access to these unconscious resources, which are “naturally” available to visual thinkers! But, without positive interaction and interest from other humans, the fruits of these endeavors too often whither and die in terms of socially-expressed forms.
With this part of the energy system balanced, an individual will be radically better placed to face any kind of stress challenge including showing a greater tolerance to environmental poisons, toxic energy systems and all immune system stressors.
I do not agree that environmental shocks, toxins, and chronic damage can be “overcome” by the individual human body and immune system. Poison is poison; bacteria, heavy metals, contaminants in water and air are now too widespread and pervasive to ignore: the mutations, deformities and physical vulnerabilities to disrupted environments and global climate change, is well-documented in plant an animal species worldwide. It is only human arrogance that denies our equal vulnerability to disaster.
Unfortunately, no attempt at balance is made in “dealing with” Asperger and other “socially-condemned” nonconforming humans. We are systematically “excluded from humanity” and from meaningful participation in society; instead of “help” from the “helping, caring, fixing” industry, subjective opinion is presented as fact: deviance from a rigidly described (and imaginary) “normal human” is pathologized. Special (even gifted) talents are demonized as symptoms of “disorder”. Bullying is encouraged, prejudice reinforced, and lies are told.)
Love, Not War – Turning The Dog (CHILD) Training World Upside Down
Back in 1993, I formulated the “appalling” idea, based on my theoretical musings and practical observations, that instead of playing power games with a companion animal, one should try and give positive attention right away, as soon as the animal would indicate a need by small behaviors, such as coming up, looking at the owner, or trying to make contact in any other shape or form.
This contradicted everything I had ever been taught or learned to do; for example, it was common practice to let small puppies howl and cry all night until “they had learned that no-one would come” (prevalent parenting advice also) and “thus never to reward this appalling attention-seeking behavior”.
So it must be said that it was not without trepidation that I began to experiment in earnest and put my theory to the test. (see website for more)
Isn’t this response to obvious, normal need on the part of a domestic and dependent animal or a human child or adult, the basis for TRUST on which all social interaction depends?