Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My mind to your mind

I was discussing a number of things with an online acquaintance the other day, and the subject became one about the fact that I am autistic. As I've already mentioned before, I take great pride in being autistic. It allows me to discern patterns quite well, my mind is more logical, and even what is considered the primary problem autistics have (social ineptitude), I consider a blessing.

There is, however, one thing that I feel I am missing out on: Visualization. According to Temple Grandin, people have three different ways of thinking. I am a pattern-based thinker, but my online acquaintance is exceptional in the realm of visual thinking.

As the discussion went on, I was reminded of an old episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (starting at about 6:15 in the video).

The way we think, as well as other aspects, cause each of us to see the world differently. If you saw the world as I do, but with your experience in your method of thought, you would likely not be able to make heads or tails of what you saw. There are many reasons for this: Autism, pattern-based thinking, Taoism, the way I was raised, and the combination of these things (as well as many other things that each have a small say in the way I see the world).

When you think of the sages, do you think any of them see or saw the world in any way similar to the way you see it? Jesus, Moses, and Mohammed. Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Siddhartha Gautama. The great sages of the West and the great sages of the East. Yet all of them saw the world differently than we did. Can we truly understand their words without also understanding their minds?

The way I see the world is very different than the way you see it, and that's a good thing.


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