March 1st, 2012


I awoke at nine-fifteen-aye-emm, too late for a 7:00 a.m. first of the month meditation on the welfare of the planet (and of course, the universe in which this earth and its solar system are such a small speck.  I am grateful to the Creatrix that, for her also, size doesn't matter.)  I did the meditation anyway.  Then on to the Immeasurable of equanimity.  This was rather perfunctory and i think i am due to start expanding to include family and friends.  The formulaic beginning for this meditation is: "May those close to me be free of preference and prejudice."  I almost choke on the words "close to me," but that is the subject for another post.

When i awoke it was snowing.  It had snowed enough to cover the grass and houses and trees, but the streets and sidewalks were bare.  It has snowed all morning and now, at 1pm it has stopped.  The blanket of white is everywhere within the scope of my vision and is a source of peace and quiet.  I know that  people have been driving in it, wrecking their cars, and endangering the lives of each other, but that fact will not penetrate just now as i also am blanketed by a feeling of peace and silence.  Is seems as though nature is giving me the meditation that i could not generate withing myself.  Soon the world of needs and wants will intrude, but for now, i will enjoy the snow's meditation.  Peace, Love, Compassion, and Joy to all.

Close to You /Close to Me

Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me,
they long to be
Close to you

Carpenters - Close to You Lyrics

Leo Kanner, inventor of Child Psychiatry, is possibly the first person to use the word "autism" applying it to a "pathology" in which infants are unable to relate to the world around them in what non-autistic people consider to be "normal" ways.  We are "abnormally introverted and egocentric" persons who "prefer living in fantasy to living in reality."  A more descriptive label for us could not have been chosen when Kanner wrote a paper on the subject in 1943.  I became very familiar with the term sixty-two years later when i discovered that the word described me.

People with autism were called "autists."  And just as people who obsess over capital are called capitalists and people who are concerned about method in their religious practice are called Methodists; an autist is called an autist because his focus is on himself.  ( I use the male pronouns throughout because i am male and because autism is far more prevalent among males than among females -- which explains a hell of a lot!)  The only difference is that a capitalist can stop being a capitalist and a Methodist can stop being a Methodist but i don't think an autist can stop being an autist.

I discovered autism only very shortly after i discovered my soul, and the two "conditions" have coexisted in an interesting tension over the past five years.  Sometimes i think autism aids me in my spiritual practice, sometimes i fear it makes such practice nearly impossible.

I ran into this again when i considered meditating on the Buddhist "Four Immeasurables," where i am invited to pray as follows:

May those close to me be free of preferences and prejudices.
May they know things as they are
May those close to me experience the world seeing them just as they are.
May they see into what ever arises.
May those close to me be happy, well, and at peace, etc., etc.

"Close to me" is almost an alien concept.  Am i "close to" anybody?  Certainly not to my family of origin., not to my children or grandchildren. not to the people who i call friends or the ones who call me "friend."  Not to the people at Church, not to my former colleagues at work.  I am as close to some of the people on my LJ friends list as i have ever been to almost anybody.  I'm not saying i don't want to be close to these people, i don't know how and i become very uncomfortable, frightened, petrified, when i try to get close to anybody.

Then there is Dianne, i do feel close to her and i do accept that she feels close to me, though she probably sees me as distant and aloof.  She knows i am autistic, as do my children and a few friends, and she knows something about what that means; but this does not always alleviate the loneliness that sometimes comes with living with an egocentric sonofabitch who lives in his own fantasy world.  Being close to me being close to her has been a fifty year labor of love. with both the love and the labor divided very unequally between us.  The fruits of her labor and love did not seem at all evident twenty-five years into our marriage, and only gradually since then have i begun to approximate a loving, caring human being.  Some people are half convinced that i was killed off about twenty years or so ago and replaced with a lookalike.

I have thought of using "May my family and friends be free from preference and prejudice." in place of "those close to me."  It would be more truthful and a lot more comfortable, but i think i will stick with the protocol, maybe i will grow into it.  Peace, love, compassion, and Joy to everybody (including me.)