October 27th, 2015

Answer for question 4537.

How different of a person are you now than you were several years ago? Have you moved far away from what you used to know and believe, or have you essentially remained the same? What's the biggest change in your views of the world now versus the past?
Well, i'm 82 so i will compare myself to when i was 41. That's a long time, i know, but for me change has been exceedingly slow. When i shift into a dualistic mode of thinking, i'm pretty much the same person i was then in terms of values and interests. I have not even mellowed!

Back then it never occurred to me that i should ever want to soften my views, or accept situations that i thought were evil or people whom i considered wrong headed (who were almost everybody).

Two things happened. First, i decided to take a more spiritual and less materialistic perspective. Second, i came to the conclusion that i am autistic.

The effect of these two things has made of me a totally different person in terms of the way that i appear to friends and family. The compassion and humility and moderation that i always wanted but never could express, is now on display much of the time.

The spirituality which began with the Tao Te Ching and 12-step programs, has deepened as i get more into poetry, comparative mysticism, and meditation. Knowing the symptoms of autism allows me to be mostly in control of how those symptoms are expressed so that they cause less harm to others.

My view of the world hasn't changed that much. It is still a terribly frightening, mixed up, crazy place, where our attempts to make things better have driven us closer to destruction. But i know that that "world" is not reality. and that within each of us is the capacity to rediscover the "image of the divine" with which we are all endowed.

Maybe its not so much that i've changed as that i have finally begun to discover who i really am.