Thinking in Pictures: Gnosticism and Autism

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Broken_Mirror33
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Thinking in Pictures: Gnosticism and Autism

Post by Broken_Mirror33 » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:02 pm

I have recently begun reading Temple Grandin's book: Thinking in Pictures - My Life with Autism. I started to think about how Gnosticism relates to autism. As a child, Temple realized her thought processes were different from most people--she thought in pictures. Autism has always been related to a high degree of visual-spatial intelligence, what might the effects of Gnosticism have on someone with autism?

My own opinion is that the ability to think in terms of myth and analyze relationships and human interactions on the basis of mythology would be a great benefit to someone with autism. Realize, autistics struggle with complex human emotions and recognizing the intentionality of others.

Let me hear someone else's thoughts on the matter, what do you guys think?

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Re: Thinking in Pictures: Gnosticism and Autism

Post by Lucius » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:12 pm

My experience led me to the rule: do not think, do not imagine. Of course, it is almost impossible to do. But if you still get it, then you can "see" - some scenes like sleeping in reality.
The only problem is that these scenes are shown (by themselves or by someone intentionally) on a completely random topic. This is how to find random online video cameras on the Internet and watch them.
That is, you need to create an intention to see something you need. And it is quite difficult to do this without resorting to thoughts or fantasies. Not the brain, but the soul itself must wish to see something important for itself. It does not matter what your body is, it only matters how your soul is developed.
I want to say that any mental disorder in itself does not give advantages in the development of gnosis. The advantage is not in the body, but in the body's user.
If we consider gnosticism as auto-training, then maybe it will be able to help the body of an autistic person with something. But the gnostic philosophers did not set themselves such a goal. The mythology itself is needed in gnosticism only as a trigger for awakening.

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Meneldur Olvarion
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Re: Thinking in Pictures: Gnosticism and Autism

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:34 pm

As someone who has autism and who help start Tië Eldaliéva and then this site (which was originally called Ilsaluntë Valion, both focused upon Tolkien-based shamanic gnosis (small-g) from different perspectives), I have always "thought in pictures" and know no other cognitive mode. In fact, it was mentioning this mode of thought to my future wife that she essentially diagnosed me with autism, as she had occupational therapy training (the diagnosis was later confirmed formally by a psychiatrist).
Broken_Mirror33 wrote:
Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:02 pm
Realize, autistics struggle with complex human emotions and recognizing the intentionality of others.
It isn't so much that we struggle with intentionality, it' more that neurotypicals frequently change the semantic base of the terms they use, perhaps without being aware of it directly. For example, 'love' can mean anything from "I want to Ploppers you" to "I really like the discussion we just had about ecological restoration and I've decided I like you because of it" to "I'm setting up a sociopathic trap by telling you I love you in order to part you from your money".

Since I'm a shaman, it is rather easy for me to detect dangerous things like the latter in a tactical sense - this may not be the case for other autistics who don't have that skill, I have no idea. OTOH, when NT's talk about "peace and love", I just hear so much meaningless fluff.

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Re: Thinking in Pictures: Gnosticism and Autism

Post by Lúthien » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:36 pm

I’d think that since the most significant hurdle to take is to realise that the culture you grew up in determines how you perceive the world.

Today’s western culture states that “imaginal equals false”, so that’s what everyone thinks. That’s why even religious people can only think about religion as a kind of “faux scientific theory” - it’s all about facts, because that’s the only thing that can possibly be real.

In order to achieve gnosis you have to realise this first. And that’s not easy. It’s somewhat ironic that being non-neurotypical makes this a bit easier. Stated simply: if you’re already used to be different, it’s less hard to be even more different.

I don’t think that the preferred imaginative modus (visual or otherwise) makes much difference. It’s more important how well you can use it, I’d think.
A! Elin velui, dîn dolog, aduial lúthad!

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Re: Thinking in Pictures: Gnosticism and Autism

Post by Lúthien » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:21 am

Lucius wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:12 pm
My experience led me to the rule: do not think, do not imagine. Of course, it is almost impossible to do. But if you still get it, then you can "see" - some scenes like sleeping in reality.
This is exactly what the goal of the sort of (guided or active) imagination is that we pursue and what we are ‘talking’ about, although you think that both the talking and the imagination are pointless ;)
Lucius wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:12 pm
The only problem is that these scenes are shown (by themselves or by someone intentionally) on a completely random topic.
I think that’s where the usefulness of guided / active imagination comes in. Of course you can never ‘control’ them, and that would be pointless anyhow. But you can certainly focus on a certain general area. For instance: if your intention is to establish some sort of rapport with one of the Valar I think it is highly unlikely that you’ll receive a vision about Norwegian income tax.
Lucius wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:12 pm
This is how to find random online video cameras on the Internet and watch them.
There are also websites that list them. And even apps for your mobile device ;)
Lucius wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:12 pm
That is, you need to create an intention to see something you need. And it is quite difficult to do this without resorting to thoughts or fantasies. Not the brain, but the soul itself must wish to see something important for itself. It does not matter what your body is, it only matters how your soul is developed.
Well, yes. That’s exactly what we have done all along.
Maybe the confusion partly arises from the word “fantasies” interpreted as arising from the rational mind / brain, as opposed to the images that the soul perceives.
That is exactly why the word “Imaginal” was coined, to distinguish it from mere flights of fancy.
But surely you don’t assume that we aren’t aware of that?
Lucius wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:12 pm
I want to say that any mental disorder in itself does not give advantages in the development of gnosis.
Indeed. We’ve had quite a number of people on this forum who have proven that point over and over.
“Doing gnosis” is a perilous business, especially for those who have a predisposition for schizophrenia and the like. They can very easily “fall off the narrow path” and get lost in the Imaginal world, unable to find their way back.

However, it is also true that any circumstance that causes someone to put some distance between a person and the common cultural mindset may help them to become more independent from that common mindset, which in its turn might lead someone to the path of finding gnosis. That “circumstance” can be many different things: having a very independent mind in the first place (e.g. Robert Pirsig); physical isolation (hence prophets heading out into the desert); entheogens; training (e.g. as a monk) - and certain mental conditions (provided that they are not impeding other faculties) can all serve that purpose. They can also all drive someone nuts. It’s a delicate balance, because while doing gnosis requires keeping a certain distance from the common mindset, other parts of us seek companionship.
Hence, this forum.

Lucius wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:12 pm
The advantage is not in the body, but in the body's user.
If we consider gnosticism as auto-training, then maybe it will be able to help the body of an autistic person with something.
I think I experience a parsing error when trying to understand that
Lucius wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:12 pm
But the gnostic philosophers did not set themselves such a goal.
You mean, they did not set themselves the goal to have their bodies helped with something?
It’s probably safe to assume that, though I’m not sure how relevant it is.
Lucius wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:12 pm
The mythology itself is needed in gnosticism only as a trigger for awakening.
It’s more than that. Imaginal truths can only be communicated by way of myth, or similar non-rational ways of expression.
A! Elin velui, dîn dolog, aduial lúthad!

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Re: Thinking in Pictures: Gnosticism and Autism

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:12 am

Lúthien wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:21 am
Lucius wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:12 pm
The advantage is not in the body, but in the body's user.
If we consider gnosticism as auto-training, then maybe it will be able to help the body of an autistic person with something.
I think I experience a parsing error when trying to understand that.
I didn't get it either. Although he did say earlier that Russian is his birth language, and that he is essentially using Google Translate for much of the dialog. It may be one of those weird machine translation outputs. Although, Google Translate is rather good with Russian <==> English. Try that with Malay and see what remarkable f**k ups you get. ;)

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