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  • Category Archives Aspie Specific
  • The Isolation of Suffering

    I think one of the best arguments against the existence of a personal god is the fact that suffering is so isolating.

    God’s people dropping out of your life like flies. Me and many others on the bottom experience is that the people who claim to be closest to God are the ones that get the furthest away when things turn permanently worse. They do this all while parroting the romantic notion of suffering that things are going to go according to “God’s plan”. Well they’re not and you are part of the problem. Religious people will trot out their “free will” theodicy trump card when confronted with the problem of evil. But then they put it away when their free will is frustrating God’s supposed “perfect plan”.

    The fact that for a lot of us suffering turns us into much less of an everyman than more of one. One of the things those of privilege selling suffering say is that it will somehow connect you to a greater experience of humanity. While that happens for some lucky people for most of us suffering cuts us off from enriching people and activities we need to actually become what they claim suffering will make us become. I have noticed in my life that I’m not even empathetic to people who have gone through the same things as me (mental illness). This surprised me. I’m just stretched so thin myself I have nothing to give. Plus there is this thing with mental illness called negative symptoms which actually eat your personality away which flies in the face of anything positive coming out of suffering.

    The idea of drawing “meaning” out of suffering helps less people than you would think. Highly principled people may concoct backstories and astroturf the bad things in their life to things make sense in hindsight but that requires an expensive brain that can play good mental gymnastics. I want dignity and relationships, I don’t give a rip about meaning. Suffering actually robs my life of meaning because I found meaning in dignified work and relationships and what I suffer robs me of both.

    Experiences of God going AWOL. The part of your brain synthesizing “experiences of God” is likely to go down if you suffer enough. Part of this is suffering and skills to cope with it make you emotionally numb and religion (or whatever they are calling Christianity these days) largely transpires on the seat of the emotion. Nobody wants to admit this but the way it’s sold (especially in contemporary worship) is all about emotions. Anything that makes you emotionally stunted is going to torpedo your interaction with “God”. This is partially why so many people on the spectrum are non religious because we don’t have the emotional toolbox to interact with a god.

    The fact that a lot of us turn to the internet for refuge. When the world shuns you the internet raises you. Many forms of suffering like disability narrow people who will interact with you beyond reduced functionality mode to a subset of people which you find online. For example with me if someone doesn’t have a disability and/or mental illness the chance of a relationship happening is just about zero. Unfortunately for religion the internet is not a community friendly to religion partly because a lot of the people seeking refuge on it were already rejected by the church so they carry that with them. Also online interaction is not incarnational the same way real life interaction is so it’s less conducive to spreading religion.



  • Things That Point Toward Materialism Being True

    I’ve been over exposed to religion my entire life and I try to believe in all that stuff but it’s like an algebra problem you suspect you got wrong but you don’t know why you got it wrong or have the intelligence to derive the correct answer. Materialism is the idea that the world we can taste touch and see is all there is. Some reasons:

    The colossal failure of prophecy. I don’t care if it comes from a parishioner rolling in the aisles full of the Spirit or a wizard sacrificing a goat in the middle of a flaming pentagram, accurate prophecy from the Dream Team or the Mean Team would go a long way in convincing me that there was something beyond this existence. If someone the beginning of 2019 would have heard a word from the beyond that we need to make two billion N95 masks and they could make a killing doing so, that would have been great. What passes for prophecy is usually as vague as a horoscope. Like “you’re going to meet someone interesting today”.

    The lack of scientific evidence for the supernatural. If there were angels, demons, or ghosts it seems like it would end up on social media as most of us can whip out a camera from our pocket at a moment’s notice. We have elaborate scientific instruments to measure basically almost anything from gravity waves to subatomic particles. Incidents where the supernatural has been seen like with Prophet Yahweh seem to point to certain actors able to leverage glitches in the simulation rather than a world whose rules are governed by what our major religions tell us.

    The fact that suffering is so incredibly isolating. The problem of evil is correctly on every atheist’s checklist but I think just is big of a problem is people’s orientation towards those who suffer. As a hedge against the idea of chaos and senseless evil Christians try to concoct a redemptive narrative around suffering and pain. Unfortunately this ends up backfiring on them because in order to keep this narrative intact they have to cut anyone out of their lives whose narrative doesn’t end up redemptive, proving that this narrative was a lie all along (just like in quantum mechanics you can’t measure without modifying). When tragic things have happened in my life the people who believed in “God’s plan” were the first to exit. During this time of plague it’s becoming increasingly clear that the people romanticizing suffering and the ones doing the actual suffering are worlds apart. Poverty in the best of times causes incredible isolation (especially as people get past 45) and now Coronavirus is killing these older poor people which is heartbreaking.

    The fact the people on the spectrum are generally not religious. I have stated that the brain has to do a lot of heavy lifting to get religion working through/for you. The same social skills one needs to interact successfully with people are needed to interact successfully with a deity. And just like we do communicating wrong (according to society) we are even gaslit for our expressions of religiosity. When I was Christian I had this crazy theory about the color orange being really redemptive and that got pretty laughed out of the room. God is sold as being near those on the margins (as most autistics are) but our experience bears the opposite, not being able to build an image of God in our head that helps us function or being able to be accepted in a community of believers. Granted not every autistic’s experience is this but I’d say a majority are and mine definitely has been.

    The observation that the content of Near Death Experiences are more a measure of the person’s mental health than anything else. People pushing the supernatural generally point to Near Death Experiences as proof that there is a heaven. What evidence they don’t admit is there are also hell NDE’s and these are pretty arbitrary, not contingent on people’s virtue or religiosity. The fact that that when they did a study on people’s reaction to shrooms they screened out those with bipolar and schizophrenia is telling. People who believe in the supernatural want us to believe these experiences are more than our brain’s regions communicating with each other differently.



  • On Verbal Abuse

    Verbal abuse hurts the most when it is accurate.  People fed a diet of modern psychology wish to write off all abusive communications because the ill will of the person dishing out said abuse.  But the more wrong you have with you the more likely verbal abuse flung at you is going to be accurate.  For example I had a best friend years ago that called me pathetic.  Had I made something of my self that abuse would not have hurt so much.  Another girl on cutting me off said I was painfully awkward.  Also accurate.

    Pastors and psychologists generally have enough of their lives together not to have the verbal abuse slung at them be accurate.  But those of us lower down this is not the case.  And the cognitive tricks and platitudes helping professionals parrot don’t help us.



  • Sound Sensitivity: What Would Help

    Sarah did a great post on shopping sound sensitivity at Meijer.  I am very sound sensitive as I was born blind so have had to use my ears to make up for my poorer vision.  Plus I’m likely on the spectrum so have sound sensitivity due to that.  Here are some tips on how people can improve the lives of people like us:

    Produce speakers with directional sound.  Right now the technology is in its infancy and I only ever experienced it at a video game demo display at Best Buy but boy was it glorious.   You could hear the ad for the game but then if you walked a foot away you couldn’t hear it any more.  Imagine if TV sound bars had this technology to point the sound only at the people actually watching.  This would particularly help in small houses like I’ve lived in for the past 20 years where the living area is open plan so sound coming from one place fills up the entire floor.

    Provide better options for sound proofing windows.  Many of us sensitive to sound are bothered by the whine of neighbors’ heating and central air unit.  They have heavy curtains and other things but I don’t see a solution that could really block off the sound well.

    Make equipment produce gentler trouble tones.  This is actually a hard one because the beeps machines make when they alert you come from simple cheap sound hardware and for them to produce gentler tones they would have to upgrade said hardware.  It’s like how the default beep tone on the Super Nintendo was gentler than the one on the original Nintendo (because the Super Nintendo had better hardware).



  • Pleasantry Delusions

    One of the things I dislike the most about Christianity is that it says the pleasantry delusions are actually real.  Everybody knows pleasantry delusions are just delusions or noble lies, nothing more.  For example people don’t have innate worth (as those of us on the spectrum experience daily as we are on the bottom).  Or the idea that virtue is more important than power.  People on the spectrum don’t have the social acumen to see through these pleasantry delusions, particularly when raised Christian where they were told these were actual truths.  It makes figuring out the way the world works that much harder.



  • more poetry

    stemming is meditating
    for those of us who CAN’T FIND GOD
    in our brain OR out of it

    a cynic is someone who sees the world
    with a level of accuracy
    that makes others uncomfortable

    people who say God is near
    those his people are drawing away from
    are lying

    interactions after 40 are 4T, transnational
    all but the luckiest of us has so much emotional baggage
    that when we interact a good portion of the time it is transnational
    one person emotionally giving, the other emotionally taking
    and this pushes us away from wanting to interact with each other

    a lot of intellectuals say God isn’t
    well I say God is NT
    the same soft skills used to interact with people
    are used to interact with God
    your emotions have to function a certain way
    in order for any divine positive interaction to happen
    plus you need the church to not treat you like crap
    which is a rarity for those on the spectrum



  • Noble Lies

    One of the issues with those on the spectrum (including myself) is taking society’s noble lies at face value.  This has been a cause of consternation in my life.

    One of the noble lies I believed was that friendships would last forever (in some capacity) if both parties were close enough at a certain point in their life.  Of course I lost my closest friend from college to low status-itus.  I could have saved myself a lot of grief if someone had gotten it through my skull that most of the idealistic things people say are aspirational rather than actual.  Noble lies are a way for a culture to save face while not changing things structurally in any meaningful way.

    For example the idea you have innate worth.  Pretty people didn’t like the idea that they were just getting by on their looks so they invented the idea that everyone had worth regardless of looks.  Of course if a noble lie is true for you (you happen to be pretty) then it is easy to believe and transmit.  But when you are on the bottom (like a good portion of those on the spectrum are) all the noble lies are definitely lies.  You must keep frame of reference in mind because a noble lie is often true to the person telling it so they are behaving in a rational manner.

    The bullshit of noble lies are like bacteria in your gut, some is needed to digest everything else.  However those of us on the spectrum need extra help teasing out aspirational beliefs from the ones that actually hold true.



  • Fight or Flight

    Great post on fight or flight from The Realistic Autistic:

    This reminded me of a theory I read years ago regarding deer, humans, and human society. Deer have two modes: calm and upset. They mainly live in calm, unless predators or some kind of threat occurs. At which point they switch to upset, and fight or flight their way through the situation until they’re out of it. After which they switch back to calm.

    Humans used to work similarly. When threats occurred, we fight/flighted to deal with them and then returned to being calm. The theory goes that as human society developed, we also developed things that register as a threat but can’t be dealt with appropriately using fight/flight. Money problems and angry bosses at work, for example. These situations put us into fight or flight mode, but because they can’t be dealt with so simply, we can get stuck in fight/flight instead of returning to calm.

    The theory posits that this is part of where depression and anxiety come from, and possibly other forms of mental illness as well. Heart disease, poor sleep, and other physical symptoms follow as well. Living “on edge” all the time has costs to your mental and emotional health, after all.



  • Taking On a New Thing

    People tell you to improve your life you need to take on a new thing be it a job, a medication, volunteering, or something else.  What they fail to tell you is if you are on the bottom it is very difficult to impossible to actually quit that new thing you tried.  This is because if you are on the bottom you generally don’t have much control over your life, your handlers have control of it.  It’s like the cars that had their accelerators suck.

    I want to quit my job and my volunteering but I can’t.  I would not have started volunteering if I had known I didn’t have the option to quit.  But when you try things people assure you that you can quit them.  This is a lie, they know if they told you the truth, that you couldn’t quit, you wouldn’t try anything.  So they lie.