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Featured Dr Edward Hall says autism equals shamanism

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Gift2humanity, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Dr Edward Hall otherwise known as Mohawk says autism equals shamanism.
    Here is a video
     
  2. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Interesting video. Autism is definitely a spectrum. I have autism 1 and my son has autism 3 (according to the DSM-V.) For me, most people would never even realize that I'm on the spectrum, on the contrary, it's blatantly obvious that my son is. I have difficulties with noise and crowds and sometimes conveying my thoughts properly.

    My son is 8 and non-verbal the doctors estimate his IQ is in the mid 30s. I tend to disagree with that because for one he can't speak and for two he has ADHD so badly, he never sits, so it's impossible to test him. I think they are just making guesses. He's very clever in many ways.

    As far as shamanism, my friends growing up used to call me "The Beastmaster", because all animals love me. I can call wild pigeons to me and they will land on me and so on. So maybe there's some truth to that as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
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  3. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When the Mohawk elder and shaman mentioned shamanism, it brought to mind something else I've come across over the years about polynesian navigators. And it reminded me that I can navigate a forest I've never been in before, without a map or compass. This is an article by John Elder Robinson, that you might find interesting:

    ..."That set me exploring the possibility that some Polynesian navigators may be/have been autistic. That has been a fascinating thing to study, and it raised another question that I'd like to discuss – does a western diagnostic label that we associate with disability have relevance when applied to a gifted individual performing a specialized task in the South Pacific? That question struck me as I watched video of Mau Piailug, an indigenous navigator from the island of Satawal who died in 2010.


    Polynesian navigators were for many years the finest navigators in the world. Using their eyes and their minds – no tools or maps – they successfully steered vessels over vast distances to every corner of the Pacific. They did this over thousands of years, during a time that western navigators had absolutely no idea how to find a speck in the ocean like Hawaii or Tahiti.


    Polynesian navigation is often referred to as wayfinding to distinguish it from the instrument and chart based navigation practiced elsewhere in the world. As soon as I read about the various cognitive requirements of the job I thought it was something autistic people would be ideally suited to. I wondered if there was any evidence of autism in wayfinders and indeed there were clues in various writings. The thing that really cinched it for me, though, was watching videos of a master wayfinder from the island of Satawal."



    Rest of the article here:
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/...ism-in-the-south-pacific-different-way-seeing
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
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  4. Ronin82

    Ronin82 Dog Trainer Extraordinaire

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    I know I have a deeper connection with nature and animals than I do other humans. I've chosen to study shamanism as a viable spiritual path for me because I see metaphysics spiritual subjects as completely scientific subjects. Its not woo-woo to me, my communication with plants, animals, and even beings in other dimensions of existence are explainable with scientific principles. I find this path fascinating. Wish I could devote myself to studying it in greater depth, but having trouble surviving day-to-day right now.
     
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  5. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    Just a warning: some people think that all autistics by definition are spiritually gifted or other things along that nature, and use that as an excuse for not offering autistics support services or therapies that would genuinely benefit their lives, and lead the them being able to participate more in society they way they want to. They would infantalize us on the principle of the priority of spiritual principles (and this crosses various religious and spiritual practices), and don't see us as people any more than the 'curists' do.

    I'm not saying that some autistics don't have a greater connection to nature, or some spiritual level of whatever form, because some do seem to. I'm just saying that this principle can be taken to the extreme, as can so many of the other beliefs out there. (autism related or not.)
     
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  6. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I was thinking about this very subject two days ago.
    Could autism, in some of us, make us more attuned to the metaphysical, spiritual, animal connection
    realms.

    It seems I've know several people who are highly attuned to these things that are autistic.
    Perhaps autism frees the mind to be more open and sensitive to things that the human populace
    shuts out and off. It doesn't fit the more generally accepted beliefs anymore in our world today.
    At one time in early history it would probably have been seen as just more sensitive to what others
    didn't perceive or could identify with.

    Personally, I've lived a life very connected with the animal kingdom, nature, and the metaphysical.
    Spiritual not in what would be called a religion.
    The direction issue spoken of by @Mia is just natural to me.
    I always said I had my own built in GPS. I even think of directions in my dreams.
    My brain would feel twisted up if I didn't know the directions of north, south, east and west.
    This was apparent even as a baby.
    Born in the city of Pheonix, my mother could sit me on her lap in the front seat of the car as still
    an infant and tell me a building or location to find.
    I couldn't even talk yet to tell, but, I coud point.
    She would let friends see this and they called it uncanny.
    Places I didn't even know.

    Perhaps some of us are aware of magnetic energy like the animals, but, don't realise it.
    Animals can find their way home across country without knowing or using a map, from
    places they don't even know.
    I think a lot of this ability has been lost in humans.
     
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  7. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    The human brain is phenomenal.

    I sometimes wonder if by not plodding along a linear developmental path; defined by modern researchers and health authorities to hit modern milestones and targets at specific ages,
    As babies & toddlers other parts of our brain are being wired up and used more frequently.

    Little used areas of the brain we no longer really need to catch our own food, live off the land and migrate in village tribes but we will have inherited biologically anyway.

    The quieter observational understanding of nature.
    There were no Masters' in engineering to throw up a teepee. No accredited and certified knowledge of Newton's Laws and fulcrum points to cut down move and secure the tree trunks to use as the structure for a family home to withstand the elements.
    No You Tube tutorials on how to outsmart the Bison and use every part of the animal.

    What I'm trying to get across (without making a point)
    A quieter, perhaps baser, more simplistic observational understanding of natural patterns, repetition and what's labelled physics is inherited from ancestors.

    I believe the child that doesn't use speech til later years is observing and listening. And given the opportunity to surround itself with the natural, will tap into, use and strengthen connections that would be little used by a child whose motivation and focus is the development of speech.
    - if speech could be thought of as forcing an outward connection to another/environment.
    - And observation and listening could be seen as an inward acceptance of patterns and repetition in the environment.

    Different ways of perceiving and interacting with the world.
    Labels of Shamanism and Voo Doo could be attached but surely if an individual creates and strengthens certain or different specific pathways in the brain it stands to reason their ability (some might label 'gifts') would outshine those who didn't, and then some.
     
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  8. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That’s fascinating, that you can navigate a forest You’ve never been in before, without a map or compass.
    Thanks for the article, I’ll read it after replying to your posts on the being spiritual conversation.
    The leading expert on Aspergers, Tony Atwood, suggests autistic people could be the next stage of human evolution.
     
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  9. oregano

    oregano is plotting his escape

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    I don't think autistics are the "next" stage of evolution so much as a throwback to an EARLIER phase of evolution, when humans and proto-humans lived in caves and had to be very attuned to nature in order to survive day to day without being eaten by a sabertooth tiger. Finding patterns in seemingly unrelated events and being able to think of new ways to outsmart and thus capture large prey animals would have obvious survival advantages in a world where humans were hunter gatherers and survival depended on how successful you were at bringing home a deer or bison.

    I do know that in some cultures autistics were trained as shamans, healers as well as religious leaders. On Wrong Planet years ago a young woman in Ukraine posted for a while who said that her family was a part of a secret group that practiced pre-Christian religious ways and that she was being trained as a shaman. And then there was that young woman in the Canadian Maritimes, I think it was here on AF, who was Indigenous Canadian and whose father was a shaman. And then there are the ultraorthodox kibbutzim (communal farms) in Israel where autistics are considered to have a special connection to G-d and are valued as wise men.

    I think that instead of us being broken and needing to be forced into civilization, it is civilization that is broken and we are who we always have been. It's society that has changed radically, not us, IOW.
     
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  10. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think the world will always need people who think outside the box. Bill Gates is busy solving the climate change crisis for example.
     
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  11. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don’t know if I trust Bill Gates to be honest although there are a lot of fake articles about him associated with coronavirus.
    I wish I could think out of the box.
     
  12. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    FYI, the preferred term in Canada is "First Nations". (I know, it's confusing with each political country having a different term decided upon by it's aboriginal population)
     
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  13. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    [QUOTE="oregano, post: 748134, member: 12904"I think that instead of us being broken and needing to be forced into civilization, it is civilization that is broken and we are who we always have been. It's society that has changed radically, not us, IOW.[/QUOTE]

    In case you're interested, there's a whole area in psychology on the ideas of 'healthy' vs 'sick' societies, in terms of their philosophy and cultural attitudes and the effects that has on mental health. I have yet to have the chance to investigate it myself, but I was introduced to years ago.
     
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  14. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    To quote Jim Sinclair, "even though non-autistic people may hate or fear or pity us for being different, I think they really need us to be just the way we are. We're the ones who notice that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes." (What Being Different Means, 1992) Asperger's & Autism personal stories | What does being different mean?

    (and yes, Jim is a hero of mine, used to be a mentor, and good friend for a handful of years, ages ago.)
     
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  15. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I can, but place me in a parking lot full of cars and I have difficulty finding my own car. It's odd that I can do that one thing well, and you would think they were somehow connected but that ability seems very specific.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 8:24 AM
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  16. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    You know Wolfspirit your name is kinda approriate for this thread.
     
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  17. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for the link
     
  18. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    I'm not quite sure what to think of it really.

    For me, there are certain traits that appear:

    1. Definitely a major connection with animals. Is it an animal? I can get it to like me. Even extremely standoffish cats. Had a cat once, she started out avoiding EVERYONE, after not that long she would tend to follow me around the house (but only me). Something similar with dogs recently, I have 2, and one of them seems to have mentally stapled herself to me. Follows every freaking step I take while constantly glancing up at me. I keep getting the impression that she thinks I'll vanish if she isnt watching enough. The other one is also very attached but quite a bit more passive about it. But yeah, the animal thing happens all the time. It is reliable.

    2. Yeah, the thing with the forest navigation that some of you mentioned earlier is there, though I never really thought of it until now. However, I would NOT describe this as having GPS, as I typically have no bloody idea what direction I'm pointing in. It's more like, well... if you've ever read any of the Odd Thomas novels (by Dean Koontz) the main character has this ability he always calls "psychic magnetism", probably because it sounds cool. Where he'll inevitably end up where he wants to go by simply taking whatever random turns, so long as he keeps thinking about whatever/whoever it is he's looking for. Kinda like that. Like "okay, where the heck am I? I need to get to X. Here's a path split, let's just, I dont even know, let's go down that one, no idea what I'm doing" and after a bit of this I'll always end up where I need to be. It occurs to me now that this tends to work in cars too. So, yeah, that's weird.

    3. Metaphysical something or other. Look, I'm not sure what's going on with this one. I dont claim to understand it, I really dont. Nor did I seek it out, instead it came to me. But it's become the sort of thing where it's pretty much impossible to deny. When it comes to the meta-whatsits stuff though, it's not so much an activated ability... more like being a freaking magnet (not just for this, but also for "mundane" weirdness too). That's the best way I could describe it. A magnet. The effect seems to be intensifying. I'm not sure what to think of THAT either. I've had a couple of conversations about it on here with certain users but there is still a lot to learn.
     
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  19. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    Far more extrinsic distraction to cope with in a parking lot.
    Not a 'natural' landscape.
    Maybe a grid design created by an architect from an office?
    (I have larger, flat car parks in mind not multi storey)
     
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  20. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Visited a preserve today that has a deep spring lake in it.
    The air was cool and spritzing a few drops of rain. It felt so good after being in traffic
    and a building full of people.

    There was a small deck that went out over the water and I felt that oneness with the wildlife which
    was mostly birds. The water was full of red eared turtles though. Two gulls sit on a rail and I
    walked up to them, talking to them. They like to be talked to. I stood by them and touched one
    stroking the wing.
    Then I started identifying all others around, Male Great Egret, Coot, 2 Anhingas, Wood Stork.
    I was taken up with the moment thinking if I had this to wake up to everyday... it felt alive.
    I felt this is living and makes me want to live.

    Back to car and two blocks away it was back to the busy traffic too. Peace to chaos.

    I had been sitting in a large room full of people as I took the man I live with in for his COVID
    shot. Had to sit half an hour after watching for side effects.
    People have their own interesting things to pick up on, but, it isn't peaceful.
    I sat saying nothing, but, what I observed and felt, occupied the time.
    All the words in the air, the tensions, some anxious, some were rubbing their arm from the shot,
    most sit doing things with their smart phones.
    Notice hair, clothes, jewelry, personalities, so much. Even the room which was an old empty library.
    Colours, floor pattern, ceiling stains, outlets.

    That's just how I am. I don't get involved, but, oh what I learn.
     
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