A friend forwarded this article on the intersections of Autism, Capitalism and Magic. Written by Sean Donahue and posted on the Gods & Radicals blog, it’s a great analysis of how the “War or Consciousness” – also understood as colonization – affects neurodivergent or “neuro-queer” people and how their unique way of experiencing the world is a threat to the forces that are destroying our world.
Here is an excerpt, read the entire article by following the link to the Gods & Radicals website.
and the War on Consciousness
“Within myself I know I am Different” — Cora Anderson
My magic, my poetry, my politics, and my medicine all arise from my experience of the world as alive — and that experience is a product of my divergent neurobiology.
My senses take in torrents of information that sometimes overwhelm my capacity to process them, making me miss things that would seem obvious to most, but at other times (and sometimes simultaneously) make me aware of subtle presences in the world that elude others’ attention. My brain process processes information in non-linear ways that make it easy for me to perceive patterns and connections in the world but difficult to complete a step-by-step process like paying the electrical bill. I have a complex relationship with language — sometimes loquacious and poetic, other times completely non-verbal. When I speak in metaphor, people tend to take me literally, and when I speak literally people often assume that I am speaking metaphorically, because my baseline assumptions about the world differ from those of the vast majority of people around me, and they always have.
In Ireland at the height of British occupation, these traits might have branded me a changeling, dangerous for ways my existence suggested something old and strange, associated with the mythic predecessors of my people who also fought against invaders from over the sea. In the terms set out by contemporary neuropsychology, I am defined as Autistic, an identity I simultaneously embrace, as it links me with a community celebrating and sharing its experiences and struggles, and struggle with, because it emerges from a discourse that pathologizes my existence.
For much of my life, lacking a context for understanding who I was, I struggled to conform to the patterns of behavior I saw in the culture around me, and to translate my thoughts and my language into terms that conformed more to dominant discourses — be they academic or colloquial (though often I failed to register the proper register and found that my tendency to weave theoretical concepts and academic language into conversation made me socially awkward, and my inability to believe in or practice objectivity and to keep poetry out of my prose made me a poor academic.) Now that I am embracing my Autistic nature, I am discovering that, in many ways, it has made me a born rebel against capitalism and monotheism.