A Year Ago at Shift Journal

For all its charms, the weblog platform does also bury older content for no better reason than that newer material has come along.  While we all like to feel we’re improving, whether you are writing blog posts, delivering babies, or making them yourself, you are likely not only as good or as interesting as your most recent effort.  Neither are we.

In remedy, the entries linked below are accompanied by brief summaries of their content, as it appeared here a year ago this week.



Andrew Lehman’s de facto keynote for the site, outlining an evolutionary thesis/antithesis which gives rise to contemporary autism.

The neurodiversity movement is only now just acquiring its legs. It needs to convince society that autism and Asperger’s are not disorders, not just unique, but are the first steps toward neurological synthesis.

•  Evolution and Succession of Obsessions

Reflections on the evolutionary origins of obsessions, the feedback loops in which they take part, and the sense of feeling involved with something larger than oneself.

Spirituality, obsession, sexuality, repetition, evolution and art feel closely tied.  Discovering how a theory of human evolution could explain how these six things are related is a deeply satisfying obsession.

•  Notes on Five Spectrums

Observations on how we perceive spectrums of intelligence, sexual orientation, skin color, autism, and human familiarity—or how we fail to perceive them—depending on our preconceptions.

Intelligence, as most everyone will cheerfully agree, is distributed unevenly; some people have more of it, some have less.  Rare, though, are those who will identify themselves as having any less than the average or median amount.

•  Tail Swallower

The ancient symbolism of the serpent is introduced as a means of visualizing the path of societal evolution.

Autism is the evidence of our evolutionary origins … our bodies are riding a roller coaster, serpentine time machine that is bringing into contemporary times peoples from the past.

•  Neurodiversity: A Pre-emptive Reply

Shadowboxing addressed to neurodiversity’s naysayers as yet unmet, outlining a picture of autism’s cultural contributions from prehistory onward.

… the autistic spectrum is far, far larger and more widespread in 1) the number of people who occupy a place on it, 2) the breadth and variety of behavior, appearance, and experience by which it presents itself, and 3) the reach and scope of its influence on humankind’s cultural evolution, and perhaps even of its involvement in our biological evolution and in the evolution of our consciousness itself, than has yet been considered.

•  paradox of words

Thoughts on language, story and myth, and the paradox of how we use them to attain (or re-attain) a sense of nonseparate self.

Language and imagination are so closely linked as to be almost inseparable.  Still, a person can have experiences of imagination without language.  Note that these experiences are often characterized by a nonseparate experience of self.

•  They Call Me Quiet, But I’m A Riot

Autistic perspective is seen seeping into dance-pop, via Katie White’s lyrics to That’s Not My Name.

If Katie White isn’t sounding the dog whistle here, if she’s not offering up this de facto shout-out to the lost tribes of the Asperger Nation, who or what is? That is the name, I’m suggesting, which has been forgotten.

•  Chills

Andrew Lehman in what is perhaps a secondary, more personal keynote, reflecting on an extraordinary relationship with his unconscious mind, and crediting its guidance for entries which appear on this site as well as at his longtime personal site, Neoteny, Autism, and Evolution:  Social Transformation and Biological Evolution.

One of the unique aspects of this experience is that over time I simply have fewer questions to ask myself. I just trust that things will be OK and that I am behaving in my own best interest. Over the course of my life I have shifted identity from that which I used to define as conscious to that which is both unconscious and conscious.

on 09/13/10 in Art/Play/Myth, featured | No Comments | Read More

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