Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Expanding Awareness

Watch this entire video and see if it doesn't cause you to change your thoughts, from this point on, in a more positive direction. The first 3 minutes is the "silent" expression of an autistic individual; the remaining is her communication using "our" language via type- written word and mechanical voice (Amanda Baggs types 120 words a minute) of what she experiences and how we fail to understand her world.

"Only when the many shapes of personhood are recognized will justice and human rights be possible." Amanda Baggs

PS: Not even 30 minutes after posting this amazing video I was driving across town for a meeting and was stopped by a line of 50-60 special needs adults, some most likely autistic, who were being directed across the road, in a single line, on their way to the developmental center. I watched as they passed in front of me and silently sent thanks and blessings to each person for the delightful experience they offered me... a chance to remark that each and everyone of us is so very special and desires to communicate the unique gift instilled within.

Sometimes we are literally forced to stop and witness the ordinary miracle that is simply being. Where will you be stopped today... and will you be able to see the miracle right in front of you?


Blogger Jon said...

Wow. This IS good, Isaiah. I confess I was about to turn it off after two minutes, and then the explanatory dialogue came on...

I brings to mind Eckhart Tolle's discussion of how the endless stream of thoughts interferes with experience, and shows autistic people as being completely immersed in experience rather than thoughts about it. You're right, it IS eye-opening, and it might help me, since, although I'm ashamed to admit it, I'm instantly uncomfortable when I'm around "special" people like that.


8:06 AM  
Blogger iamthewhiterabbit said...

Yes, very interesting indeed and it had caused me to think deeply on her perspective, not just mine.
Thanks Tom!

12:40 PM  
Blogger Trev Diesel said...

I have no doubt that this will inform the rest of my evening. May I (and we) honestly and sincerely see the miracle right before us. Thanks for this.

5:49 PM  
Blogger anonymous julie said...

That was really interesting. While I have never rubbed a magazine on my face, now I kind of want to. I just put some different sheets on my bed and have SO been enjoying the nice smooth pillowcase on my face.

It just seems that curiosity and experiencing various things are of the foremost importance here, in ways that "normal" people don't even notice. Sort of the difference between understanding what something is and what something is like.

To me, the video really points out the expectations for how people will behave, and how those expectations change depending on the environment. Aside from the magazine, I didn't think it was all that weird - but then again, maybe I'm weird.

4:36 PM  
Blogger isaiah said...

No... you're not weird at all Julie- you're an artist...

"The kids who survive are the conformists -- their bodies are cut to the size of the suits -- the ones we label good. The ones who don't fit the suits either are put in mental homes or become artists." John Lennon. Always liked that quote.

3:10 PM  

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