Friday, 30 December 2011

WikiRebels - The Documentary

Wikileaks has been the subject of multiple documentaries, both by current affairs television, and by independent film makers.

SVT: "WikiRebels"
From summer 2010 until now, Swedish Television has been following the secretive media network WikiLeaks and its enigmatic Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange.

- The Spyfiles

WikiLeaks: The Spy Files

The Spy Files,
files released so far...

Mass interception of entire populations is not only a reality, it is a secret new industry spanning 25 countries

It sounds like something out of Hollywood, but as of today, mass interception systems, built by Western intelligence contractors, including for ’political opponents’ are a reality. Today WikiLeaks began releasing a database of hundreds of documents from as many as 160 intelligence contractors in the mass surveillance industry. Working with Bugged Planet and Privacy International, as well as media organizations form six countries – ARD in Germany, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism in the UK, The Hindu in India, L’Espresso in Italy, OWNI in France and the Washington Post in the U.S. Wikileaks is shining a light on this secret industry that has boomed since September 11, 2001 and is worth billions of dollars per year. WikiLeaks has released 287 documents today, but the Spy Files project is ongoing and further information will be released this week and into next year.

International surveillance companies are based in the more technologically sophisticated countries, and they sell their technology on to every country of the world. This industry is, in practice, unregulated. Intelligence agencies, military forces and police authorities are able to silently, and on mass, and secretly intercept calls and take over computers without the help or knowledge of the telecommunication providers. Users’ physical location can be tracked if they are carrying a mobile phone, even if it is only on stand by.

But the WikiLeaks Spy Files are more than just about ’good Western countries’ exporting to ’bad developing world countries’. Western companies are also selling a vast range of mass surveillance equipment to Western intelligence agencies. In traditional spy stories, intelligence agencies like MI5 bug the phone of one or two people of interest. In the last ten years systems for indiscriminate, mass surveillance have become the norm. Intelligence companies such as VASTech secretly sell equipment to permanently record the phone calls of entire nations. Others record the location of every mobile phone in a city, down to 50 meters. Systems to infect every Facebook user, or smart-phone owner of an entire population group are on the intelligence market.

Download the files... store them, share them... read them. Educate yourself.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Soul Talking

The eyes are the window of the soul that looks out from within the human spirit. The soul is in essence an individual spark of the Universal Consciousness, the Universal Consciousness being an amalgamation of all those small sparks of consciousness and the very essence of the life force itself.

Each person, or personality, is a part or parts of this consciousness expressing itself through physical existence.

Every human being has a reason for being on this planet, to be a vehicle of expression for the manifestation of spirit or soul consciousness, divine breath , prana, life energy, etc. Under all these different names, disguises, manifestations, or appearances, it is all the same thing. Love Consciousness, and whether the entity in question is aware of this fact or not depends upon the stage of evolution that particular soul has reached on its journey.

The soul exists long before the body and is born to earthly parents of its choosing, and it will continue its progress long after the body has died and decomposed. We choose our bodies, families, geographical locations, as well as ethnicity and religious persuasions and each time the soul incarnates into a different set of circumstances, it is for the purpose of learning lessons and gaining experience that can only happen via that particular existence. If we are lucky enough to gain all the experience that can be had on earth, then we can work towards ascension onto the higher planes of evolvement to join the ascended masters, and other teacher beings.

The popular misconception about reincarnation is that we are supposed to come back to the earth again and again for eternity, when the reality is far simpler. Once the soul has learned all of its karmic lessons, it progresses to the next level and no longer has the need to repeat the experience over and over. It allows for those lucky few who have reached the end of their cycle of physical manifestations, to become teachers and guides for the next generations of young souls working their way through the evolutionary process, (once born and twice born souls).

Initiation, or awakening into wisdom is an important step in the journey as it allows access into the akashic hall of records wherein all information is stored. The realization of the one being the many, and the connection between every living thing, puts one at a different vantage point from a large percentage of the population, who are solely occupied with the possession of material wealth and the notion that the acquisition of gold, wealth, and status will make them happy.

There is no amount of possessions or wealth of any kind that will bring happiness. Wisdom, intuition and imagination are the fundamental ingredients of true happiness. Conflict and turmoil need not be a way of life, and unfortunately most people accept materiality as all encompassing reality and give up their search or quest for any real meaning in their lives. As a direct result of this the intentions of the soul, or the lessons that were intended on being learned, are literally forgotten.

As a species we are capable of such greatness, if we don't lose sight of the “soul purpose” of this particular incarnation. Conversation with our higher self, greater consciousness, whatever you want to call it, and balance between that and our eternal child self are two of the necessary ingredients towards the discovery of our individual paths, and will move you closer to remembering the reason why you came here and what is was that you were meant to do. It brings a whole new meaning to the concept of “lost souls”; those who have temporarily forgotten who they are because they are so distracted by the many sensual delights of modern society.

Where does the the collective influence stop and where does the individual's creative consciousness begin? One of the questions facing those who are taking their first tentative steps towards the discovery of their gifts, and their purpose in this life. Anyone lucky enough to have reached this point of knowing their purpose already should congratulate themselves on clearing the first hurdle of their initiation quest, and realize the importance of this. To then begin to put time and effort into the discovery and development of that particular gift and put it to some use for the betterment of humanity.

If everyone took time out to consider how much of their lives they spend doing things that they have been conditioned into, they would be amazed to find out how many of their opinions, viewpoints, relationship structures, social structures and general acceptance of reality are not in fact of their own choosing, but things that they have subconsciously taken upon themselves because they simply didn't question anything and accepted it as fact because the majority accept it as fact. Blindly accepting anything as truth is a very dangerous situation to be in.

For years the debate has raged about the mind-body-spirit connection, and each person is entitled to their own opinion and formation of their concept of what that triple existence means to them.

Question everything! Never accept someone else's opinion and always listen to your own inner voice of wisdom, from within the very core of your being, your Soul, that is if you can hear it over the almighty din of the hundreds and thousands of distraction techniques.

The soul is you, it is the blueprint and map of your existence in this life, the one before it, and those to come. It is part of the eternal consciousness that moves the universe and creates life.

You are part of a larger family, or soul group, which, when you have reached a certain level of spiritual maturity, you will gravitate towards those individuals or they will be drawn towards you.

These soul groups consist of concentrates archetypal energy, collected and evolving on a higher level through the connection of the collective consciousness of those involved. Imagine the microcosm of your mind and the macrocosm of the power of the collective thoughts of those wired in to the net. These collective personality 'oversouls' have consciousness, and formative aspects much the same as the collective energy created by the thoughts and prayers of those who attend regular church worship. This energy can have profound effects upon the target of those thoughts.

Man is fundamentally a fourfold creature, and each of these levels of being are as important as the other. There is the physical, spiritual, logical, and emotional sides of a personality to take into consideration when dealing with each individual. All of the different spiritual disciplines have their own terminology for these aspects of human nature, but they all represent the same forces within each personality, or individual soul essence. When science and religion became divisible, and the train of thought begins to sway in one direction or the other, more often than not prejudice against the other arises from nothing more than intolerance, or an inability to look at things from both sides equally and to find common ground, or common sense answers to the problems that arise.

Caring for and nurturing the delicate spirit within the physical body, understanding the mind, emotional responses and the need for spirituality, and balancing this with the demands of earthly existence is a daunting task but well worth the journey of pursuit. Believe in what you know to true from your own personal experience, not what you have been told, or read, or seen on the TV. Learn and grow, following in the footsteps of those who have laid the foundation for the beginning of your journey by choosing a path that suits you, for your journey into wholeness. But know that you 'soul path' is yours and yours alone, no one else can walk it for you. The 'soul group', or 'soul essence' to which you belong only plays a small part in the process of your evolution. The lessons you have to learn, the knowledge you require, people that you are required to meet.... all of these choices are made by by you; this is the will that is often discussed in occult literature.

Spiritual guidance, in whatever form it may take, is essentially guidance and only that. In the end, the decisions about your course of action, in any matter, lie with you and your ability to comprehend that which you are meant to achieve in this lifetime. Piece by piece, a stone at a time, building on your experience and inner wisdom. The more you learn to trust your inner voice and act according to your true will, you become more integrated with your 'soul essence' which is a part of the Initiation process that is often talked about in popular spiritual literature.

Enlightenment is another word for realization; when things we learn or have been meditating over, or studying suddenly makes perfect sense and our perception is shifted up a level. Using this new platform as springboard we can use these as the foundations upon which to build another level of experience on.

What is the soul? It is you, it is me, and it is the lifeblood that runs through all living things.

Next come the big question, God or no God? Or perhaps more importantly what is God?

What we do know for sure is that the intolerance created by this subject alone, and the individual belief systems that proclaim theirs to be the only truth, is beyond words. Is there any reason for the personal beliefs of one individual to create a serious enough adverse reaction in another individual up to the point that they want to hurt them for it? There shouldn't be, but as history plainly reveals, that is always the case when faced with this question. Based on my own personal experience of this subject so far, I have come to the conclusion that we all have a godlike nature within us, and that we also have a darker or shadow aspect which reflects in those unsavory characteristics of human nature. Is it a coincidence that the representation of God, or the God form in most cultures has a human form?

Now, would that be because the mind associates the physical form of a human as being the only form of life with a higher intelligence, or is it because the limited perception of a large percentage of those minds automatically associate the concept of god with something which is is already familiar, as opposed to perceiving outside the realm of human experience? We could, and have, spent centuries theorizing over the concept of God, but it is essentially a man made, or mind created concept. There are a lot of reasons that bring me to this conclusion, and the most prominent being that it is the need for a kind of security blanket, refuge or crutch, that can be used in times of stress. Unfortunately this usually entails its principles being used to blame the actions of other people on, or to praise our own deeds, of which we feel to be more superior than the actions of others. Alongside this reasoning, heaven and hell are purely two states of being that an individual will waver between throughout their lives, depending on how they live, what their core beliefs are and how they use, and or abuse the power of their minds. To deliberately wish for harm to come to another person, or to be always thinking that bad things are going to happen, what do you imagine life will be like for that person? Well, Hell I would imagine!

What about the person who thinks about the feelings of others, is compassionate in actions and deeds, is understanding and who realizes that anger really only hurts the person who is acting it out and not the recipient? Every good action towards another, or each thoughtful gesture being motivated by selflessness, does this personality structure remind you of anyone prevalent in historical and religious teachings?

I'd have to go so far as to say that if there is a God, that it is impersonal and more akin to the concept of supra consciousness; extension or concentration of the pool of soul essence. When God forms are talked about in Occult literature it literally means to take on, or assume the posture or aspect of the God in question, to amalgamate that essence within your personality and integrate its wisdom and teachings into your belief structures, giving you more experience from which to act.

We are all at different stages of our soul journey, and need interaction with other beings as much as they need interaction with us to facilitate the experience process and instigate change. Especially when we get stuck in a run with something that we are trying to do, or when we have come to a temporary standstill in our progression. Inspiration comes from every interaction, and we learn so much from other people that they are our greatest teachers, because they offer us an alternative perspective or perception point from which to analyse and learn.

Saving you from yourself?

How can an outside entity or a personal God help you to be a better person? In reality all it takes is a perception shift, or increased awareness outside of the realm of our own opinions, giving you the ability to work towards realization and enlightenment by way of the cosmic mirror and the study of the reflection into which you are staring.

Would it not be more accurate to say that, when we are told that our souls need saving, what we actually need is to be given the freedom of expression to allow our spirit to express itself freely without having any predisposed constraints or dogma that it has to adhere to for fear of eternal damnation?

Society has for far too long now been in the clutches of one or another form of indoctrination and oppression, and the direct result of this can be witnessed first-hand in any of the barbaric bloodsheds that are carried out in the name of Holy Wars.

How can any sane person justify the violence subjected on others because they have an opposing viewpoint? And literally stamp those voices into the dirt.... in his name. Who is 'He' anyway? Are we back to the assumption that God is a human, or should I say, male form?

If a higher power, or God, exists then surely it, from its elevated position of being a super powerful intelligence, would be able to discern the difference between right and wrong and have a quiet word with some of these individuals and point out to them that the blatant disregard for another being's right to their own opinions, spiritual beliefs and life choices is inhumane.

J M Ashcroft 21 12 2011

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Programming Yourself for Success in the New Year

Every year, people tell themselves, "this year will be significant, I will resolve to pursue --- goal(s)." Unfortunately, due to a number of potential variables & excuses people manufacture that aren't for their own good, their resolution ends up by the wayside. Why is this? Could there be a reason why their goals for the new year end up sinking like the Titanic? Let's review what it takes to make a goal manifest & soar into reality..

The first step towards setting a goal is to be realistic, but not so realistic that you're beating around the bush. For instance, let's say you are trying to lose some pounds for the new year. Instead of stating bluntly "I want to lose 50 lbs. this year" we will attack the root culprit. So let's rephrase our goal as "I want to reduce my carbohydrate consumption this year so that I can lose weight & become a better father/mother/etc." It is also important to be very specific when stating your goal so you can refine it to where it sticks in your mind and the mind becomes a laser to etch this goal of yours into reality.

The next step towards accomplishing your goal lays in the power of association. So you want to lose weight right? You know that becoming leaner will not only allow you to live a longer and healthier life, but that you will become a better person in general. By the way, as a side note, we are not inferring that everyone should be a specific weight or look like an anorexic Hollywood model, what we are talking about is cases of obesity that can offset good health. So here is where it gets into the science of manifestation...

When we associate with people, images, environments that support our goal, guess what happens? It comes a lot faster than we expected and puts us on cruise control. Are we going to accomplish our goal of losing weight by hanging around people who love eating at buffets? Most likely not. We know that these people will only hinder our goal & make it harder to accomplish.

People don't only have a huge influence on individuals with weaker auras, but images, environment, even music all play a huge role in what goes on in the higher realms. People that are interested in wealth for example, know & understand this concept very well & apply it by hanging up pictures of expensive cars, hundred/thousand/even million dollar bills, big fancy houses, yachts, whatever floats your boat! We need to create an environment that will make our goal a success, so much as to literally create a "shrine" for our idea to manifest. This is literally the process of downloading a simple thought from the mental plane into 3d. Human beings are vices for such an intricate science.

Above all, keep an attitude that allows our feelings to allow us to know that our goal has already been accomplished. Out of all the tips that one can develop for success, this may be the most powerful yet. It allows us not to worry about when, where, or how it will occur and opens up the doors for the universe to bring it to us once we are ready. Opening your heart & soul for success is very important too. The people with the most success are those who program their minds for it.

May this coming year flood you with joy & prosperity,


Friday, 9 December 2011

Crystal Skulls – decoding the mystery within by Rhian Gibbings

The ancient Mongolian crystal skulls also form an interesting group, being carved from ‘golden’ calcite crystal with a distinctive and striking non-human style. They seem to inspire their guardians to walk a shamanic path, expressing their spirituality and honouring the interconnectedness of all existence through sacred ritual and ceremony.

If we choose to delve into metaphysics, magic, energy healing, channelling and the plethora of fascinating concepts that occupy the minds of spiritual seekers, there are infinite ways that crystal skulls can be involved. As part of a growing international community of crystal skull guardians, I’ve observed that individual ways of working with the skulls are as diverse and variable as the carvings and crystals themselves. 

One thing that many crystal skull guardians would agree on, however, is that once they began to immerse themselves in discovering the mystery and magic offered by the crystal skulls, they often found there was no choice but to grasp the opportunity to embark on a journey of personal development that became totally transformational. It’s not unusual to see dramatic changes in people who find themselves connecting with crystal skulls, such as the endings and beginnings of relationships, the emergence of undetected skills and talents, shifts in what might have seemed like previously steady attitudes and beliefs and even the opening up of new and wholly unexpected life paths.

The idea that crystal skulls are so dynamic may seem strange to those who haven’t been drawn to connect with them on a deep level, and it’s true that for some, crystal skulls simply aren’t part of the path. I believe we all have the potential to find our ultimate truths, and if crystal skulls are part of your spiritual journey, they are likely to become important keys in your awakening process. If not, other keys or catalysts can emerge in a form that is more appropriate for you.

But what’s so special about crystal skulls? Why should a piece of crystal shaped like a human head be such a powerful tool for transformation? Perhaps there are several concepts worth considering when answering these questions.

For those who connect with crystal skulls, any negative associations related to the archetype of the skull itself relating to death and human mortality are soon exposed as false illusions. Lessons learned from contemplating the timelessness of crystal itself allow us to see our spiritual nature as eternal, and the skull form begins to represent the magnificence of ‘human beingness’ – a term that describes our infinite capacity for understanding and our potential as vessels for Divine expression through our flowing thoughts, emotions and Free Will. 

In this way, crystal skulls seem to trigger and facilitate the steps required for the individual to reach a greater level of inner understanding relating to those crucial questions we’ve probably all asked at one time or another – ‘Who am I’ and ‘Why am I here?’.So the crystal skulls have proved invaluable tools for many – inspiring them to look within and make personal progress and beneficial changes with leaps and bounds that may previously have seemed inconceivable.

When people ask me about the message of the crystal skulls, I’ll often suggest their starting point is to make their connection and consider the skull as a mirror that reflects their inner self. It actually doesn’t matter at all whether the information they receive through the crystal skull is delivered in the perceived form of telepathy, clairvoyance or simply impressions, emotions or sensations. It’s when the individual starts to recognise the wonder of who they really are through their connection with the crystal skull that the real magic and transformation can begin.

There is something truly special about the crystal skulls which catalyses deep revelatory experiences and inner realisations in a flash. Rather than analyse this too much, I like to attribute it to the pure magic of the crystal skulls and I view it as Divine.

True inner work with crystal skulls ultimately guides us towards our potential for balance and harmony with everything that exists. At its most pure, the process helps each seeker find a special path of Love and Unity that works for them. It’s therefore fair to say that for many guardians, crystal skulls are trusted friends and beacons of Light that signpost the bright future for this world that we’d all like to envisage ahead. In simple terms, crystal skulls are New Consciousness. Embrace the opportunity to connect with the crystal skulls if they come your way – it could be a pivotal point in your personal journey.

RhianGibbings is a Spiritual Teacher, Crystal & Energy Healing Expert, Writer, TV Presenter, Shamanic Seer, Crystal Skull Guardian & Priestess of the Sacred Feminine. 

Monday, 5 December 2011

An Adult Living with Autism by David Rowan ... continued

  • Dyslexia
Most commonly known and understood, possibly because large numbers of the population have very mild hints of this mild end of the spectrum. Ordinarily, experienced as a difficulty with either letters or numbers, it is often accompanied with a high intellect and sensitive and restless central nervous system.
  • Aspergers Syndrome:
An A-social condition which commonly induces a high intellectual capacity along with an emotional bewilderment and untypical social and relational perception. It may help to think of archetypal figures such as ‘Spok’ from star trek, or a mad professor who knows a great deal about his topic but cannot find the glasses on his head and has odd socks on. It is now thought that Einstein, Newton and Andy Warhol were Aspergers.

There is a sensitive central nervous system which is easily overwhelmed by sensory phenomena; sounds, smells, touch, textures of clothing, the strength of light ... can all be relentlessly uncomfortable. 

Imagine that all the while a main ceiling light is switched on in your living room, someone is standing behind you, tapping your neck with a pencil – all the time ... or, imagine that the sound of aggression, whether directed at you or not, is not just heard, but is felt like a sharp physical punch ... or, imagine that the weight of clothing constantly taps at your attention.

When I walk into an unfamiliar large shop, like a supermarket or shopping arcade, I am often swamped with the movements, lights, colours, sounds and smells which seem to rush at me like a sensory wave. It can seem a bit disconcerting at times and I often react by becoming a little withdrawn. After a while, my system seems to acclimatise and a sense of balance is restored (unless the environment is very busy, noise, or bright, in which case it can become overwhelming to the point of needing to remove myself from the environment).

In spectral terms, Aspergers Syndrome may be thought of as a very very strong dyslexia: Dyslexia + + ...

and ...
  • Dyspraxia:
A motor-coordination problem. My brain is wired in such a way that my hand, and feet, sometimes move involuntarily, or land wide of an intended mark. For example:

I often peel my thumb instead of the potato I am holding ...

My guitar playing may be creative and interesting, but it is also rather clunky. I play blues and rock guitar because they require a little less precision than classical guitar and if I am recording a song I am often in a great deal of pain before the song ends – it can take an incredible amount of time to do a simple take. Likewise, it takes me a very long time to chop the veg for dinner or to write a reply to an email ...

The feet and general spatial awareness are a problem bordering on inconvenient. I sometimes trip over nothing and crash to the floor with an inelegant surprise – I got a stick to walk with in 20098, and this has helped tremendously. I often bump into doorframes, rather than go smoothly though the gap (my feet tend to follow my  eye and if I am looking at the door frame in order to judge its distance, instead of passing by it I find I walk into it – even though I do not want to). I have almost caused a dozen heart attacks in glassware and gift shops and now only visit such places feeling a very strong sense of being self-conscious. I am also slightly echo-praxic, meaning that I involuntarily copy other’s movements. If I am at a gig and someone looks up to the lighting rig, I take my eye off the band and look upwards as well – which is very irritating because I lose the moment I was enraptured in (which is why I like to be at the front, so I can become lost inside the performance and not be jolted out if it). Embarrassingly, I also find myself following  ‘the car in front’, turning wherever they turn, even if I want to go in a different direction ...
and ...

I wouldn't change being Aspergers for the world

It certainly isn't a disease; a disease may be defined as a condition with consistent symptoms caused by an infection.

Aspergers is a syndrome; a varied collection of traits from which different individuals have salient combinations. The (British) Autistic Society calls viewing the world from a mainly right-brain perspective; an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I strongly disagree: I think it would be more accurate to call it an Autistic Spectrum Perception.

One can only describe a character trait as one of many potential expressions from a rainbow of human possibilities. If there were such a thing as a standard off-the-shelf  'normal'  human then yes, anyone outside of that norm could be considered disordered. However, because human beings are not machines, the concepts of  'normalising'  is misplaced and, therefore, while an individual may be disadvantaged in certain areas of life, to say one is disordered is, in my opinion, unacceptable.

Labels are important - they help people to understand things and relate with the world appropriately. For example,
 'Safe car’ - is a label ... 'Death trap' - is a label.

We must know the difference. ...

'Pedant' - is a label ... 'Aspergers' - is a label.

If you are able to discern the difference between these two distinctly different orientations in consciousness and correctly identify which one applies to me, then you will be able to respond to me with appropriate sensitivity - or, if not, and you respond to me as if I am an awkward pedant, I will feel bullied, alienated and misunderstood.

The label 'Aspergers' allows non-Aspergers people to step out of the lens of their judgments and view me from a different perspective. Unfortunately, our present society does not seem to have kindness and gentleness at its core - and that is possibly due to the neuro-typicals who run everything from the government to the media and entertainment industry ...

For me, being an adult with an autism  hat-trick, is like a wonderful gift. I may miss what others see, but I see what others miss; and while my right brain opens into wonderful creativity, it also has a heightened sensitivity for another's experience and people comment that my astrology readings have an insight into their inner world and psyche which is profound and deeply moving.


Regarding my memory, I often forget things - and often important things too. For a neuro-typical, if something is over looked it signifies that the over looked thing was somehow unimportant, as if the amnesia signified a diminished sense of value. This is not the case with the autistic spectrum: I forget trivial stuff and important stuff just the same; this is one of the reasons I find finances so hard to manage - I constantly forget to remember to say things and miss deadlines and then all the dominos fall over. I can have an intention to tell someone something important and if I then get distracted by something, days can go by before I say what I was going to say. There is no malice in this, nor any intention to deceive; it is more a question or managing a chaotic mind: Asperger's Syndrome, Mercury in Pisces, however you wish to describe it, the phenomenon is the same ... it is also a very creative and inspirational place to find oneself - though not good for practicality.

Communicating: listening and speaking through the lens of literalism:

People with Asperger's are inclined towards literalism, which colours both how I express myself and how I receive what is said to me. It would seem that non-Asperger's people, sometimes referred to as, 'neuro-typicicals', communicate with inferences, hints and implications. To me, these nuances of communication are invisible. Conversely, people often respond to things I say as if I said different words and I find this very confusing. Another source of confusion for me is ambiguity and whenever I am confused I tend to adopt the approach of seeking clarity. I do this by asking questions. Sometimes, my questions are ignored because the person I am seeking clarity from is not clear themselves. Sometimes, my questions are met with hostility because the person I am seeking clarity from does not understand that I did not understand, and so presumes I am asking questions because I have some kind of nefarious or hurtful agenda ... or perhaps I am just plain awkward and pedant. I am none of these things; I am an autistic spectrum communicator. Being an autistic spectrum thinker is great for being creative but I do tend to get lost in conversation in which the references are unclear - it is as if my ability to intuit the context does not work; I find it particularly difficult to follow someone if they refer back to something which was said previously, long or short term, without describing it specifically.

For example, when I posted something on facebook about BBC Radio 4 interviewing me at Stonehenge, someone made a comment about my accent; 'how do you sound with that accent ?', she asked ...

I had no idea how to answer this question. 'How do you sound with that accent ?' - what does this question mean ?

is it a sarcastic remark ? ... is it a compliment ?

I had no idea how to interpret the question, let alone answer it. I have been listening to the sound of my voice, via my ears and jaw-bone for almost 49 years. I have been listening to my voice on recordings; songs, then relaxation tapes, then CDs, then mp3s since 1980. I have heard my voice on the radio half a dozen times since 1994. I have heard it on MAP training videos since 1995, and via the TV twice since 2001 - and on u-tube astrology videos since 2010 ...

To an Asperger's mind; a sentence made with reference to a comment you have made in the past, and can obviously remember, sounds like a random statement to me, because, I do not know what memory of what you have said previously that you are referring to ...

This is not awkwardness, nor pedantry, it is autism - my brain errs towards literalism and cannot follow cryptic messages or ambiguities; I do not have the intuition afforded to those of a 'neuro-typical' nature.

All can do is either become bemused and perplexed at not knowing what you are driving at, and not knowing if you are complimenting or ridiculing my voice
or ...

ask !

Rather than guess what you mean and risk making an erroneous presumption, I prefer to ask, and I hope I ask in a clear and polite way. I have no desire to cause any discomfort - I just want to understand ... x

There are things my aspie brain can do very easily, that neuro-typical brains find more difficult. I teach people these things and am told I am gifted; though really, I am just living through a different perceptual experience. Likewise, there are things that neuro-typicals find natural and easy that aspies find really hard, or even nigh-on impossible.

For example: to illustrate both perspectives imagine a physically disabled person picking up a coin from the floor. For an able bodied person, this action may be so un-challenging that they hardly notice the effort in doing it. For the disabled person though, it may require a herculean effort ...

Now, make the disability invisible; imagine a voice so clear and articulate that the aspie person sounds wise and very capable. Imagine, a reference to something has been dropped during a conversation which has meandered back and forth between three topics. The neuro-typical person makes a comment about one of these three topics and, rather than specifically making a reference to it (naming the topic) they refer to the topic as 'it', using an unspecified reference. Intuiting which topic the  'it'  is referring to is easy for the neuro-typical, they can mentally pick up the coin. For the Asperger's person listening, the use of the unspecified  'it'  is the precursor to a whirl of  confusion, self-doubt, frustration, humiliation and embarrassment. If the Asperger's person is at that moment feeling particularly vulnerable or shy, the confusion may be held internally and their self confidence bruised. If the Asperger's person is feeling safe with the communicator, they may ask the communicator to clarify what they said; which may confuse the communicator because the communicator may well believe they have been absolutely clear; the communicator could follow their train of thought and knew what they meant when they said the word  'it', so surely, anyone they are speaking with can also do the same ...

Things we find easy others may not. Things we find difficultt, others may find easy. Following an ambiguous, or unstated context, for me, is nigh-on impossible; though I do understand, that other people find it easy and communicate that way frequently.

When my brain becomes befuddled, it goes through a sort of 360 degree random context search and, because I do not know the context (and, for my autistic brain, regardless ...of every previous conversation, it is contextually neutral and blank) I begin to think of every possible meaning I can attribute to the sentence; and, being somewhat bright, that means I am overwhelmed with dozens of varieties of means - instantly ...

This is not personal - my brain responds this way to every ambiguous statement I hear, regardless of who the communicator is; a news presenter on TV, a close friend, a client ... my brain is always seeking clarity and finds befuddlement painful. As far as I can tell, a lot of aspergers people have a similar experience.

Figures of speech are another source of chaotic bedlam for the Aspie mind. People tend to use figures of speech that they are familiar with, and often, it seems, presume that the recipient of their communication is either already familiar with  the figure, or, is easily able to intuit its meaning and this  would be the case for a neuro-typical.

However, for an aspie brain, it is very different.

To use the example set out previous, that of my voice on the radio: if the inquiry had been phrased in the following way, without any figures of speech or assumed understanding, 'How does your voice sound to you on the radio ?', I would have understood immediately and been very happy to give the most accurate and detailed answer possible. I am not a pedant; to me, a pedant is a person who is somehow deciding to be pedantic, as if they have a choice in the matter, or are able to modify their pedantry or even stop it altogether, for diplomatic reasons, for example. I cannot pick up pedantry and put it down again; pedantry is not something I do, it is bi-product of a neural orientation.

When an aspie understands a question, they are likely to embark on a great and deep inquiry, so beware ! - your easy, light, casual question can actually end up as a PhD research study which takes more than five years to complete ... :)

I am still answering a question I was asked about astrology in 1983 :

I'd also like to mention ...

in my aspie experience, I often find that people forget that I am aspergers and expect me to respond in a neuro-typical way. Even very close friends, sometimes seem to forget, and I think this is largely down to a couple of things;

I use all I know about NLP and modern applied psychology, and astrology, to learn how to function in accord with society. A policewoman once told me I am not an aspie because I was engaging in eye-contact with her, ‘the books say ...blah blah eye-contact’, she exclaimed - 'So you cannot be Asperger's'.  She did not know I taught myself to hold eye contact after reading a book on how to be friendly when I was 16. I also used to do  ‘smiling exercises’  in a mirror, often for more than an hour a day ...

(did you hear the way I said, ‘Hello ...’, on the radio 4 thingy at Stonehenge  ? it is my  ‘learned’  hello, and you’ll see at the top of notes and hear it at the beginning of my Relaxation and hypnotherapy CDs ...  and if you watch the Big Breakfast footage on my web site or on facebook, you will notice that when Chris, the staff member, walks along the line saying, ‘big lorry, yellow lorry', with his arms outstretched, for a few steps, I follow and walk along with him. I couldn’t help it – I often, quite unconsciously follow people’s actions and direction – at a lecture last summer I first heard the term, ‘Echo-praxia’.)

So, to a large extent, I work at fitting in and this means my perceptual orientation/condition/autism becomes invisible to those around me. It is still there though, it is the lends through which I view life and express muyself, and when I respond in an appropriately aspie way I am often met with surprise, irritation, bewilderment, even anger ...

Imagine that ? – a person in a wheelchair being met with anger because it took them a while to pick up 50p from the floor – outrageous !!!

It won’t happen though, unless you are with a very unpleasant person, because a wheelchair is visible and thus, is always a part of the context of how we relate with that person. Have a go, if you can, of thinking of those in the autistic spectrum as living inside invisible neuro-chairs; it is how they filter what comes in to them .. and how they express themselves to the world around them. Questions and apparent pedantry are s not personal, just like needing to wear glasses is not a personal attack on those who do not like glasses. It is just a way of experience reality and is often invisible to the observer, and even forgotten sometimes by those who love them.

I apologise if anyone who lives with someone in the autistic spectrum finds any offence in my suggestion that they may sometimes forget their loved one has dyslexia, or aspergers etc ... It is not a comment about you – it is a description of my experience of reality, and may only be a description of the life of Dave.  If you’d like to know if anyone else has these kind of experiences, it would be interesting to ask ...
for more info, see here: 

Post script:
Living with a Beautiful  Mind’ - The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Pedantry:  a possibly somewhat rude example of the difference between Aspergers logic and Neuro-typical pedantry

 One year in 2004, a household name company decided to champion a different cause – they chose the National Autistic Society. They put out the call through the company for anyone who’d like to participate who likes in the autistic spectrum, or lives with someone who lives within the autistic spectrum to be interviewed to create a booklet to encourage awareness …

I was mentioned and asked if I’d like to participate and I said, ‘of course’. They wanted to do a feature on me called, ‘living with a beautiful  mind’, which I thought was really nice. To do this, they had hired what  I can only describe as an in-house journalist, or at least, someone was delegated the task. She asked Reena if I’d be free to talk on the phone for half an hour one particular afternoon and was told,

‘yes, though  you’d better clear your diary for the afternoon’.

 ‘Oh, great. Though it will only be a short …’.  

‘Yes, I know - so you’d better clear your diary’ … the journalist’s puzzlement was itself short-lived …
The appointed moment came and the phone duly rang. We said, ‘hello’, and got chatting and she asked, ‘So, what’s it like living with an autistic spectrum disorder ?’

I heard the word ‘disorder’ and began to feel a need to either educate or encourage deeper thought.

I replied, ‘Well, I wouldn’t call it a disorder – I would say I have an Autistic Spectrum Perception’,

J – ‘oh, right, sorry. Well, I called it that because that’s what it says on the web National Autistic Society web site. Do you have a problem with the words people use ?  ...  you probably take words literally don’t you … ?

Hmmm ... I heard, and not for the first time, ‘...  you probably take words literally don’t you … ?’ and inwardly sighed ...


She asked the last part of her question with a tone that implied I am to be pitied because I take words literally and that literalism is some kind of problem. I decided deeper thought was required …

D – ahh .. ok, here’s a quote for you. Can you write this down verbatim ?

J – of course ..

D – ready …

J – full of anticipation, ‘yes’ …

D – ‘anyone who doesn’t take words literally … is a  Wanker !

J – ‘oh my goodness, what .., I , I can’t write that into the piece, I’m sorry but …

D – ‘that’s the quote, write it down, “anyone who doesn’t take words literally is a wanker” … ’

D – ‘really, they are … because wanker means, “highly attractive and intelligent individual” … doesn’t it … ? … :) '

J – ‘what ?...’

D – ‘wanker – means highly attractive and intelligent individual .. in the world of a person who doesn’t take words literally … doesn’t it ? … :) ’

J – ‘I’m not sure I follow …’

D – ‘ok; there aren’t two Oxford English Dictionaries really, are there ? It’s not as if there is the section that holds the words with relevant fixed meanings that we all refer to in a sense of shared reality, and there is the other section that holds the words with irrelevant meanings to which we randomly attribute whatever meaning we happen to feel like at the time. No, there is one English dictionary that states the agreed shared meaning of every word in the English dictionary. Either the word, ‘Wanker’ is offensive because we all agree that that is, because of it’s defined meaning in the body of literature we call a dictionary, or, the word ‘wanker’  means anything you want it to, because the only people who fix meanings to words are people who takes things literally, and they have a disorder.

Either, you take words literally, or you don’t; and if you don’t, you really are a wanker … :) ’

J – ‘ahhh … I see. Ha ha, though I still can’t print it’

D – ‘that’s a shame, because I am told I have a disorder by people who are doing exactly the same thing as me. Really, if anyone talks about someone as if being literal is a problem, just call them a wanker and they’ll soon realise their offended feelings are revealing that they are doing exactly the same thing – responding to words as if they have a shared and defined meaning’.

‘Honestly, if you wanted me to  communicate in a way that wasn’t literal I could draw a picture or dance or play some music but really, since words are both the  tools and product of a literal medium and I can only use them in a literal way …’

J – ‘you think deeply  don’t you ?’

D – ‘now, that is a trait of being Aspergers … :) ’

J – ‘and you seem to have a sense of humour, which the web site say’s you shouldn’t have’

D – ‘oh goodness, that one as well. Ok, journalist person, to me, it seems to be like this: if a comedian was playing at the comedy store in London and went out, did his act, and then shuffled off the stage to absolute silence, not even a slow clap or a boo, it would be totally unrealistic for the bad comedian to then announce, ‘what a terrible audience out there tonight. I was really very funny and not one of them laughed – not one of them has a sense of humour …’

Of course, this would be daft. It is not the audience who lacks a sense of humour, it the comedian who lacks the ability to inspire laughter within them. That’s right, isn’t it ?’

J – ‘well, yes …’

D- ‘So, I can only assume that one day some psychologist sat in front of someone with aspergers syndrome and told bad jokes so badly that he didn’t even raise a smile and like some deluded bad comedian announced, ‘the patient does not laugh – conclusion: Anyone with Aspergers Syndrome does not have a sense of humour’. This announcement is taken literally by other non-aspergers people as being a statement of truth and is even written on Aspergers websites as a guide to symptoms …’

She was on the phone for two and a half hours and I have a copy of the booklet, ‘Living with a Beautiful Mind’.

‘A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security’.

 Albert  Einstein

'Self Correcting' - a dynamic of conceptual processing within the Autistic Spectrum by David Rowan

Autism can be thought of as a spectrum, ranging from subtly mild at one end to full at the other; from mild dyslexia to full autism.

Different parts of the spectrum hold unique qualities and yet those further along the scale also hold some of the qualities of those from the earlier milder areas of the spectrum as well; these qualities may also vary in depth or strength; all of these conditions, from very mild dyslexia to full autism are a part of what is known as The Autistic Spectrum.

When had my first university Asperger's/Dyslexia assessment in Southampton in 2002, they discovered I had a  particular dynamic in my thought processing which they called 'Self Correcting'. This was considered to be so disadvantageous to my forthcoming work as a student, that I was awarded a support worker who would check all my work for grammatical errors and typos, like a university appointed proof reader. My tendency for self correcting prompted a great deal of concern ...

What is it ?

On the surface, 'Self Correcting' sounds like it describes a person proof reading themselves; typing some words, checking for errors, identifying errors, and then correcting the errors ...

However, it is not is much more

The first step to understanding Self Correcting is to identify the location of the correcting. What I mean is this;

In the above example of correcting errors, proof reading oneself, the correcting process is external. The brain coordinates the eyes and hands to produce text. The eye scans the text and the brain identifies parts of the text which are incongruous to remembered text-rules. The brain the navigates the hands to physically touch the keys of the physical external keyboard, so that the outer reality is adjusted to meet the remembered text-rules; spelling and grammar. The person has self-corrected the text.

The term, 'Self Correcting', describes a completely different process.

In Self Correcting, the correcting is located in the brain; within the neural processing itself.

Here, the brain coordinates the eyes and hands to produce text. The eye scans the text, and light from the page stimulates the optic nerve, as it does in the self-proof-reading example, however, the attention of the individual, what some might term, 'the mind's eye', is not focused upon the details of the external text. It is, instead, focussed upon the memory of what the individual has just written. the inner eye is not looking at the actuality of what has been written; it is looking at the memory of what the individual wanted to write.

The text just written may have errors, it may have no errors, but the individual cannot 'see' the text - they can only  'see' the memory of their intention. Think about that for a moment, they can only see their memory of their intention ...

All while the individual can remember their intended text, what they wanted to write, they cannot see it objectively; all they can  'see' is their subjective text.

What I find is that if I look at something I have just written, I cannot see the errors - they are invisible to me. However, if I leave the text for some time, or distract myself by thinking about something completely different, the resultant amnesia means that when I next look at whatI have written, I see the text through fresh, objective eyes - and I can the see the actual words my hands produced and the errors are plainly visible..

You may notice on here that I sometimes write a status post, and then delete it, replace it, delete it and replace it again - this happens when I have written something, got distracted and then blushed when I see the errors my dyspraxic hands have produced.

I can see the errors in other people's writing because i am not privy to the memory of their intention; in other words, because I am not aware of what they wanted to write, my inner eye is not beguiled by the memory - so my attention rests upon the physical page and sees what is actually there. This is then compared to the grammatical rules stored within my unconscious, and I am able to spot text which is incongruous to the rules of which I have knowledge.

I thought it would be interesting to post the following question on facebook:

'a question for those with Dyslexia: do you find you are able to spot typos and errors in the writings of other people ?'

Every reply confirmed the same; those with dyslexia who cannot see their own errors, can see them in the writings of other people. This suggests that those who replied are Self Correcting.

For me, this Self Correcting mechanism, or neural dynamic, has boarder implications.

If we stop thinking of the Self Correcting process as something related with writing, and instead view it as a neural process, then it becomes clear that the disparity between viewing the external world objectively for what it is, and attending to the mind's inner concept of 'what is', may have more general implications.

For example, if I expect the stairs to be a clearway of ascending steps which lead to the upper landing, all I 'see' is a 'clearway of ascending steps which lead to the upper landing'. If there is something placed  at the foot of the stairs, I literally do not  'see' it; really - even if I have to make an effort of climbing over it, or navigating around it, my inner vision is fixated on the memory of my intention - to arrive at the upper landing, and that is all I 'remember' afterwards; my ascending journey along clearway of  steps to the landing ...

If the TV screen is covered in dust, I do not see the dust; I see,  'that which I am looking for', which is the electrical picture emanating from the screen.

This Self Correcting processing can be useful in certain contexts; when I look at someone's face I rarely see their spots and blemishes ... (until they point them out). Navigating your way through a world of expectations, can be bewildering, entertaining, socially disadvantageous and even downright dangerous. Not seeing the car as you step into an expected clear road, not seeing the open manhole :) ...
Not seeing a friend's face as they pass you in a busy street is inconvenient - not seeing the temporary mess of a local roadwork's is convenient. Not being able to do your shopping because the supermarket has moved the shelves around and changed the colours of their packaging is very inconvenient - being able to clearly remember the circumstances of a difficulty and its associated feelings and thoughts, described by a client in a therapy session is very convenient. Forgetting someone's name but remembering their Moon sign is ...

I cannot read music, but I can play guitar because I learn the shapes of chords and the patterns of scales - though, I rarely have a clue what the names of the chords or notes are.

if you'd like a little technicality of the neuroscience of the 'inner vision', or, 'mind's eye' ...

In neuroscience, units of perceptions, such as the stimulation of the optic nerve when light touches the retina, are known as 'percepts' A percept is a component of a perception.

Percepts, such as the stimulated optic nerve, go to the rear of the brain and then loop around and around. If they have sufficient intensity an awareness of them emerges and they become 'concepts'. Concepts are units of consciousness.

When we look at a tomato, we  'know' the tomato is on the outside of ourselves; a real physical tomato in the real physical external world.

When we remember a tomato, we somehow 'know' we are not looking at one, on the 'outside'

How ?

The name given to the knowing of what we know, neurologically is 'Qualia'. Qualia is the way neuroscientists discuss how a brain distinguishes the difference between, for example,  various shades of blue. Qualia is a mystery, as is much of the brain, and although the  technologies of the last decade have produced a great deal of new understandings of the brain, we are still at the stage of formative investigation.
I’d like to paste an extract from one of my papers here ...

(This may get a little technical, but it’s absolutely fascinating ...)

' The Narrative Self:

Stephen Pinker attests that humans have an instinct for language; ‘Language is so tightly woven into human experience it is scarcely possible to imagine life without it’ (Pinker, 1994, p.17). Words are not merely symbolic conveyers of ideas or meaning; the phenomena of language is a construct of what may be considered to be that which defines being human; a complex and sophisticated consciousness of self (Dennet, 1991, p.191).  Consciousness does not appear to arise from any single region or neural network of the brain, but appears to be an emergent function which arises from the integration and synchrony of cycles of neural processing (Cozolino, 2002, p153). In The Feeling of What Happens, Domasio describes the emergence of narrative as a process which begins with a proto-conscious core self:

'…neural patterns which become images, images being the same fundamental currency in which the description of the consciousness-causing object is also car­ried out. Most importantly, the images that constitute this narrative are incorporated in the stream of thoughts. The images in the con­sciousness narrative flow like shadows along with the images of the object for which they are providing an unwitting, unsolicited com­ment. To come back to the metaphor of movie-in-the-brain, they are within the movie. There is no external spectator (Domasio, 1999, p171).'

Domasio asserts the autobiographical self is constituted by implicit memories of multiple instances of past experiences which grow continuously and may be partly remodelled to reflect new experiences. Sets of memories which describe identity and person can be reactivated as a neural pattern and made explicit as images (Domasio, 1999, p.174). Edelman and Tononi confer, describing the formation of the autobiographical self as, ‘the remembered present’, a higher-order of consciousness which can place itself in a scheme of the past, present and anticipated future, which, in its most developed form has a semantic and linguistic capability (Edelman and Tononi, 2000, p. 103).'

The architecture of the brain is not completely static and fixed. The term, ‘Neuro Plasticity’, is used to describe how the brain’s shape is changed when different cells are used, a bit like making a new path in a field of soft tall grass. The more the path is used, the more ingrained the pathway becomes. If it falls out of use it can disappear. Yes; a whole chain of thought, an idea, can literally vanish from your head. American neuroscientists have coined the phrase, ‘use it ... or lose it’.

So, the shape of our brain determines how easily we may, or may not, express facets of our character, including problem solving abilities and the options of thoughts we may have. Obviously, when faced with a challenge in life, the more choices we have through the soft ling grass, the easier it may be to find a way to overcome the challenge and thrive.

Less thought options = less choices = higher chance of failure or becoming stuck.

More choice options = more choices = higher chance of success ... finding new horizons ... and survival.

What creates the thought options ?

Brain activity

What stimulates brain activity ?

Our actions, the environment, and narrative; words.

What stimulates the brain with words while also providing us with new words, which are new thought choices, new pathways ?


Bibliography: the books mentioned above (and a few more you may enjoy ...):

Bowlby, J., 1979, The Making and Breaking of Affectional Bonds, Tavistock Publications

Capra, F., 1996, The Web of Life, HarperCollins.

Cozolino, L., 2002, The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy, W.W. Norton and Company inc.

Domasio, A., 1999, The Feeling of What Happens, William Heinemann.

Edelman, G M, Tononi, G., 2000, Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination, Allen Lane The Penguin Press.

Grinder, J., Bandler, R., 1981, Trance-formations, Real People Press.

Guastello S, Koopmans M, Pincus D, 2009, Chaos and Complexity in Psychology, Cambridge University Press.

Jackendorff R, 2007, Language, Consciousness, Culture; Essays on Mental Structure, The MIT Press.

Kirkpatrick L A, 2005, Attachment, Evolution, And The Psychology of Religion, The Guildford  Press.

Pinker S, 1994, the Language Instinct, penguin Books.

Sacks O, 1995, An Anthropologist on Mars, Picador.

Schore A N, 2003, Affect Regulation And The Origin Of the Self, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Watson P, Ideas: 2005, A History from Fire To Freud, Weidenfield & Nicolson.

and I recently found ...

Autism and the Edges of the Known World: Sensitivities, Language and Constructed Reality - Bogdashina

Memory in Autism: Theory and Evidence - Boucher and Bowler

Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain - Domasio

The Healing Power of Emotion: Affective Neuroscience, Development & Clinical Practice - Fosha, Siegal and Solomon.

© David Rowan, November 2011

A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security’.

 Albert  Einstein