Sunday, April 15, 2007

Thoughts & Links

Yesterday I went to a Buddhist talk on the conducive conditions for developing concentration, considered crucial to the development of understanding and wisdom, and it struck me how our home environment, by meeting so many of those conditions, is so conducive to learning.

It is kind of obvious that we need to focus our attention on different aspects of a particular object in order to get to know it. However, in order to be able to do this, we need, first of all, the right environment. What also struck me was how schools simply do not provide such concentration-friendly environments - nor ASD friendly, but I'm assuming we all know that by now...

So I sat there, listening to how we need a calm and quiet place, where there’s no noise, where you can easily get water and food and your other bodily needs easily met, a place that's free from dangers... sounds just like aspie's paradise! And yet, this is precisely what we get at home.
At home, children can drink when thirsty and eat when hungry. They can go to the toilet as often as they need to and for as long as they need. At home, children are free from sensory overload, bullying, and intellectual abuse. At home, children are free to focus on the things they are naturally interested in.

Other conducive conditions to concentration are access to people who share your interests, and not getting involved in frivolous socialising! Hmm, I'm now starting to see Buddhism as an aspie friendly philosophy.

With corporations busy creating the next generation of consumers and making the most of all the advertising directly targeted at children, no wonder most of them have their interests dictated by such sources. If you're not interested in frivolous socialising or playing the consumer game it can be difficult to find people who share your unique interests.

It's also interesting how our values are culturally specific. For example, the Tibetan monk, who was giving the talk, told us how whenever they have free time Tibetans like to just relax, in sharp contrast with Westerners who enjoy getting out and about and generally busying themselves with all sorts of activities: doing rather than being.

Our views of normality are also culturally specific although some 'experts' and 'professionals' seem to be unaware of this; maybe they're blinded by their faith in their sacred scriptures - holy books like the ICD 10, the DSM-IV, and so on, which tend to be interpreted literally. Maybe this is why new evidence and research is often discounted until it is finally gets its way into the holy book...

Anyway, I'm talking too much again!

Today's Quotes

"Normality is always relative to the particular culture or subculture in which the person lives...normality is also relative to status, age, and type of personality" Maslow and Mittelmann (1941)

"Behavior is abnormal if and only if the society labels it as such" Ullmann and Kranser (1969)

Some Links
NAS Online Talks

On Video Google
Money as Debt
The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community
The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom
Black Gold: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
The Cola Conquest


jax said...

You've also just described my children's school

"we need a calm and quiet place, where there’s no noise, where you can easily get water and food and your other bodily needs easily met, a place that's free from dangers..."

sounds like montessori has buddhist leanings :)

Tibetan Star said...

Great to know there's some alternatives out there!