cultural autism.

I grew up loving kaleidoscopes, they always seemd to intrigue me. You could look through the small viewfinder lens and twist and twist and see a variegated schema of colors and sometimes if you twisted it just right you would get all the colors working together to create this rainbow of diversity.

Attributes of autism tend to include:

Sameness is resistance to change; for example, insisting that the furniture not be moved or refusing to be interrupted.
Ritualistic behavior involves an unvarying pattern of daily activities, such as an unchanging menu or a dressing ritual. This is closely associated with sameness and an independent validation has suggested combining the two factors.
Restricted behavior is limited in focus, interest, or activity, such as preoccupation with a single television program, toy, or game.

Some religious views might include a worldview that pervasively excludes the possibility of other belief systems containing any truth whatsoever. I would hope we could all sign-on to the reality that truth is bigger than one systematic approach to why we are here. That truth is in each of us as Jesus offered (John 14:6). Not that all truth could be handled by one person, but that when we come together, we get to experience truth in its fullness. Remember Jesus himself is linked up into a partnership, a community of sorts. And in more than one place, he says we can be just like Him. In fact, one place, He tells us to go and be like Him. This idea is beyond pantheism or any other label one might find to try and fit this, because it bigger than you or I or a group of people. It is a framework designed by God that we can all join in and seek to find truth together. But, when we get comfortable in our way of seeing the world rather than seeing the value in different worldviews we suspend some of our reality and promote a cultural autism that was never meant to be.

Christianity isn’t the only place where we can participate in the perpetration of cultural autism. It is something we can do in other faiths as well. Or politics. Or emotions. Or worldviews. Or family dynamics. If we are to move out from this then we must be able to move through the whole autistic spectrum to find what we are looking for. You never know what you are looking for until you find it.


One comment

  1. Clare · December 6, 2009

    Cultural autism – that’s a really interesting idea, George.


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