STUCK in own world VS. being PRESENT in the moment

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qawer
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09 Jun 2013, 3:36 am

So I now think I get why autistics can end up being "stuck" in their own little world as it is usually portrayed. If one has autism it's likely one does this to some degree, imo.

The problem is that we don't (to a large enough degree) convert the many details that we receive from the world into "a big picture". As a result we have to occasionally/often/always escape into our own mind to avoid being completely overwhelmed.

This is why we cannot stay present in the moment without unusual conscious effort. This results in endless problems throughout life.

So since we don't have the automatic conversion of details to wholes "built in", I'd like to discuss best ways of doing this. Since we don't do it automatically, we have to do it consciously.

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What is the best way to convert detailed input from the world into a whole picture that is not overwhelming (even when all the details it consists of would be) so as to be able to stay present in the moment instead of being stuck in your own mind?



monsterland
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09 Jun 2013, 4:23 am

The only thing that truly puts me in the moment is Aikido training.

Before Aikido, I was lagging behind in processing, always, which made it even more difficult to be in the moment. Complex situations with lots of people, spontaneous things happening, everything got backbuffered as my brain scrambled to select from a few pre-selected responses.

Aikido allowed me to develop that brain-muscle that NTs have, where they don't have to process so much consciously. This made it easier to stay in the moment, instead of constantly being behind in finding optimal response to what's happening.



Last edited by monsterland on 09 Jun 2013, 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

CAL_1138
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09 Jun 2013, 4:28 am

This reminds me of something I have always thought of... have you seen that movie called AWAKENINGS with Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro? I have always wondered if that was some form of autism... I related to those people - basically sleepwalking through life. I don't remember what the actual condition was though.. I haven't seen it since I realized I had asperger's. I gotta watch it again.. the whole movie is here -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw3ulQrXsuQ



Marybird
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09 Jun 2013, 5:12 am

I think we escape into our own minds to process and make sense of the details.
I don't have a problem with being in my own world.



arielhawksquill
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09 Jun 2013, 7:27 am

I agree, qawer--overwhelm is what causes the retreat into interiority, and since it can be so pleasant compared to exterior reality many autistics stay there the majority of the time. Things like mindfulness meditation can bring the awareness back to the present moment, but those whose dysfunctions keep them from mastering and directing their own attention don't seem to have much success with those techniques.



qawer
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09 Jun 2013, 9:44 am

The key to converting details to a whole picture is to understand the world socially, am I right?

People who see the "big picture" all seem think socially, without exceptions. This also fits autistics' lacking social skills.

Trying to adopt a social view would be the best approach to be less overwhelmed, I think. The question is, how?



Ettina
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09 Jun 2013, 12:24 pm

Quote:
The problem is that we don't (to a large enough degree) convert the many details that we receive from the world into "a big picture". As a result we have to occasionally/often/always escape into our own mind to avoid being completely overwhelmed.


Did you even read the articles I linked to in that other thread debunking weak central coherence theory?



arielhawksquill
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09 Jun 2013, 6:53 pm

qawer wrote:
The key to converting details to a whole picture is to understand the world socially, am I right?

People who see the "big picture" all seem think socially, without exceptions. This also fits autistics' lacking social skills.

Trying to adopt a social view would be the best approach to be less overwhelmed, I think. The question is, how?


I think this comes from neurological differences in processes data from the environment, and may not be changed much by adapting a different "view". Neurotypicals come out of the womb with the instinct to look at faces, listen to voices, copy the behavior of other humans, etc. Autistics get all the background information in a social situation as well (the color of the wallpaper, the whining noise of a nearby electronic device, traffic moving by outside the window, etc.) and don't discard it as unimportant--thus, too much info to process.

Some people use large amounts of data to build up a big picture. They tend to have a "systems consciousness" that puts all of the pieces into place and perceives their interaction as a whole (ecologists, for instance, or data architects.) It doesn't necessarily come from thinking "socially", but perhaps in a way that looks for the connections between things instead of their individual instances.