A Spiritual View of Autism – Part II

The High Price of Cheap Knock-offs
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There are often questions concerning the cause of an emotional or physical condition that creates obvious and often extensive limitations within a human life. And yet what is witnessed from the outside is often different than what is perceived from the inside for the one experiencing this limitation, and this is especially so when one considers things from the soul level of experience.

From this level, it may be seen that while the conscious self may experience deficits in perceiving things the way others do, or in sustaining attention, or in relating to others in ordinary ways, there are always benefits to the larger self that may go unnamed – benefits such as the person’s relationship to life itself, to the sun shining or to the brightness of the day, and to the heart qualities that emanate both from within the self and from within others.

These benefits which often go unnamed are not incidental to the condition which creates external limitation. They are part of that condition, chosen by the soul before incarnating into a body in order that certain qualities of attention and perception will be emphasized during a particular lifetime.

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The quality of perception of one who is deemed to be ‘autistic’ is not uniform, for individuals vary greatly along a continuum in terms of how they manifest and display certain characteristics relating to this. Nevertheless, the sensitivity and even over-sensitivity to stimuli that is characteristic of many autistic persons has, as it converse side, the ability to feel deeply and to know things that others with more ordinary sensitivities might not be aware of. In this way, what appears as a problem of attention deficit in ordinary situations is, at the same time, a spiritual expansion on the level of knowing and sensing.

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One cannot generalize about the spiritual learning that takes place within the context of those who fall into any diagnostic label, for that label pertains solely to the body and its functions as measured by science’s capabilities at a particular point in time, and to the mental characteristics as evaluated by those who study mental functioning at a particular point in time. No such measurements can be taken of spiritual functioning, for this is beyond science’s ability to measure, housing causal factors that emanate from higher planes that do not lend themselves to physical measurement or observation.

Yet the spiritual qualities that are chosen by the soul who manifests autism are nevertheless very real, for they are part of the purpose for embodiment, and they form the heart and center of what that lifetime of experience is about, even in the presence of disturbances and limitations that seem to others to form the heart and center of what that lifetime is about. Such a path of limitation, in fact, can be chosen by souls who are well-advanced in their spiritual learning and in their desire to further their own spiritual progression, knowing, in advance, prior to taking birth, that this learning will be fostered by what appears on the physical plane to be great limitation.

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One who is a partner, friend, parent, or child of one who is autistic, then, need never feel sorry for the condition that has been chosen in this way, even though the human limitations generated are very real, and even though the trade-off in spiritual terms seems not fully reallized. For the gains in spirit that are present are often very great, and the one who loses functioning in a particular way, even as a very young child, is gaining something of immeasurable value both to the self in this lifetime and beyond.

Instead, it is important to foster and to nourish the spiritual qualities which are both qualities of the heart’s love and qualities of perception that the one who is autistic manifests – to nourish these and to learn from these, for all who relate to these qualities are meant to be changed by them. Indeed, there is no situation within families or beyond in which the growth in spiritual perception or awareness in one is not meant to have a profound and healing effect on the consciousness of others.

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It is with this in mind that society itself needs to take a new look at what appear to be chronic conditions of limitation, both mental, emotional, and physical, and needs to seek through the engagement of intuition and through alignment with one’s own larger self, what the particular gifts of a particular limitation might be. For it is these gifts that have been chosen by the individual soul to bring to the world, and it is these gifts that will flourish more as they are recognized by others.

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