I have been trying now for some time to formulate the overarching theme of the personal research I’ve been doing over the last years, seemingly jumping across areas, taking up new topics and dropping them, migrating across topics.
It would be nice to write a book – actually that’s what I’d already set my mind to last summer (what came out of it was an ebook here, that needs a good edit, and with which I don’t agree anymore on a lot of points).
Question: what about? I have the feeling there’s clearly a “something” that my readings, reflections, experiments and experiences in life circle around, but the something has no name so far. Its various elements are contained in this blog, some of them. Recently I’ve studied emotions; before that the body quite a lot (in somatics, embodied mindfulness practices, mindful movement and bodywork practices of many kinds); in between bouts of comparative religion, mysticism and shamanism; queer culture, written, migratory, and that of the big city where I’ve spent a couple of months now.
I’ve also studied autism within the neurodiversity paradigm deeply enough to flail around unrequested but not horribly uninformed opinions on various topics that it surprisingly connects with.
Add to that a range of niche topics. Ayurveda; non-western and historical science and medical traditions. Various holistic medicines. Systems biology here and there, relatedly, not letting my neurobiology training lie completely dormant.
What’s the thread, heck? What’s the “thing” I could write a book about with this mix of obsessions and diverse bits and pieces of obscure background knowledge and conspiracy (hidden connection) theories?
I get interested and learn about a bunch of stuff, but my intuition says there is something underlying that connects nature / biology, mysticism / shamanism, queerness, and even autism (perhaps the “undomesticated / reversal to the wild type” theory that a friend of mine dug out of it has some points here). It is about a “thing”; even if I have to make that “thing” up.
Perhaps what tickles me in the criss-crossing of all these concepts is that for me they all touch on … unmediated experience; a direct, raw touching of a felt reality that’s often out of the name-boxes of my particular culture (or most cultures?), a kind of inner wilderness. “Nature” and “mysticism” have to me always been identical (literally since early childhood); and when “growing up” and growing older, I’ve sensed that same “wild”, raw sense of living energy within when living out being queer and when learning to just live my autistic nature.
Perhaps for people who aren’t queer or autistic these profound, powerful currents of originary energy would simply be associated with sexuality and self-expression, respectively; the difference is that if it’s queer sexuality and autistic self-expression, you have to choose: either your sexuality and self-expression or basic legitimacy in the human world of culture (i.e. not being an unacceptable weirdo). Maybe when you don’t have to choose, either-or, the contrast seems less stark, your wilder self doesn’t have to work up all this energy to make itself heard in all its distinctness from what you’ve been taught. Or maybe it’s the same if you just feel intensely enough.
But perhaps this is one of the leitmotifs – constant, repeated stepping out of the stories that work for people who aren’t like you, and the accompanying realisation that a) you are facing an abyss at the edge of stories b) you also find originary force in that abyss; you also find the source of stories, perhaps. You find the compulsion, over time perhaps also the freedom and nonchalance, to write stories: you know that’s all they are. You know you’re not going to know what this world actually is.
Many threads to something like this, many rivers