WHAT ARE WORDS FOR?
I see words as primarily a tool to communicate facts. That is how I use them. When I would arrive at a social gathering, people will engage in chit chat, small talk, inane conversation that appears to serve no purpose to me. I didn’t understand how people humored themselves in this manner, I mean , fuck ‘em if they need a joke. I usually would remain quiet until I notice someone is talking about something that I know something about and I interject some ‘fact’s that I know with the belief I will enlighten them and further their understanding and they will be grateful for my contribution.
a Daoist quote:
“A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”
The Buddha says:
“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”
I now know that this is wrong, that for most people, words are tool to foment and define group associations, and that ‘facts’ are secondary to that goal.
Now to me this all sounds very strange, but it explains a lot.
I have learned on one and one communication that bonding is made by common emotional themes, not by facts.
I’ve gone out of my way to avoid be defined by any ‘group’. I do not eat meat, but I am not a vegetarian.
I have eschewed drugs, alcohol and promiscuity, but I am not straight edge. I meditate and study the four noble truths, but I am not a Buddhist, I do not believe in a personal God, but I am not an Atheist. Maybe because when I was young and did not like my standing in the group so I rejected them. When I left high school I had a great passion for a particular style of music and was able to find a group identity based on that, and the fact that I could babble on and on about the bands I liked wasn’t based upon any attempt to conform to a group, it had that effect and I found myself part of ‘group’. Now scenes come and go and other people find a new ‘group’ to associate with. But, as typical in aspergers, my tastes and opinions not being based on a group think remain static, unchanging. If I like a band, I will always like it.
A paraphrase of the Kalama Sutta, says:
“Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.”
This explains a lot in my life that was confusing to me. Only once in my life, about two years ago, did anyone set me up with someone. I always wondered why this was case, now I know. Other people introduce other people to the other people in their ‘group’. Since I avoided a ‘group’,. I was out of the loop.
Who people decide to hook up with is significantly influenced by these group cohesions.
When I would get into fact based scientific conversations with people, I would be frustrated that a coherent fact-based argument would be rejected, because for other people, the facts matter not independently what they convey, but whether they affirm the point of view of group they belong to, or reject the point of view of the outside group (No, I am not talking about you!).
It is difficult for aspies to be part of a ‘group’
In the past I would always put my best self forward when confronted with a group, pretending to be more confident and together than I really am. Now I find myself, maybe for the first time in my life, becoming part of a group, a bunch of tattooed meditating Buddhist atheists. The irony is that this time I am being more vulnerable than I ever have, presenting an image maybe weaker than I really am.
I’ve always avoided using the inside terms and language that people within a group tend to use to foment social cohesion. But I’ll give it a try – Metta to all
“The Buddha says wise speech has five characteristics:
Well-intended – Comes from goodwill, not ill will; constructive; aimed to build up, not tear down
True – Not overstated, taken out of context, or blown-up out of proportion
Beneficial – Helps things get better, not worse (even if it takes a while)
Timely – Not driven by impulsivity; rests on a foundation that creates a good chance of it being truly heard
Not harsh – It could be firm, pointed, or intense; it could confront mistreatment or injustice; anger could be acknowledged; but it is not prosecutorial, nasty, inflammatory, dismissive, disdainful, or snarky.”
Much of the information from this post comes from the book:
A Field Guide to Earthlings: An autistic/Asperger view of neurotypical behavior by Ian Ford