Last post, I talked about how my brain feels like the San Andreas Fault. In this third chapter of my 3-part series about how autistic people may experience death and existentialism, I wanted to deep-dive into some of those ideas.
I Don’t Like to Think About After Death
I still don’t like to think about what happens to me after I die. If consciousness doesn’t exist inside our brains—but rather, is an emergence from our brains;
And if autism spectrum disorder affects my brain (and other neurons, like the ones in my stomach) developmentally;
Then when I experience a synapse, am I experiencing the same emergence of consciousness as you?—since consciousness isn’t inside the brain, but from the brain?
Or when I synapse, am I experiencing a different emergence of consciousness as you, since the dashboard that lets me access reality—my brain—is developmentally different?
Since I experience sensory sensitivity issues, that changes my reality, correct?
And so am I the consciousness that wills my reality onto the universe?—or the consciousness that’s merely witnessing the universe, patterns and divine plans?
The Collective “We”
If we think of ourselves as separate individuals, or the “I” that each of us inherits, it’s easy to say emergence could vary between neurodiverse brains;
- You would extend the argument by saying, “Everyone’s experience of consciousness is different,” which is good and well;
- As long as you aren’t telling me things like, “I don’t like when a light is flashing at me in the dark, either”—thereby completely dismissing my sensitive eyes as similar to a neurotypically built device—then we’re good with whatever conclusion you draw from our differemergence.
But if we think about ourselves as a collective “we,” then is the autistic emergence of consciousness the same as the neurotypical emergence of consciousness?
- Sometimes I feel like I’m perceiving such a different reality, because of all these sensitivities to light, voices, facial expressions, weather, food, sense of justice…
- Then I realize, while that argument may be valid, there is an equally valid counterargument: this need to create the illusion of differemergence is merely evidence of how much the ego wants to unpeel itself from the unconscious collective.
- And the ego can be a real prick.
Autism as an Invisible Minority
When you have an identity that isn’t “the norm”—when you belong to a minority group—I think this not only hinders us socially, but spiritually as well (at least, if you believe in the collective unconsciousness).
Minorities face so much hate from our unconscious collective—so many people hate or fear other people, racism, sexism, terrorism—if we truly are connected to our planet, together, one network of beings,…
Then our need to defend fear and hate proves our planet is very ill.
Tomorrow, you’ll get a peek into what I mean, when I talk about how Autism Speaks dumps money into preventing people like me from being born; meanwhile, they don the mask of helping autistic people, so they can collect charity towards future designer babies.
Questions I Explore in Science Fiction
Because I can’t deduce an answer to the riddle of death, and I don’t like looking too deeply into my fears, I just play with these puzzles quietly, knowing I’m holding a koan. I like the idea of ekpyrotic universes the most. I also like white holes. I like biological SETI.
Maybe we fly out of white holes when we’re born, then we head into a black hole when we die. Metaphorically. You know we can’t do that physically. But physics is just a vehicle.
Science is a vehicle.
New emergences must occur everywhere, in everything, the more you zoom out or zoom in. It doesn’t matter if you fall in love with chemistry, astronomy, oceanography, anthropology, or God—we see the effects of collective unconsciousness everywhere.
Or I see it, anyway. Who knows.
I could just be a silly, pattern-recognition homo sapien witnessing a false alarm. It’s hard to separate the truth from the doubtful when 🚨 there’s all this noise in my head. 🚨
Virtual Reality Would Be Nice
Okay, I lied. I know what I’d love to happen to me after I die: just before death, my synapses are uploaded as data into a virtual reality. This way, my intelligence can continue growing, naturally.
I am consciousness that would like to collect more intelligence than this. When I die, I’d like to go where that further intelligence is.
I feel uncomfortable with the word intelligence, though. Humans have it all wrong. Animals are more intelligent than we think, certainly as spiritually intelligent as some of us. Plants have been observing the world far longer than we have observed it, and experience makes us smarter, so is there a type of scale we’re missing?
This is why innovation is good; why creativity is good. The more we enable humans to create ideas, the more we’ll solve the dimensions of life and death.
And isn’t death the ultimate riddle? But maybe I’m sounding cliche. That’s fine; I like the idea of enabling all the differabilities, spiritual views, cultures, and sexes, then stepping back and seeing what happens.
I like the idea of humanity lifting up the thumb it holds on itself.
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Kourtnie has an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Fresno and a BA in English from CSU Fullerton. When she isn't writing or making art, she's moonlighting as a professor at community colleges. Read her writing at Kourtnie.net or Wattpad.com/user/KourtnieNet.