Many of you probably know the fairy tale about The Princess and the Pea: (cut and pasted from the Wikipedia entry about The Princess and the Pea): “The story tells of a prince who wants to marry a princess, but is having difficulty finding a suitable wife. Something is always wrong with those he meets, and he cannot be certain they are real princesses. One stormy night (always a harbinger of either a life-threatening situation or the opportunity for a romantic alliance in Andersen’s stories), a young woman drenched with rain seeks shelter in the prince’s castle. She claims to be a princess, so the prince’s mother decides to test their unexpected guest by placing a pea in the bed she is offered for the night, covered by 20 mattresses and 20 featherbeds. In the morning the guest tells her hosts—in a speech colored with double entendres – that she endured a sleepless night, kept awake by something hard in the bed; which she is certain has bruised her. The prince rejoices. Only a real princess would have the sensitivity to feel a pea through such a quantity of bedding.”
Remembering this fairy tale today made me think about… yes: autism.
Today they normally give autism as a diagnosis to people with certain character traits, such as a heterogeneous intelligence, hyper-sensitivity (to noise, to certain fabrics, to changes in routines etc.), special interests, a tendency to think with images rather than words, a special ability to focus and see details where others don’t, a special interest in collections and/or other traits.
They normally differ between “high functioning” autists (often just called “Aspergers”) and “low functioning” autists, and the latter is usually what normal people think of when they hear about autism. I am going to talk about the former here, because they are very interesting from an historical perspective and there is nothing wrong with them – unless of course they also have some problems that are not actually related to their autism, like many non-autistic human beings have too.
Aspergers are often socially a bit difficult to relate to for many, but they possess some abilities that normal human beings simply don’t have, and they are therefore believed to have been extremely over-represented in all the types of work where the combination of extremely high intelligence, exceptional sense for details, complete disregard for what other pople think about them, an extreme ability to focus and exceptionally good memory has been important. Somewhat jokingly researchers on autism have said that probably every single great historical figure in the history of man was an Asperger: political leaders, inventors, generals, composers, scientists and you name it. Only Aspergers have the exceptional abilities needed for this, they claim (and I agree).
Asperger is a “diagnosis” today, and this is of course very odd, because Asperger only means that you are different, that your brain works in a different way. There is nothing wrong with Aspergers! They just work in a different way.
My (Asperger) wife has suggested on atala.fr that the features of an Asperger might well be features inherited from our Neanderthal forebears. When our forebears mixed with Homo sapiens the skulls changed a bit, over time of course, and because of that the brain changed too, and the Europan man became dumber and also less happy. So unhappy in fact that he started to do all sorts of things to help his situation; he created art because he no longer was able to see the (details of the) beauty of nature itself, and he created civilisation and new technology, because he could not bear life any more and tried to make it better.
Aspergers too suffer from this metaphysical vertigo, and I dare say; in particular Aspergers suffer from this metaphysical vertigo, because they see and understand so much more of the natural and original state of things than the normal people do, and probably all the innovations and technology was brought about by Aspergers.
Normal people are more like homo sapiens…. they are not very inventive, they are not very artistic, they are not very good leaders, they don’t plan ahead so much, they desperately need friends, they commonly care a lot about what others think about them and don’t usually want to be different, etc. And they are not very smart either.
Asperger is a “diagnosis” alright, and you either have it or you don’t, but the traits that identify an Asperger are many, and you don’t have to have all of them, or all of them to such a degre that you would have been given the “diagnosis” Asperger had you been examined for this, in order to be seen as having a European mind. In Europe we can even see entire tribes thinking much like Aspergers. The most obvious example is of course Finland, but also the Scandinavians are very much behaving like Aspergers on a collective level. They e. g. more or less need to intoxicate themselves with alcohol in order to even communicate with each other on a “modern” (…) level, and see a week or two alone in a cabin in the middle of nowhere as the best holiday there is – away from all others, and the less electricity and running water there is the better!
And why not? Do you think our nomadic forebears were so very sociable? Do you think Europe was so very crowded that wherever they turned they bumped into others? No! They were very much alone, in small groups (families), and only talked to others every now and then, when they met them most commonly in pre-arranged meeting places (to exchange news and not least to find spouces for their children). The ultra-social and highly un-European societies we live in today are very alien to our European nature! No wonder why we need to intoxicate ourselves to “work” in accordance with modern social rules!
Now, these “Asperger tribes” up there in Northern Europe also happen to be the most racially pure tribes of Europe, with the most Neanderthal features. So why would they not also have the highest percentage of Asperger (Neanderthal) “symptoms”?
Post-homo sapiens-infected Europe was a changed society, but the more or less mixed Europeans were for sure able to still recognize those good old European mental characteristics, and this brings us back to The Princess and the Pea. To keep and even cultivate these European qualities they created systems to find them; and this explains the coming of the European religion, grown out from the Neanderthal Bear Cult. In The Princess and the Pea we see that they wanted to see if she was hyper-sensitive; if she could feel the pea under those 20 mattresses and those 20 featherbeds. When she could feel the pea, and even failed to sleep because of it, they knew that she for sure was a true European, and not just European by looks – so the prince wanted to marry her! You see: these Neanderthal characteristics are passed on from parents to children…
Most of the Europeans who also look European are also more European in mind than they are African, even though they are not and probably would not be diagnosed as “Aspergers”, but many “Europeans” are really not mentally European.
Just like we ensure that the best amongst us survive in context with beauty/health, physical strength, creative abilities, intelligence, honesty, courage and so forth, we must ensure that we cultivate the European way of thinking and being too. The only way to do so is to embrace the European religion, which was made for this very purpose in the wake of the mixing of species (starting some 100,000 years ago). The European religion is a tool to heal Europe, and to restore the European man, in flesh and spirit, in blood and mind. HailaR WôðanaR!