Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Power of Utterance

This is a first post, and more than that.  At the most basic level, I have come up with an idea for a blog on Autistic Spirituality, signed up for a Blogger account and am learning how to work postings.  I have now keyed in a couple hundred characters, and am submitting another entry into the sea of user-produced content. These steps, in themselves, are more or less insignificant.

But I have started speaking, or in the more formal phrasing of John L. Austin, 'initiated a speech act.'  I, a person on the autistic spectrum, have started speaking for myself, and the act of writing in fact changes who I am as a subject.  In the act of speaking to others, I transform myself.  When we speak, we cease to be passive. We become active agents.  Even if our words are unheard, or unread, the mere act of issuing an utterance transforms us into active subjects.  And that makes all the difference. 

People on the autistic spectrum are often talked (and watch the prepositions here) about, to, for, at, and around. Self-appointed and self-proclaimed 'experts' claim to know *about* us, self-righteous charities and institutions claim to advocate *for* us, education policy makers figure out what to do *with* us.  These discursive structures rob us of our agency, and turn us, within the realm of language which always engenders the realm of reality, into objects of someone else's words.  Objects, not humans.  

This blog is an attempt, at least initially, to assert myself as a speaking subject.  Since Greek philosophy, "humanness" has been intrinsically linked with the capacity to speak.  Yet "humanness" exists in multiple dimensions - those of the body, the mind, and the soul.  It is the third that is under-emphasised in societal discourses about the autistic spectrum. A source of enduring empowerment and reassurance for me is the knowledge - not the speculative belief, but the conscious knowledge - that there is an eternal and transcendental dimension to my being.  I am the creation of a loving God (who goes by many names in many cultures) and He does not make junk.  If He created me as an autistic person, in His infallible knowledge, that means that there is a reason and purpose for my existence in this mode of being.  I am imbued with dignity that society cannot take away.  

The purpose of this blog is to explore, and affirm that transendental aspect to the being of people with autism, and to assert that nature through the power of Utterance, the divine Word (λόγος) which is the source of power and strength.