What is Happiness?
The Perks of Being Autistic.
Few days ago I was asked to remember a deep happy moment in my life. I then searched for all the files in my conscious memories – and not finding a logical moment of happiness I went deeper in the subconscious where the main archives are. As it was difficult to find, I questioned myself what happiness would be. I don’t understand most human feelings, so I checked the memories of animals to see if I could extract the feeling of happiness in them. No results. Or yes, maybe superficial moments of joy like the dog being brushed showing how much he likes it. Moments of joy are moments of happiness I thought.
But what is happiness? How is the feeling?
I did experiment some moments of joy, but these can be quite superficial, even though they can vibrate in the deep.
Is happiness related to a moment of awareness? To a moment of mind fulfilment? To a eureka moment of the mind? Or simply to a pleasure of the body? Is it the moment in which we find peace of mind? That sounds a moment of happiness.
I can understand happiness as a moment of mind fulfilment or a moment of mind peace.
When I see people laughing, sometimes hysterically, it frightens me a bit, as it looks like the laughing person is living the moment right before madness. It seems that when you laugh, specially if uncontrolled, you’re in the presence of mind disturbance which can be related to madness.
These thoughts have been haunting me in the last few days after observing someone’s happiness for no apparent reason. Even though I was happy for her once it can be projected as feeling or emotion, I tried to make sense of it and understand what’s behind happiness. Maybe I understand better the emotion of sadness as I lived it more often by others. Not that I have – but by empathy; once others can project their emotions and I can feel them by empathy. Maybe I’ve never been much with happy people. No, I did, but happiness never got me concerned, as it’s a moment of joy so I let others live it. Whenever I feel someone’s sadness I do feel it by empathy so I can heal it and send some more positive thoughts to the sad person. Empathy and knowledge of energy and frequency can be very useful to heal, as you can send positive thoughts to people with depression for example, by telepathy, subconscious to subconscious till it reach the consciousness of the other. When that happens, when the person gets the logical information on the consciousness through their subconscious is great. This is something you can achieve through hypnosis. Or through transcendental meditation.
Mind peace can be easily reachable through meditation, even deeper if by practicing transcendental meditation. And mind peace can lead to [my concept of] happiness.
Mind fulfilment can also be reachable through learning, through knowledge, and when you reach a moment of wisdom you might feel happy, even though it’s a moment. A moment: not a continuous state of happiness. The moment you feel the joy of wisdom, you immediately go for another one. So is wisdom a moment of happiness to remind us that we should keep search for more, to keep us being humble enough to understand that we want more?
For now I understand the concept of happiness as peace of mind and mind fulfilment. But that’s my concept of inner happiness. I don’t laugh when I reach it: I relax my mind for a moment.
When I have someone giving a full body massage I can feel joy, but that is only possible, the body pleasure, after you reach some peace of mind as well. If, for example, you’re not comfortable with the masseur or you don’t trust them or you’re worried with something, it will be difficult to achieve peace of mind, thus pleasure and joy. You might release some stress, some worries, and that can be enough for you. But is that real happiness?
Human feelings seem often to be very random, superficial and mind weakened. Most of them I don’t fully understand, as they are not logical. I use to say that I don’t understand why people cry, and that I never do. In fact I cried 7 times in my life, and although I remember the moments in which I cried, I don’t full understand or remember the feeling I had when that happened. I remember though the tears rolling down the face, the salty taste when I licked the tears as they reached the area easily controlled by my tongue, and the fact that my eyes look prettier and greener after that. I don’t remember the feeling that led me to cry, but I do remember the releasing afterwards. Ejaculating can trigger the same feeling. In fact, two of the times that made me cry were after making love to someone. A deep Tantra sex experience with someone with whom you feel connected with can make you cry as much as ejaculate. It’s a body/mind/soul release. You feel peace of mind and of body. It’s an orchestrated moment. It can be a moment of fulfilment. But I don’t relate it with happiness.
You can in fact find peace of mind when you go into deep meditation, even more if transcendental meditation, to calm down the waters. You can find moments of mind fulfilment when you work your intellect, by reading and learning and listening whom you might consider a master.
But when I see people laughing hysterically, even if not high in drugs or under the effect of alcohol, I find them living an uncontrolled moment, as if when you lost your mind, a moment of madness in which you lose control of your own mind: the opposite of peace of mind of mind’s fulfilment.
If you’re sad, I can understand because is often related with loss: mostly self-loss. When you break a relation you might experience loss, including self loss, as you had balance sharing feelings with others. Love is sharing feelings, right?
I mean, good feelings. So hate is sharing bad feelings towards each other?
Humans are so complicated in that thing. Emotions only weakens one mind, it seems that they only exist to confuse you and to give you emotional hiccups.
Someone once asked me if being autistic makes me not knowing what love is. Autistic people do usually have a more logical mind, and I believe that we’re not that emotional, but do never forget that autism is a wide spectrum so you might find a bit of everything.
I realised then what I thought love would be, was not more than a projection of someone’s love onto me. In fact I’m not sure if I ever felt love to someone, what I felt was the other’s love projected onto me. Like a mirror which can also absorb the emotion. Like a second hand emotion. But whenever I felt love, it made me confused, as blurring my mind. Whenever I felt hate from someone I know it’s not pleasant because the vibration can be hurtful. Hate is quite grey, like dark lead. Sadness is more related with silver though. It’s a cold light grey. In fact I relate human feelings with metals more than with colors, or with metallic colours to be more accurate. Gold seem to be warmer than silver though. Silver is cold. Peace of mind is not an emotion, so maybe it’s why I relate more with crystal quartz, and not with metals. The mind is definitely more related with crystals, and you can easily visualise the brain as crystals, from scales of purple, white, yellow, green… crystal transparent colours. Emotions and feelings (aren’t they the same?) to metals. When I hug someone I feel the metal, if I really feel a good connection while hugging someone my whole body turns into gold. If by hugging I feel sadness I would see silver, or hate-lead.
Curious enough when I need to understand “the state” of someone I would hug or simply smell their neck to understand how that person is. And whenever I feel the scent of metal, something is not well. The scent of metal in someone’s neck pushes me back. It’s often related with some illness sourced by the soul. It’s not a pleasant energy or vibration. It means that person is physically ill due to their own mind/soul vibration. And you know that when someone’s have their energetic meridian too damaged that can lead to physical illness.
Being autistic I realised that whenever I go for a retreat, and would spend a year out not in touch with anyone, I feel fulfilled, and if no one contacts me, I don’t feel any external energies, just mine in oneness with the universe, not with anyone in specific. Universe is not tormented, as most humans are, the vibrations I feel are quite good and deep. And this makes me not only think that I prefer my solitude so I can be one with universe, but also that I don’t want to come back to the effort of being social, wasting this tremendous amount of energy just by keeping a conversation with someone. My nature is not of a speaker, even though I learned by myself to manage it well, it always makes me quite tired. In fact, is not the speaking that makes me fully tired, but the energy I need to understand others and often normal people say things that are not that coherent with their own thoughts: and being empathic we listen to both and it gets very confusing.
Back to the emotions: do autistics really feel emotions which are not logical, or we only think we feel them because we misunderstand and what we really feel is other’s projections once we’re so empathic?
Empathy is a superior level, and I believe (tremendously) that we do not have human feelings as we are logical minds, and that is what lead us to not keep a conversation or not being social. Instead, we do have a tremendous empathy by others, which make us be such empathisers with humanity and human related issues. I guess that it’s due to that that we’re often just on human kind, and we get unbalanced facing human injustice. We might not feel love by ourselves, but our empathy by others is so strong that we feel other’s emotions. And we try to make them logical, which can be quite frustrating.
I do not love, as I do not hate: instead I feel empathy, which can lead to compassion. I do not feel happy or sad, but I do empathise with your own feelings. Even when I don’t find them logical.
But then, the lack of knowledge of the mind that exists in the west, plus the collective consciousness, will tell you differently. Think about Christmas for example: even if you don’t go out of home the whole month of December, not connecting tv or internet, you will still feel the collective energy. I’m atheist by nature (as any reasonable logical scientific mind). But I do feel and incredible peace of mind during the morning of Christmas day. There’s a relaxing and silent energy in the air, as we use to say. But before that night, people are stressing shopping and the whole marketing is towards family and shopping. And this is not that subliminal anymore. This is why the rate of suicides increases: people feel much more loneliness due to the family marketing. And here do not mistake solitude (the chosen path of self fulfilment) with loneliness (the imposed one or self loss). There’s this collective energy, intelligence and awareness that we can’t avoid, mostly because it comes with power and you have your channels open for the collective. It reaches you through empathy, thus through your subconscious.
I believe then that autistic people can be highly influenced by collective energy as we’re more sensitive and empathic. And most of us are not that aware of that, or goes through all childhood and learning process dealing with others, feeling others stress and emotions thinking that they’re theirs.
Most meltdowns are due to others. Most breakdowns, most “anger” moments, loneliness, etc are due to others. We don’t know how to deal with that because they’re not natural in us. If they were, we would understand them. We would make them logical. But they’re not natural in us.
Follow my thoughts: I find peace in my own silence, it’s my nature. But some people wouldn’t understand that. Some people need noise and stressing environment to be louder than their own minds, so when dealing with our own peace of mind they get incredible stressed thinking that we are wrong and not feeling: and they project their own stress, anguish, anxiety, etc onto us. If you’re not protected against those feelings, once we’re so empathic, we feel them, they make no sense, and they unbalance us: then we have meltdowns. Our meltdowns are mostly produced by others who are not autistic. The so called NT’s.
If an autistic person is raised in a loving, peaceful, mindful environment, they will be incredible persons. As opposite to an autistic child who’s raised in the midst of a family who are stressed and lost and confused. A family who does not understand that they’re projecting their own fears and anxieties and anguish onto the autistic child.
Peaceful, silent and mindful environment is the only way for us to develop fully awareness. And I want to believe that soon people would be aware of that and instead of influencing autistic children with their anxieties and unbalanced emotions due to illogical reasons of the mind, they will be influenced by the peace, silent and mindful autistic brains instead. If you’re raising an autistic child, if you’re parent or tutor of anyone autistic do this experience: sit down next to them and experiment peace of mind, do meditation, find your own silence. Allow yourself to understand and feel our own silence rather than projecting your anxieties onto us.
I believe that the main issues that autistic people experiment are essentially due to the collective energy of normal ones: the stress, anxiety, anguish of other’s people lives. If you’re parent or tutor of an autistic person: leave all your stress outside home. Find your own peace next the autistic one. Try to feel them and listen to our empathy rather than imposing yours. And stop judging, we don’t do that either. We accept you in a higher level.
Or even better: let the understanding and logical thinking to us when you’re around: just allow you to feel silence and peace of mind. Our own. And when you find that peace you will feel empathy, connection and fulfilment. Don’t try to cure us: we are the cure. Maybe that’s the time for you to understand that. We are cosmic souls. We vibrate. We are empathic. We have an amazing frequency. You just have to tune it and find the right signal. With patience and love.
You read it well: we are not the ones who need to be healed: you are.
It’s the science of the mind that we possess. Even if you feel superior because the collective society makes you believe so. You’re not. You do have a lot to learn from us. Even if it’s just because differentness is one of the most wonderful things in life. Normality is boring. Trust me. And meanwhile: be happy. No matter what’s your concept of happiness. Just be. Transform all your emotions into gold and share them. The grey metals you can just release them on the ground, make every step you take a releasing step of all the shades of grey you still possess. Be gold. Be crystal. And share it. You will get much more in return.
Gonzalo Bénard is also a lecturer, a tutor of autistic teenagers, and a visual artist. His photography has been part of the annual programs of several universities around the world, and are in several private and public art collections such as Museum of Serralves or Sir Elton John’s. His works are in Hollywood productions and TV series.
You can see his work of photography at his webpage.