Background to my interest in teaching children with autism

“He is risen!”
I will return to PSYCHOTHERAPY BEYOND THE FRINGE tomorrow, for today is Easter and “He is risen!” I think of myself as a Christian (and as a scientist and as a more-or-less Buddhist). But each of these labels is only a label, and a label is a simplification that does untold damage to the reality that it attempts to encompass. I much prefer and would prefer to embrace Zivorad Slavinski’s “Return to Oneness” (with God, the Master of the Universe, the “all-that-there-is”), but there is only so much time to go around and, at the moment, I am caught up in Teaching Children with Autis. Somewhat like Abu ben Adam, if I can’t be recorded in the Book of Life as one who loves God, let me be recorded as one who loves his fellow man.
It has been said – maybe it may even have originated with me – that psychologists are devils I know that I tend to endorse Oliver Crowley’s dictum, “And it hurt no one, do what you will” and I really like the Wiccan aloha, “Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again.”
It is said that Britain is on the point of becoming a nation that is not primarily Christian. That is unfortunate, since Christianity at least attempts to be loving:
[Luke 10:25] And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying,
Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
[Luke 10:26] He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
[Luke 10:27] And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
[Luke 10:28] And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
[Luke 10:29] But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
[Luke 10:30] And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
[Luke 10:31] And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
[Luke 10:32] And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
[Luke 10:33] But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
[Luke 10:34] And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
[Luke 10:35] And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
[Luke 10:36] Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
[Luke 10:37] And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
The question of “And who is my neighbour?” is, of course, amply answered by the story of the Good Samaritan. The question of “And what is love?” is a little more difficult. However, one simple rule is to be found in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans:
[Rom 13:10] Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
In contrast to Christianity, which has been characterized as being a religion of love, Islam has been characterized as being a religion of passion. Again, it is unfortunate that it’s passion seems too often used lately as the basis for atrocity. That is probably worth exploring – as I perceive that it is beginning to be – but tempus fugit, and I am going to return (tomorrow) to the Psychotherapy Beyond the Fringe.

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