Facilitated Communication and the Jewish Soul

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Understand Facilitated Communcations and Understand the Soul

By Yechiel Sitzman and the J Mag staff

  Facilitated communication is a method of communication with those autistic and other brain restricted individuals that is gaining popularity. Autistic children, who are frequently diagnosed as retarded due to their inability to communicate and function in the conventional manner. There, however, is a difference between autistic children and retarded children. Mentally retarded children will often show much desire to communicate with those around them, however, they do not possess sharp intellectual skills. Autistic children, on the other hand, show little overt desire to communicate with those around them, yet they may be highly intelligent individuals. Caution must be taken in applying these general rules as specific and exacting definitions.

  Until recently, the autistic child was grouped as mentally retarded. Approximately 20 years ago research began to realize that there was a difference between the two types of children. A pioneer in this field was Rosemary Crossely who began using a method of communication which involved using a flat alphabet chart. By holding her hand on the autistic child's hand and enabling the child to point to letters on the chart, the child was able to communicate to her. This method became known as facilitated communication.

  What became interesting to note was that beside the fact that children who until now were not able to communicate even to their parents, became able to express their thoughts and desires. Although they had previously been considered mentally incompetent, due to this new method of communication, they now were able to answer clearly questions placed to them. Many children exhibited high intelligence and knowledge in many facets of worldly knowledge that were unexplainable. How could children who, due to their condition, had received little education, yet know so much about the world around them?

  Many autistic children have even been able to predict future events, events that they could not possibly have known about. Many researchers have been amazed at the ability of autistic children to to know things that these children simply had no logical way of knowing.

  In order to solve this problem, it is necessary to understand how the brain functions and it's relationship to the soul.

  In the normal, person the ideas which come from with out the person are assimilated into the mind of the person. The soul has very little influence on the person, other than providing it's vitality and animation. In an autistic child, there seems to be a split between the body and its desires and the brain and its desires. The body and the brain seem to be opposed in their desires. The body seems to prevent the brain from using the body for means of expressing itself. The mind can not seem to get the body to do its will. In a normal person, conflict between the mind and the body is normal; but it does not interrupt the person to carry out life. In the autistic child, the split between the mind and body have crippled the ability of the person to function.

  Aldous Huxley , the famed philosopher and author wrote in his book The Doors of Perception:

"Reflecting on my experience, I find myself agreeing with the eminent Cambridge philosopher, Dr. C. D. Broad, 'that we should do well to consider much more seriously than we have hitherto been inclined to do the type of theory which Bergson put forward in connection with memory and sense perception. The suggestion is that the function of the brain and nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative and not productive. Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful' According to such a theory, each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet."

  Hence, a prime function of the brain in a healthy individual, is not just to do the thinking, but to filter out thoughts and ideas that would impair the functional ability of the individual. In this manner, we are not bothered by extraneous thoughts and ideas that would disturb our daily functioning.

  In the autistic child, the brain does not perform it's function of filtering out superfluous thoughts and ideas. Not only does it not filter out the thought from with in the person but it allows in, thoughts from with out the person; thoughts that are constantly being borne and transverse the universe. Our minds certainly do not pick up these ideas, because our minds are healthy and shield us from such extraneous information.

  The autistic child's mind however does not work in this manner. His mind is open to all that abounds in the universe. He may be aware of many things that we do not know of, yet since he can not communicate, he can not inform us of these events and ideas. Only because of the trained facilitator can he communicate with us.

  Since our soul is a part of G-d, we have a direct link to G-d. Only a truly righteous man can really activate that connection. For the average man, the soul only provides him with his life force. In the autistic child, the mind can accept what the soul knows since the body can not act upon this information.

  It must be noted here that there is a fine line between an autistic child receiving information from the G-dly side of it's soul, and from it receiving information from the side of evil and darkness which have been given powers to wreak havoc in our lives. In order to keep balance in the world, G-d gives two sources of spiritual information, one is from the side of holiness, and the other is from the side of impurity. The purpose of this is to permit free choice at all levels, even on the level of prophecy. Therefore it is imperative that the facilitator be aware of this.

  New hope is now available for those parents who have children in such situations.


from theJanuary1999Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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