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Jonathan Cameron


So, I relate to the attorney who thought he was a manifesting his destiny, only to pull the plug on generations’-worth of work, and find himself at a Square 1.

I had a similar thing thrust upon me.  I think being insulated from material realities has a lot to do with aphantasia.  This is partly informed by spending hundreds of hours in conversation with someone who is hyper-visual; partly a general inference from long observation and thought, and partly a connection with the above-mentioned story.

The abstract intellect isn’t concerned with particular things, but images are.  The associate in question grew up so poor he often didn’t have food in the fridge.  Material survival was a constant concern, and material desire seems to go hand-in-hand with visual ability.  All the books on creative visualization indicate this, too.  They also say “The more ‘intelligent’ you are, the less likely you are to be able to visualize”.  This makes me think that, in a childhood/adolescent situation where material things are abundant, and things are secure, the abstract/linguistic part of the mind is more likely to be active.  This might also be connected with women’s historically stronger linguistic ability; women didn’t face the same material pressures as men did, but were more concerned with relationships.  The aristocracy are the social classes, because they’ve mastered the material, and manners become important.  I’m thinking with my fingers, but there we go.

But, basically, I’ve found myself in a position where my mind is tuned to the abstract and logical, but my material foundation was pulled away when I reached my 20’s, and without any concrete knowledge about how the world works, it’s a miracle I’m still around.  And as for purpose and a vision for the future, it’s like shooting in the dark.

People mistake my confusion and frustration for self-pity, which is doubly infuriating, because I don’t pity myself, I’m just enraged that I don’t have the tools everyone else takes for granted, and for years I (correctly) intuited that keeping my mouth shut and trying to handle things alone was the best way forward, but now I’ve decided to ask for help, I just keep getting people ask me unanswerable questions like, “Well, what would you like to do?”, or “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”, or otherwise they give me super-helpful advice like, “Just get a job.”  Right.  I’ve spent 20 years in tertiary education, or trying to learn new skills and broaden my horizon, never suspecting that the baseline of life is money, and not a fanciful sense of off-beat living.  People think I’m either lazy or a Bohemian, when I’ve worked out that I’m actually conservative, but have no way to express this without contacts and/or a trade to ply.

Developing visual imagination etc. feels like a big regression and waste of time, but I’m having to do it nonetheless.  And I find myself around concrete thinkers who think I’m beneath them because I’m not loud, aggressive, grasping, and concerned with how much everything costs.

I’ve always gone for voluntary gigs, but at this stage I’m going to have to bite the bullet and try out for something like the military, in the hopes I can salvage a life for myself.  The alternative is not pretty.  There’s only so much one soul can take.

Sorry for not giving anything fluffy, but unless someone develops a support service for helping floundering aphantasiacs support themselves financially, with some dignity, then this particular product is redundant, from my own frustrated perspective.