I read an article about human neoteny, neotenous behavior. It's behaving like a child, "playing", and the article was all about how we as a species have an expanded childhood, where we play, and we have an exagerated sense of our own competance, and that other animals have that as an early phase but then lose it, and we tend to keep it, more than other species, we "play" at sports, they say that's neotenous behavior. They point out that poetry is our sense of "play" as well, with language.
So is our sz also neotenous? I've always known my inner childhood to be the source of my madness. I realized that I never really "grew up", I'm the same kid I was at 3 years old, not sure why everybody else got calm and serious at some point in life, and I am like peter pan, I still "play". I hold a job and go to work, but the stuff I enjoy doing is reading and learning and writing, I create psychoses, my favorite kind of neotenous behavior, as little kids get to think magically about the mysteries of the world they live in. Come up with forms of madness, interesting psychoses.
With sz, as with children at play, we can practice for the challenges that we consider threatening. As I drive down the highway and a California Highway Patrol car goes by, my sz mind goes into a "playtime" of figuring out scenarios of life and death conflict between me and the officers. Oh it was a weird childhood, feeling threatened by unjust authorites who have too much power over me and use it to satisfy their own whims. That was how my parents seemed to operate. And with schizotypal personality disorder, they say "when the authority figures arrive, the cognitive slippage begins". Sure does!
The article was about Wordsworth, that the stuff he wrote could be explained by saying he was a little more neotenous than most. Some play he described was the act of hanging off a cliff to steal eggs from a nest, and this is praised as a "more risky type of playâone which may also lead to valuable forms of new knowledge."
The conceptual cliffs that we with sz tend to go out on and hang from are no less perilous (any body who contempletes the nature of time is straying out on to that ledge, for instance), and what can we say we were looking for, really, other than "valuable forms of new knowledge", which unfortuanately for our society are forms of knowledge that are not readily recognized, possibly because of the lack of comfort that the more mature humans, rightly or wrongly, think the new psychoses will require. "Look at how he lives, you want me to listen to what that guy has to say?!?!" It is the sz people, forsaking their anodynes from time to time, who give up all pretense of a comfortable life, and go out to "play" and find "new valuable forms of knowledge" in the mystical subconscious.
So they say ""Play, like genetic mutations, provides a source of creativity that may eventually help produce cultural (and perhaps evolutionary) diversity", and attempt to make play and dreaming more respectable. And so I thought I'd extend this to schizotypal thinking, making up psychoses, it's really just play, that, like play, can have unintended and serious consequnces, and that's how we learn. They started giving little kids ibuprofin a few decades ago, then they realized the kids are 50% more likely to get asthma, so now they've learned, from their "play". (Don't go back to aspirin, that has its downsides too, they say just stop giving babies anodynes when they are simply teething or inconveniently tired - this is some other rticle i read in the last few days, just schitzotypally keepin it all together.)
And at this point in the essay they almost seem to be pushing toward the kind of thinking I'm talking about:
"By allowing us to confront the world not just as naive realists who respond directly to immediate threats or opportunities (the general condition of other animals) but as supposition-makers and thought-experimenters, imagination gave human beings one of their greatest evolved assets."
'It appears as if humans have evolved specialized cognitive machinery that allows us to enter and participate in imagined worlds.'
"Pretend play, exhibited as a part of normal child development, requires breathtakingly subtle mechanisms to decouple the play world from the real world, and from other play worlds. It is not that the true/false distinction is abandoned in play but that the play world is bracketed off, and truth becomes truth-for-the-play-world"
"The artist's proneness to egocentricity combined with an often staggering ability to imagine and believe just about anything help to account for the playful and profound perspectives on life, nature, and society that we find so valuable in the creative arts."
For me, I use the "play" to figure out a better conception of the world around me. Didn;t trust the adults, they were giving me nonsense and I could tell they didn't know and didn't seem to care. So I figured out how there's no such thing as "gravity", just a vestige of newton's mysticism, figured out what "madness" really was, and what it was good or, figured out what the "spirit world" was, what it's intentions were, how to interact with it (it's the bugs, war between the species, they can see and interact with our thoughts in dreams), figured out santa claus and ben franklin are the same object and it isn't human, etc, etc, I live in a non-ordinary universe model, and I feel it works alot better than the vision of the world I inherited, though I also realize there is a worldly-minded camarilla of adults in a shared consensual reality, where gravity is an invisible force in the ground holding us down, the spirit world doesn't exist, santa clause isn't real it's just your parents shopping at walmart, and ben franklin died a long time ago. I understand their vision, and can hold a job and act like one of them, but then I go home to "play" in my much more sensible universe, twice as populated, cause we took everything in the universe and hid it, where nobody would ever think of looking for it - on the inside of everything! That's how to play!
Intimations of Neoteny: Play and God in Wordsworth's 1799 Prelude, Scott Harshbarger, Hofstra University