Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Play and Spontaneity

“Clues of Trust and Common Values”

A recently-published book by Prof. Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading in England, is titled Wired for Culture: origins of the human social mind (London and New York: W. W. Norton, 2012). I was struck by his conclusion: “The key (to the message of this book) is to provide or somehow […]

“Glory Be” Is God

I speculate philosophically and theologically with certain friends, so when my pal Anthony Skrovan asked at lunch, “So what do you think was going on before the Big Bang?”, it was fun to dare to imagine an answer. Before I share it with you, though, a disclaimer: Of course I don’t know to the tenth […]

“My Precious” (Trash?!)

It doesn’t have to be a magic ring that could make you invisible if you wore it—and which imparted a kind of “high” that made you want to wear it a lot—, as it was for the weird frog-man character, “Gollum”  in the Hobbit stories by Tolkien.  It can be a plastic ring that you […]

0 Great Swami

I have much respect for many of the spiritual teachers, but I’m aware there’s a lot of flim-flam going on. This cartoon lay at my feet this morning and as I’ve opened to Grace (or coincidence?) it occurred to me to post it and free associate: These two characters pointedly comment on the verbiage that […]

A Contemplative Blog?

It occurred to me that this blog may (or may not) be one of my most lasting contributions. I should not assume that it’s just tossed-off nothings, whereas books and papers are real stuff. That may assume that paper-based stuff is intrinsically more valuable and meaningful than “just” a blog. Well it’s true that this […]

A Personal Greeting

Good morning. This posting is aimed at you. Yes, you! Ah, what a weird world: I don’t even know your name. I don’t know to whom I’m writing, or who I’m writing to (to use more common but technically incorrect grammar). By the way, my mind tends to fly off into eddies like that, parenthetical […]

Action Explorations Explained

It seems that psychodrama has two roles in modern culture: (1) psychodrama may be used as “therapy,” or (2) it may be used quite apart from therapy, to serve other goals of consciousness-raising. In business, education, personal development, role training in industry, for conflict-resolution, play, and so forth, what I call “action explorations” applies psychodramatic […]

Adam Many-Parts

In a recent blog post on dancing a thousand flames, I mentioned the idea of being many selves—playing many roles. I’m flagrant in this regard, playing with the whole idea of playing roles. Of course many cartoonists, comic book writers, and dramatists do likewise, and I’ve been more than a little influenced by these genres. […]

Add “Surplus Reality”

I found a book by Rosilyn Wilder, a teacher of creative drama,  titled "A Space Where Anything Can Happen" (New Plays Books, 1977). Yes, it fits with my hope to expand consciousness so that people—not just young people, but old people, too, like my age group!—can make up stuff. In a world (and school system) […]

Almost Real, Not Really

Walt Kelly in one of his Pogo comic strips, revealed his rich, whimsical streak that teetered over into fantasy. (His art deeply influenced my own.) Here he explains what I’m trying to say about “almost-real”:

An Amateur Confabulator

I’m an amateur confabulator. Amateur means only that I don’t get paid for this. Or should I say, “You couldn’t pay me to do this!”? And to con-fabulate means to make stuff up. Originally this was a medical term referring to people who because of a mild dementia didn’t even know they were doing it. […]

An Invitation to Imagination

We are working on a revision of our book, The Art of Play. Its thesis is that imagination is related to creativity, and this is related to envisioning, and there may be further potentials of all this not yet envisioned. One aspect of this is realizing that we can say “yes-and” rather than “no but” […]

Applied Improvisation Berlin Conference

The Applied Improvisation Network is meeting in Berlin soon. The schedule of events suggests some of the meaty things they’re talking about. Note that the concepts of enactment, improvisation, and creative collaboration are being carried on with vigorously by thousands of professionals internationally. Most are theatre comedy improvisers seeking other sources of income and draw […]

Applying Moreno’s Ideals More Widely

Psychodrama has evolved, and it now has a number of “cousins,” including:    – theater artists, actors and directors who realize that improvisation has its own aesthetic, and beyond that, practical applications beyond the goal of entertainment—i.e., the applied improvisation network    – drama therapists who emphasize the healing power of creating something aesthetically compelling […]

Art-Speak from Other Worlds

Sometimes what we want to say cannot be expressed in the linear alphabetic word-language of your species. In music, this is why polyphonic music and then orchestras were employed: to suggest rich textures of experience-meaning.                   Since we’re using a print/visual medium to communicate to your people […]

Back, Dragon!

When I was young I was very taken by the struggle of the boy in the poem, Jabberwocky, in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass. My pretend dragon—let’s call him Poof, because in some ways he came back in the 60s as Puff the Magic Dragon, and I would engage in cartoon-fantasy struggles. […]

Becoming More Spontaneous

One of a number of chosen missions in life is to help people re-own their own natural potential for spontaneity and their capacity for exploratory playfulness. As Allee and I write in The Art of Play (which we’re presently re-writing), spontaneity and playfulness not in itself childish. Although its roots begin in early childhood, and […]

Behind the Eyelids

Sometimes, more when I’m half-in-dream, the patterns I “see” with my eyes are closed are complex and slightly changing. Here’s a hint. I’m motivated to represent this density of imagery in my art—it represents the nature of the mind. The slight shift into recognizable text near the bottom hints at a related phenomenon: The rapid […]

Being Silly as Part of Health

“And when was the last time you were silly?” This might well be on the standard list of questions asked by one’s doctor. “If it’s been over a week, it’s not okay.” Wow! I mean, what if this is right? What if this becomes part of the medical “review of systems” that every doctor must […]

Bonk?

Every once in a while a guardian angel—one of many—drops a bit of grace on you. Bonk? There it is: What are you going to do with it? Notice in the picture the other possible fates withheld. This is not a capricious decision. It is finely calibrated to what your needs are for another go-round […]

But It Seems So Compellingly Real

This takes off from previous blog posts. It combines dimensional perspectives and numinour verisimilitude. These may be thought of as deriving their compelling-ness because mind operates on many levels simultaneously: – It can experience things as more or less, as if on a spectrum: One Dimension. – It can experience pattern, color, map, writing, all […]

Camp Chipaway

In my family a name sometimes captures a spirit. Allee and I call our home the “Home for Assistance in Living.” My son David came up with a new name for his office: “Camp Chipaway”! His motto is "A little bit more each day." We may adopt this name too for our world. We may […]

Change the World!

I confess that I think that if people could use just a few techniques developed originally in psychodrama, it would indeed change the world! Let’s not argue yet; consider first some of the following: Admit Ambivalence People will not only seem more authentic to others, but will be able to work with mixed feelings or […]

Chaos Amidst Order

This mandala hints at the swirling process of individuation. It’s never done. Mystically and poetically, God can’t help but to do through you. Manifestation is thus a continually evolving and shifting adventure. Stated another  way, I have all these parts that re-combine in unique ways, involving temperament, talents, limitations, karmic residues, social roles, epigenetic influences… […]

Complexoids

On occasion I dare imagine elves and faeries and the like, just for fun. Looking over my cartoons I imagine there’s a “race” or category of lil’beings that are similar resonant energy fields, expressing various complexes. Just as if there’s a spirit of this tree or that rock, so too aspects of mind can generate […]