Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Play and Spontaneity

“Another Lens on Reality”

That’s how the later Ursula LeGuin described her work. I don’t claim to know what sense she had of her line, but if we expand “reality” as a concept to include every-one, and then include everyone to include the sentient life forms such as the snake-people on the fifth planet circling the giant start Betelgeuse—don’t […]

“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 […]

Action Explorations:The Book

I’m assembling an anthology of how improvised drama, Morenian methods and related approaches may be utilized far beyond their applications in psychotherapy. The book will be titled Action Explorations: Enhanced Simulations, and it will be used to spread the word and encourage applications of Morenian methods in non-clinical situations. Moreno said in his seminal book,  […]

Action Methods

I use the term “action methods” to bridge several fields—or applications within fields—to raise the human potential. Psychodrama, drama therapy, educational drama, applied improvisation, maybe even Theatre of the Oppressed, Playback Theatre, etc. Action methods includes them all, transcends them! Perhaps it’s a new class for colleges, for people aiming at not college students but […]

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 […]