Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Psychology

“Mythification”

I am not shy about daring to coin new words, such as the verb, “neologize”—to create neologisms, which means “new words.” Today I’ll put out for your assessment the word, “mythification,” meaning to generate mythic-type ideas or mages. I see a trend in our culture towards mythification that has been advancing especially since the mid-1960s. […]

“Nonverbal Awareness”

What else can I call the mental alertness to one’s own nonverbal behavior. There are those who are attentive to their appearance regarding make-up, hair-do, clothes, but few people pay attention to the way they behave: Check out posture, eye angle, length of eye contact, tendency to smile or frown, etc. Let it be a […]

“Vivification”

Here’s a term I just coined for vivifying what’s going on, highlighting it in a somewhat dramatic fashion. There is a spectrum of liveliness that one can bring to an experience. Drama does this, but, alas, the word “drama” tends to imply over-dramatization. Ideally, we should be aware that we can bring more or less […]

A Kaddish Contemplation

Kaddish is the name of the Jewish prayer said for those in mourning for those who have passed on, also known as a prayer for the dead. But in fact it’s not a prayer for the person who has died, it’s a prayer to re-align the living. Kaddish re-focuses the one praying; its words implicitly […]

Adam Many-Parts 2

I wrote about the joys of a diversified life over a year ago on this blog. It’s relevant to psychology because lots of folks play lots of roles, and this is thus relevant also to role theory. A cartoon ( Baby Blues 11/26/2000 by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott) noted all the roles of a […]

Aggregate Experiences

Although there are words for meaning, self, society, family, happiness, and other experiences, we should recognize that these are states of mind are not a single phenomena, but rather they are the product of many— possibly hundreds—of component experiences of a variety of types. There is no “thing-ness” to such phenomena, but rather they should be […]

All Roads Lead to Illusion

As I reflect on the series of lectures on illusions that I gave last month for Senior University Georgetown, it became increasingly clear that a variety of phenomena that have not been vividly recognized as being similar—i.e., illusory—should be so thought of:   – the defense mechanisms of the psychoanalysts, and some of the other […]

Attraction

People are attracted to each other. There are scores of cues, and other factors. Does this person remind me of a favorite parent or relative that I bonded with? Or perhaps seems like the opposite of one that I despised? There are other factors, too, such as the degree to which I bought into or […]

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 […]

Can Psychology Be “Researched”?

In considering what types of psychotherapy work, I become aware of the sheer multiplicity of variables. I suspect this problem is perhaps insurmountable, because what we’re talking about isn’t a machine, as in what kind of gasoline gets the best mileage, or energy, or whatever can be measured. Human behavior cannot be measured! Well, it […]

Confabulation

This involves the mind’s propensity to just make things up. It’s an unconscious “mechanism” that is also called “confabulation.” We should not underestimate this dynamic. It makes dreams seem so real while you’re dreaming; it accounts for people swearing that they saw someone or experienced something that in fact they didn’t (i.e., “false memory syndrome”), […]

Contemplating Entitlement

I addressed the theme of entitlement six years ago, but more needs to be said.     First, this is mainly unconscious, and were I to confront most people, if they didn’t punch me in the nose, they’d look with wide-eyed and sincere bewilderment: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” After all, entitlement is sometimes […]

Contemplating Folly

One of the problems with consciousness in our own era is that knowledge is expanding much faster than any even small collective can keep up with. Curiosity, the awareness that there is so much more to know, is not keeping up with our rapidly expanding horizons. There is a natural inclination towards inertia, which means […]

Corpus Callosum (2)

The connection between the right and left brain was shown earlier and it has been revealed to me what was going through the mind of the subject at the moment. It was this: Funny little sunny little puny human brain. Pretty incredibly complex, but not so much to beings who are far more intelligent and […]

Creativity & the Arts Therapies

In response to a request to speak to some students of one of the arts therapies at a college in the USA, I contemplated what such students need to hear. I asked about improvisation as a theme and the teacher noted that developing skills to promote improvisation in art media—music, dance, art, poetry, etc.—is indeed […]

Cross-Section of Images Crossing the Corpus Callosum

The brain is, in my thinking, not a manufacturer of thoughts, but rather a receiver. It picks up transmissions from what David Bohm calls the “implicate order.” (I wonder, though, if he ever recognized the profound dis-order that operates in that realm, mixed with certain kinds of order.) Here’s my drawing of three perspectives on […]

Density of Eventfulness

The angels have been conspiring to remind lil’ ol’ me that life is shorter than I thought, and I realized that others also are prioritizing—or needing to. There’s a density of eventfulness. There have been changes in how much I feel this way or that, so that such and such seems important! I’ve noticed that […]

Divesting

What a word: I need to begin to divest myself of too much stuff. (My book collections are strong examples of too much stuff.) George Carlin, the late comedian, has a wonderful bit he does about “stuff.” I’m beginning to look at all my books that way—not much, but it’s a beginning. So did I […]

Dream Realities

I had a vivid dream a week or so ago: It was an early morning dream; those seem to be more vivid. I thought about it, dreams in general, memory, the way things can seem real enough to catch you up in dealing with them, and, in short, the deeper nature of reality. Dreams do […]

Feeling That I’ve Really Lived

If I think about it, I have indeed really lived. Curiously, I don’t often feel this way. Indeed, I have a mild neurotic complex that suggests gently in feeling tones that I haven’t. Thank goodness, it’s very mild: I’m pretty well balanced; but I’m cleaning up mild complexes. It never ends, you know. At times […]

Halloween Contemplation 2013

Fear is an amazingly primal instinct, and you can see it in birds and deer and squirrels—they look around, their ears (if you can see them) prick up: What’s that strange sound? Babies get waves of strangeness and they startle and cry. Or for other reasons they become uncomfortable. At some point they enjoy quieting […]

High Dimensionality

I’ve been coming to the thought that mind itself is the primary reality, not matter, the 3rd dimension—which is what most people take to be hard reality. Most recognize that the 2nd dimension—what they can see in pictures, read in papers, is not altogether reality. Alfred North Whitehead went up one notch and noted that […]

How My Mind Works

I got into a mental eddy: I took off on the word, “akimbo,” and my wife looked it up on Wikipedia. The etymology of the word was expounded and I found myself fascinated with how uninterested I was in this information. Apparently there are many people, however small the percentage, who care about etymology. And […]

I Can “Fabulate”

There’s a word, “confabulation,” that refers to the way some people’s minds rather  obviously make up a reality, memories, consistent thinking, that jibes with a slight suggestion. It’s more obvious in some patients than others. I daresay that in subtle ways it’s ubiquitous! We do this far more naturally in dreams. Then when we wake […]

Individuality

A recent correspondence: My friend Ed wrote about seeing the video of my son David’s presentation in Seattle about “Spectrums”—a book he had just published. He wrote, “You son David has inherited your exuberance and capacity for projection. I learned something .. of the existence of "tetrachromats": Amazing idea, that some people have sensory capacities […]