Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Wisdom-ing

Learning at Warp Speed

I was reminded of the theme of “big history” recently. Collective leaning is a powerful force, and it’s not clear we’re learning. Big history shows us the broad sweep of evolution, physical, chemical, biological. We haven’t had the knowledge to tie all these together before the mid-late 20th century. We are the living residue of […]

“A World Too Wide For His Shrunk Shank”

This age-ist phrase was used by William Shakespeare in a little speech given by the character Jaques in the play, As You Like It (Act 2, Scene 7), to describe the 6th of the “Seven Ages of Man.” This sixth age is older than the “Justice” (the 5th age), and senility, the seventh, age. The […]

“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 […]

“Being Yourself”—Some Thoughts

A contemplation on two poems from the early-mid 20th century poet, e. e. cummings: — "may I be I is the only prayer— not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong." – – "to be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody […]

“Reality” as a Mind-Spectrum

I’ve elsewhere proposed that many dimensions of mind be viewed as a spectrum, and here I suggest that the experience of reality also be thus portrayed. Some things seem really, really, real, while other things seem pretty unreal. The key word is seem and what is at issue here is the illusion that something is […]

“Subversive” Books

My friend Jackie Woolley, with whom I square dance and we work out in the same exercise class in our community gym, is a thinker and writer, and wrote recently about how she has enjoyed reading books, noting that they are subversive. Indeed, I too have enjoyed my quiet rebellion against what I intuitively sensed […]

“The Bloody Pulpit”

I have a friend who used to be a preacher, and on the phone recently he mixed metaphors, calling his calling a “bloody pulpit.”  I had heard of a “bully pulpit” —referring to Theodore Roosevelt’s use of his Presidency as that. But nowadays the presidency of Donald Trump has become so very controversial as to […]

“Ultimate Concern”

Paul Tillich, the theologian, uses this phrase to refer to his approach to theology. He attributes this to everyone, but I think people relate to religion at their own level of consciousness. Tillich is attributing to everyone an abstract resonance that he himself experiences. (I tend to do this also, because I take my thinking […]

“We Grow Too Soon Old…”

So begins an old German proverb; and finishes with: “… and too late, smart!” It’s okay, though. I’m discovering in the elder years that much can happen: First, we grow smarter, but discover waves and mountains that we yet don’t know—and some of these are things that (a) no human knows yet—and there’s two categories […]

“Wisdom-ing”

As I reflect on life and mind, I think that the word “wisdom” would better be appreciated as a verb: “wisdom-ing.” It is something you do, not are. One doesn’t “have” wisdom, or even “attain” wisdom, as if, once attained, is sustained by its own power. Rather, wisdom-ing is a doing, an activity. When and […]

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 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 […]

A Little “Tottery”

To tell you the truth, I’m growing older, approaching 80, a tiny bit more tottery. I still dance, but for fast folk dances it takes a little more time to get the messages through my nerves down to the feet. Still ballroom dance. There seems to be a balance between exercising to one’s capacity and […]

A New View of the Non-Rational Mind

A few months ago I wrote of one feature of the unconscious mind that is as yet hardly known. I call it the “amplifying unconscious mind.” Another category operates in some ways similarly and in other ways, I’m not so sure. (Well, I’m not very sure of any of this, but I am addressing some […]

A Passover Contemplation

What really happened on Mt Sinai (A myth): Moses: Okay Lord, gimme the rules. The Lord:  No rules. We co-create this. General guidelines. Be nice. Stuff like that.   M I gotta have rules. L: Yes, dear Moishe, you are dealing with slaves and the children of slaves, I understand. But I have a problem […]

A Passover Myth

In the spirit of creative mythmaking, I made up the following to illustrate the possibility of what true spiritual freedom means, which is not even subtle mental enslavement to what some authority figure dictates—forget about how terribly distorted those rules may become over the millennia—but rather taking on responsibility for the present moment and daring […]

A Talk with God about Complexity

There’s so much going on, so many factors, such high levels of complexity! I talked to God (my projections, you must understand!) and whined that it was too complicated! God laughed and said: “Of course it’s complicated! I’m God! I’m a zillion times more complicated and multi-leveled and multi-dimensional and mysterious than people with ten […]

A Theological Confabulation

  I am a contemplateur, an affected term I made up to make my lazy thinking about stuff sound fancy. It’s a way to play. So I’ve been thinking about the Big Whats-it-all-about, beyond space, time, matter, and energy. I view these categories as fabulous in their infinitude, but still I have a hunch that […]

A World Shorn of Meaning

I was reminded of my enjoyment of the picture books by Abner Dean when I was a teenager. These involved a mixture of surrealism, a bit of cartooning, and the presentation of world shorn of meaning. He was an illustrator whose books were more known in the late 1940s and 1950s.  I was impressed by […]

Accepting Limitations

Early this morning when I was dreaming, in the dream I was at a sort of class lecture, and my eyes kept closing and sort of being glued shut. I tried to keep my eyes open with my fingers as I wanted to hear what the speakers were saying. Upon awakening I did a bit […]

Action Explorations

This is my term for a class of activities that used to be lumped with drama, psychodrama, applied drama—e.g., my anthology on Interactive & Improvisational Drama. I’ve changed my mind, though—I think it’s better to call this category “action explorations”—or, as an alternative, “exploratory enactments.” I am re-writing my two major books on psychodrama, updating […]

Action Explorations

This is a term I give for non-therapeutic psychodrama. It’s a new term, a new “field.” Really, it’s psychodrama applied to non-clinical problems or, indeed, n0t problems at all! In it’s old form of “psychodrama” (about which I wrote several books and countless articles), it is also applicable in another way. While as psychodrama, it […]

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 Term

It’s time now to break out of the medical model!  Although Moreno confined himself to the psychotherapeutic applications of simulations that he called "psychodrama"—and it could well be argued that it was appropriate he did so at that time—now it is even more appropriate for the method to gain some distance from the medical model. […]

Action Explorations: A New Category

I’m proposing a new category for thinking about and addressing collective challenges: “action explorations.” This term includes a variety of approaches that have in common the properties of enactment, improvisation, role, and story. One of the approaches within this category is psychodrama, but most dictionaries and many professionals think of this approach mainly as a […]