Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Essays and Papers

E-Journals: The Coming Thing

I  received an email from a friend in Turkey—the country—they spell it Turkiye —where they write in Roman letters—about their e-journal. This reminded me of  the idea of an  e-journal itself, which may easily outstrip the idea of the printed journal within a decade. In some ways, I regret this, because I was a "book-hound" […]

Effective Teaching

I am proposing experiential approaches, learning by doing. A colleague a few years ago called my attention to this statement in the New York Times: “It doesn’t work if it’s not moving,” said Mr. Rodenbeck, the head of Stamen Design, a San Francisco studio that Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all used for help in […]

Ego—a Term with Many Meanings

In a number of contexts—“new age,” psychology, consciousness studies, spirituality—the term “ego” has been used as if it’s a problem. There are several meanings of “ego” and it may be worthwhile considering these. First, the word is Latin for “I” and is attributed by the English translators of Freud’s writings to that part of the […]

Embryo-as-God Metaphor

Mythmaking tends to draw on ancient metaphors—stories of super-heroes and god-kings, the imagination of millennia past, etc. But what if we created myths that drew on the findings of science in the last century or so? In this case, consider the emerging sub-field of biology called embryology. Two hundred years ago we didn’t know about […]

Envisioning Our Children’s Needs in the 21st Century

Parents tend to rear their children with the mental and cultural tools they know about. For my parents’ generation, the goal was to get the kid raised in one piece, ideally resilient enough to go to college and get a good job. One category they didn’t know about was “validating the child’s individuality.” Sure, if […]

Epistemological Mind-Stretchings

Everything nowadays is being revealed as being far more complex than we thought it was. This trend has involved all fields, including subtle differences in psychology. For example, there is the problem of how do we know what we know? This is a philosophical problem known as epistemology. For example, we start with what is […]

Epistemology and Depth Psychology

Epistemology is that branch of philosophy that inquires into the problem of how we know what we know.  Can some of what we think we know be illusions or errors? How could that be? Can Truth be known? Reality? The first point here is that most people seem to buy into the idea that truth […]

Everything’s Falling Behind (Technologically)

The curve of being techologically “with it”  advances on many fronts, and while I sometimes feel ahead of the curve because I even have a  blog AND a website—two websites, even!—then am humbled by learning that friends are using video-Skype, and Ipod for doing Power-Point presentations, and doing all sorts of fancy stuff that leave […]

Evolving Consciousness Through Drama

One set of tools for evolving consciousness involves the integration of elements of drama—not the kind where people memorize lines written by someone else and repeatedly rehearse those lines and scenes—that’s what has come to dominate theatre arts, alas—but rather improvisational and interactive types of drama. I think that the unfolding field of applied theatre […]

Exploring Patterns

I met a fascinating wise woman yesterday (i.e., Rowena Kryder) who helped me see that my drawings are really explorations of pattern. They are certainly not mere doodling, or even cartooning, which implies a bit more story, or comic humor. They are more tentative than fine art; closer to sketches, but more abstract. We talked […]

FOMO Comments

This came across my “desk” in the mail, and I mostly agree: Have you heard the acronym FOMO?  It stands for “Fear of Missing Out,” and a popular hashtag. Personally, I’m not sure I ever experienced FOMO, even in my younger years, but I know now, with age, I feel entirely justified in my lack […]

Fully Enlightened or “Excessive ‘Spiritual’ Excess?

This is a gentle rant against the use of such words as “fully,” “completely,” “absolutely,” or “pure” in talks and articles that have to do with spiritual practice. Such words represent that category in grammar called the “superlative”—as in not better, but “best.”  The trouble with this group of words is that they often represent […]

Futurological Perspectives: “Framming the Zhork.”

The more I study history the more I’m convinced that humanity is less than a quarter of the way on its journey to wisdom. I imagine a compliant child, an earnest child, and the parent says, “Now, be responsible.” The child nods, sincerely desires to achieve that state, yet we know that young children cannot […]


For a while I was into geometry. Contemplating geometry was amazing! Mind-Expanding! So G’d’s glory is there implicit in everything! I’m not talking about the literal G-d of the Bible, of Jewish, then Christian history, but the Beyond-the-Beyond, the Becoming Everything. True, the mystics in the Western religions intuited this, but then re-folded this intuition […]

Give Yourself a Medal

Marian Henley, a cartoonist who did “Maxine!,” created “medals” (back in 1999)! She created:   The Triple Star Telephone, for refusing to surrender under heavy barrage of telephone solicitation calls;    The Silver Cereal Box. for extraordinary strength of will, courage, and endurance displayed by simply getting the heck out of bed every day!   […]

Heathrow Airport: Mind-Blowingly Vast

A few days ago we came home from a trip to England—to the British Psychodrama Association’s annual conference where Allee and I presented the keynote workshop—and again came through Heathrow Airport. This blog is about the recognition that Heathrow is not only the 4th busiest airport in the world, but the first ranked in the […]

Heavens to Murgatroyd

This old essay circulating on the internet many years ago, was sent by an old, old friend:    Remember the name, Murgatroyd. Would you believe the email spell checker did not recognize the word Murgatroyd? Heavens to Murgatroyd!     Lost Words from our childhood: Words gone as fast as the buggy whip! Sad really! The […]

Hello and Good-Bye

I’ve just written birthday cards to friends and relatives and I realized that these may be among the last few score or hundred that I ever write. If you’re not in email contact with my descendants, you’re “out of it,” literally. Postal mail, greeting cards, are going the way of penguins and parrots. It may […]

Helping Others Feel Better

In the aforementioned Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. book, “Cat’s Cradle,” there is another quote that asserts the priority of encounter, human help, over mere, dry, facts as we believe them to be. One of the characters, a Doctor von Koenigswald, in Chapter 98, page 148, says, “I am a very bad scientist. I will do anything […]

Here’s How It Works

(Disclaimer: I have little idea of what’s going on. It’s a metaphysical intuition. In a thousand years it will seem laughable. Saying it another way, I’m “apophatic,” which is another way to confess that I haven’t a clue. Nevertheless, I’m a meaning-making creature, and that is in part the nature of mind. So what follows […]

Higher Consciousness as ETs

Considering extra-terrestrials, E-Ts. What if they’re really nice? There have been many movies that represent sentient beings from other planets as hostile and powerful, from The War of the Worlds on. But what if in fact extra-terrestrials do exist, and they definitely do not want to conquer you or eat you? What if that notion […]

Hitler Was Not Crazy!

Perhaps he was a little towards the end, when I think he was known to abuse amphetamines to stay awake to cope with the stress of the later stages of the Second World War. But in the early parts, it seems to me that many politicians resort to similar exaggerations or not-easily-disproven lies, and for […]

Hoodwinked by Expert Culture?

An acquaintance wondered if I was “hoodwinked by expert culture.” What a provocative phrase! (Provocative is a compliment, because it provokes my thought, not my defensiveness.) I responded, “You might be right. Blind spots happen.” But what is “expert culture?” Is it the received knowledge of the dominant worldview, what is taught by those whom […]

I Did It Thy Way

One of my favorite songs to sing in the shower over the last few decades is the Frank Sinatra theme song, “My Way,” (the words actually by Paul Anka); but about ten years ago in the shower Uncle Bud, my conscience, said to me, “Come on, you didn’t do it your way!” “Whaddaya mean?” says […]

Idiosyncratic Mind

Idiosyncrasy is the quality of being one-of-a-kind. In spite of many institutions in the 20th century—school, business, church—treating us as if we were interchangeable units in a big machine, in fact we are quite unique. In this present century we’re only beginning to catch up to the awareness that, first, everything is far more complex […]