Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:


Cut Me Some Slack: Forgiveness or Excuse?

My dear wife Allee is one of the most meticulous and intelligent people I know, and recently she was bemoaning her own lack of clarity: She had composed an email to a friend and on receiving a response that had obviously misinterpreted her message, realized that what she had sent was understandably confusing. I was […]

Cybernetic Communications

Folks used to think that communications were simple. I say X you understand X. Then we realized that to communicate well, the sender must be clear—from whence came editors, spell-check, revisions, etc. And the receiver should be educated. And/or the sender must calibrate vocabulary etc. to the level of the receiver if the goal is […]

Deffils (Imps of the Mind)

I think that one of the most useful things we can do is to confront the little niggling voices in our minds that drag us into lower consciousness. There are many kinds of foolishness, and some of it feeds on ignorance, mainly. What I call “deffils” (rather than devils) are little complexes that are often […]

Deffils (Part 1)

This word, “deffil,” describes a complex in the psyche that seems innocent and blame-free, at one level; at another level, this same complex may be recognized as foolish and naive; and at a third level, deffils in the long run have a thousand times more aggregate power to generate evil than clever, wicked, sociopathic, scheming, […]

Deffils (Part 2)

As I said in the last blog entry (yesterday), deffils are the personification of the tendency to buy into simplistic beliefs. Another form this takes is to identify with the role of innocent victim, projecting one’s selfishness on the blameworthy “other.” This justifies defensive aggression: Get them before they get you, undermine your culture. Again, […]

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 […]

Depth Psychology Education

Psychology has been around for over a century, and it’s time we spread the word. Much of it has been mystified, but it shouldn’t be. A moment’s reflection—well, more than a moment for many of us–will reveal that we in our know-how-ing selves don’t even know what we do when we pee! I mean, there […]

Diddely-Squat Chicken-Shit

What I don’t know! Boy, do I need to surrender. There’s a real type of effort in psychically “letting go,” though. It’s only vaguely an act of will, or maybe non-will. But it’s not the same as “trying,” much less “trying harder.” It’s 99% beyond me, that I realize, the 1% being that I know […]


It is good to learn that you are different and it’s okay. We are all different in so many ways. This may seem obvious to some, but for many centuries being “different” was a terrible thing. People got burned alive for it! It’s obvious at one level that we’re all different in many ways, but […]


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 […]

Effective Love Requires More Consciousness

I recently read an email advocating the virtues of love of humanity and a quote from Albert Einstein about the ultimate unity of life. I agree, being a person of my time, subject to the idealistic paradigms of what civilization seemed to be reaching for. Yet it also stimulated in me a contemplation of why […]


Have you noticed? Other people let you down, clearly because they don’t care for you enough to really try! But this is mistaken often because: (1) we believe they should try. (The idea that they don’t care is too far to be considered a possibility). Or maybe (2) they are trying but can’t (the idea […]

Embarking Into Philosophy

I have a young friend who is interested and asked me about what to read. This challenged me to think of how to respond. Philosophy, after all, is a very broad game. I think the key is to be found in a phrase used by one of my favorite philosophers, Alfred North Whitehead (1865 – […]

Epiphany or “Epiphanosis”?

For several months now I’ve been developing a kind of low-grade epiphany that re-cognizes the unconscious mind as partaking of two levels—one is the ordinary muddle of conflicting desires, immature modes of adjustments, unrealistic expectations, and other elements I discuss in the section called “follies” on this blog, but also another hardly appreciated by Freud […]

Equality? Wow.

I hadn’t been aware that I had been harboring elitist sentiments until a Unitarian church service that valorized sports. Then I realized that I had subconsciously thought of my own interests as superior—but when I looked again, I realized that a theme that is no interest to 75% of the people is hardly superior in […]

Folly in Culture

A recent article in Wired magazine addressed tendencies in the field of medicine to perhaps over-reach itself, and to not-entirely-rationally support whatever seems new or fashionable. As an amateur historian of medicine, I found this wonderful. Several articles from many sources have explored the tenuous nature of modern medical "knowledge."  However, lest we get all […]

Forms of Foolishness and How to Resist Them

The point of this series is that knowing about the various types snares and traps that lure us into foolishness may help us to resist or minimize their impact. What I mean by “foolishness” is sort of compounding of ignorance and pride. The ignorance is morally neutral: There are innumerable items we don’t know—and a […]

Freedom to Create

You may enjoy more or less foolin’ around, creativity, making-stuff-up, as you grow older. The important thing is that you feel free to do so, that you are not inhibited by phony residuals. Tradition says that all the great stuff is made up by great men. Rarely women. Myths, beliefs, laws, stuff like that. It […]

Future Computers: Clever or Wise?

In a recent Time Magazine February 21, 2011, a feature article speculated on the exponential growth of computer speed, power, size of memory, and other variables. As an example, a computer named Watson beat other experienced (human) contestants in a difficult game of Jeopardy! Computers will become smarter than humans soon! (?). I’m dubious about […]

Growing More Psychologically-Minded

It may take a century or more before even a moderate number of people become moderately psychologically-minded. Freud set this back a few decades, I fear. But even if Freud didn’t give people excuses to hate the machinations of the mind as viewed through his distorted lens, people would still avoid looking at their own […]

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 […]

Higher Dimensional Thinking

Yes, about “straight answers”— what if at higher dimensional levels of mind there are no straight answers?   so I’m putting on my blog and also will weave into my lectures: S.J. Perelman, in his book, Most of the Most of S.J. Perelman (Modern Library, NY, 2000), on page 64, wrote: “Yet figures, which I am […]

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 […]

How the Mind Works

The mind, or as they say in a children’s song, “Der Honky-Donky-Doodle,” works in mysterious ways. At last (or as I am wont to say, alas) neruo-imaging has met neuro-imagining and resulted in a picture of the nerve bundle that connects right and left brain, the “corpus callosum,” as it is technically called. Below is […]

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 […]