Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:

Book Reviews

The Counter-Productive “War on Drugs”

Following up on the “War on Drugs” blog entry #1380 (and on my website), there has been another pulse: This last week for our summer lectures of miscellaneous presentations at Senior University Georgetown (which I helped found 17 years or so ago), one of the speakers, Russell Jones, gave a talk on parallels between the […]

The Evolution of Beauty

I found a book by a fellow who appreciates bird songs, Professor Richard O. Prum, who wrote a book called The Evolution of Beauty (New York: Doubleday. 2017). What struck me about the book is that Beauty is a transcendental quality vaguely describable by humans, but it really belongs to the 8th dimension. This requires […]

The Humanities in Medicine

One of my roles is as an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the local branch of Texas A&M Medical School, where I give occasional lectures on psychotherapy. Allied to that, I have an interest in supporting those who would promote the “Humanities in Medicine.” There’s a sore need for this, because most medical students […]

The Mythic Path (Book Review)

Feinstein, David & Krippner, Stanley. (1999) The mythic path: discovering the guiding stories of your past—creating a vision for your future.  (Publisher: New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher / Putnam, 1999.  On page xiii of  the Introduction to the 2nd edition by Jean Houston , she says, “ The zeit is getting geistier… the new mythology, […]

The Psychology of Rapport: Sociometry

The Brafman brothers’ recent book, “Click,” and other writings speak to an extension of the growing popularity of applied social psychology and social intelligence, which is a sub-trend in contemporary psychology. Back in the 1930s, one of my teachers, Dr. J. L. Moreno, was writing about this dynamic. He became more well known for his […]

The Self Illusion

Recently I was pleased to discover a book with this title written by Bruce Hood, a professor of Developmental Psychology in Society at the University of Bristol, England. Subtitled “how the social brain creates identity,” (Oxford University Press, 2012) this book brings forth a good many aspects of psychology that are evaluated from the viewpoint […]

The Unbearable Wholeness of God

This is the title of a recent book by Ilia Delio, a Roman Catholic teacher who gained access to the writings of Teilhard de Chardin. A teacher where I used to live back in Texas—an ex-nun—wrote: Ilia Delio presents a concept of this Universal Force that we have labeled God in a broad way that […]

Theological Conflict (Book Review)

Reviewing Alvin Plantinga’s new book, Where the Conflict Really Lies (Oxford University Press, 2011), I find the author takes on a straw man, i.e. orthodox belief versus pure atheism. Regarding orthodox belief, merely affirming the “personhood” of God (whatever that means) versus a position that denies many of the underlying assumptions in the traditionalist religious […]

Trusting the Moment

This is a book review about a newly released book , Trusting the Moment:  Unlocking your creativity and imagination: a handbook for individual and group work. As you know, I’m all for promoting improvisation, and this book of warm-ups is rich in ideas about how to develop these skills. A number of such books have […]

What Are Old People For?

That’s the title of a book written in 2004 by Dr. William H. Thomas, subtitle: How elders will save the world. (Acton, MA: VanderWyk & Burnham, 2004). He brings up many points that I find important. I have become interested in subtle forms of oppression—including overt and subtle forms of age-ism—a theme that has become […]

Why Is There Anything?

Book Review and Comments: Krauss, Lawrence M. (2012). A universe from nothing: why there is something rather than nothing. New York: Free Press.     Professor Krauss, at Arizona State University, writes a book that I would have agreed with pretty much 45 years ago. But I’ve changed my mind. This book surprises me with my […]

Wisdom & Folly in Our Time

This blog was stimulated by my reading a recently published book by Howard Gardner titled, Truth, beauty and goodness reframed: educating for the virtues in the Twenty-First Century (New York: Basic Books / Perseus, 2011).  I have become increasingly aware of the responsibility each person has for integrating the reality of his or her individuality […]

Word Meanings Change

The word, “mysticism” has changed over time, from something weird and magical and ultimately superstitious to an underlying set of assumptions woven into story form, the way Joseph Campbell has re-worked the word and the field in the mid-late 20th Century. The word “gay” has similarly changed meaning, from carefree to homosexual. Yet many people […]

Words That Have No English Equivalents

I’ve encountered several books that recognize that other languages have words for which there are no English equivalents: (1) Ella Frances Sanders’ “Lost in Translation”; The Meaning of Tingo by Adam Jacob de Boinod; and Howard Rhinegold’s They Have a Word for It. In noting this I just found two others: C. J. Moore’s “In […]