Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:


Life Enhancement via “Self Rev”

I have a friend in Oakland, California, named Sheila Rubin, who leads workshops on how to do “Self-Revelatory Theatre.” (This approach to my knowledge was first written about in the mid-1990s by another friend, Renee Emunah, and mentioned in her book, Acting for Real.) This is good stuff, but the appeal so far has been […]

Life Enlargement

We have in fact been enlarging our awareness of what’s happening through international news, the internet, astronomy, microscopy, imaging, travel writing, etc. Now I want to make a category for it! The idea that we can enlarge our lives through what was psychodrama—I call using the method for fun and not psycho-therapy “action explorations”—is here […]

Making/Discovering Meaning

I’ve been associated distantly with the “Network for Personal Meaning,” get their e-mailings, and have been contemplating the place of “meaning” in human life. It recently occurred to me that meaning operates at a mid-higher level of mental organization. Mind operates in layers, just like body operates in levels of function, and that operations on […]

Maps of Identity

These figures illustrate some elements of “social depth psychology.” People aren’t at all individuals in the sense of being absolutely non-divided; there is indeed a potential for more or less coordination, but on the whole, people play many roles and entertain largely different sets of attitudes and aspects of their personalities in each role. So […]

Metaphysics: Co-Creative Dynamics

I strongly suspect that it may be better to think of reality as we know it as co-created. That is to say, our minds co-create what we call reality. (By mind, I think this dynamic operates in dimensions or realms far from our material realm, yet co-exists; and even so, much of mind is to […]

Mind as a Nexus of Role Involvements

This illustration notes that the human mind is both individual and collective. The self is largely an illusion, as I write about on my website, an aggregate experience. But there is a degree of self-willed activity that arises from this illusion, an intention, and this intention, associated with taking responsibility, accounts for a great deal […]

Mondegreens and the Gestalt Function

On mis-hearings.  And wondered that the late Dr. Sacks didn’t mention mon-degreen ("")—i.e.,  mis-hearings. I agree with his challenging of Freud. The point to be made is that the unconscious mind is super-fast, really should be called perhaps the “super-conscious,” and has no difficulty manufacturing (confabulating) meanings that to some degree make sense, even if […]

Moreno and Jung: Confabulating

An acquaintance of mine is writing about J. L. Moreno (the creator of psycho-drama) and Carl G.  Jung, the founder of analytic psychology. It might be more correct to say that she has written about their associated theoretical system and how these systems have evolved over the years. It should be noted that Jung emphasized […]

Moreno’s “Idee Fixe”

I wrote about what Moreno called his Idee Fixe  in 1996 and was reminded of it in a correspondence by a colleague, Ed Schreiber. The article that J. L. Moreno (1889-1974) wrote was published in a booklet last year, titled The Future of Man’s World. Moreno wrote: “Why I chose the course of the theater […]

My Shadow Complex Characters

The ”Shadow” complex is the English word for what Jung called all those parts of the usually unconscious psyche that are ordinarily repressed, that are incompatible with most people’s self-esteem. Yet I am somewhat aware that I played with characters associated with this complex in some of my old drawings and cartoons. I’m a bit […]

Neuro-Biology of Play

I have an interest in play, and I just encountered news of a book, The Inter-personal Neurobiology of Play: Nurturing brain development in children through play, by Theresa A. Kestly, who is a sand-play therapist and teacher in New Mexico. She updates our understanding of the natural ways play promotes maturity in children. (My point […]

Neurosis: Its Origins

I confess that I am taken somewhat with the new theories of neuroscience that serve as a testable biological source of neurosis and psychosis, but in spite of my wanting to expand psychoanalysis radically, including issues such as temperament and cultural and social issues, I really think that fully half of significant psychiatric disorders—often with […]

New Syndromes

1. Making stuff up. One may not know that one is doing this, and the term confabulation has been applied to this. Doing it on purpose should be recognized as a more enlightened and playful form of this. Shall we call it “conscious confabulation”? I like the fabulous word root in that word and if […]

Numinous Verisimilitude

I’m giving a lecture series on illusion—part of a long-running series on psychological literacy. Some people have experiences that seem so real, not illusory, and more, the experience is compelling. The word “numinous” means strangely compelling: A thought or image seems is so true and important that it must be witnessed to. It compels you […]

On Idiosyncrasies

An idiosyncrasy is a personal and seemingly odd notion, ritual, habit, obsession, etc. How do bright people come up with such a startling variety of notions? Provisional answer: All our powers of reason cannot penetrate the screen of bias, the thick layers of rationalization generated by our “amplifying unconscious.” The powers of rationalized mythmaking are […]

Other Dimensions

I sorta-kinda believe in other dimensions, and the famous cartoonist who draws “Dilbert” (i.e., Scott Adams) apparently had the same idea. “Great minds run in the same gutter,” I’ve heard it said. I dare to play with this literary trope of other dimensions, and so does he. Yes! There are portals all around. Dreams do […]

Our State of Understanding

I read this line somewhere: “It is therefore crucial for any professional to under-stand how and why we behave and interact with others the way we do.” In my opinion this considerably overstates the situation. The above-quoted line was perhaps part of the worldview in the 20th century, but now in the 21st century information […]


Peacemaking wasn’t known in the olden days. Peace was just surrender, a temporary unwillingness to fight, which meant to be dominated. Small-time kings bought off predatory emperors by taxing their people. Peace-making didn’t happen between equals except as temporary truces. The business of kings and emperors was conquest. There were whole castes given over to […]

Performance Awareness

There’s something about this on my other website. I’ve been thinking about the degrees of awareness that we are performing for a hidden or not-so-hidden audience. I call this “performance awareness.” and I think there’s a spectrum: At the low end, zero awareness, at the high end, extremely aware of the audience and their reaction. […]

Permeability and Ability

My thesis this morning is that extraordinary abilities are to some significant degree due to an innate permeability of the mind to what some call “psychic” and others call “inspiration.” It occurred to me that our model of mind may be limited, overly materialistic. The reigning paradigm is that the contents of the mind are […]

Problems with Social Depth Psychology

To begin with, let’s clarify the terminology. Sociometry has been used in the field of psychodrama to describe, in a more narrow sense, the method, mainly involving making explicit those preferences that are generally not explicit. In a larger sense, the word talks about all the dynamics involved in this process, and I think it […]

Psychodrama Research

Psychodrama research falls victim to the same pitfalls as psychotherapy research: The mind is many-leveled. There is thinking, and thinking about thinking, and pathological and unconscious dynamics, namely the multi-leveled functionality of symptoms. Symptoms are also expressions of the deep self. (I confess to being influenced by the “wild analyst” Georg Groddek, who was a […]

Psychological Theory: Both / And

J. L. Moreno, M.D. (1889-1974) was prescient in some ways; but not in others. He  was right in noticing the deficiencies of psychoanalysis, but he was biased in his own favor. Theories of psychology or psychopathology were at that time either/or not both/and, and it didn’t occur to Moreno to be more inclusive. Moreno’s insight […]

Psychology’s Expanded Scope

The psyche is influenced by and in turn influences many levels of human organization:   – the psycho-somatic domain, the  mind-body;   – the intra-psychic realm, which contain different parts of the mind, internalized complexes, sometimes conflicting, sometimes supporting each other;   – the interpersonal field, and this may be slightly to very different depending […]

Really, Really Like

There are tons of things I don’t care for that much. Meh. Some stuff I prefer not to encounter, engage, hear, go to. I don’t need to put them down, but they’re just so not my cup of tea. And then there are things I sort of like. And things I really like. But what’s […]