Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Table of Contents:


Can Evolution Explain Human Nature?

There’s a website that presents thoughtful people commenting on important questions. I attend a small discussion group that explores such themes, and they selected for our consideration the title question.  In addition to the really quite sensitive ideas of the people mentioned, here are some of my thoughts, too: The idea that anything can be […]

Can We Know Truth?

Perhaps we should not even try to know “truth,” because it’s an asymptotic limit, like the speed of light, or perfection. The idea that we need to know what’s going on is so late 19th century (and early through mid-20th century with some hold-outs even today). The problem with the desire to really “know” the […]

Challenging Assumptions

The new President of our local Southwestern University, Professor Edward Burger , was written up in the college’s magazine. He had also recently given a guest lecture to my class at Senior University Georgetown, our local lifelong learning program. My series has been about “Thinking about Thinking,” and his talk was about effective thinking. He […]

Changing Computers!

I amth in the complex challenge of changing computers and hope to be in contact again in a few weeks. I’m going to get another windows, but I found out from my son, who is a big shot in desktop publishing, that my Wordperfect desktop publishing program has dropped back in the competition. He doesn’t […]

Changing Eras

Allee & I read in bed: One flosses, the other reads. Right now it’s Bobos in Paradise, Bobos being Bohemian Bourgeosie. It speaks to the sociological shifts of the late 1950s through the early 1970s. We only vaguely knew this was going on. The American culture was shifting from subtle aristocracy to meritocracy. More Jews […]

Check Out My Website

If you think this stuff is fun, you might find you enjoy even more a variety of topics addressed on my website: Serious psychology, psychological literacy, psychotherapy, psychodrama and its related topics of role theory and sociometry, various types of philosophy and I slip into rank speculation and fantasy at the bottom. For those who […]

Christmas Contemplation

Going along with the cultural thrust, hearing somewhat religious songs at our local Unitarian Church, I enjoy the Holiday Lights. Religion is no big deal for me. While I used to be an atheist in relation to literal beliefs, I am now a true believer in the operation of the cosmos, which is well-beyond the […]

Collaborative Creativity through Psychodrama

The drawing below represents my vision of the way people can join in co-creating a more loving and joyous universe. Although two people are shown, and the symbol of encounter is between them, really any number can co-create. They are different—they offer their own angles on whatever is in formation. There is a playful liberation […]

Commandments & Guidelines

The following cartoon has interesting wording: This is a deep misunderstanding of the nature of law. For the word “government” substitute “necessary,” because it is childish to think that the ten commandments are not ambiguous. For “guidelines” substitute the word “interpretations.” Think of what the Talmud was about, and modern-day Bible classes in many mainstream […]

Compelling Distractions: Another “Service” of the Amplifying Unconscious

In a recent series of blogs I laid out my provisional theory of the amplifying unconscious, a way of speaking about psychic energy that notes its capacity to intensify our intentions, whether they be for good, evil, or what most folks do, which is to pursue childish illusions. To that list I would add a […]

Complexity and Change

Not only is the world changing at an accelerating rate, but many things are becoming far more complex than they used to be—not only because our tools are more refined and we keep discovering levels of complexity not known previously (as in microscopy or astronomy), but also  as we contemplate consciousness the number of variables […]


That’s a word that talks about when one ties together images so that they seem to make sense—at least to the person doing the connection. It’s flagrant in cases of  alcoholic encephalopathy—Korsakoff’s Psychosis; or in some strokes of the right parietal cortex. It happens also when you’re dreaming—stuff that happens in your dreams seem plausible […]

Consider the Universe

Consider that the universe—which includes every thought as well as everything— is expanding, as is God, and we get to be a tiny part of it. Do not think that you’re praising God by presuming S/He’s all finished. Consider—open to the idea—that an unfinished, open-ended creative process is quite a bit more glorious than a […]

Considering Creativity

Everyone is creating a little in their lives all the time. It’s a fundamental category of existence-as-becoming. Not so many people consciously create, and even fewer make creativity a specific value in their lives. Part of the problem is that creativity has a very low yield of actual breakthroughs that would be recognized by others […]

Considering Other Dimensions

My latest theory is that although our bodies (as far as we know) are mainly three-dimensional, our minds are able to conceive of many dimensions, though not able to get the proper perspective on them all. Mind penetrates and transcends dimen-sions, but only somewhat. I have been blessed by reading science -fiction, which was directed […]

Considering Psychiatric “Help”

I’m a retired psychiatrist, and I’m suspicious of psychiatric “help.” I estimate that less than a fifth of those seeking help are healthy enough so that for them psychotherapy is an aesthetic option, one aimed at elaborating a richer life. Then there are those who show deficits in rational thinking, those who "really need it.”  […]

Considering Socio-Cultural Factors

We should consider the socio-cultural factors operating in a situation. (Some of the factors in human development are discussed on another paper on my website. In the future, I’ll explore in another paper some of the factors in adulthood, too, including socio-cultural factors—but of course I won’t pretend to be comprehensive.) Considering the socio-cultural factors […]

Considering the “Imaginosphere”

I use this term to name the category not of ordinary thought, problem-solving, or linear communication, but rather of those types of thinking, intuition, imagination (including aspects of music and other senses) that transcend the kind of thinking that is required for most mundane tasks. This realm is far vaster, including myths, stories, poetry, nonsense, […]

Contemplating Entitlement

I addressed the theme of entitlement six years ago, but more needs to be said.     First, this is mainly unconscious, and were I to confront most people, if they didn’t punch me in the nose, they’d look with wide-eyed and sincere bewilderment: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” After all, entitlement is sometimes […]

Contemplations on Consciousness

I’ve been enjoying an exchange with some friends about current arguments relating to the possibilities that computers will reach the point of consciousness. I doubt this for the following reason: The whole enterprise hinges on a deep misunderstanding of the mind as rational, logical, and therefore reproducible via algorithms of sufficient complexity. But this is […]


On a website, , the writer of a blog criticizes a New York Times essay by Barbara Ehrenreich, a best selling author. The essay criticizes the “selfish side” of thankful-ness. The criticism suggests that she may have misread the research? My response is that this is a meaty topic for sociodrama. Of course all […]

Counting Mistakes

There are parts of life where mistakes really do count, they make a difference. Part of this then involve a ready willingness to get quick feedback about what the mistake was and be willing to correct it. For many people this is undercut by tests in which you only learn (much later) your score, implying […]

Creation Recreation

I remember seeing a little sign of a cute kid looking kind of vulnerable and the caption said, “Please be patient; God isn’t finished with me yet.” And it recently occurred to me that this applies not just to an individual child as it develops, but the whole human species. Indeed, in an act of […]

Creative Musings

I cultivate a mild state of dissociation and surrender to my primary process, my free-floating imaginativeness, my pre-un-conscious mind. I willingly entertain confabulation, trusting (at least for a while) the sort of stuff my subconscious mind just makes up. This part of our mind is far more clever than even bright people’s minds! It comes […]

Creativity & the Arts Therapies

In response to a request to speak to some students of one of the arts therapies at a college in the USA, I contemplated what such students need to hear. I asked about improvisation as a theme and the teacher noted that developing skills to promote improvisation in art media—music, dance, art, poetry, etc.—is indeed […]