Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

October, 2011

Context-Dependent Knowledge

A pickpocket at a convention of saints would only see their pockets. This morning I heard that the World Series Baseball game that I saw part of on television was considered one of the greatest games in the history of baseball. Who knew? The only thing that impressed me was how many spits the various […]

Posted in Autobiographical, Follies, Spirituality and Philosophy | No Comments »

For Halloween: Introducing “Nyaghrorwr”

There is indeed a species of not-too-scarey monsters called “m’nonsters” and this is one of them. They like to play boo, and scare, but don’t really want to scare-scare, just play-scare. They love all the Halloween spooky stuff that’s been coming out. They love the Pixar-Disney 2003 movie, Monsters, Inc., and want more play adventure. […]

Posted in Foolin Around, Play and Spontaneity | 1 Comment »

New Website Papers

You might also go to my website papers and browse to see what is new. Longer papers have been written. More recently, I’ve prepared (and posted) papers on the following topics:    1. De-Mystifying Mysticism, a talk I give on October 27 at a conference on Pediatrics and Spirituality in Houston, Texas.    2. Visionaries: […]

Posted in Autobiographical, Essays and Papers, Spirituality and Philosophy | No Comments »


I’ve realized that in the 20th century a major subtle attitude emerged: that there were “answers.” It was okay to ask questions and the unspoken message was that someone somewhere did have an answer. What wasn’t said explicitly enough was that indeed, there were answers to some questions, but this accounted for perhaps only around […]

Posted in Follies, Spirituality and Philosophy, Wisdom-ing | 1 Comment »

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, […]

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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, […]

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The Influence of Abner Dean

I was strangely influenced as a young man by the surrealistic, semi-cartoon art of Abner Dean, who drew cartoons and pictures that intrigued me. I had been into comic books, but here was a fellow who, like Saul Steinberg, used cartooning to present serious themes. Recently, I remembered Dean and wondered why I was fascinated […]

Posted in Autobiographical, Current Events, My Favorite Things, Psychological Literacy | No Comments »

Unaffiliated Idealism

If I had to give a name to my “religion,” this would be it. I realized only recently that I did indeed have a spiritual path as a teenager: “unaffiliated idealism.”  (I had no name for it then, though.) As a lad I collected and cut out nickel-priced used copies of Readers’ Digests, and similar […]

Posted in Autobiographical, Spirituality and Philosophy | No Comments »

Combating Stereotypes About Psychodrama

The term is being misused! The word, “psychodrama” is applied by journalists to describe any sort of emotionally-laded complex situation. Actually, it’s a method for problem-solving that involves improvised role playing. People play mainly themselves or others in various of their own life situations. The goal is not to entertain any audience, but rather as […]

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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 […]

Posted in Book Reviews, Follies, Spirituality and Philosophy, Wisdom-ing | No Comments »