Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Creative Musings

Originally posted on November 16, 2017

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 up with stuff in a flash, and some of it is brilliant, while other things are just silly. Perhaps it’s all confabulated — which is a capacity of mind to rationalize free associations. Your unconscious mind does this all the times in making dreams! It seems plausible, at least for the moment, when a train makes a sharp right turn, the laws of momentum in physics be damned. I remember that happening and it didn’t surprise me, and that not being surprised was a surprise on reflection—but then again, we generally don’t reflect much, though we reflect just enough so that the dream has plausible continuity. It’s not a highly delirious vision.

The point is that the mind can tolerate mild delirium, dream-action. It makes the events seem tied together so that they’re believable—at least at first. This draws on the way propaganda works: Unless one is trained to doubt critically, many ideas can be framed to be plausible! The unconscious mind draws it all together, as in dreams, and makes it seem plausible.

Myth-making draws on this frame of mind. It’s surprising how many contemporary myths are believed without the nagging sense of cognitive dissonance, not only in religion, but also in politics! If an authority says it without smiling, it must be so, because he knows. I may not know, but I know that he knows, because he’s an authority, he has privy to all the real dope. We voted for him because he seems to know what he’s doing! (Hitler had that kind of charisma, and Donald Trump, and others.)

I’ve been alert to and interested in irrationality in public affairs since I was around 13, and read books about propaganda analysis. This relates to general semantics, and S. I. Hayakawa wrote a pretty good book about this, titled Language in Thought and Action.  It was rather influential for me!

I have begun to think more mythically, but I’m aware I’m doing it. I dare even play with it. I’m old and can afford to mess around.

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