Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Don’t Watch It—Do It!

Originally posted on December 19, 2012

The number of screens is multiplying—movies, television, hand-held electronic devices, e-books, computer “games”—all “shadows on the wall,” illusions seductively fashioned to offer a hyper-reality, “bigger than life,” more wonderful than anything puny you could actually do yourselves. You can partake of this far more excellent world while in fact in your actual body-mind turning into the kind of couch-potato as portrayed by the blobby people on the spaceship in the movie Wall-E.

There’s a folk song, If I Had a Hammer, from the 1950s, with the following verse: If I had a bell, I’d ring it in the morning, I’d ring it in the evening, all over this land; I’d ring out danger! I’d ring out a warning! I’d ring out love between my brothers and my sisters, a-a-all over this land. Well, I’m ringing out the danger of electronic devices as soul-suckers and the need to re-center yourself as the “locus of control,” the do-er of life. Get a life! Fight back! Those lil’ ol’ soul-suckers are subtle and seductive! They give you the illusion you’re doing it and it’s bigger and better and more wondrous than limited you can do it. They don’t admit out front the time and production energy that went into these illusions.

“More important than the creation is the creator,” said Jacob L. Moreno, and we might change this to the creating, do-ing, the process. Moreno could get a bit narcissistic and transfer the value to the person—but the value transcends the person and mainly lies in the do-ing, the process, and then transcending it again and again.

Even you in your great creativity, your narcissistic greatness, need to let it all go, give it away. Maybe you’ll transcend whatever you were—and in truth we all are doing this by living it into the now—and certainly others around you now, before, and in the future will transcend whatever you’re doing, but that’s the game, the forward motion creative progress! The game is to let go of “being wonderful” (very egocentric) and to open to the glory of making something wonderful happen. Then if someone else makes something even more wonderful, hey, great! What’s important is the cutting edge of unfolding creativity, a never-ending unfolding-ness. That’s a major part of Holy Spirit-as-Verb.

But this great creative energy is being threatened by a curious form of decadence: There are whole industries staffed by people with noble ideals who are inadvertently overdoing the soul-sucking. You see, for about 1/3 of our development, all this is healthy stimulation. We get ideas, we are drawn to do more. But beyond 50% it begins to dull our senses. We forget that it is ourselves who need to stay in shape. This involves our bodies, our minds, our imaginations. That last overlaps with all sorts of soul or spirit or other fancy words with extra-holy value. But what it all boils down to is that we need to keep doing ourselves, through whatever channels work best for us. Some are cooks, some are gardners, some psychotherapists, some parents, all sorts of roles for bringing the world forth into whatever may be its fuller potential.

Don’t just watch it, then, Do It!

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