Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Adam’s Roots

Originally posted on February 4, 2013

This is a personal reflection on an associated theme as described elsewhere (today) on this blog: One’s psycho-social or soul roots may not be in the past. It’s possible that they can also be identities that partake of current and even future (envisioned) trends. Certainly that’s true for me. I have a few ethnic roots, and I feel identified with the histories of medicine, of writing (script) and language, of philosophy, and history in general; but I identify even more with where humanity is heading, and myself as playing a small but not totally insignificant part in it getting where I hope it will end up.

For me, “roots” are what keep me grounded in the flow of life, and I am blessed with a wealth of connections:

1. I have a loving wife who is also very interesting and bright. We have good conversations as well as sharing many other nice commonalities.
    A. My extended family operates in several levels: Closer are my two kids and grandkids, all splendid people, my mother-in-law; further out is a fair-sized extended family and Allee’s extended family; and beyond that is a fair-sized more distant family.
    B. I feel rooted a bit in a small number of close friends and a moderate number of moderate friends.

2. The extended family overlaps with some sense of roots in the ethicity and history of the Jewish people.
    A. This has been strengthened by readings and some familiarity with the history and the more thoughtful people and trends.
    B. It has been weakened by my growing away from the religion and some of the cultural overlay..
    C. Strengthened by some literature, humor.
    D. Weakened by political trends and social rapport with various subgroups.
           So it’s mixed.

3. As a physician, I have developed an interest in and a sense of identity and connection with the greater tradition of science and medicine, its history and future trends.
    A. The richness of basic anatomy, physiology, the nature of pathology, disease, the latest treatments, all these continue to be intriguing reads.
    B. Weakened by current socioeconomic trends a little.

4.  As a psychiatrist, the same as with the previous item, identity, connection, history, the workings of the problems involved…
     A. And weakened also by some of the socioeconomic trends.
     B. Strengthened by its overlap with the history of psychotherapy, the art of helping.
     C. And also the history of cultural criticism, the sociocultural factors that lead to misleading illusions that tend to generate stress.

5. As a pioneer on the fronteirs of consciousness-raising—taking off from the previous item—:
    in medicine, I’m identified to some degree—and truly excited about—a host of developments that have further implications for what we may yet become. This has a host of sub-categories that merit a separate entry.

6. I feel more connected with the unfolding history and present and foreseeable future of science and technology than I do with genealogy or past roots.
    A. The unfolding parallel sciences of cultural evolution, complexity, chaos theory, etc.

7. A possibly misplaced concern about what seems to be superficiality—and I’m willing to allow for a great deal of superficiality. However, it seems to me that current sports developments, the contents of celebrity magazines, advertisements, social status gatherings, online  social  media and friend contacts, celebrity doings, local, national, and international news, and such—all these have come to obscure serious thought and conversation. I’m curious about the way media has made all this more hypnotic, compelling, distracting, and as such, diverts and protects the mind from more serious thinking. They give the illusion of being involved but really they are not able to be converted into wholesome or meaningful  experiences.
    A. It reminds me of other kinds of roots, as well as of the evanescent quality of such roots, or their illusory nature and vulnerability to personal life crises.

8. My own mild but still real roots in various activities, such as:
    A. Folk dancing, which I’ve been doing on and off for almost 60 years.
    B. Ballroom dancing, ditto.  Also the history of ballroom dancing.
    C. Square dancing, which I’ve been doing for now about 16 years totally.
    D. Folk singing and popular and kids songs again about 65 years.
    E. Browsing in the library, general readings, for much of my life, with some special interests in writing systems, languages, history, cartoon art, theology, history of religion, and various other subjects in addition to what has been mentioned before.

9. Enjoying as social activities the community chorus now for about 13 years, various conversation groups, being part of the theatre club and follies for over 10 years, having helped to found the local lifelong learning program for elders called “Senior University Georgetown,” and enjoyed preparing for single and six-lecture series for 13 year.

10. Interest in and promotion of the general trends towards
   – human potential movement
   – psychology, transpersonal sychology
   – history of medicine, psychiatry
   – cultural transformation
   – inter-spirituality
   – creativity enhancement
   -  psychological literacy and helping psychological mindedness become more mainstream
   – and techniques that support this,  role theory,  sociodrama, action explorations (all this  a big root)

11. Creative Mythology, daring to construct my own faith system as a synthesis of Process Philosophy, a bit of Kabbalah, Jungian Psychology, some new philosophies, and so forth. I don’t expect anyone else to join me exactly in what works for me, but I am intrigued with the idea of promulgating the idea of allowing those who like this sort of thing to construct whatever works for them.  As a corollary, permission is also implicit to revise these constructs again and again.

12. In the same spirit, I’m interested in identifying and critiquing all forms of oppression, and thereby liberating people to discover what works for them best, socially, culturally, intellectually,  spiritually.

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