Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Mission Statement 10/21/10

Originally posted on October 21, 2010

A friend asked me, “What is your goal when you are exploring such territories as spontaneity, creativity and in a more spiritual/esoteric domain, mysticism? I mean, some folks just close the door to these explorations, but you don’t do that. . .. I think you try to have a critical and rational approach to it, which is quite interesting and much needed, in my opinion. But the question remain, what is your goal, your fundamental intention with these explorations?

I responded, “…your questions give me an opportunity to re-think my mission statement:”

1. I hope to continue learning, to be open to re-thinking my provisional ideas about things.

2. I want to promote the idea that developing spontaneity, imaginativeness, and related abilities is good for what people need in the 21st century. I’m pretty clear about that. I want to encourage those who have methods for achieving this goal, or people who are doing it.

2a: Although I want to encourage all kinds of improvisation in music, dance, speaking, playing, etc., I have some background that’s more in the realm of drama, and so there is a bit of an emphasis on how dramatic methods can be integrated into life for this purpose. I’m as interested, perhaps even more interested, in applications in education and everyday life as I have been (in the past) in “therapy.”

3. I see the spiritual domain as a general map for meaning-making. I’m less interested in promoting a given schema or viewpoint—although I have written about some ideas more related to Whitehead’s philosophy, but just because that works for me, and it illustrates the idea that some creative approaches can be pursued—in contrast with cynicism or helplessness that views all possible approaches as foolish or extremist in one way or another. The point is to dare to learn about and re-think one’s own relationship to the Greater Wholeness, and to help others to do so also.

4. I think we need to learn to develop skills for thinking mythically, playfully, imaginatively, intuitively, non-logically—and this also relates to number 1 above—aand also we need to learn to develop critical thinking skills where that’s needed:

4a This includes developing the powers of discernment as to when thinking mythically is important, and when it’s important to think in a more down-to-earth fashion, when to be theoretical, when to be practical; when to be philosophical, when to be psychological; when to follow the heart, and when to cultivate reason.

4b A related theme involves learning to recognize and resist the hundred or so various ways that the mind tends to fool or sabotage its own reality testing or clear thinking, to regress into folly..

5. As for “mysticism,” I have mixed feelings: Some folks pursue it with a balanced set of the qualities mentioned above, and some pursue it in a less balanced way—so in general, I am positive about it—it is the desire to develop a closer relationship or identity with the Spirit Source—but the problem is that many use the term as if it’s a cover for all sorts of less-than-rational foolishness. So, as Moreno thinks about the cultural conserve or tradition, there’s nothing wrong with it per se, but one should not rely on tradition as if it is guaranteed to be a source of goodness. So, too, the pursuit of mysticism as a noble goal in itself is as fraught with pitfalls as any other pursuit, and so wisdom must be exercised.

That’s all I can think of right now, but I’m open to dialogue and comments.

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