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Archive for September, 2006

I have often wondered if a very personal division of the self cannot help but reflect an internal war. There was a time when I wondered if everyone practiced Alexander Technique, which is a discipline that helps heal the splits in those who practice it, would there would have been no war in some situations? Because AT teaches a person to insert a pause of self-control over their knee-jerk reactive assumptions – couldn’t that have an effect on the world for peace? But if everyone did any one of a number of things differently, there would not have been a war.

Now that I have checked out my hypothesis, I have had enough proof to surmise that Alexander Technique doesn’t have any automatic prescriptive ideals that indoctrinate the learner. As far as I can tell, the only value judgment that Alexander teachers are providing is the benefit of effortless. Through the study of that, you’ll find out how much you waste your energy, and learn to redirect it where you want to spend it. However, where and why you do want to channel your energy is entirely up to you.

An example from historic culture is the Samurai; they were very precise at studying and channeling the efficient use of their energy toward defense and war.

My opinion also comes from getting to know personally almost everyone I could who I noticed had Alexandrian natural good use through the course of my adult life. Some were ethical, sane people, capable of amazing compassion, …and some were not. Some were really mentally twisted far over on the other end of the scale. Seems that a person can still have excellent Alexandrian “use,” and also still have some conflict inside themselves that they haven’t yet figured out which could mean…anything.

People can also still misinterpret external situations to require defending themselves, no matter how well their usual “sane” interpretation of other stimulus works. It’s especially rampant when you make someone responsible for other people, because someone can so easily second-guess the risk of what it might cost other people if they didn’t act – or what other people would require them to do in service.

This seems to be a common “what if” that many people have about their favorite enthusiam, thinking it’s so good for everything and everyone. People have to find out for themselves, but how else will they know if they don’t hear your enthusiasm? All you can do is hold the thing up, show them how it works and see if they can recognize that it could be good for them.

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>> If every one did AT, there would have been no world war – true or false?>True, But if everyone did any one of a number of things there would be no war.

I don’t agree. I used to think this about Alexander Technique when Iwas in my twenties, but now I have had enough proof to believe otherwise. Alexander Technique does not have any automatic prescription of ideals that indoctrinate the learner. However, this does not count that the student may choose to adopt the ideals of the teacher along with the Technique, since how they are learning is often quite taught one-on-one.

As far as I can tell, the only value judgments that A.T. is selling are reason, efficiency and effortless. Through study of A.T., you’ll find out how much you waste your energy, and learn to redirect it where you want to spend it. Where, why and in the end, exactly how you do want to channel your energy is entirely up to you.

An example from history is the Samurai culture. They were very precise at studying and channeling the efficient use of their energy toward murder and defending their honor as defined by their culture. My opinion on this also comes from getting to know personally almost every person I could who I noticed had “natural” good use through the course of my adult life. Some were ethical, sane people, capable of amazing compassion and wisdom …and some were wordlessly thoughtless in their beautifully poised actions. Seems that a person can still have excellent use, and also still have some conflict inside themselves that they haven’t yet figured out, which could mean…anything. This conflict or incompleteness can be expressed internally or externally in how they interact with others, depending on the person and their problem.

No matter how appropriate a person’s usual excellent coordination of themselves is, they can also still misinterpret external situations to an inappropriate response, for instance, the need for a response of defense. It’s especially rampant when you make someone responsible for other people. They become violently defensive because they second-guess the risk of what it might cost other people if they didn’t, or something like that.

Anyway – this is probably a tangent that’s getting too far off topic. But this misconception that A.T. is so good for so many applications, it must be good for everyone – this is an enthusiasm that many people get about some pastime that impresses them and they find useful. Proselytizing isn’t particularly a productive means to follow, other than to merely share your enthusiasm and give your own testimonial story. Allowing people to choose their own criteria, values and priorities is usually preferable to badgering someone with your idea of what is right, because as we know from our experience with A.T., the means is the content. It’s possible to be, for instance, a fascist about fun, humor or any other positive thing. The way I see it, allowing people to go wrong is such an interesting part of learning. It is also one of the ways I learn from others. How seldom something happens that is really new is so precious; it is understandable that what is new feels so unfamiliar that it’s easy to mistake it for being wrong, when it is really just a signal of a new freedom. If a circumstance of learning or someone different from me didn’t make me experience “wrongness,” how else would I uncover my assumptions that I have been taking for granted?

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