Enthusiastic Prostelitizing

I’m not sure if older Alexander teachers remember how Alexander’s work used to be taught with an attitude of paradoxical belittlement. The famously confounding British humor delivered completely arrogant intimidation and humiliation, along with stupefying physical freedom. All the while the Alexander teacher is telling the student, “dare to be wrong.” That was quite a challenge for the practice of refusing to react!

One of the marks of Alexander Technique is that is allows a person to refuse to react to any stimulus – even a strong one. Recently I happened to stumble on a youtube video of a beginning Alexander Technique trainee. He noticed that practicing Alexander Technique made him happy, even despite his grumpy moods to the contrary. Then since Alexander lessons made him feel so confident, he figured he should be a “moral” leader! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxsDUXbgkvY

Differing from the hope of enthusiastic learners who find Alexander lessons making them happier, merely learning A.T. will not “right” the values of the world. It will only make people express their values easier and more completely. Beyond selling the values of effortlessness, freedom, reason and patience, there are no further morals inherent in Alexander’s work.

As a person learns the ability to choose from any given priority of intents, these can now come from whatever mixture of criteria and values a person desires to express. This is power, and it can be a big step up into acting responsibly.

However, the content and priorities of these values (even if cultural) are still a deciding factor that are your responsibility. In this way, A.T. can be compared to the sword practice of the ancient Japanese feudal Samurai class. The Samurai efficiently carried out definite cultural values with violent ends and exquisite, elegant means.

Given patience, Alexander Technique becomes a practical means to carry out intent and to unify thought into action. The action is movement, but the ramifications reverberate all though one’s power to make decisions in general.

Why a person wants to improve their life or if they want to find out how far they can improve indefinitely  – these motives can come from any value system. Values are often determined by them or any culture to which they belong. There is no moral stricture present in Alexander’s work. AT can be applied to any goal – even ego-driven goals. After learning from Alexander’s example, these values can now run as a course of direction requiring course corrections now and then, rather than a dictate of desperate, coercive necessity.