If A.T. Was A Religion…

Lutz: Alexander Technique as a way to enlightenment without life-time membership and obligations?

Maybe if the challenge of “En-LIGHTEN-ment” is redefined as Levitation Devotions? Now THAT would be a spiritually transcendent goal! [Have got my tongue in cheek rather firmly here, in case the terminally-serious are reading this, who obviously need more indoctrination in levity training.] Wow, the Alexander Technique principle of Directing IS quite a bit like meditation…

Hey, what an idea!

If someone were inclined, here’s how we could consider Alexander Technique to follow the threats and stern admonitions that are the signature characteristics of most religions. Then the Real Questions are… Let’s see…

At the Hellish Penalty of being a Lousy Example to one’s Devotees, umm, Devoted Pupils, (who inevitably will emulate the example’s affectations… ummm… pattern of misuse if presented with it at an unthinkable momentary lapse of Direction.) The Obligatory Dedication to a lifetime of Directing Oneself…will be required.

OF course, we would need to select members of the Upper Caste. They must deal with the inevitable Continuing Rising Standards of excellence and perfection of the transcendent pursuit of Good Use In Every Moment.

We could extend teacher training to a period of ten years, (re-naming it “The Calling in the WORK”) and redefine all currently trained teachers as Devotees Of Passing On The Work. (Then it would be “Spreading the Good Use Work” instead of doing what is now considered in marketing lingo to be “Branding”….)

Since it takes at least one contiguous month to Improve One’s Use and get it to stick, the identification of A.T. into a religion would be the solution of that sticky challenge of having pupils flake out before they are Properly Indoctrinated. Once pupils open the door on expanded perception, they should not be allowed to slam the Doors of Perception shut again.  Merely require pupils to live together for a month-long workshop in order to Study Properly.

Use Of The Self by F.M A. Proclaimed Heavenly Inspired

It’s already convenient that F.M Alexander’s books ARE suitably mystifying so as to require meta-physically book-study groups… requiring Long winded explanations to decipher AND Experts to Interpret TRUE Meanings…

Deification of those unusual teachers who we now consider “Heads Of Training” as spiritually advanced would also be necessary. And if those people refuse, we can always proceed in the Deification Process after their death, when they have nothing to say about it. Then, in order to assemble a Priesthood, we can ascend certain souls to Highly Enlightened. An example is the rumored Alexander teacher who, after having her house robbed, had Scotland Yard dust her home for the fingerprints of the criminal and found no fingerprints of hers on her possessions. (Who was that? Names Please so we can report her to the proper Board of Ascension. Those around her will be so flattered they know her, ah…humbled, that they will accept the award on her behalf.)

Maybe it would be a better idea to require those advanced enough in our Doctrine to tutor a flock by obligation in exchange for their ten-year training. We could cloister them in subsistence housing for another period of ten years (after the first ten years,) at which end they might be be qualified to be deified as Highly Enlightened after death. Hey, at least they would have a job!

Of course, the manner of death would be a factor in Deification, because, the only preferred spiritual enough cause of death is stroke – and THAT is only acceptable after attaining 90+ years old. Preferably after a previous stroke recovery to prove how effective the Deified Candidate can Carve New Brain Pathways in the example of our En-light-end Hero, F.M. Alexander himself.

Gambling at the equine racetrack could be one of our collective gathering places, (taking the place of church Bingo, obviously)…in emulation of F.M. Alexander, Our Founder, of course…

Hmmmm, if Alexander Technique were a religion, then we could consider membership in the professional societies to be tithing!

p.s: AND converting Alexander Technique to being a religion would allow tax write-offs!

6 thoughts on “If A.T. Was A Religion…

  1. Jeff Hall, oh – c’mon! Are you taking this blog post too seriously…? Can’t we be seriously tongue-in-cheek gigglers?

    I’ve done a spin-off on what would happen to Alexander Technique if the field adopted the trappings of being a religious cult. It was inspired by my hearing the rather uninformed accusation of “A.T. is a cult” and finding it rather hilarious to imagine.

    Yes – the sensation that is a signature of an Alexander Technique lesson does result in what could be understood as “enlightenment” in a real, physical sense. I also trained to teach Alexander Technique with a few other trainees who were also practicing Zen meditation with a formal community of Zen Buddhists. When you think about it, A.T. is a discipline that, without religious or other cultural mores, allows someone to translate their hopefully lofty intentions into real actions. Expressing (hopefully positive) values is most often the social job of cultural conditioning and religious training.

    However in this blog post, I’ve rather intentfully adopted the point of view that perhaps Alexander Technique could be regarded as “levity training.”

  2. Coming from a strict Christian background Alexander was careful not to stray into the territory of the (then) powerful Church of England in the early part of the 20th centrury. Some of its leading proponents were pupils of his!

    To imply that AT has anything to do with “belief” denegrates the Technique. As I say on my web site at http://www.useoftheself.org/medical.asp

    “[AT] It is based on sound, scientific principles and does not require you to ‘believe’ in it!”

    Your article, whilst funny, might have been motivated by the sense of enlightemnet that can arise after an AT lesson?

    There are several Zen masters who have studied the Tenhique, one of whom is my friend Mike “Chodo” Cross see http://the-middle-way.org/

  3. Glad that you approve! Since your question was the source for all of this.

    Now that I think about it, what I said here:

    “Since it takes at least one contiguous month to Improve One’s Use and get it to stick, the identification of A.T. into a religion would solve that sticky challenge of having pupils flake out before they are Properly Indoctrinated. We could just require pupils to live together for a month-long workshop in order to Study Properly.”

    This isn’t such a bad idea, really. Sometimes good ideas come from indulging in a little levity.

    Marj Barstow used to hold one month long workshops every summer. She took over a sorority house for all of us to stay in. Not everyone stayed the whole time, but – it was a blast! And from it, everybody who attended learned A.T. quite rapidly.

  4. Hi Franis, you made my day 🙂 That’s about the funniest article I read about AT so far…. and in my humble opinion spreading laughter is a highly enlightened activity.


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