Moishe says that working with students is different from working with ordinary pupils. He claims that the way is different, the demands are different, and the skills required from the trying to do it right – to do right the “Directions”, to do right the “inhibition” in their muscles, etc.
The students should be guided and controlled more intensively, closer. The observation of the teacher, the feed-back (a blitz-feed-back) between the teacher and the students/pupils is a matter of the Conscious Control, and happens mainly through the direct physical contact. This does not happen in the “schools”. Therefore the outcome there is a dummy F.M. Alexander Technique.
Indeed the, so called, more advanced students in your “school”, or any other “school”, find it easier to explain, or to make comments to, or to work on, new students than to deal with the students on their level; and the reason is that for the newcomers the old students are already “somebody” who knows, who is an authority. You can tell them what ever is right in your eyes, they don’t have any means-whereby with which they can judge whatever you do. With the newcomers you don’t have to face criticism, and you can “sell” what ever you like… The more advanced students have already their new rigid and fixed conception of what it is all about, as they experienced it, according to their habitual mental attitude, and they refuse to accept that they still may be wrong. Criticism is not allowed; being aware of the wrong is not wanted. Their ego can’t face it, and defends itself; and so the real process of learning is not possible, is frozen, is dead.
In connection to the studies of basic anatomy, the skeleton, the muscular and nervous systems, let us turn to F.M. Alexander: “They may teach you anatomy and physiology till they are black in the face – you will still have this to face, sticking to a decision against your habits of life”. But when the real F.M. Alexander Technique is out of bound for those who “carry the banner” of the F.M. Alexander Technique, it is replaced by anatomy, physiology, demagogy, and “all the rest”. The most important for them is that the student has to spend in the “school” three years, “studying” thousand and six hundred hours (which in some “schools” includes the tea break), and waste a lot of money, in order to get a certificate, which proves that they are “somebody”, who is qualified to teach “something” which is not the real F.M. Alexander Technique. Do you want an example ? O.K. : An experienced pupil of mine decided to experience a lesson with another teacher of … the F.M. Alexander Technique. The chosen one was Jacqueline Webster. The lesson was a composition of a “lecture” about anatomy, with the aid of a chart of a skeleton, telling – through the “experienced observation” of the “enlightened teacher” what is wrong in the use of the body of the pupil, giving some compliments to the pupil for doing something right, and… very, very little “hands on”. There was no mentioning of any (not to speak of all) principles, which as a whole form the F.M. Alexander Technique. I knew Peter Scott for eighteen years. He was my teacher besides Patrick Macdonald; I used to have lessons from him, and spend weeks in his class, till his unfortunate death. It is beyond any doubt, that what Mrs. J. Webster teaches has no similarity to that what Peter Scott taught !
Mrs. Webster, and all the rest of them did not absorb the “Message”. They have a piece of paper which makes them feel they can do whatever is born in their mind and call it the “Alexander Technique”… They prefer to follow the easy American way of Marjorie Barstow and her “satellites” : Dr. Don Weed, Jeremy Chance, and some other “nice” boys and girls, who carry around her “poison”, as well as the “poison” of the W.C. (W.H.M. – the jellfish, sponge, eel); of him I have photos showing him teaching the table work on a … skeleton ! Comment is not needed… This is the ash of the F.M.A.T.
And Moishe tells us that, first of all, the teacher must have his good use, or his direction; then, only then, he has to have the ability to “deliver” his directions through his hands to the pupil; this means “skill in the hands”.
So we can understand that the teacher has to have “his good use” – or his direction; this is clear – but, Moishe, “good use” of what ? The body ? The brain ? Good use of words ? Of movements ? Of the intellect ? Or – may be – good (natural) use of the self as a whole ? Direction ? What guides and controls this direction – the habitual subconsciousness or the consciousness ? Do unduly excited fear reflexes, uncontrolled emotions, and fixed pre-judices, play a role in the “good use” and “direction”, or not ? Do we have to concentrate in order to gain, to achieve and to keep the “good use” and “direction” ? Where is the “lost” Conscious Control ?
The ability to convey and transmit through the hands the required messages, from the Primary Control of the teacher to the Primary Control of the pupil depends on the active Creative-Practical Conception of the whole Way, and the Process involved in the reali-zation of the Way in life in general. The hands “mirror” the Primary Control – as it functions – right or wrong; the Primary Control “reflects” our brain activity and the range of the “colours” of this activity. The skills are in the brain, the experience is registered in the brain; the “Directions” are initiated in the brain. The “story” the hands tell, is registered in the brain of the pupil – via the body – becomes reality in daily activities, and stimulates the development of the Self as a whole, along the Way. The skill here is not a mechanical skill, not a technical skill.
Giving directions to ourselves
So Moishe claims that “we all know” that giving directions to ourselves, is sending orders from one’s mind to his/her body. Very simple, very clear… But is this knowing of “we all” an intellectual knowing – theoretical knowing, based on thinking in words ? Is it a theo-retical conception of what it is ? Or is this knowing the by-product of the active practical-creative conception of the Way and the Process, which are experienced within the Timeless-Endless-Measureless, and which requires the presence of a certain mental attitude, which “we all” lack ? And “orders”, are they composed of words ? Are they conscious ? Are they conscious, but rooted in our habitual reactions to stimuli, or are they products of the active Conscious Control, which replaced the habitual subconscious guidance and control of our reactions to stimuli ? The “orders” – are they given in a “military” language ? What is the mental state and mental attitude of the “authority”, who produces and sends the “orders” ? These “orders” – do they have to be felt in the body after being sent, or is it a constant flow of energies, which is not blocked and hampered by our habitual reaction to stimuli, and which becomes habitual, and not felt any more (but then the wrong is felt and is within our awareness and then is “inhibited” in no time) ?
And Moishe gives a very “scientific” and “important” explanation, how the mind can, by sending orders, cause changes in the body. Why not to use “scientific” means to explain the F.M. Alexander Technique ? Why not to follow the foot prints of the “great” inter-preters of F.M.’s work – on the paper, indeed – like Frank Pierce-Jones, and Bill Barlow, and others, who drowned the F.M.A.T. in bullshit ? So as Moishe does his best to follow them, some “words of “pharmacy” are found in Moishe’s explanation, such as: ence-phalograph, E.E.G., brain waves…
It seems to me that there is a simple way to explain the phenomenon of “directing”, of sending “orders”; for example: when there is a drink we want to cool, we blow cool air on it; when we want to warm our hands, we blow warm air on our hands. The air which we blow comes from the same source; the change which causes it to be cool or warm is in the brain, according to our directed “order”, and the need of the moment and the conditions. And, another example: when I tell someone, that what he practices (teaches) is not the real F.M. Alexander Technique, the brain of this person gives an “order” and “directs” his reaction in the habitual way of reacting to stimuli in general, which is not based on the Conscious Control, but – on unduly excited fear reflexes, uncontrolled emotions and fixed prejudices. In this case his body will contract, and his reasoning will continue to “suck” from his faulty mental sensory appreciation of the momentary conditions.
As far as I experience it, the so called “orders” and “directions”, are simply all reactions to stimuli, from within or without ourselves. These “orders”-“directions” are either sub-conscious or conscious, reasoned or automatic. But the “orders”-“directions” which we deal with, are products of the Constructive Conscious Control. This “directing” activity should be in the speed of “Blitz feed-back” activity; there is a constant flow from and to the brain, of messages-energy within our entity. This activity should flow freely, without the interference of the “Filter” of the intellect – which should be “inhibited”. Large part of this activity is out of the range of our consciousness; but our habitual, so called, conscious reactions to stimuli, which are nourished by our habitual mental attitude, which is based on our subconscious control, affect the automatic systems in our entity as well.
The conscious “orders-directions” which cause activity which changes the habitual re-actions to stimuli of the body (they include the “Inhibition” of the old habitual reaction) are sent non-stop, from the brain, in different intensity, according to the need of any given moment. Every activity in the brain is registered in the body; the brain activity is “mirrored” in the functioning of the body. The blocks in the body are by-products of “orders-directions”, which are based on faulty sensory appreciation. The use of the hands as conveyers-transmitters of the conscious “orders-directions” from the teacher to the pupil “mirrors” the use of the self of the teacher himself. These “orders-directions”, if they are the right ones, register in the pupil’s body and through it in his brain; the undoing of the blocks in the body therefore affect their cause in the brain. The person who gets the “Directions” has to agree, consciously, to accept the “Directions” – to apply an active consent – to “inhibit” the “anti” reaction to the new and unfamiliar conditions, which confuse the brain; as changes caused by the flow of the “Directions” from another source outside of us, are “mirrored” in the brain the habitual activity of which caused the malfunctioning in the body. It feels wrong, insecured, because of our habitual faulty sensory appreciation; therefore we tend to reject it. Real changes bring about confusion: we want to feel good at all cost; we are not ready to pay for a way and for a lasting process, which requires lasting patience, stamina, and readiness to accept the new unknown conditions which make the change, by giving up the known conditions. For this we have to give up (inhibit) our habitual approach to life: The “End-gainer’s” approach; not to look for results; results which are only “mile-stones” along a way, which may well lead to destruction of the Self, to the unfortunate end of life.
It is clear that the Alexander Technique – the prevailing and inflating “Alexander Tech-nique” nowadays – adjusted itself to the “corset” of civilization – this civilization is based on the principle of “End-gaining”; therefore it is not the real F.M. Alexander Technique.
Indeed words may help, when the “Directions” flow through the hands of the person who produces it in himself. Words alone can’t transmit the needed practical experience to the Self; words flow through the “filter” of the intellect; words are the “Means-whereby” of those whose hands are “dead”, are impotent; those who the best they can do, is to declaim the principles of the F.M. Alexander Technique by heart; they can repeat them like the parrot, who repeats sounds without understanding their actual meaning. F.M. Alexander realized that words can’t do the “job”; but Marjorie Barstow is more advanced, more intelligent, and she found a way to “direct” through the medium of words (and her constant stupid smile – the mask of being eternally content of her ego). She is a genius – genius of perverting the F.M.A.T., genius of active-lazy brain, of “positive” thinking, which refuses to see the wrong; refuses to understand that without realizing what is wrong and “inhibit” the wrong, her right is not right, but it is the opposite of wrong – which is wrong as well.
Another senior perverter is, indeed, W C – Walter Hadrian Marshal Carrington. He uses his hands for manipulation. His hands are heavy like iron bars, connected to a collapsed back, and a brain of the Little Man with big ego, and ambition to be the great guru. Now, as the above two are lacking real greatness, inner greatness, they managed somehow to create such conditions and atmosphere around them, that certain kind of people, who lack the quality of inner greatness, who are unable and not ready to stand alone, to eaglize, such people surround the Great Little Man / Woman – they provide the ground for his and her existence, to fulfil their ambition to be “great” among a flock of little Men/Women; these people are “eating” his or her “excrement”. Illusion is their reality….
Back to Moishe – about putting on of hands: The conception of putting the hands on, brings about passiveness – the hands rest on the body and they are “dead” or do the directing process; so the hands manipulate; they produce, in such case, reactions in the body, which don’t have any similarity to the activity which will stimulate the Primary Control to resume its natural functioning. The hands should touch as a contact area for the transmission of the “Directions”; the hands should be ready to “float from nowhere to nowhere”, and not to “land” them and put them in a certain ritual and ceremonial manner on certain parts of the body; the hands are transmitters of “Directions”, from the brain through the Primary Control of the teacher to the Primary Control and the brain of the pupil, and at the same time they are collectors and transmitters of information to the brain of the teacher, about the reactions of the pupil’s body.
Moishe, what the teacher should give to the pupil is not the physical sensation of better use, but practical experience of unfamiliar functioning of the body, which may feel very wrong, because of our habitual faulty sensory appreciation. It is essential to make it clear to the pupil, that it is wrong to look always for the same sensation, or for any sensation as the right one, because, the sensation changes with the repeated experience of the “Direction”. In time that what felt wrong will not be sensed as wrong any more, and this which felt right will be sensed as wrong. Being aware of this increases the chance of “inhibiting” the wrong, and not trying to sense the “right”.
And Moishe, when you speak about use, is it the use of the self, as a whole – and this is what the F.M. Alexander Technique is about, or is it the use of the body – which is the prevailing conception of the Alexander Technique among all your colleagues, Moishe ? There is no separation between body and mind. The body without the brain is a dead entity; the brain without the body can’t exist. The self is inseparable; but in our illusive reality, we don’t accept this fact of the natural reality, and we do our best to break the Whole into pieces. That is what all of you do to the F.M. Alexander Technique – while pretending that you stick to the Whole.