MAIN DISH – Working with teachers

Once, in a certain moment, Macdonald said to me: “What ever happens – up!” I use this sentence whenever I find it necessary; but I use instead of the word “up”, the words: “open”, “spread”, “grow”, “eaglize”, and I use it for pupils, students, and teachers – as long as I have relations with human beings along the Way – no difference whom they are; and, indeed, I use this phrase for myself. There is no essential difference in the work between pupils, students and teachers; the experience is the same; the Way and the Process are the same. The difference is in the intensity and the responsibility; the teacher, while hand-ling a pupil, must intensify the flow of energy in himself – for the pupil as well, and take the responsibility for the “Directions” for the pupil – particularly on a beginner. The responsi-bility of the teacher is to be one step, at least, ahead of the pupil, along the Way, while both of them follow it.

All what Moishe does in his workshops or masterclasses (and all the “rest of them” do the same), is to try to teach there his own teaching tricks – as he deals with it; and even he doesn’t expect that the participants of his workshops will at once catch his tricks, still that what he teaches them are his own tricks in teaching his “Alexander Technique”. And that is what happened in his workshop for teachers in New York, when he put his hands on top of the teacher’s hands – this teacher couldn’t move out of the chair her partner-colleague, she worked on; she struggled with it. Through his “observation”, Moishe realized that the hands of the teacher were locked around the neck of her partner, and her end couldn’t be gained. So he didn’t point to the teacher that she reacted habitually – it means by the means of “end-gaining”, and that this reaction should be neutralized (inhibited), in order to prepare the ground for the active “Directions”. He had to explain that the hands are the “mirror” of her own use of the self, and when she will apply the Process – as a whole (“all together”) – the “end-gaining” will be inhibited, and so her hands will be free to transmit the “directed” energy. When the hands are released, it doesn’t mean that they are “relaxed” floppy – which is the opposite of wrong, which is wrong as well. If Moishe would really “direct” himself and =convey the “Directions” through his hands to the teacher’s hands and from there to her Primary Control – and from there to her brain – her hands would be unlocked within the whole process. It could happen, as well by working directly on her body. But this is not the point – the point is to have a clear active creative-practical conception of it; it is not enough to release the hands and open the front wrist (what about the “back” wrist?!), while moving the free hand up…

And when the teacher said to Moishe, that she got it and she tried to perform it again and again and – failed, indeed, it proves that she understood it as a mechanical trick, based on the “End-gaining” approach, which is deeply rooted in her habitual reaction to stimuli. May be, Moishe, it takes many years to learn the tricks, but what should really be learned, is to inhibit the “End-gaining” – to inhibit the wrong, and not to learn how to do it right.

About inhibition

When Moishe explains how he works with pupils, he says that in order to allow the Primary Control to function properly (for the “good use”, which is based on it – as Moishe claims…) it is essential to stop the habit of doing it the old way; therefore it is necessary to learn what Alexander called “inhibition”. O.K. Moishe – from the above one can understand that “Inhibition” is an invaluable “element” of the F.M. Alexander Technique, without which the F.M. Alexander Technique doesn’t exist. This is clear, indeed. In such case the “Inhi-bition” is a top value in the F.M. Alexander Technique- as the rest of the “elements” – which “all together” are the F.M. Alexander Technique.

The Primary Control is not a means-whereby for better use of the self. Misuse of the self – as a whole entity – interferes with the natural functioning of the Primary Control; as the way the body functions “mirrors” the functioning of the brain – the stimuli-reactions activity of the brain, which is dictated by our mental attitude, and so “mirrors” our relations with reality as it is. The “means-whereby” for the improvement of the use of the self – as a whole – is the F.M. Alexander Technique (I prefer to call it: F.M. Alexander Way and Process) – as a whole. So the “Inhibition” is one of the “elements” of the whole “means-whereby” and not a means-whereby for the means-whereby and – if “Inhibition” is a “means-whereby” for the means-whereby – as you, Moishe, claim – it means that without this “Inhibition” the “means-whereby” can’t work; so the conclusion must be that the “Inhibition” is a top value in the Alexander Technique – is it not so, Moishe ?!

F.M. Alexander didn’t invent the Primary Control; the Primary Control is a basic fact of nature, which dictates the functioning of the body. The misuse of the self as a whole, causes misuse of the Primary Control, which affects the functioning of the body. “End-gaining” is the cause which affects our reaction to stimuli. Therefore the “End-gaining” should be “inhibited”, and not the physical “doing”. The “Inhibition” is the neutralization, the giving-up, the dissolution, of the habitual reactions to stimuli, which are guided and controlled by our subconsciousness; the “Inhibition” is in the brain, for the brain, and so the physical “doing” is affected. The “Inhibition” is not “non-doing” in the muscles – it is very much “doing” in the brain; it can exist only as a product of active practical Conscious Control. Then “Inhibition” can’t be lifeless “non-doing”. The real “Inhibition” unblocks the flow of energy in our self; then the conscious “Directions” can flow and with them the im-proved conditions of use – better use – can exist, as a continuous process.

Losing good use

If a “teacher” of the F.M. Alexander Technique can ask if once he has learned to use him-self better, whether it will stay with him, or if he will return to his old bad use – this person can’t teach the F.M. Alexander Technique; it is simply because this person doesn’t have the active creative-practical conception of the real F.M. Alexander Technique; this person doesn’t have the practical experience of the Way, of the Process; this person has the ex-perience of some kind of gymnastics, guided by manipulation, combined with some kind of physical tricks and mental-masturbation – and they call it the F.M. Alexander Technique…

And so called physical tensions, are caused because of the “End-gainer”‘s mental attitude of human beings in most of the civilizations. Normally people lack the Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual (not of the human society) to guide them in life; there-fore our civilization is a self destructive one. So the Primary Control is affected by the lack of the above consciousness. This lack causes all the symptoms of self destruction, imposed on us by the way we live in this world. The only chance for inhibiting our destruction – as individuals, who all together present the human society – lays in the Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual. A mental attitude which is the ground for an active, practical Conscious Control – not an intellectual conception of it, which is no more than a mirror of the habitual thinking activity – is essential for a real change in the individual human beings, and that will bring about the real change in the human society as a whole. It will happen when we will be aware – totally aware, endlessly, timelessly – of the wrong – what ever is wrong – and inhibit it. It is a life long process, and if we don’t inhibit this process, we don’t lose our “good use”…