Just because it feels "right" doesn't mean it is...

(originally published 1/10/00)

Alexander writes in "The Use of The Self" :

"The belief is very generally held that if only we are told what to do in order to correct a wrong way of doing something, we can do it and that if we FEEL we are doing it, all is well.  All my experience, however, goes to shew that this belief is a delusion."

The first thing that occurs to me today as I read this is the idea of faulty sensory perception.  Alexander referred to this with a grand term: debauched kinesthesia.  As I come off a particularly emotionally charged 48 hours, I recall that while I was in the midst of it, I could sense that I registered a great deal more contraction in my overall musculature than I usually do.


I am also left wondering about my state the rest of the time - when I don't register "more" contraction than is usual and thus don't have a sensory contrast to get my attention.  What brings me back to myself at those times? Giving an Alexander lesson or taking one is one of the things that brings me back.  And the "bringing back" is due as much to thinking and dialogue and environment as it is my kinesthetic awareness.

Alexander asserts that the belief that I'm going right if I FEEL I am is unreliable.  I have a mirror and the guidance of a teacher's hands to assist and give me another set of criteria to assess.  I have my ability to think and reason.  I am learning to use those abilities.