Present Space and Thought Space

A lot of people in the Alexander world emphasise the need to understand the complexities of our physiology, and act on that understanding, if we are to have any hope of improving our use. That is, by knowing more about the way we should ideally function, we can somehow make it happen..

Given the obvious difficulty any dissension (of which there is plenty) in what constitutes ‘ideal functioning’ would cause in each of us individually trying to bring it about, it has always seemed to me there might be an alternative way of approaching matters.

So I was intrigued when I came across this site:

I was particular taken by the author’s comments on the third page of his site, headed “7.3 MENTAL ASPECT”.

In a nutshell, he makes the claim that if you are in what he calls ‘Present Space’, your use will automatically be good; however, if you are in what he calls ‘Thought Space’, your use will be bad.

He actually talks of ‘posture’ rather than ‘use’; but in this context, I believe the two words are interchangeable.

The nub of his argument is that on a physiological level all our component parts will fall into place effortlessly, without our needing to know the slightest detail about them, so long as we remain engaged with our surroundings, rather than in any process of thought. The corollary of this is that when we are ‘lost’ in thought, our component parts will become disorganised.

My only proviso is that the author makes no distinction between ‘thinking of”, which is something all creatures need to do to function even at the most basic level; and ‘thinking about’, which I suspect is a purely human trait. I believe the first could occur in either ‘Present Space’ or ‘Thought Space’; the latter only in ‘Thought Space’.

I find it a refreshing alternative to the perceived need to know more about ourselves in order to have better use that in fact all we need do is stop ‘thinking about’!

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