I’ve often wondered how to distinguish between ‘feeling things out’, an activity that bedevils Alexander enthusiasts, making them look, and probably feel, stiff and awkward, and ‘feeling the way to a better place’ which , I believe, represents the best available way of learning the Technique.

The danger is of confusing misguided attempts to recreate a kinesthetic experience directly with attempts to recreate the kinesthetic conditions which led to it. Both involve a kinesthetic appraisal of our current state, and both are motivated by the desire to change our use for the better; but whereas one tries to do this by emphasising the ‘good’, the other does it by eliminating the ‘bad’.

On innumerable occasions, I’ve recreated a recognisable kinaesthetic state (that is, needless to say, always ‘new’) by stopping something I have come to regard as unnecessary, but that I am still habitually doing. In the past, however, I have been just as guilty of trying to recreate a remembered kinaesthetic state by doing something that ‘feels’ right.

Both activities can be represented by a sequence of thought. In these instances, the sequence would begin with the initial stimulus for change, probably jogged by the memory of better moments in the past. Then, there would either be:

The kinesthetic perception of what is wrong with our present state (based on our current understanding of what constitutes interference), the knowledge that stopping interfering will lead to a new experience, a decision to put such a stop in place, and kinesthetic recognition of what has happened.


The kinesthetic perception of what is wrong with our present state (based on our prior knowledge of what constitutes good use), the belief that we can replicate that good use and enjoy a better experience, the decision to do so, and kinesthetic recognition of what has happened.

One of these is my understanding of inhibition. The other represents a pitfall that is known about, talked of, but still fallen into with alarming regularity.

Both are often tarred with the same brush, derided as ‘feeling things out’.

For anyone interested in more of my thoughts on inhibition, I would recommend: 

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