Chapter 4: Conscious Control

1. What does Alexander see as the principle problem of the New Thought movement?

2. What are the stumbling blocks of conscious self control? Which is the first and greatest one?

3. What evidence does Alexander give that at least some physical defects in a particular bodily part are under subconscious control?

4. What problems does Alexander see with using hypnotic treatment, faith healing or New Thought principles to alleviate physical defects?

5. How is his theory different from all earlier methods?

6. What is the contradiction inherent in the New Thought type of treatment? How does Alexander expose this contradiction in his analysis of how a New Thought approach would treat his patient X?

7. What are Alexander’s endeavors with regard to patient X?

8. What principle of Nature does Alexander cite in his example of working with patient X?

9. What is Alexander’s opinion of Yogis and their practices? Why does he hold this opinion?

10. What does Alexander claim will happen in time with the application of the principle of conscious control?

Thought Question

1. Alexander describes the New Thought Movement and various other sects, parties and creeds as having a common inspiration but that each new development becomes specialized and separated from the true source, “…the principle becoming absorbed and dominated by the bias of some individual mind….” (p. 16). He continues “It follows that what we seek is the noumenon, the reality, the true idea that underlies all these various manifestations.” What are the noumena of the Alexander Technique? How can we be sure we are sticking to the principles of the technique and not becoming specialized, over elaborated or dominated by the bias of some individual mind?