Part III: Conscious Control In Relatin To Human Evolution In Civilization

1. What are Alexander’s two claims with regard to conscious control?

2. What evidence does he give to support the second?

3. In embarking upon his enquiry into the conditions of humankind, what did Alexander realize from the outset?

4. What is the explanation of the problem of our susceptibility to disease as compared to other animals as put forth by the Eugenists?

5. Why does Alexander reject this explanation?

6. Where does Alexander seek for the cause of physical deterioration?

7. Why do our instinctive actions grow ever more limited?

8. What are the 3 possible outcomes to the fact that our “…whole body is a body politic ruled by two governors whose dictates are not invariably consistent one with the other?”

9. From what does the formulation of the method of conscious control arise?

10. What is the essence of this method?

11. Where must the first effort in re-education be directed?

12. How is the normal process of education conducted?

13. How is the haphazard process of education to be broken down, and what must be established for re-education to occur?

14. What are the 4 essential stages in the performance of any muscular action by conscious control?

15 Why will no system of physical exercises alter the condition of the subject described in the example?

16. What are the 4 stages (p. 82) in the inculcation of the principles of conscious control applied to the individual?

17. Why is it important that pupils have a clear differentiation in their mind between the giving of the mental order and the performance of any act through the medium of the muscles?

18. What happens when the end is held in mind?

19. What are the first, if not the only, stumbling blocks to the teaching of conscious control?

20. Where do the preconceptions and habits of thought with regard to the uses of the muscular mechanisms come from?

21. By what means is it often necessary to break down these preconceptions of mind?

22. How may mental habits be reached?

23. What are the general effects of this method of teaching conscious control?

24. What is possibly the greatest effect of this method, and why is this effect so important?

25. What does Alexander foresee as the future of a race which has been educated on the lines of conscious control?

26. Upon what are we forced to depend when guided chiefly by instinct? What will allow us to develop our potentialities to the full?

27. In what ways is the teaching method as a rule entirely wrong?

28. What must happen before a pupil can make real progress?

29. What does a typical teacher forget?

30. What must be done to eradicate a specific defect without causing other defects?

31. What is Alexander’s process with a pupil who is “…deluded regarding his sensations and unable to direct his actions?”

32. How long is this process repeated?

33. What is Alexander’s opinion as to the cause of congenital or acquired crippling and distortion?

34. What is Alexander’s method when faced with the above?

35. How does Alexander contrast himself with faith healers in this chapter?

36. Why does Alexander not allow his pupils to close their eyes?

37. From where does Alexander believe the majority of defects arise, and how can these defects be eliminated?

38. How does Alexander view practice?

39. What has Alexander had to point out to his pupils regarding the imitative method of teaching?

40. Why can the “means whereby” not be stated in a general formula?

41. Of what is the “mean whereby” the result, and how must it be taught?

42. What are the steps of Alexander’s own treatment?

43. Why is conscious control imperative?

44. What is possible with conscious control?

Thought Question

1. Alexander talks in this chapter about developing a “healthy condition of the whole organism” (p. 87) in a person with congenital crippling and distortion. Is congenital crippling and distortion a structural or a functional defect? Can using Alexander’s methods effect change in structural defects, or only in functional ones? If a pupil comes to us with “defects,” how do we decide which (if any) are structural and which functional? Do we need to make this decision to be effective as teachers? Can mental attitude cause structural defects or only functional ones?