Chapter 11: Stupidity in Living

1. To what need have the great majority of people not yet awakened?

2. To what may we ascribe the failures of those few who try to put the ideal of “wholeness” into practice?

3. What is our most tragic mistake?

4. With what so far have we been content vis-a-vis knowledge of world and self?

5. What have we not appreciated regarding knowledge and knowledge of self?

6. What would have happened if we had given due attention to the study of ourselves, and turned this study to good effect?

7. What result would this study have had on our study of the world outside our selves?

8. What ties down the small minority who perceive a principle of unity from putting that unity into practice? What result does this have for education and those educated?

9. To what had the four students cited by Miss Thompson become victims?

10. What has Alexander always found in persons afflicted with “nervous breakdown” and so called mental disorders?

11. What is the serious element in the situation of the youth described by Miss Thompson?

12. What is at the root of the dilemma facing modern education?

13. What would remedying this lack provide?

14. What does fundamental change involve? Why is a mere change of “mind” not a fundamental change?

15. What did the “remarkable professor” fail to take into consideration in “bucking up” the depressed young men? Why can Alexander not find any reason for supposing the changes will be other than palliative?

16. How are Hitler and the “remarkable professor” fundamentally the same, according to Alexander?

17. Upon what were the young men under the influence of either Hitler or the “remarkable professor” forced to rely when making judgments? What implication does this reliance have for fundamental change?

18. For Alexander, what is implied by the word “system?” How is his technique not a system?

19. What is the child, adult or adolescent enabled to judge by employing the procedures of Alexander’s technique?

20. Upon what rests the success or failure of any educational process? Why?

21. What serious charge can Dr. Kilpatrick not escape? Why?

Thought Questions

1. According to Alexander, can someone with poor moral judgement have a high standard of use and functioning? Someone with a mental disorder? In your opinion is knowledge and use of Alexander’s Technique necessary for the making of right moral choices as one might infer from his discussion about Hitler and the “remarkable professor”?

2. Would a person who from birth never interfered with their functioning and use be able to continue their good use throughout life without knowledge of Alexander’s Technique?