Why do we do it?


Why are we all so tense? Why don't we retain the poise and muscular efficiency we had in early childhood? How do we end up so collapsed and distorted that it could take a lifetime to solve completely? Lots of people have asked me about this.

I believe FM Alexander thought that our brains had evolved too quickly, leaving us with 'debauched kinaesthesia' as he put it. We simply no longer need to rely on accurate sensory feedback for survival, so we forget about it and get on with millions of more advanced things. Perhaps primitive people had 'good use' - who can tell?

People speculate about the more 'primitive' (I use this word cautiously without intending offence) tribes around the world today. The Maasai, for example, with their grace and agility - do they have naturally good use because their lives are less complicated than ours? Perhaps, but I would hesitate before leaping to such conclusions based solely on what they look like.

Personally, I have a hunch that by far the strongest determining factor is that we copy one another. I'm sure that there are complex psychological factors involved and look forward to the scientific research that will inevitably come. But the Maasai perhaps look as though they have good use, or at least different use, because they don't have the opportunity to copy the rest of us?

If I had the time and money to do an A.T. related MA, I would travel the world, with a research team, to spend time with the Sentinelese, the New Guinea and Brazilian tribes, the Ruc, Surma and Eskimos. Only by working with them directly could we properly determine whether their 'use' is consistent with Alexander's principals - we might even discover that they have their own peculiar patterns of misuse, quite distinct from ours.

The fact is, when asked why we do it, the answer remains: we don't know!

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