Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Minister For Everything

I am a cowboy at heart, not an intellectual.

I try to make it look right, but it's not really me. It's a constant struggle, as many of my goals depend on an enlightened mind that understands and can navigate so many different worlds: business (me?!), neuroscience (me?!), anatomist (me?!), language (hopeless at Japanese still), writing/communication (this), Buddhism and of course Alexander discoveries, with all the pedagogical issues that howl around the propagation of his work.

These last two are most treasured and important to me - the study of human consciousness itself, primarily my own, hence by extension everyone else's.

In 1996, when I was on the small Working Group that organised His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to Sydney to offer the 11 day Kalacharka ceremony, my nickname was "Minister for Everything". It was meant as a derogatory remark to accentuate my maddening tendency to want to know everything about anything. And this has always been central to my own disorder as a human being - a case of gluttony, a case of wanting too much, resulting in a lack of focus, of persistence, of commitment. It's apparent in many things I have done, and still do.

Yet, like all disorders, there is a flip side which is extremely beneficial. If this tendency to gluttony can be harnessed to serve one master, then rather than being detrimental to its owner, it becomes magical. Much as many people disliked me, so there were others who were thrilled with what I could do. The sheer volume of creative planning, analysis of different needs, the master plan for whole project, the detailed budget, the staffing allocations, a twist on the publicity, the videoing of it - all of the above and more flowed from my flawed consciousness in service to His Holiness.

His Holiness has often said, that in small measure, our faults can be harnessed to benefit us. He gave the example of two Buddhist practitioners living in the same household. He pointed out that the self-cherishing mind could lead to competition between the two partitioners: "Did you do your practise to day? I meditated for over an hour actually." But a little competition, His Holiness remarked, could be a good thing if it spurred you to practise more.

So I see my disorder this way. I can't not not be me - that much I have concluded. Short of becoming enlightened in this life, I am stuck with the cluster of habits, imprints and personality disorders that were hardwired into my brain a long time ago.

So giving up on the premise that I can fundamentally change the energetic organisation of my personality, the next obvious step it to channel the energy of this personality in a constructive way. Do I believe no transformation is possible? Of course not. But transformation involves effectiveness in directing the energy of activity, of thought , of intention. It is not of the nature of Jeremy becoming His Holiness, or any other spiritual mentor. I think this is a wrong understanding of change, and is usually motivated by people who lack love for the precious qualities of their own human consciousness.

People may think that these "confession session" blogs indicate a disturbed mind, a person in angst, a person in conflict. Far from it. These reflections are born from a recognition of the precious and magical nature of my humanity - how wonderful it is, how extraordinary, the whole "what a piece of work is man" speech from Hamlet. I am in love with my Self, but not the disordered self, but the Self that is ordering the disorder. Terrible choice of words, but the idea comes through doesn't it?

Which all comes down to this: my approach to this dilemma these days, as BodyChance grow richer, is to ask others to do what I really can't (and often don't want) to do myself.

In BodyChance, Cathy Madden is the light behind our training approach, a transforming conduit from Marjorie Barstow, who herself stood upon Alexander's work and said: "Why not this too?" and so a whole new movement in the AT world was born, a movement that is being increasing felt by the Alexander community as time marches on. In England, Don Weed - a long time student of Marj - has shown members of STAT that with the right approach there are plenty of people who want to train - "50 new students have joining the ITM Teacher Training Course" they proudly state on their website.

Here in Japan we have 65 people on our ProCourse training program, and more than a 100 more now signed up for our Ippan annual membership program of one private lesson or one group session every week. We reached that growth in 18 months, and we're already planning the opening of a second studio in Tokyo.

Folks - Alexander's work is still alive and kicking, don't believe the doomsayers. The world is about to be flooded with a whole new generation of teachers, an extraordinary renaissance of our work is coming. Believe it.

For BodyChance, the other thing I am doing is organising a ProCourse Summit in Switzerland before the next Congress in 2011, where all the Training Directors and Associate Directors of BodyChance's ProCourse trainings in Tokyo, Osaka and soon to be Sydney (numbers 10 teachers now) will gather together for three days to do an overhaul of the curriculum and set up various experiments and changes.

Finally the Minister for Everything can take a rest, and feel proud that something good has come from something bad. Personality disorders are great!

3 comments:

  1. Jeremy, I am inspired by your efforts and vision. Keep going my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kevin McEvenue

    I just love the feel of your story, honest and direct with an opennesss to life itself. I talked to Shirley Crawford for the first time in years. She told me that you were married,have two children and live in Japan!

    Google me, and see that one of my books is published in Japanese in Japan. I am currently co authoring several books, one on the power of consciousness and the Field Theory in Quantum Physics, the other is Wholebody focusing and Mpsit Modern Philosophy
    Your very old friend and fellow student of life in London

    Kevin: mcevenue@ica.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kevin McEvenue

    I just love the feel of your story, honest and direct with an opennesss to life itself. I talked to Shirley Crawford for the first time in years. She told me that you were married,have two children and live in Japan!

    Google me, and see that one of my books is published in Japanese in Japan. I am currently co authoring several books, one on the power of consciousness and the Field Theory in Quantum Physics, the other is Wholebody focusing and Post Modern Philosophy (Not that I know anything at all!)
    Your very old friend and fellow student of life in London

    Kevin: mcevenue@ica.net

    ReplyDelete

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