Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Transformational Structure #5

Apologies to the 5 people actually reading this series. That's how it feels to me – funny how sensory perceptions colour our states of being isn't it? In fact, it is not a feeling at all. It is a judgement, a conclusion that is mostly based on my hallucinatory projections. To unravel this mess, first I need something more concrete than my own deluded thinking. I could track the number of hits to the blog—there are ways of collecting such information. Based on that, I could then better assess how many people (might) be reading. On that a feeling would also arise, but now based on something more than conceptual cognitions with historic precedents that are no longer related to current conditions.

And this kind of constructive thinking is what the next instalment on running groups is all exploring…




Once we have researched our topic, then the creativity starts: how can we interpret this information? How does it all fit together? Are there any patterns that suggest new ways of understanding the situation? It is not the answer we are looking for, it is the question. We get the answers we want, once we figure out the questions we need to be asking ourselves.


One function of a group setting, as opposed to an individual lesson, is that through watching a student's interaction with a teacher, the other observers in the workshop are developing their skills of observation and analysis. They are not passive in their learning roles – with the teacher's prompting, every person can be actively learning.

It is part of a teacher's function in a group teaching situation to make sure that the other participants are being engaged in the process. There are many methods for doing this, and one sure way is to seek out the best teachers (in ANY modality – not just Alexander teachers) and spend time watching and wondering how they do what they do…


Taking on the point of view that we are assisting the person in including information about the entire area of their own co-ordination in pursuing their wish, essentially we need to be asking three questions:

i – What is the purpose of this person activity?

ii – What do they need to be doing?

iii – What do they need to stop doing?

During early lessons, we ask these questions and give students the answers, but our aim is to be training the student to be able to engage in this process successfully on their own. How we give 'answers' to the student at this level is often through using touch – a person can experience a new way of doing things, and in the process realise what they have been doing previously, and how they can change that in the future. But the use of touch is not always the most effective way to make a change at this level – offering a student a new way of thinking can be just as effective in certain circumstances. It is important to see that touch is in service of a greater goal, and not the goal itself. Touch is a tool, not an end.


After the passage quoted in "Research/ALEXANDER", where Alexander writes about the two facts he had at hand, he then goes on to analyse those facts:

"I considered the bearing of these two facts upon my difficulty, and I saw that if ordinary speaking did not cause hoarseness while reciting did, there must be something different between what I did in reciting and what I did in ordinary speaking. If this were so, and I could find out what the difference was, it might help me to get rid of the hoarseness, and at least I could do no harm by making an experiment."

Later he summarizes his approach by presenting his plan:

"(1) to analyse the conditions of use present;

(2) to select (reason out) the means whereby a more satisfactory use could be brought about;

(3) to project consciously the directions required for putting these means into effect."

At Stage 1 we are only working with (1) & (2), aiming to get a clearer understanding of what is going on in order to decide upon ways of testing out our ideas by making experiments.


NEXT TIME: A need for energy that can fuel the change process… Without it, nothing moves!

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