By F. Matthias Alexander
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In fact, the experience is really an unsatisfactory one, but he does not know it; and so, when 16 Man's Evolutionary Development weakening which has been brought about by the fact that man has continued to depend upon subconscious guidance in his endeavours to meet the demands of the civilizing plan, and to rely upon instincts which have survived their usefulness and upon the harmful guidance of defective sense registers (feeling). Experience follows experience in the human creature's activities, some of these experiences satisfactory, but the majority unsatisfactory, and the creature may be satisfied for the moment, only to be again dissatisfied, however, with the varying results of attempted accomplishment; and the psychophysical experiences involved do not make for confidence in regard to any attempts which he may be forced to make in the future to meet the demands of civilization.
His first attempt to carry these out will reveal defects, and the subsequent attempts new defects. Each request from his teacher to do something, and each injunction not to do something else, means a building-up of a series of specific psycho-physical acts towards the given " end "—namely, learning to write. This means that although the " end " may be gained, the result as a whole will not be as satisfactory as it might be, for nothing will have been done in the way of re-education on a general basis to correct the mal-co-ordinated conditions connected with the use and control of the mechanisms when employed in the act of writing.
Again, there are very few persons who, when asked to do such a simple thing as open the mouth, will not throw the head back, with the idea, as it were, of lifting the upper jaw away from the lower. This serves to show that they have not given any consideration to the psycho-physical use of the muscular and other mechanisms concerned with this act. If they had, they would have realized that there are subconscious processes continuously operative which keep the mouth closed, and, consequently, the first thing to do is to cause these processes to be inoperative, and so to bring about such relaxation of the muscular tension involved as would allow the jaw to drop.