Prevent, prevention

The Prevention and Cure of Consumption [Title]

“The Prevention and Cure of Consumption” (1903) in Articles and Lectures by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 1995, London), page 19.

It must not be forgotten, however, that “prevention is better than cure,” and this applies in a ten-fold degree when phthisis is in question; . . .

“The Prevention and Cure of Consumption” (1903) in Articles and Lectures by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 1995, London), page 24.

The method makes for:
In education: 1. prevention of certain defects hereinafter referred to; . . .

“The Theory and Practice of a New Method of Respiratory Re-Education” (1907) in Articles and Lectures by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 1995, London), page 52.

The foregoing will enable the reader definitely to understand what is necessary – viz.:
1. In prevention: the inculcation of a proper mental attitude towards the act of breathing in children, to be followed by those detailed instructions necessary to the correct practice of such respiratory exercises as will maintain adequate and proper use of the breathing organs. 2. In restoration: a body possessing one or other or all of the defects previously named will need re-education in order to eradicate the defects brought about by bad habits etc., and [to] restore a proper condition.

“The Theory and Practice of a New Method of Respiratory Re-Education” (1907) in Articles and Lectures by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 1995, London), page 56.

In fact, when I introduced my method to leading London medical men they quickly admitted the value of this important factor, and expressed their surprise that on account of its importance it had not been even previously advocated, seeing that from a practical point of view it is so essential, not only in the eradication of respiratory faults or defects (re-education), but also in preventing them (education).

“The Theory and Practice of a New Method of Respiratory Re-Education” (1907) in Articles and Lectures by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 1995, London), page 57.

The mechanical advantage referred to is of particular value, for it means prevention of undue and harmful falling of the upper chest at the end of the expiration, which is always present in those who practise the customary breathing exercises, . . .

“The Theory and Practice of a New Method of Respiratory Re-Education” (1907) in Articles and Lectures by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 1995, London), page 64.

Of course, in all these cases this unreliability is due to abnormality in one or more directions, usually more, and this fact emphasizes the absolute necessity for the establishment of those normal conditions which demand conscious guidance and control for their maintenance in civilization; conditions which tend to eradicate and prevent abnormal cravings and desires in any direction.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 43.

The point of real importance is to eradicate and prevent this kinæsthetic condition in order to make impossible in the human being such domination by sensation.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 43.

In this case the conscious orders, by which I mean the orders given to the right muscles, are preventive orders, and the due sequence of cause and effect is maintained.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 59.

Personally, I see very clearly from facts of my own observation that when the characteristics of the father and mother are analysed, and their faults and virtues understood, a proper training of the children will prevent the same faults and encourage the same virtues in their children.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 67.

1. My first claim is that psycho-physical guidance by conscious control, when applied as a universal principle to “living,” constitutes an unfailing preventive for diseases mental or physical, malformations and loss of general efficiency.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 111.

The subject will thus cultivate the habit of distinguishing between reasoned and unreasoned actions, and this will at once tend to the prevention of mental and physical delusions in all directions, notably in regard to his physical acts in old or new environments.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 115.

It was this last conclusion which over twenty years ago led me to investigate and to practise the means by which this conscious guidance and control could be obtained, so as to apply it to the eradication and prevention of human ills, and to the maintenance of the body in a high degree of physical perfection.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 122.

It is therefore obvious that the correct order of procedure for teacher and pupil is first for the pupil to learn to prevent himself from doing the wrong things which cause the imperfections or defects, and then, as a secondary consideration in procedure, to learn the correct way to use the mental and physical mechanisms concerned.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 129.

When it is explained to such a pupil that inhibition is the first step in his re-education, that his apprehensive fear that he may be doing wrong and his intense desire to do right are the secrets of his failure, he will invariably endeavour to prevent himself from doing anything, by exerting force usually in the opposite direction.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 157.

The fundamental principle in the re-education of such a subject is the prevention of this undue and unnecessary apprehension.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 157.

Thirdly, order the neck to relax, and at the same time order the head forward and upage (Note that to “order” the muscles of the neck to relax does not mean “allow the head to fall forward on the chest.” The order suggested is merely a mental preventive to the erroneous preconceived idea.)

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 173.

The matter of preventing defective and restoring proper action clearly calls for attention.

Man’s Supreme Inheritance by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 1996), page 197.

The watch-maker would then probably suggest, as a preventive measure, a periodic overhaul so that wear might be watched, and, when necessary, damaged parts repaired or new ones supplied.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 42.

Secondly, he did not think of his body as a co-ordinated mechanism, and was therefore misled into choosing a specific remedy for a specific malcondition, instead of laying down on broad, general lines preventive principles, by which a condition of co-ordination of the entire psycho-physical mechanism could be restored and maintained.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 44.

. . . among the great majority of people who, at certain psychological moments, still act in the same way as their forbears of the so-called Dark Ages, and, when faced with similar problems, still work subconsciously for their immediate “ends” (“cure” idea), instead of first thinking out the reasonable means whereby their desired “ends” can be achieved (prevention idea).

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 45.

Need for Substituting in all Spheres the Principle of Prevention on a General Basis for Methods of “Cure” on a Specific Basis

Chapter subtitle, Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 53.

It was his erroneous estimate of the relative value of the principles of prevention and “cure” which permitted him to make this choice, and so to neglect the “means-whereby” principle which is involved in all preventive procedure.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), pages 53-54.

Investigation will show that the proportion of human energy devoted to prevention and “cure” in the twentieth century in all these spheres may fairly be said to be as nine to one in favour of “cure.”

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 55.

On the other hand, a scheme of life in which prevention is the leading principle does not involve working for an immediate “end”; . . .

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 55.

Think for a moment of the harmful nature of the building process indicated in the foregoing illustration, where you have a man, supposedly advanced, still clinging to primitive methods of “cure,” instead of adopting the only principle a highly evolved, reasoning human creature could conceive of or tolerate – the great comprehensive principle of prevention.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 57.

Fundamental Defect in our Plan of Civilization: A Lack of Recognition of the Importance of the Principle of Prevention on a General Basis

Chapter subtitle, Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 61.

In other words, instead of trying to remove specific symptoms directly (method of “cure”), I endeavour to bring about such a readjustment of the organism as a whole that the symptoms in question disappear in the process and are not likely to recur if the new conditions are maintained (principle of prevention).

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 63.

Under such a reasoning plan of life, the principle of prevention would be the fundamental underlying the child’s education, which means that from the beginning preventive measures would be adopted where the well-being of the child is concerned.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 65.

The teacher experienced in the work of re-education can diagnose at once, by the expression and use of the pupil’s eyes, the degree of influence upon him of such conceptions, and at each step in the training he should take preventive measures to counteract this influence.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 84.

In other words, volition is used to name what we intend to do, and inhibition to name what we refuse to do – that is, to name what we wish to hold in check, what we wish to prevent.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 91.

This procedure constitutes the means whereby the teacher makes it possible for the pupil to prevent (inhibition) the misdirected activities which are causing his psycho-physical imperfections.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 99.

With this aim in view – that is, the prevention of misdirected activities – the teacher from the outset carefully explains to the pupil that his part in this scheme is very different from that which is usually assigned to pupils under other teaching methods.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 99.

In other words, he is asked to adopt consciously a principle of prevention as the basis of his practical work, and in every other way to leave the teacher a free hand.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 102.

And it is rare in my experience to find adult pupils who are awake to the necessity of preventing themselves from falling back into their old subconscious habits, even though the necessity for this is proved to them over and over again. Very few, moreover, have any idea of giving themselves a guiding order or direction without making an attempt to carry it out.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 102

In other words, he is asked to adopt consciously a principle of prevention as the basis of his practical work, and in every other way to leave the teacher a free hand.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 102.

The object of his re-education is to eradicate such psycho-physical faults, and so, as soon as he is asked to sit down, he immediately says “No,” and gives himself the order not to sit down, thereby inhibiting the misdirected activity hitherto connected with the act, a procedure which prevents indulgence in the old subconscious faults.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 104.

It follows, then, that the orders which are to be given, but not to be carried out, are those which, if carried out, would result in the habitual faulty use of the mechanisms. They can therefore be referred to as “preventive orders.” All orders which follow preventive orders are to be carried out (at first by the teacher), for if the teaching technique is reliable, such orders will be concerned with the correct means whereby the new and co-ordinated use of the mechanism can be secured.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 104-05.

The teacher therefore asks him to perform:
(1) an inhibitory act, by inhibiting “his way” of taking breath – in other words, by preventing or holding in check, in connection with the act, the wrong subconscious guidance and direction, which constitutes the bad habit he has formed when taking breath at the end of each sentence.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 107.

Once, however, he has been taught to act in accordance with the new instructions, his defects will gradually disappear, because he will have learned to prevent the wrong use of the mechanisms responsible for these defects. The time taken to give, first, the preventive order to stop and wait at the end of the vocal effort and, secondly, the correct directing and controlling -orders in connection with the processes concerned with the respiratory act will constitute the necessary pause between the sentences.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), pages 107–08.

The pupil is then asked to give the following preventive orders. In the way of correct direction and guidance, he is asked to order the neck to relax, to order the head forward and up to lengthen the spine. . . . In the present instance, it is explained to him that the order given is to be merely preventive – a projected wish without any attempt on the pupil’s part to carry it out successfully.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 115.

When this happens, the teacher must point out to the pupil that he has not quite comprehended what is required of him, and he must again place the whole position before the pupil, and from as many angles as possible, until he is certain that the pupil understands that the primary orders which he is asked to give are preventive orders, and that if he gives these preventive orders (inhibition of the old misdirected activities), and then proceeds to give the new ones, his spine will be kept at its greatest possible length (not shortened), whilst the body will be moved forward from the hips easily and satisfactorily, without interfering with the generally relative position of the torso (except in the matter of angle), just as a door moves on its hinges.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 116.

What is essential here is a co-ordinated use of the arms, and the only way by which he can secure this is, first, by giving the necessary preventive orders, and then by rehearsing the series of new orders given by the teacher, in which the movement of the arms is linked up with the use of the other parts of the body.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 117.

Now the inhibitory process involved in my technique has little in common with that to which reference has just been made. For the idea concerned with inhibition in my technique is conceived on a general and preventive basis, and the process of inhibition involved is employed primarily in connection with ideas which are dissociated from any direct attempt to gain an “end,” but associated instead with that indirect procedure inseparable from the practical application of the principles concerned with the means whereby an end may be gained.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), pages 122-23.

To this end the teacher will first name the preventive guiding orders or directions which the pupil is to give to himself in the way of inhibiting the deceptive guiding sensations concerned with the defective use of the mechanisms responsible for what we call bad habits in breathing. The teacher must make certain that the pupil remembers these guiding orders or directions in the sequence in which they are to be employed. When this has been done, the pupil may begin the practice in connection with the work of prevention.

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual by F. Matthias Alexander, (Mouritz, 2004), page 131.

* I use the word “prevention” (and this applies equally to “cure”) not because I consider it adequate or wholly suitable for my purpose, but because I cannot find another to take its place. “Prevention” in its fullest sense implies the existence of satisfactory conditions which can be prevented from changing for the worse. In this sense prevention is not possible in practice today, since the conditions now present in the civilized human creature are such that it would be difficult to find anyone who is entirely free from manifestations of wrong use and functioning. When, therefore, I use the terms “prevention” and “cure,” I use them in a relative sense only, including under “preventive” measures all attempts to prevent faulty use and functioning of the organism generally as a means of preventing defect, disorder, and disease, and under “curative” measures those methods in which the influence of faulty use upon functioning is ignored when dealing with defects, disorder and disease.

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939), page 5.

As I was unable to answer these questions, all I could do was to go on patiently experimenting before the mirror. After some months I found that when reciting I could not by direct means prevent the sucking in of breath or the depressing of the larynx, but that I could to some extent prevent the pulling back of the head. This led me to a discovery which turned out to be of great importance, namely, that when I succeeded in preventing the pulling back of the head, this tended indirectly to check the sucking in of breath and the depressing of the larynx.

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939), page 11.

A further result, which I also noted was that with the prevention of the misuse of these parts I tended to become less hoarse while reciting, and that as I gradually gained experience in this prevention, my liability to hoarseness tended to decrease. What is more, when, after these experiences, my throat was again examined by my medical friends, a considerable improvement was found in the general condition of my larynx and vocal cords.

            In this way it was borne in upon me that the changes in use that I had been able to bring about by preventing the three harmful tendencies I had detected in myself had produced a marked effect upon the functioning of my vocal and respiratory mechanisms.

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939), pages 11–12.

(2) that I could relieve this trouble to a certain extent merely by preventing myself from putting my head back, since this act of prevention tended to prevent indirectly the de pressing of the larynx and the sucking in of breath.

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939), page 12.

Having got so far, I considered I should now be justified in attempting to put these findings into practice. To this end I proceeded in my vocal work to try to prevent my old habit of pulling my head back and down and lifting the chest (shortening the stature), and to combine this act of prevention with an attempt to put the head forward and up (lengthening the stature) and widen the back. This was my first at tempt to combine “prevention” and “doing” in one activity, and I never for a moment doubted that I should be able to do this, but I found that although I was now able to put the head forward and up and widen the back as acts in themselves, I could not maintain these conditions in speaking or reciting.

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939), page 15.

For this reason I claim that the primary requirement in dealing with all specific symptoms is to prevent the misdirection which leads to wrong use and functioning, and to establish in its place a new and satisfactory direction as a means of bringing about an improvement in use and functioning throughout the organism.

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939), page 45.

He would explain that any immediate reaction to the stimulus to make a good stroke would always be by means of his wrong habitual use, but that if he prevented this immediate reaction, he would at the same time be preventing the misdirection of his use that went with it and was the obstacle to the gaining of his end. He would impress upon him that of all the activities that go to the making of a good stroke, this act of prevention was the primary activity, since by the inhibition of the misdirected habitual use the way would be left clear for the teacher to build up in his pupil that new direction of the use of his mechanisms, which would substitute the means whereby he would in time be able to keep his eyes on the ball, and thus make a good stroke.

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939), pages 57–58.

But, more important than this, my pupil in the course of this procedure had learned that if he inhibited his immediate instinctive reaction to any stimulus to “do,” he could prevent the misdirection of his use and the associated undue muscle tension which had been the marked feature of all his reactions to stimuli, and which had hampered him not only in his speaking but in all his, activities, both “physical” and “mental,” and if he chose to apply this principle to his activities in other spheres, he would have at his command a means of controlling the nature of his reaction to stimuli, that is, of acquiring a control of what is called “conscious behaviour.”

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939), page 81.

.  . . at the same time he would teach his patients how to direct and maintain a new and improved use which, if employed in all his activities, would be the means of preventing the recurrence of the old or the development of further defects.

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939), page 106.

It is true that Nature has provided us all with the potentiality for the reasoning out of means for preventing wrong use of the self, but we have not developed any preventive measures to this end because we have assumed, quite erroneously, that our manner of use of ourselves cannot go wrong or fail us.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 6.

The full significance of this will be apparent to those of us who have had the experience of applying my technique consistently to the task of changing use by the indirect method of preventing interference with the manner of employment of the primary control, for this experience involves a practical demonstration that our manner of use is a constant influence for good or ill upon our general functioning.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 9.

Dr Caldwell’s generous admission encourages me to believe that others will also wish to analyse the principles underlying my technique, which, although it has been evolved out of experiences gained in a field which is new to them, has a distinct bearing upon the whole question of diagnosis and prevention in all fields of man’s activity in living.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 22.

But when I came to appreciate fully that it was what I was doing in following out instructions that was leading me into the wrong use of myself that was causing my throat trouble, I realized that self-accusation must replace self-pity, and that, in fact, I had to accuse myself of “doing” the undue depression of my larynx, the contraction of my chest, as well as the wrong axis of my head, which were some of the most serious symptoms in my throat trouble, and I saw that what I had needed at the outset was someone who could have explained to me, first, what it was that I was doing in the use of myself that was wrong, and then, as a primary procedure, shown me how to prevent this.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), pages 22–23.

For this reason, the idea of going to a teacher working on the old lines was out of the question, and as my medical advisers by their own admission could not help me here, I saw that I must find out for myself what I was doing that constituted a wrong use of myself, and then learn how to prevent myself from continuing in this “wrong doing.”

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 23.

The lessons I gave were based upon the principle that the pupil’s manner of general use was responsible for the trouble. This being so, the first thing to be done was to prevent the projection of the messages which brought about this wrong manner of use and so to effect a change in the pupil’s habitual reaction to any form of “doing” in daily life, including the act of speaking. Thus the change brought about in the manner of use of the vocal organs was an indirect result of the change in the pupil’s manner of general use of the self.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 29.

It can be demonstrated by means of my technique that interference with the working of the primary control of the psycho-physical machine can not only be prevented, but also be remedied in those in whom the working of this control has already been interfered with.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 50.

IV. A Technique for Prevention.

Chaper title, The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 60.

From this we can postulate that the human being who would be a good subject for the application of the principle of prevention in the wider sense would be one in whom the employment of the primary control of use ensures the best possible standard of functioning of all parts and processes, as well as the healthiest chemical composition of the tissues.

Unfortunately, the medical man’s training, through no fault of his own, does not equip him to work to the principle of prevention in this wider sense, because, as has been pointed out, it does not provide him with the knowledge that would enable him, in making his diagnosis, to take into consideration the influence of use upon his patient’s general functioning.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), pages 60–61.

It is equally essential that when changes for ill have already been allowed to develop in the growing child, the doctor should be able to provide the means whereby right conditions can be restored and a recurrence of the trouble be prevented in the future. This, for want of a better name, I will call “comparative prevention,” and the technique we employ has been found to meet the demands of this form of prevention as well as of prevention in the wider sense.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 61.

Any interference with the right working of the primary control of the manner of use during our daily activities is certain to become exaggerated in learning to carry out new industrial work, or in practising physical or other exercises. Witness the extent to which people misdirect their energy in their daily activities, in order to appreciate the opportunity such misdirected activity affords for the development of new harmful habits of use. Hence the fundamental importance of preventing the cultivation of these bad habits in learning and learning to do.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 62.

For up till now medical investigation and experimentation have been devoted to the acquisition of knowledge for the purpose of finding methods of “cure” for disease, rather than knowledge which would enable the doctor to diagnose conditions for the purpose of the prevention of disease, the preservation of well-being, and a full understanding of the nature of health.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), pages 63–64.

How different it would all be if he looked upon the doctor as a person trained to prevent the development of disorder and disease!

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 65.

The reader will now see that the technique is based upon the inhibition of the habitual wrong use – i.e., the refusal to react to a stimulus in the usual way – and that the principle of prevention isstrictly adhered to from the beginning. The habitual wrong employment of the primary control of the pupil’s use of himself, responsible for his reaction in performing such acts as sitting in and rising from a chair, is prevented, and is gradually superseded by a new and improved manner of use which, by a reconditioning procedure, is associated with new reflex activity. By steps more or less slow, according to the difficulties to be overcome, the pupil passes from the stage of preventing the repetition of the wrong employment of the primary control of the general use in such acts as sitting or standing to gaining those new experiences of use in which the proper relativity of the parts concerned is brought about.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), pages 81–82.

Primarily our concern must be to find out in what way we are interfering with the right employment of the primary control, and decide to prevent this interference by consciously refusing to project the messages which habitually bring it about. Only secondarily are we interested in the projection of the new messages which will in time lead us indirectly – that is, through a change in the employment of the primary control of our use – to the change we desire in our habitual reflex activity.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 85.

In my work we are concerned primarily with non-doing in the fundamental sense of what we should not do in the use of ourselves in our daily activities; in other words, with preventing that habitual misuse of the psycho-physical mechanisms which renders these activities a constant source of harm to the organism.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 98.

His idea of non-doing leads him to advocate the employment of direct “means-whereby” of preventing certain misdirected actions (“doing”) that can be observed in a person’s behaviour (manner of use). In the application of our technique, on the other hand, the idea of non-doing leads to the employment of indirect “means-whereby” of preventing such misdirection.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 99.

Such prevention is the form of non-doing which is essential to the changing of bad habits and to the control of human reaction.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 100.

This interest will be further increased when he discovers that by not giving consent to the gaining of an end along familiar lines he can prevent any wrong use of himself that he is led to recognize is habitually impeding him in his attempts to carry out some action in which he wishes to excel, and that this makes possible the employment of new means whereby a desired end can be gained by an improving use of himself..

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), page 155.

This demands the employment of a technique which makes possible the gaining of experience in knowing how to stop (prevention – inhibition) when dominated by the influence of impulsive uncontrolled reaction. Provision is made for this by procedures in the technique here described as the means whereby those who need it can be helped to gradually change and improve the control of their reaction. The first step in the procedure is an inhibitory (preventive) one – that of refusing to give consent to the habitual (subconscious) reaction; and it is the basic beginning of the means whereby one may change and control reaction.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. Matthias Alexander (Mouritz, 2000), pages 178–79.

If they are cures and results, why are we in the trouble we are in today? I am against any method. I am trying to give people the benefit of the work I have done in prevention. I am not interested in cure. It is only a specific thing.

St. Dunstan’s Lecture (1949) in Articles and Lectures by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 1995, London), page 189.

 

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