Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Anatomy of a Human Mistake

A human mistake, in general, has a sensory component and a motor component.

On the sensory side, the problem is that we fail to read correctly the situation in which we are in. To express this problem FM Alexander coined the phrase "faulty sensory appreciation." He thought that the way to improve our sensory appreciation was to learn to use ourselves better, which is primarily a matter of re-training the vestibular system.

On the motor side, the problem is one of making decisions about what to do and what not to do, and executing those decisions as intended. Again, Alexander opined that, in the interests of better decision making and more reasonable actions, our primary task was to learn to use ourselves better, which, again, is primarily a matter of what Ray Evans called "vestibular re-education."

When I left Japan to return to England in December 1994, having enthusiastically devoured Alexander's writings, I was full of hope that Alexander training would enable me to eliminate the kind of stupid mistakes, major and minor, that had littered my everyday life until then.

But those hopes were all totally false.

Quad Erat Demonstrandum.

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