Franis (dialoguers) wrote,

Creativity is Compulsory?

Many people's creative drive might be considered compulsory - but because it's creative rather than destructive, it's not a disorder.

I see the assumption that "the solution must be intense so as to combat the problem's intensity" to be an expression of the mistake of "from extreme to extreme." I think the reason it's so common of an assumption is from a cultural history of implied opposites. The implied opposite of something you abhor with a vengeance people assume seems to be something you passionately love - rather than just stopping the problem.

That assumption is wrong, as F.M. Alexander discovered, among others. If you use those extremes, you'll miss what your twisted senses have learned to ignore as being of no consequence. To find something you love to do, it works better to notice what comes easily & naturally to you that you find yourself doing without effort.

For Alexander to find that out involved going through a paradoxical process he taught himself to perform by building new assumptions. Fortunately, his solutions of how to go from "repair" to "ease" turned out to work for others who might be in his situation. I imagine that any 'techniques' us teachers of AT come up with from our own experience can only add to Alexander's - and those who share our circumstances will benefit from them.

Marj Barstow's (Alexander's first graduate) opinion on this was, to the extent you factually went in the direction you intended to go, what you didn't want was left behind by default. So - Marj said that prevention works with less effort than repair - just like in maintaining cars.

From that conversation, I have since regarded many of Alexander's techniques, such as his specialized way of using inhibition, to be on the order of "repair." Sometimes people's problems need these "repairs." I did at times when I became injured and couldn't help but train myself to cope with pain by limiting movement while I was recovering. Those examples are what make Alexander's work useful for anyone from any starting point. I don't think you need to use all the tools if what the problem is will respond to some of the tools.

Decades ago, I was at Marj Barstow's workshop sitting next to a new attendee who was a jazz trumpet player. For his third lesson, I suggested that he bring his horn up and play a little; and compare how connected he felt to what he played after he worked with Marj's suggestions.

The comment the musician made after the lesson was that he'd always assumed that the vastly improved connection he felt then was always going to happen in the context of improvisation, and never playing alone. Now in this lesson, here it was, seemingly on call all by itself.
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