Hamlet: Denmark’s a prison.
Rosencrantz: We think not so, my lord.
Hamlet: Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.William Shakespeare, HAMLET (II, ii)
In the first article on this topic, we looked at some of what Alexander went through, and what he discovered, as he worked to solve his vocal problems. We saw how his FEELING of what was “right” was involved in the breakdown of his voice. Here I’d like to look at how his THINKING contributed to this breakdown, that is, how his thoughts contributed to the general unreliability of his kinesthesia.
One of his beliefs when he started observing himself with mirrors was that if he rationally understood what he was doing to put himself wrong then he could directly fix it, “one-two-three,” and end the problem.
His belief was totally untested and untried. After all, he had never fixed his voice, or anyone’s for that matter. Nevertheless, he was certain that this malfunctioning part, once understood, could be fixed.
He reasoned that the poor workings of his throat and voice were separate from the rest of himself. In this, lay an assumption that he was, essentially, a collection of independent parts. He was fine, as were most of his parts. It was only his voice and those related parts that needed to be fixed.
FM eventually came to see that man is a unity and his actions involve the whole self: THOUGHT AND FEELING TOGETHER. But until then, he continued to make his efforts based on a misunderstanding of separateness, and so remained stuck in a general misuse. His reasoning could not serve him so long as it was based on a false premise. There was a total bond here between his lack of mental clarity and his so-called vocal hoarseness and dysfunction. And how can it be otherwise? If we have a problem but our thinking is not clear and lucid, if our facts and basic understanding of how we work as a whole entity is vague at best, is it any wonder that we will fail to see what we are doing to ourselves that cause our own issues?
Continue to Part III.