Just a few moments ago, I got an email from someone asking for a reference for two very common Feldenkrais quotes. I have a pretty damn big electronic database of Moshe’s writings but I could not find them. How about you?
Here they are:
“I am not seeking to develop flexible bodies, but flexible minds . . . I am interested in the re-establishment of our human dignity.”
“What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity”.
What say you? Did he actually say or right them or did we as a community make them up or mash together several different citations and references.
I did find a couple of references regarding human dignity but practically nothing with flexible minds and bodies.
If you don’t have choice, if you can’t do the same thing in at least two different ways, you are a machine. If you can’t differentiate the movement, if you have an alternative way of doing something, you restore human dignity to what it could be.August 18, 1977, San Francisco, during a conversation with Hienz Von Foerster
A society of men and women with greater awareness of themselves will, I believe, be one that will work for the human dignity of its members rather than primarily for the abstract, collective notion of human society. Article: Man and World.
By seeing the others imitating him, he suddenly realized that he did not know what he was doing. As soon as he realized that, he did it exactly like all the others. His learning took ten seconds. He recaptured his freedom of choice and regained human dignity. The Elusive Obvious page 117.
In terms of the “flexible minds” and “flexible bodies” I could not get an exact match on either phrase in my database….hmmm. Interesting. Flexibly body came up a bit in the Alexander Yanai series. But we must remember that those are traductions to English from the original Hebrew. There were 7 references here is a sample:
In a flexible body there is hardly any difference whether you lean on one hand or the other.
Flexible mind and Flexible minds did not appear at all….+
So were does this leave us? Is my database missing some material? I believe that I have all of the San Francisco and Amherst notes. I also have the Esalen Workshop, all of the Alexander Yanai and all of Moshe’s published books and articles. Yet I could not find either of the two quotes above…
Hey there! There is an artistic rendering of Moshe Feldenkrais that currently only exists in one location in the entire world: My office! Some of you have already seen it as it was in the background of a video that I shot two years ago. It was on the wall of the “casita” behind my house where I did much of my video and audio recording and editing…
Have You Seen It Before?
Would You Like Your Own Copy of That Drawing?
Here you are! Click to download. It will open in another tab and you can do a File > Save As.
I was initially selling it, but enough people bought it overnight so that I can now give it away.
Happy Holidays! That photo is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it. Use it however you choose.
Peace out – Ryan
As many of you know, I have been pushing the idea of having more people write books on Moshe Feldenkrais and The Feldenkrais Method. Books are such an important factor for building credibility for individual practitioners and for the method itself. I am happy – very happy – to report that a new Feldenkrais book has arrived.
Written by one of Moshe’s original students, it is called “Ways out of Cerebral Palsy during Infancy and Early Childhood with the Feldenkrais Method.” Very well done and covering not only cerebral palsy but also the political and sociological aspects of the work amongst other topics. I will post a detailed review in a future blog post.
Enjoy. Here is the link again. You can purchase it and be reading it on your computer in less than a minute: Ways out of Cerebral Palsy with the Feldenkrais Method.
I have read several blog posts recenty in which Feldenkrais was mentioned. Specifically in regard to Trauma and how therapists have learned to treat it over the years. Here is one:
We were aware of the body and knew it held some power. But few practitioners used it in treatment (except the relatively few who worked with … Rolfing, Feldenkrais … and to some extent Gestalt therapy.
And here is a second:
And for my patients, I always recommend that they see somebody who helps them to really feel their body, experience their body, open up to their bodies. And I refer people always to craniosacral work or Feldenkrais. I think those are all very important components about becoming a healthy person.
Kind of cool, huh? The first quote above is from Dr. Ruth Buczynski regarding her yearly series Rethinking Trauma: The Third Wave of Trauma Treatment. And the second is from an interview on OneBeing, from Bessel Van Der Kolk, a guest on the trauma series above and a highly-regarded and effective trauma therapis.
It is nice when people give a nod to the method, yes?
Trauma, as many of you know is not just a professional topic for me, it is a personal one as well. As I have detailed elsewhere – drug use, alcohol abuse and sticking needles in various parts of my body were parts of my life from early childhood to my late twenties. And that is not mentioning emotional abuse and neglect at home. The effects of which lasted for decades.
Feldenkrais and Trauma
As much as I would like to tell you that Feldenkrais ideas and sessions were the “cure all” for me, the story is not quite that simple. Feldenkrais has been a major – perhaps the major – factor that got me out of my head and into my body and interacting with the world. But I was never able to resolve some of the core traumas until digging experientially into myself with processes I learned from Stephen Levine and Pat Ogden. Interestingly enough, the more I play with and use the ideas, the more they seem like Feldenkrais processes. That is, most of the so-called “Somatic Psychotherapies” use experiential and process-based methods have much more in common with Feldenkrais than they do psychology.
Anyway, as I began deciding how and were to promote trauma treatment with Ruth’s course and others, I did a little digging into my Feldenkrais archive to get insight into Moshe’s thinking. I was a bit surprised at what I found as much of Moshe’s writing was about physical trauma. That is, trauma to the brain during birth or in accidents and such. Much of what I was thinking of as trauma – emotional and sexual abuse and the like was not mentioned. When it was mentioned, it was talked about in regards to a paradigm which is recognized as not being particulary effective.
“…you can see that one real trauma, real painful trauma, lasts for some people a lifetime. They need afterwards to be ten or fifteen years in psychotherapy to get rid of it and maybe can’t; they don’t get rid of it anyway because it’s impossible to limit. It’s connected to so many different… associated with so many different things, that suddenly you think you’re fine and a real good association brings it back. – Amherst Training Transcripts Year 2 July 13,1981″
And this one:
“Many…stress the importance of reliving affectively the traumatic event with the analyst as the object of love and hatred. Guided by the analyst’s objective attitude and his skill the patient is helped in solving his problem. (Body and Mature Behavior)”
Those are rather prophetic quotes from Moshe as we now know with near certainty that “reliving” traumas or spending years talking about them is NOT necessary to the healing process. In fact, as Moshe alluded to above they can get in the way of trauma healing. Moshe got a hell of a lot right. And he was light-years ahead of his time. But there are some ideas and subtle adjustments we have to make if we are to stay ahead of the curve and be maximally effective in our work….
The science just keeps getting more and more detailed and as the application of neuroscience findings is revolutionizing the field of psychotherapy, I hope we can learn to use it as well. There are a lot of folks that come to us needing trauma-treatment and relief.
Ok! Much more that I could say, but for now if you want to dive deeper into this topic check out the webinar series by NICABM. Many of your Feldenkrais colleagues have been watching them (including me).
I thought about calling this post “Steal My Feldenkrais Sessions” but…I was afraid people might take me literally. However, the point remains…
I have email conversations on a regular basis on what people can or cannot do with the products and transcripts that I sell. After 8 years of selling online and having these conversations, I have decided it is time to formalize my views and what you can or cannot do with the work that I sell.
The short form is this:
You can pretty much do what you want with my Feldenkrais downloads and products as long as you do not duplicate or sell the original files. Use them in your own products, workshops and classes. Re-Record them. Remix them. Edit them. Whatever. Give attribution to me or Moshe Feldenkrais if you want to. If you do not want to, there is no legal requirement to do so. That’s it.
The long form (two pages) is here: License_to_Use_These_Feldenkrais_Products.
Hi there…About 60 minutes ago, I logged into my shopping cart system to increase the prices on all of the Feldenkrais downloads that I sell on my Feldenkais Store. But as I got ready to do so, I felt a twinge of anxiety and I realized I should probably tell everyone before I do so.
I have been selling my Feldenkrais downloads online for nearly 8 years now and this is my first price raise. Actually it is more than just a “raise.” I am doubling all my prices. Yep. Everything is going up by 100% or more…
When I first began creating and selling Feldenkrais products, I was a PhD student at the University of Utah. I was good at “working the system” and I was able to get grants to learn technology and web design and such. I got a grant to put a psychology class online…and of course, I did not tell the folks that I had already created the class (hahaha). So when I got the grant I had 3 full months to relax and play and create my first Feldenkrais series “Eliminate Back Pain Now.” Later I received another grant from the Psych Dept and did something similar. I also started recording Feldenkrais sessions and integrating them into my online and live classes in LifeSpan developmental psychology.
Anyway, the long and short of it is I was PAID to create my Feldenkrais sessions (how cool is that?) and I was able to keep costs down. Eight years later, my hosting costs have gone up. I have a much better sense of how powerful my teaching is and how powerful the work is and the prices need to reflect that.
So…If you want some kick-ass Feldenkrais sessions (many with written transcripts) and you want them at 2006 prices, grab them while you can:
“Ryan, Can I…”
By the way…I often get question such as: “Can I translate your sessions into my native language and sell them myself?” or “Can I use them to teach my own live workshops?”
Well, the answer is almost alway yes. I do not “own” Feldenkrais ideas. Ideas cannot be copyrighted. And as soon as you translate something, you put it in your own words and it belongs to you anyway. And hell – for some products I have actually created transcripts that come WITH your purchase. I did that to make it easier for you to use them for your own classes and workshops. So go for it!!
But…if you want to do at the lowest cost, you better grab them NOW. Once the prices go up, they are not going back down.