The Students Of Dead Gurus

Despite the strange look on my face, I posted the meme below on my Second-Order Somatics Facebook page and it was well-received.

"Never trust the student of a dead guru if their relationship to him or her is their primary credential."
But you can trust me because I am wearing t-shirt on my head!!

Over the years of working with the students of many deceased teachers such as those of Moshe Feldenkrais, Milton Erickson, Ida Rolf, and many others, I noticed that those who had some type of credential or deep experience apart from the teacher tended to be the most trustworthy and open-minded.

For example, I have had many life-affirming friendships and interactions with direct students of Milton H. Erickson, the noted medical doctor, psychiatrist, and hypnotist.

I believe that is because nearly all of Dr. Erickson's direct students had a credential or license that had no relationship to him personally. That is, they had training as medical doctors, therapists and counselors. They were independent professionals who added to their knowledge-base and skills through their training with Erickson

On the other end of the spectrum, there are some people in the Somatics field who have no professional identity outside of their relationship with the deceased guru.

Many of these people tend to be psychologically, emotionally, and intellectually dangerous. Even more than that, they tend towards conformity and dependence. And they strive to create the same dependency relationships in their students that they created in themselves with their "master."

It is particularly true with the so-called, "Senior Trainers" in the Feldenkrais Guild community. The senior trainers are those who studied with Feldenkrais at the San Francisco Training in the early 1970s. A handful of these men and women took control of Moshe's legacy in the 1980s after he was unable to finish his second U.S. training at Amherst and died.

Why do I say the "took control"?

Because Moshe Feldenkrais was not an organization man. He was an inventor, teacher, and explorer.

And his death left a power vacuum.

There were many fights among his students to control his name, service marked terms and to claim who "truly understood" his work. And many mythologies were created about Moshe Feldenkrais and his work.

The fights are still ongoing.

And the mythologies are still being propagated and maintained.