Moshe Feldenkrais Quotes
This is just a rough draft of some quotes by Moshe Feldenkrais that I have written down over the years. I will add references as time and interest permits.
Posted by Deborah Lotus on Facebook:
“What I understand by maturity, is the capacity of theindividual to break up total situations of previous experience into parts, to reform them into a pattern most suitable to the present circumstance, i.e., the conscious control effectively becomes the over-riding servo-mechanism of the nervous system”. “Body and Mature Behavior: A Study of Anxiety, Sex, Gravitation, and Learning
Moshe Feldenkrais, D. Sc.
Posted by Kim Cottrell on Facebook:
“Recognizing our insignificance, the unimportance of what we think, do, or cannot do, we find ourselves in full mastery of ourselves to the potential limit of our ability. That sort of unstable equilibrium that is abandoned in each action and recovered for the next is the essence of human maturity. p.216, The Potent Self: A Study of Spontaneity and Compulsion Moshe Feldenkrais
“The aim [of the Feldenkrais Method] is a person that is organized to move with minimum effort and maximum efficiency, not through muscular strength, but through increased consciousness of how movement works.”
-Moshe Feldenkrais, PhD
“No matter how closely we look, it is difficult to find a mental act that can take place without the support of some physical function.”
“Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.”
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais noted that even so-called “normal”or “healthy” individuals often have compulsive states of neuro-muscular tension that limit functioning. He stated that:
“The object of education should be to eliminate these compulsive states and to help the person to acquire the ability for potent action; that is to be able to control the body excitations and act as if in the case of spontaneous action”(Feldenkrais, The Potent Self: A Study of Spontaneity and Compulsion, 1985, p. 11, as cited in Nagy, Fogel, & Young, manuscript under revision).
“What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies, but flexible brains. What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity. ”
- Moshe Feldenkrais
“I believe that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality. They are not just parts somehow related to each other, but an inseparable whole while functioning. A brain without a body could not think.”
- Moshe Feldenkrais
“Find your true weakness and surrender to it. Therein lies the path to genius. Most people spend their lives using their strengths to overcome or cover up their weaknesses. Those few who use their strengths to incorporate their weaknesses, who don’t divide themselves, those people are very rare. In any generation there are a few and they lead their generation. ”
“You can do that much better than me if you eliminate the parasitic movements that you enact because you want to succeed. Make your own mistakes and keep on doing it and pay attention to the little things you become aware of.” Moshe, speaking at the Amherst Training, June 1980.
Moshe on the topic of “scanning:”
“…I begin by asking people to lie on their backs (after the same principle of reducing gravity) and learn to scan themselves. That is, they examine attentively the contact of their bodies with the floor and gradually learn to detect considerable differences – points where the contact is feeble or non-existent and others where it is full and distinct. This training develops awareness of the location of muscles producing weak contact through permanent excessive tension, thus holding parts of the body up off the floor. Some improvement in tension reduction can be achieved through muscular awareness alone, but beyond that no improvement will be carried over into normal live unless people increase their awareness of the skeleton and its orientation…
Moshe Feldenkrais, “Body and Mind”, 1980 ? I’m not sure what publication “Body and Mind” refers to. Checking now – Ryan 7/7/09