AT Congress® Berlin 2022

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David M Mills

David M Mills

David M Mills
Washington, USA

I was a graduate student in Biophysics when I first met Marjorie Barstow in 1974. When I dropped Catherine off in Lincoln, Nebraska for Marj’s summer workshop in something called The Alexander Technique, I wasn’t planning to attend that workshop myself the following summer, much less all of 20 summers after that. I recall that I found in Marj’s approach to what she liked to call “the discoveries of FM Alexander” a new kind of biophysics – a study of the workings of the whole human person, as a whole – and by that person. What in the world, I thought, could be a more fascinating field of study than ME? And what knowledge would be more useful? So I never did get that degree in Biophysics, though I did eventually get my PhD in Human Learning, and of course Alexander’s work played a central part.

Over the years of working with people engaged in all sorts of performance, I have enjoyed sharing their moments of fascination with their own “unity in action.” John Dewey claimed that this work “bears the same relation to education that education bears to all other human activities.” A strong statement. I continue to see my work with the Alexander Technique as a means of exploring what that statement might mean, and what it might be like to become educated in that way. In the meantime, I find that the secret compensation for practising the Technique is that we get to spend moments enjoying the presence of truly fascinating people – ourselves.