Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual

F M Alexander

With the publication of his second book, ‘Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual’ (CCC) in 1923 Alexander completed his statement of the Technique. It is useful thus to consider MSI and CCC as two linked volumes.

The book’s introduction, written by Alexander’s longstanding friend, supporter and pupil, the American philosopher and educationalist, Professor John Dewey, examines some of the problems and difficulties of grasping Alexander’s ideas from the point of view of the ordinary pupil and again places the Technique within the wider context of the urgent need for change in human conduct and behaviour.

CCC is divided into four sections – ‘Man’s Evolutionary Development’, ‘Learning and. Learning to Do’, ‘Man’s Needs’, and ‘Happiness’ – all of which Alexander considers in relation to man’s faulty sensory appreciation and the problems that are due to basing one’s behaviour on feeling rather than reason.

As the title indicates, the aim of the Technique is the acquisition of conscious, reasoning control of our behaviour, “a plane to be reached rather than a method of reaching it”, and that this requires a searching analysis of the basis of everything that we think and do. He stresses too, the all-importance of individual change as the only sound basis for change in society. One of his most important chapters is ‘Incorrect Conception’, where he begins to draw out the significance for our conduct of our underlying wrong ideas about both ourselves and the world in general.