Means / means whereby
The ‘means’ is the way in which the end is to be achieved. FM Alexander referred to the ‘means whereby’ as how we use ourselves when performing actions to achieve a goal (or end). He considered that the means whereby an act was performed was more important than the gaining of the end itself, saying that ‘the act performed is of less consequence than the manner of its performance’.
In the Alexander technique, instead of focusing solely on our desired goal and forcing ourselves towards it at any cost (endgaining), we learn to stop (or inhibit) our habitual misuse and endgaining and to consciously direct ourselves and our activity in a new and improved way while performing our selected task. This leads to, in Aldous Huxley’s words, an ‘increased consciousness of the physical means employed to gain the ends proposed by the will’, and we move towards having conscious control over the action performed, with the result that our goal is usually gained, and with more freedom and efficiency than it would be otherwise.
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