David Deida is one of my favorite thinkers.
He seems to carry a lot of tension in his shoulders.
David: “You can be entirely dysfunctional therapeutically, psychologically and emotionally, you can be a wreck and still be a master yogi.”
You couldn’t say the same thing about an Alexander teacher. A broken-down Alexander teacher is almost a contradiction in terms.
Deida says most artists find their inspiration at “temporary extremes.”
Extremism is a rare trait among Alexander teachers. We tend to be moderate gentle people. We don’t tend to chase extreme highs.
Deida: “For art, you want to create temporary extremes… Like Picasso chain-smoking, abusing women. You’re keeping it out there and that’s how you do art… Drugs, sex and rock’n’roll could be a part of it or just the drama and intensity of life could create good art. If you want to create sexual art, you want to go to extremes. If you want to do good therapy, you want a safe environment.”
“I’ve never found anyone become spiritually open through practice.”
“How many people do you know who are brilliantly enlightened through regular practices?”
As it is impossible to define “spiritually open” or “brilliantly enlightened”, Deida is on safe ground whatever he says here.
I relate to this Deida video because the writer-artist part of me tends to be wild while my profession as an Alexander Technique teacher depends upon my creating a safe environment for my students.
Deida: “If you’re a good artist, you fall on your face a lot. But you don’t want to do that if you’re in a therapy mode. If someone is dealing with issues of deep abuse, you don’t want to go, ‘Whoops, I just ruined your life.'”