Thinking in activity

The process l have just described is an example of what Professor John Dewey has called "thinking in activity," and anyone who carries it out faithfully while trying to gain an end will find that he is acquiring a new experience in what he calls "thinking."

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939, London) page 29.

Further, those who continue to make the principle underlying this procedure their guiding principle in all their activities, find that they are enabled to combine "thinking in activity" with a new sensory observation of the use of themselves in the process.

The Use of the Self by F. Matthias Alexander (Methuen, 1939, London) page 119.

The whole difficulty is "thinking in activity." You see, in order to do even a simple thing like coming forward in the chair, your brain must go on giving consent to the original order that the head is to go forward. Immediately you start to go forward, the original order or message from the brain must be given. There may be five of such messages required for the making of the movement, and each one, as it is picked up, must be kept going.

"Bedford Physical Training College Lecture" in Articles and Lectures by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 1995, London), page 176.

Up to this point it will be understood that all the pupil has been asked to do is to apply his principle to the circumstances of the lesson, but after some time the pupil can begin the inhibition of the wrong use of the primary control in all the simple and other acts of life, for this is largely a matter of that process of remembering which is involved in "thinking in activity" - a new way of living - and when once he has experienced the joy and satisfaction of this, it is difficult to believe that the old way could be reverted to.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 2000, London), page 84.

In this whole procedure we see the new principle at work, for if we project those messages which hold in check the familiar habitual reaction, and at the same time project the new messages which give free rein to the motor impulses associated with nervous and muscular energy along unfamiliar lines of communication, we shall be doing what Dewey calls "thinking in activity." As far as we can judge, mankind has not had the experience of thinking in activity where the projection of messages necessary to the employment of the primary control of his use is concerned. In the ordinary way man has just reacted instinctively to any stimulus to activity, whereas in the new plan which I am suggesting the messages, preventive and otherwise, must be consciously projected in their right sequence throughout the activity.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 2000, London), page 86.

Thus the first procedure, which is an inhibitory act, in being linked with the other procedures, becomes the beginning of a volitionary act which involves thinking in activity and enables us to gradually change and improve the general use and functioning which is a manifestation of the nature of our reaction.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 2000, London), page 182.

He adopted the democratic ideal as the way to freedom of thought and action, but he failed to understand that in order to realize this ideal, he would need to develop to the full his potentiality for thinking in activity in the general use and functioning of the self, for which is essential not only individual freedom of thought and action but individual freedom in thought and action, and which gives in process control of individual and therefore collective  reaction in the way of life essential to the putting into practice the theory of democracy.

The Universal Constant in Living by F. M. Alexander (Mouritz, 2000, London), page 188.

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