Introduction

This page is dedicated to Moshe’s book On Body and Mature Behavior. Feel free to share any information or insights you might have about the book.

Notes by Adam Cole:

p. 18-19 “rigidity is contrary to the laws of life.” Physical, and adherence to any one principle.
p. 24 – Excitation/inhibition of the nervous system
p.25 – “Function and not structure seems to be the best guide in forming a coherent picture of the nervous system.”
p. 55-6 – “…the human brain is such as to make learning, or acquisition of new responses, a normal and suitable activity. It is as if it were capable of functioning with any possible combination of nervous interconnectedness until individual experience forms the one that will be preferred and active. The actual pattern of doing is therefore essentially personal and fortuitous, and is inherently different from the genetically present pattern and the strictly limited combinations possible in all other animals.
This great ability to form individual nervous paths and muscular patterns makes it possible for faulty functioning to be learned. The earlier the fault occurs, the more ingrained it appears, and is.”
p. 68-69 Habits (human) versus reflexes (animal) – “…an animal and its environment are well fitted reflexively to each other, much better than the same animal and a drastically different environment.
In the human being, in whom learning is so much more essential than in any other animal before he can satisfy even his most elementary needs for survival, such as food, self preservation, and the like, the environment plays even a greater part than in animals. The human society influences the child to a degree that makes complete severance from it equivalent to complete destruction.”
Habits appear automatic like reflexes (Pavlov) but they can be inhibited and extinguished.
p. 94 – Human vertical posture is ideal for reducing the amount of inertia – it is easy for a human to turn on his or her axis – We’re better suited for movement than for standing.
p. 95 – In unstable balance, no supply of energy is necessary to change its position. It comes from stored potential energy. Imagine three cones pointed down, each balancing on the one below it, the bottom being the pelvic bone and legs, the top at 2L, the middle cone the shoulders, the top the cervical vertebrae, the top cone the head. These are equivalent to three pendulums that move upside down. In order to move effectively, the three pendulums must move through the zero-point of neutrality, the point at which they would be at the bettom of their swing if they were the other way.
p. 98 – Proper walking is falling and stopping the fall. Not propelling. Least amount of energy used this way.
105-106 – Function instead of mechanism: 1) Any direction with ease 2) No preliminary adjustment (reversibility too. All directions while in locomotion without preliminary adjustment) 3) Minimum amount of work.
106 – “All people with well-defined mind and body functions carry themselves in the potent state. Marked deviations are found together with marked immaturity of other functions. The all-round matured individual is recognizable by his outstanding capacity for recovery from unexpected shocks or disturbances. Mental, emotional or mechanical. Faulty recovery is never found on one of these planes of activity alone. This is a very important point to which we will return.
“Outwardly the potent state is observable by certain features common to all acts performed by the person. They are simple and direct. No effort is apparent no matter how difficult the exertion nor how great the work may be. All faculties and previous experience are smoothly coordinated to bear the present circumstance no matter how unexpected and violent the demand may be. When the emergency is over, the deliberate reflection only corroborates the adequacy of spontaneous response. The musculature shows no useless contraction in any part of the body. All articulation participate in every act. None is held rigidly in any particular configuration not dedicated by the immediate task being performed. In motion, none of the articulations retains any useless, habitually preferred configuration. In short, the whole system is integrated on the present circumstance with the perfection and poise, preparing the body and mind for future acts. The instances where the frame is carried on by inertia is as short as possible and any performance can be reversed or stopped if the circumstance demands. Such an ideal behavior is within the capacity of every frame in which all functions have maturity – an extremely rare circumstance.”
128 – Connection of physical state and emotional
129 – People with over-conscious control live on an intellectual level.
132 – Most children experience lack of proper guidance or instruction in the changing of the self – instead, how to cover up.
139 – Arrested development leaves its mark on all functions
147 – Others do not improve because they cannot sense. So they adapt. // Weber-Fechner law and advantage of people who can detect small differences in sensation.
154 – Babies, carriage of the head in crawling, effect on breathing
155 – Messing with kids before thye’re ready
157 – While different theories and practices for curing emotional and physical arrested development only cover one area, it’s fortunate that one function influences all others. <Music instruction can apply across disciplines for this reason>
161 – Why is it so hard to do what is best? Years of habit.
162 – Why work on the floor? <Music keeps us in motion which also works>
164 – Why small movements? Why rest? Why slow?
169 – 170 Five principles necessary to good re-education
173 – Emotions are equivalent to bodily attitude. Not related via cause and effect.
182-183 – The indivisibility of integrated function (antigravity motor link, the emotional, social, physical elements of the sexual function are all necessary to make a coherent picture) No one element can be singled out as a cause of the others.
192 – At birth, functions are localized in body and nervous system. Destroy the organ, destroy the function. 193 – By maturity, the functions are integrated in the body. Destroying the organ does not destroy the function.
197 – Maturity = differentiation and integration suitable to the present circumstances.
203 – “Many of our failings, physical and mental, need not therefore be considered as diseases to be cured, nor an unfortunate trait of character for they are neither. They are an acquired result of a learned faulty mode of doing. The body only executes what the nervous system makes it do. It molds itself during growth for a longer period, and to a greater extent, than in any other animal. Actions repeated innumerable times for years on end, such as all our habitual actions, mold even the bones, let alone the muscular envelope. The physical faults that appear in our body long after we are born are mainly the result of activity we have imposed on it. Faulty modes of standing and walking produce flat feet, and it is the mode of standing and walking that must be corrected, and not the feet. The extent to which our frame is able to adjust itself to the use and requirements we make of it seems to be limitless; by learning a better use of control, the feet, the eyes, or whatever organ it may be, will again adjust themselves and change their shape and function accordingly. The transformations that can be produced, and their rapidity, sometimes border on the incredible.”
204 – Pain will not necessarily eliminate a habit that creates it.
208 – Motility is elementary means of addressing issues because it is essential to the lowest level of existence.

See notes under SF Evening Class Oscillations Jello Pudding ATM under Typical Results. Several quotes.