Self Image

Body Image ~ Body Schema

“It is thought that an individual’s body schema is used to represent both one’s own body and the bodies of others. Mirror neurons are thought to play a role in the INTERPERSONAL characteristics of body schema. INTERPERSONAL projection of one’s body schema plays an important role in successfully imitating motions such as hand gestures, especially while maintaining the handedness and location of the gesture, but not necessarily copying the exact motion itself” (emphasis added)

IMAGES  difference between body image and body schema

A body image consists of perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs concerning one’s body. In contrast, body schema consists of sensory-motor capacities that control movement and posture

Body schema is a concept used in several disciplines, including psychologyneurosciencephilosophysports medicine, and robotics. The neurologist Sir Henry Head originally defined it as a postural model of the body that actively organizes and modifies ‘the impressions produced by incoming sensory impulses in such a way that the final sensation of body position, or of locality, rises into consciousness charged with a relation to something that has happened before’.[1] As a postural model that keeps track of limb position, it plays an important role in control of action. It involves aspects of both central (brain processes) and peripheral (sensoryproprioceptive) systems. Thus, a body schema can be considered the collection of processes that registers the posture of one’s body parts in space. The schema is updated during body movement. This is typically a non-conscious process, and is used primarily for spatial organization of action. It is therefore a pragmatic representation of the body’s spatial properties, which includes the length of limbs and limb segments, their arrangement, the configuration of the segments in space, and the shape of the body surface.[2][3][4][5] Body schema also plays an important role in the integration and use of tools by humans.[6][7][8][9]

A clear differentiation of body schema from body image has developed gradually.

Historically, body schema and body image were generally lumped together, used interchangeably, or ill-defined. In science and elsewhere, the two terms are still commonly misattributed or confused. Efforts have been made to distinguish the two and define them in clear and differentiable ways.[25] A body image consists of perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs concerning one’s body. In contrast, body schema consists of sensory-motor capacities that control movement and posture.
Body image may involve a person’s conscious perception of his or her own physical appearance. It is how individuals see themselves when

Pivotal References

The Concept of ‘Body Schema’ in Merleau-Ponty’s Account of Embodied Subjectivity


The Concept of ‘Body Schema’ in Merleau-Ponty’s Account of Embodied Subjectivity


Jan Halák

In Bernard Andrieu, Jim Parry, Alessandro Porrovecchio & Olivier Sirost (eds.), Body Ecology and Emersive Leisure. Londýn, Velká Británie: Routledge. pp. 37-50 (2018)

According to MerleauPonty, the body schema is a practical diagram of our relationships to the world, an action-based norm with reference to which things make sense.

In his 1953 lectures at the College de France, Merleau-Ponty dedicated much effort to further developing his idea of embodied subject and interpreted fresh sources that he did not use in Phenomenology of Perception. Notably, he studied more in depth the neurological notion of “body schema”. According to Merleau-Ponty, the body schema is a practical diagram of our relationships to the world, an action-based norm with reference to which things make sense. Merleau-Ponty more precisely tried to describe the fundamentally dynamic unity of the body, i.e. the fact there are various possibilities how the practical “diagram” of body schema could be de-differentiated (in pathology) or further refined (via cognitive and cultural superstructures, symbolic systems). This chapter summarises Merleau-Ponty’s interpretation of the notion, while contrasting it to the more traditional understanding of the body in phenomenology and recent philosophical texts dealing with body schema.

Yacine Haffar

The Subject-Object “problem” reframed by Gene.

I’d say that for Gendlin the The Subject/Object distinction isn’t the crux of the matter (so it’s not really a big problem and we can move beyond it and more importantly also speak from that “beyond”).

Gendlin shows here that INTERACTION and EXPERIENCING comes long before and are MORE IMPORTANT and more MEANINGFULL than what can merely be perceived and that we would gain a lot in focusing on (paying attention to) that felt experiencing as what really matters rather than thinking in terms of subject/object dichotomy.

The interaction and experiencing are FULL and THICK and a much more interesting source of MEANING than the subject or the object, which are DERIVED from the interaction/experiencing (for Gendlin interaction is FIRST, in all the sense of that word)

To illustrate these points please find an extract from Language Beyond Postmodernism: Saying and Thinking in Gendlin Philosophy (editor: David Levin) :

“We can recall that Husserl, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger rejected the “spectator view.” They thought they could do this because they were speaking from a place that is not a perspective, not an observation or view.

Wittgenstein spoke from what we do and say in our situations. This is not a perspective. But he said he could only “show” it, much as Heidegger said that one can only “point” beyond the schemes in the language. But where they stood so as to be able to do this has been lost.

To reestablish where they spoke from, we must go further

It is not just the conflicting (subjective or objective) perspectives we must question, but perspectives as such.

Perspectives (and views) come from perception. I think we have to recognize that the subject/object approach comes from perception.

***Philosophy must not begin with perception.*** !!!


Any starting point (in philosophy) is questioned today, but perception as the traditional starting point of philosophy has great implicit effects which still remain with us.

It is an old but false assumption that experience begins with perception.

Perception is never first, and never alone. It is not the main way we are in our situations. Perception divides your perception of me from mine of you. But interaction is more than two perceptions.

And interaction is not inherently divided. Between two people there is one interaction.

We will move beyond the subject/object distinction if webecome able to speak from how we interact bodily in our situations. Let me show that this is a bodily interaction, and not primarily perception.

Even the simplest situation (experience… ) cannot be reduced to colors, sounds, and smells. People and things exist in terms of living and interacting.

We are observable, yes, but we don’t begin as observations. We are never just things lying around, over there, waiting to be observed. Nor do we live just as observers. Our interactions involve long stories that do not consist chiefly of externalities that can be photographed.

Speaking is interaction; it is a change in a situation. It changes how the story will ensue.

We speak from being here … , from being bodily in our situations, not from something presented before someone, whether in our own perspective or the ideal observer’s. Both perspectives are with us, but we are always also here in that way in which “we” and “bodily” and “are” and “here” say more….


Now I will add that we do not only sense the physical, Euclidian space; we sense our situation there. We sense what might happen to us from there, and what we will and won’t do there.

In the apartment behind the wall in back of me are people whom I could now disturb, but I won’t, because… Of course I sense my situation also in front and all around me. It is much more than the space and the things around me. A situation is not a view of things over there. My (….) is my bodily sense of living (planning, feeling, being about to act… ) in my situation.”

body image and body schema a conceptual clarification

body image and body schema  in a deafferented subject

gallagher body image and body schema

difference between body image and body schema

body image and body schema

With appreciation to Rachel for sending this reference:
The Brain’s Sense of Movement
Alain Berthoz
Translated by Giselle Weiss
Series: Perspectives in Cognitive Neuroscience
Copyright Date: 2000
Published by: Harvard University Press

Discussion Topics July 2021

“Improving the Entire Personality” by Al Wadlegh GCFP

I came across this quote when I was doing my morning Awareness Through Movement lesson the other day. It really resonated with me, so I wanted to share it.

Feel free to copy and share the image above.
What does Dr. Feldenkrais mean by “The majority bends those parts that they think will bend very well …? I believe he is saying that we tend to default to our most comfortable or most-used habits when we find ourselves in a challenging situation. Or that we put more of our conscious intention and effort into those parts to prove ourselves in some way when faced with something difficult.
Then he goes on to talk about “improving the entire personality.” Here I believe he is saying that to improve ourselves, we need to develop and use those parts of ourselves that not a part of our self-image. Or another way to say it is, we need to bring those parts of ourselves, of which we are not fully conscious into our consciousness so we can work with them and integrate them into our self as a whole.
Or another way to say it is, we need to bring those parts of ourselves, of which we are not fully conscious into our consciousness so we can work with them and integrate them into our self as a whole.
And by this means we improve our personality — we become more complete, more whole, and more fully present.
All Feldenkrais lessons do this. Each in a different way to work with a distinct aspect of the self and self-image. Click here for Feldenkrais exercises.
Yesim on listening and self-image ~ 
I consider two listening processes.
July 24, 2021

The first one comes from ONE ear to the other and goes out. 

The other comes from TWO ears, goes to eyes, goes to the nose, goes to the throat, goes to the heart, and listening from all my sensory apparatus. Then I can listen while I am sensing the quality of ..?.., the quality of the emotions with empathy. Then listening really comes to the stage as some kind of material maybe. It is a living thing.
We are all living bodies and living life, so living life. From this point of view, listening is being in life. Listening is actually experiencing, but sometimes it is not. 

If I pay attention to listening I think I really listened to you today. I think listening is not just about the sound because I can feel that sound in your eyes. 

So what I feel, when some people speak, is just a concern for,  as Moshé says, the safety… and also ..?., safety in the environment, safety in the nervous system. If you do not feel safe then nothing works in connection. Actually, the functions in the body, the anatomical muscles and fascia – and emotions, which are actually related to the muscles and fascia – and my being perhaps in my GROUNDEDNESS, as a whole if I am not in a safe place emotionally, physically, or mentally, they are all connected to each other so maybe today I can say in the first place while I am listening to you I am actually listening to myself rather than paying attention to you. 

I also come across with myself, maybe pre-consciously.  So LISTENING is making a CONNECTION with my OWN self, my own senses, because while I listen to you I can sense my anxiety ACCORDING to your CONTEXT, or your sound, or your face or your body. I can feel, sense, listen to myself, and can feel happiness or whatever.

For actors onstage, when two people are acting as, let us say, Ophelia and Hamlet if they do not listen to each other on stage, do not feel or are not aware of the inner connection to ..?..  

It is wonderful.  Today I discovered listening to you is ACTUALLY LISTENING to myself, on STAGE, on the PHONE, or on Zoom.  Sometimes listening is not just making sense of the words …?…  need words to speak or to listen. 

Self-image also deals with listening, but the SCHEMA as the HABITS, also listens to my self-image and also deals with how I listen to you, because if my habit is, say, to ‘she does not like me, I feel ridiculous when I look at her’ then my mental habit puts stress on my self-image and then it expresses myself in listening and talking.
(emphasis added)  July 24, 2021

George Herbert Mead. “Organism, Community and Environment” and Eugene T. Gendlin  A Process Model (1997) ~ relating to our discussion July 24, 2021


Of course the process involves a great deal more than the missing part which has now returned. The process which resumes is much more complex than one could guess just from the object. Yet when this object occurs, the whole complex process which was stopped, resumes.

“The animal recognizes the object”, says the spectator. It responds appropriately to the object.

We can now derive the old statement of G.H. Mead: “the environment is a function of the organism”. This is not so in every respect. The body and the en have their own reality connections, and this leads to a new sense of our term “en#2” in which we can speak of it separately.–– A Process Model (1997) page 13  CHAPTER I: BODY-ENVIRONMENT (B-EN) Eugene T. Gendlin University of Chicago

Empathy is often talked about as if I naturally somehow know what my own body looks like when I feel a certain way. Then, when I see someone else looking that way, I assume that they feel as I do, when I look that way. This view fails to wonder how I can know what my body looks like, considering that I rarely see my own body from the outside. Since G.H. Mead, many others have also reversed this order. First others respond to how I look, and only thereby does my body feeling come to imply a look.

Empathy comes first, that is to say: first there is a bodily shift made by how another body looks. My body thereby comes to imply another’s looks, and only then does my body imply its own looks  A Process Model (1997) page 127. c) Representation CHAPTER VII: CULTURE, SYMBOL AND LANGUAGE CHAPTER VII-A: SYMBOLIC PROCESS (p. 122 –158) Eugene T. Gendlin University of Chicago

The gesture sequence forms between individual and object. The individual is carried forward thereby, and the others also. They are carried forward by the gestures themselves, not the whole bodylook, and they are carried forward by just watching, not by having their own body effect make a rendition on the other body in turn.

Something quite fundamental happens at the second step (in seen-formation). (In Section VII-B.e) the exact way seens form will become clear.) Patterns carry forward, that are only part of the body, and they carry forward not between two bodies but between body and pattern. Since bodylook as a whole is already a pattern, let me call these new ones “patterns themselves.”

It is therefore true, as G.H. Mead said, that our lone-carrying-forward develops in a prior context of interactional carrying-forward (of response to each other), but there is a third type of carrying-forward with each other, which is different and develops only after lone carrying-forward.34

I do not call these patterns as such because “such” means third universals. Also, it is not clear at what stage of the development of seens, the FLIP occurs.  A Process Model (1997) page 170 CHAPTER VII: CULTURE, SYMBOL AND LANGUAGE  CHAPTER VII-B: PROTOLANGUAGE (p.163-215)


A George H. Mead source page

Originally published as:

George Herbert Mead. “Organism, Community and Environment”, Section 32 in Mind Self and Society from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviorist (Edited by Charles W. Morris). Chicago: University of Chicago (1934): 245-252 .

Mind Self and Society

Section 32  Organism, Community and Environment

Table of Contents

“RESPECTING the DIFFERENCE ” Nada Lou July 24, 2021   (emphasis added)



TAE – Thinking at the Edge – with subtitles

‘This video is about TAE – Thinking at the Edge introduction by Mary Hendricks Gendlin and Gene Gendlin’


TAE TRAIL ** with Nada Lou

‘Thinking at the Edge, (TAE) is a practice related to Focusing created by Dr. Gendlin. TAE is a way to think and speak about our world and ourselves by generating new language and concepts that emerge directly from experience. This DVD is following a teaching trail of one TAE teacher – Nada Lou. She traveled around the world to bring this practice to many people. Many beautiful scenes from around the globe are shown in film and photos and music accompanied by Goran Petrovic makes it an enjoyable viewing.’



MARCO” Gendlin says there, that to understand other points of view, that we don’t share, is a very important thing.
No matter how much we could be in disagree with another person, her resonance is important to us, because it is the complex felt significance of another human being.
NADA LOU “His sense of the “importance of the FUNCTION of the argument.” – you’ll find that on one of his Trails as well.

And in Focusing itself – in “listener’s shoes”. Listener does not need to “AGREE” with what Focuser is experiencing, but needs to reflect what was heard.  He says, “I would’t sign my name on the dotted line about this.” But is respecting the difference. “


Leslie Ellis, Serge Prengel, and Jan Winhall July 17, 2021

Leslie Ellis, Serge Prengel, Jan Winhall ~ 6 and 7 minutes video clips
~ Introducing their Integrative Focusing Therapy programme
during a presentation on July 17, 2021

How to develop moment-by-moment presence (6 minutes):

Difficult clients, difficult moments (7 minutes) :

How do we know what is happening for the client? (6 minutes) :

How to integrate mindfulness exercises (5 minutes) :

Do we explicitly share with the client that we’re doing Focusing? (7 minutes):

Is Focusing for everybody? (7 minutes):

The Experiencing Scale ~ References compiled by KH (July 17, 2021)


“In this article, I will present brief therapy excerpts and show exactly what part of a client’s statement, if responded to, is likely to lead to therapeutic movement. Client-centered therapists respond to “feelings,” but what this means when one looks at a client’s statement is not always clear. The theory and research on Experiencing are useful for specifying what can be responded to that is not yet obvious.

The concept of Experiencing (EXP; Gendlin, 1962, 1981, 1984) refers to a client’s immediately sensed, but implicit, experience. One feels “something” but one does not yet know what. In a High EXP process, a client attends directly to this implicit sense and thereby allows its verbal expression. This is a step of therapeutic change. In a Lower EXP level process, a client may fail to discriminate this initially vague sense and get stuck in an intellectual or repetitively emotive process.”

Experiencing Level as a Therapeutic Variable by Marion N. Hendricks, Ph.D. May 1986 
Article reprinted from:
PERSON-CENTERED REVIEW, Vol. I No. 2, May 1986 141-162
Copyright 1986 Sage Publications, Inc.

Introduction and Overview

Research on Experiencing

The Experiencing Process

Clinical Examples of Low, Middle and High Experiencing Levels



Implications of EXP Variable for Clinical Practice

Friendly Attitude





Self Image ~ Body Image ~ Body Schema ~ PolyVagal Theory 

Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® Lessons and Discussions.

Reference pages:
Appreciation for Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® at Corona Plaza Life:
 “I find the minimal movements during the lessons evoke meaningful learning.  I am more aware of that moment when my system is clear and open. I experience an instantaneous felt-sense of curiosity.  I can breathe more freely and see that situations are progressing, so I find a more positive view of life.  I am more and more aware of my learning as I continue the lessons with Katarina and Thinking in Movement teachers at Corona Plaza Life.  I am supported in translating the lessons into a rhythm for myself. Thus I find ways to be conscientious, the best place for my energy and endeavours to land each day, each week, and for each project.”
 –– Alfo Humano, Focusing trainer, Cordoba, Argentina (
“These Feldenkrais classes have really helped  me get in touch with my body, learn what it needs, how to calm my nervous system, and to ignite my innate energy.  Thank you so much for all the presence, attention, and teaching you have done.  I really appreciate it.” 
–– Laurie Brill, New Mexico


Potentiality / Creativity

(there will be an email or a reply at the bottom of the page each time new text is added)

Potentiality in Moshé Feldenkrais lessons for the Peter Brook Theatre Ensemble
Peter Brook 1973 lesson 7 
On the side, differentiation, twisting and zenith

[emphasis added below]

“23. Now stay there with your knees and heels separated and your left hand as it is. Now bring your right elbow in front to touch your left hand, your left wrist, just where it is, and point your fingers towards the sky. Now press your right hand [elbow], your right elbow on the floor ten times.
YOUR LEFT HAND IS NOT DUMB. It is not the palm that comes towards the floor, it’s the fingers, the fingertips. Press them into the floor with your right elbow, do some movements like that, ten small movements one after the other, and as you do so just observe what you do with the rest of your body. Be GENTLE. ”  (emphasis added)

“31a. Now turn a little to your right so you change position. Just a little, not too much. Have your legs however you want. Now, with your left and right hands; no, let’s start with the left. Try lifting your left hand, but do not move it.
No! That’s no good. You raised your hand like someone who is most definitely not omnipotent. He who creates the zenith, the North, and the left would lift his arm in the way that can be seen in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. God above reaches his arm out to Man. It is painted in such a way that the entire world can see how the power of creation passes to Man. So don’t move your hand. Don’t move. Do not move your hand! But let it lift like that of the most powerful man in the world. Do it like Our Father above. No, don’t do it. You don’t know how God does it. Nor do I, but there is a way of lifting that conveys the belief that a person has lifted his arm in order to give life to others. There. Gently. ‘
“Try and see. Imagine that your left-hand lifts to point towards the North Pole. Gently. Don’t lift your arm because when you lift your arm with the elbow straight, … don’t lift. Do nothing. Listen first. We are going to learn how to lift. If you lift your arm now, as you lifted it yesterday whilst picking something up, it won’t resemble the arm we see on the ceiling of that room which we all know about. Good. Gently. Close your eyes. ”


REFERENCE Martin Buber’s “Le Moi et le Toi” [Translator’s Note: “I and Thou”].

 Martin Buber I and Thou / Ich und Du / Le Moi et le Toi 
… published in 1923, and first translated from German to English in 1937.

REFERENCE: Zen in the Art of Archery
Wikipedia, “Zen in the Art of Archery (Zen in der Kunst des Bogenschießens) is a book by German philosophy professor Eugen Herrigel, published in 1948, about his experiences studying Kyūdō, a form of Japanese archery, when he lived in Japan in the 1920s. It is credited with introducing Zen to Western audiences in the late 1940s and 1950s.”


Click to access Eugen_Herrigel_-_Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery.pdf

Included is a lovely Cover photo

REFERENCE: Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam –
Sep 14, 2012 – Michelangelo, Creation of Adam, from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel×474.jpg

REFERENCE“Bento (in Hebrew, Baruch; in Latin, Benedictus)
Spinoza is one of the most important philosophers—and certainly the most radical—of the early modern period.”
~~ “His extremely naturalistic views on God, the world, the human being and knowledge serve to ground a moral philosophy centered on the control of the passions leading to virtue and happiness. They also lay the foundations for a strongly democratic political thought and a deep critique of the pretensions of Scripture and sectarian religion. Of all the philosophers of the seventeenth century, perhaps none have more relevance today than Spinoza.”


SF training (perhaps also Stanley Brown notes)
Esalen (Judith Stransky notes)
Amherst ~ many instances (notes to follow on this page)
David Bohm


REFERENCE ‘Feldenkrais and David Bohm’s Dialogue Model’
– From Feldenkrais Now’sdialo.html
“Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), an engineer with a Ph.D in physics and a martial arts expert, used to say “Our learning is the most important thing we have! ….. Of particular interest for me was that William was at an age when the struggle between “OMNIPOTENCE and insignificance”, which Moshe Feldenkrais talked about in …” (emphasis added)
‘Feldenkrais and David Bohm’s Dialogue Model’ :
Moshe Feldenkrais, Body and Mature Behaviour – A Study of Anxiety, Sex, Gravitation & Learning, International University Press Inc., 1949
” ” Awareness Through Movement, Health Exercises for Personal Growth, Harper& Row,1972
” ” Body Awareness as Healing Therapy, The Case of Nora, Harper & Row, 1977
” ” The Elusive Obvious, Meta Publications, 1981
” ” The Potent Self; A Guide to Spontaneity, Harper & Row, 1985
Transcript of The Feldenkrais Professional Training Program, Amherst, Massachusetts, Week 1&2,1981
~~ NOTES CITED IN THE ARTICLE ‘Feldenkrais and David Bohm’s Dialogue Model’ : 4- feldenkrais zeit, Journal für somatisches Lernen, Ausgabe 3, Loeper Literatur Verlag, 2002
6 -The Forebrain: Sleep, Consciousness, Awareness & Learning, An Interview with Moshe Feldenkrais by Edward Rosenfeld, Interface Journal, Vol. 1,No.3-4,1973, p 47ff
7 – Moshe Feldenkrais, Awareness Through Movement, p. 11
12- Amherst Training Program, 8 June 81, p. 2
24- Awareness Through Movement, p. 19
29- Moshe Feldenkrais, Learning to Learn , p.13
~~ QUOTES FROM THE ARTICLE ‘Feldenkrais and David Bohm’s Dialogue Model’ :
“As pioneers of participatory research into human consciousness both Moshe Feldenkrais and David Bohm were way ahead of their time. Very occasionally parallels between their externally so very different approaches were pointed out, – for instance in the late fifties (when David Bohm was teaching in Israel) by Gideon Carmi, one of Bohm’s students and later collaborators, a man who excelled in physics, music, and art, and also studied with Moshe Feldenkrais. “Carmi explained to Bohm that he believed in a deep connection between physics, consciousness, and these subtle, minimal movements. (32)” NOTE 32- Infinite Potential, p. 170
“David Bohm’s focusing on constructive thinking and Moshe Feldenkrais’s aiming at constructive intentional action – ultimately involve the same intensive yet relaxed attention.”
• Moshe Feldenkrais: “Do not concentrate – rather attend well to the entire situation, your body and your surroundings, by scanning the whole sufficiently to become aware of any change or difference, concentrating just enough to perceive this.” (35)
• David Bohm: “There may be a limited kind of attention, such as concentration, as well as an unlimited kind – the fundamental kind. Through such attention, we could move into more and more levels of the implicate order – the more general levels of the whole process. At these general levels, consciousness in one person differs very little from consciousness in another.” (36)
• “all those who come to really understand the Feldenkrais Method – may supplant the childishly egocentric impulse of necessity that is responsible for much of our incoherent and dysfunctional thinking, feeling, and acting.”
• “The explicit permission or even invitation to make mistakes – quite intentionally – in the Feldenkrais Method similarly leads to much more creative learning than any anxious striving “to get it right”.”
• Moshe Feldenkrais was equally convinced that holding on to the notion of an all-important ‘I’ or ‘me’ is infantile and ultimately dysfunctional: “Unless a stage is reached at which self-regard ceases to be the main motivating force, any improvement achieved will never be sufficient to satisfy the individual. In fact, as a man grows and improves, his entire existence centres increasingly on what he does and how, while who does it becomes of ever decreasing importance.” (24) NOTE 24- Awareness Through Movement, p. 19

REFERENCE The role of the asymmetrical tonic neck reflex
in the Moshé Feldenkrais lesson for the Peter Brook Theatre Ensemble
Peter Brook 1973 lesson 7 
On the side, differentiation, twisting and zenith
~~ quotes below from “How the Fencing Reflex Connects Life and Death, Primitive reflexes shepherd us into this world, and out.” Amanda Darrach, April 5, 2018
~”By the seventh month of my pregnancy, I sometimes felt a stroking motion on the inside of my abdomen, a repeated arc of movement traced by a tiny limb.”
~”My daughter Lucy weighed 6 pounds when she was born two months later.”
~ “Her wrinkled arms and legs stayed drawn in to her chest, but then one arm and leg would extend, the arm reaching out in front of her and sweeping out to the side, taking in the expanse of the room until she lay twisted like an archer. The motion already was familiar to me: the asymmetrical tonic neck reflex.”
~~ Link to the article

NOTE: the article quoted above(regarding asymmetrical tonic neck reflex) was also posted by Tiffany Sankary Wilkinson on FPAW ~ here are Tiffany’s notes
“There’s a porous boundary between reflex and reaction. We sometimes think of our reactions to crises as reflexive, but they are behavioral, originating from the less ancient parts of our brains. Reflexes, too, can be colored by experience. The neurologist Karel Bobath wrote that he favored the word “reaction” to describe an infant’s step reflex, in order to express the “variability and potentiality of adaptation to the different demands of the environment.” Touwen wrote that neurologists are not always strict about the separation between the terms “reflex” and “reaction.” Reflexes, he argued, do not exist separately from the world. He preferred to view the nervous system as existing in a “dynamic state,” one that grew “because of a continuous influx of energy and information.” The rooting reflex, for example, begins with a rhythmic side-to-side motion before developing into a complex function, a gathering-in of the breast. Whether “reflex” or “reaction,” Touwen wrote, these responses must be an “age-specific display adapted to the infant’s needs.”


From this sequence: De Anima Books II and III (With Passages From Book I)
Aristotle Translated with an Introduction and Notes by D. W. Hamlyn

  (emphasis added) 

402a23. First surely we must determine in which of the genera the soul is and what it is; I mean whether it is a particular thing and substance or quality or quantity or some other of the categories which have been distinguished. And secondly we must determine whether it is one of those things which are in POTENTIALITY or whether it is rather a kind of actuality; for this makes no small difference. And we must inquire also if it is divisible or indivisible and whether every soul is of like kind or not; and if not of like kind, whether differing in species or genus.

402b3. For as things are, people who speak and inquire about the soul seem to study the human soul only. But we must take care not to overlook the question whether there is one definition(L) of the soul, as of animal, or whether there is a different one for each, as of horse, dog, man, and god, the universal animal being either nothing or secondary; and it would be similar for any other common predicate.

402b9. Furthermore, if there are not many souls but only parts, should we inquire into the whole soul or its parts? It is difficult too to decide which of these are really different from each other, and whether we must inquire into the parts first or their functions, e.g. thinking or the intellect, and perceiving or that which can perceive (k); and similarly for the rest also. And if the functions come


TRANSLATION                               403A.11

first, the question might be raised whether we should inquire into the corresponding objects before these, e.g. the object of perception before that which can perceive (k,) and the object of thought before the intellect.

402b16.  It seems that not only is ascertaining what a thing is useful for a consideration of the reasons for the attributes which follow upon essences (as in mathematics ascertaining what straight and curved or line and surface are is useful for seeing to how many right angles the angles of a triangle are equal), but also conversely the attributes contribute a great part to the knowledge of what a thing is; for when we are able to give an account of either all or most of the attributes as they appear to us, then we shall be able to speak best about the essence too; for the starting-point of every demonstration is what a thing is, so that, for those definitions which do not enable us to ascertain the attributes nor even make it easy to guess about this, it is clear that they have all been stated dialectically and to no purpose.

403a3. There is also the problem whether the properties of the soul are all common also that which has it or whether any are peculiar to the soul itself; for it is necessary to deal with this, though it is not easy. It appears that in most cases the soul is not affected nor does it act apart from the body, e.g. in being angry, being confident, wanting, and perceiving in general; although thinking looks most like being peculiar to the soul. But if this too is a form of imagination or does not exist apart from imagination, it would not be possible even for this to exist apart from the body.

403a10. If then there is any of the functions of affections of the soul which is peculiar to it, it will be possible for



403a11                                        DE ANIMA                                  I. 1

it to be separated from the body. But if there is nothing peculiar to it, it will not be separable, but it will be like the straight, to which, qua straight, many properties belong, e.g. it will touch a bronze sphere at a point, although the straight if separated will not so touch; for it is inseparable, if it is always found with some body.

403a16. It seems that all the affections of the soul involve the body – passion, gentleness, fear, pity, confidence, and, further, joy and both loving and hating; for at the same time as these the body is affected in a certain way. This is shown by the fact that sometimes when severe and manifest sufferings befall us we are not provoked to exasperation or fear, while at other time we are moved by small and imperceptible sufferings when the body is aroused and is as it is is when it is in anger. This is even further evident; for men may come to have the affections of the frightened although nothing frightening is taking place.

403a24. If this is so, it is clear that the affections {of the soul} are principles (L) involving matter. Hence their definitions are such as ‘Being angry is a particular movement of the body of such and such a kind, or a part or POTENTIALITY of it, as a result of this thing and for the sake of that’.  And for these reasons an inquiry concerning the soul, either every soul or this kind of soul, is at once the province of the student of nature.

403a29.  But the student of nature and the dialectician would define each of these different, e.g. what anger is. For the latter would define it as a desire for retaliation or something of the sort, the former as the boiling of the blood and hot stuff round the heart. Of these, the one gives the matter, the other the form and principle (L).  For this is



I.1                                       TRANSLATION                            403b19

the principle (L) of the thing, but it must be in a matter of such and such a kind if it is to be. Thus the principle (L) of a house is, say, that it is a covering to prevent destruction by winds, rain, and heat, but someone else will say that a house is stones, bricks, and timber, and another again that it is the form in them for the sake of these other things.

403b7.  Which of these, then, is he student of nature?  Is it the one who is concerned with the matter, but is ignorant of the principle (L, or the one who is concerned with the principle (L) only?  Or is it rather the one who is concerned with the product of both? Who then is each of the others? Or is there no particular person who is concerned with the properties of matter which are not separable nor treated s separable, while the student of nature is concerned with everything which is a function or affection of such and such a body and such and such a matter? Anything not of this kind is the concern of someone else, and in some cases of a craftsman perhaps, e.g. a carpenter or doctor. The properties which are not separable, but which are not treated as properties of such and such a body but in abstraction, are the concern of the mathematician. Those which are treated as separable are the concern of the ‘first philosopher’.


​Line by Line Commentary on Aristotle’s De Anima Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D. University of Chicago Copyright © 2012 by Eugene T. Gendlin Published by the Focusing Institute
Gene’s Introduction, Books I and II [PDF]
​Gene’s Book III [PDF]


De Anima Books II and III (With Passages From Book I)
Translated with an Introduction and Notes by D. W. Hamlyn and With a Report on Recent Work and a Revised Bibliography by Christopher Shields
A Clarendon Press Publication

Clarendon Aristotle Series

PDF Hamlyn’s translation of De Anima,%20Christopher%20Shields,%20D.%20W.%20Hamlyn.pdf

AY 24 The body image, a lecture. ~ references and Quoting Moshe Feldenkrais

“If you want to read a scientific work that is accurate and interesting I refer you to Paul Schilder, a Viennese physiologist. In the beginning he was a psychoanalyst, but he wrote primarily about the physiology of the body image. He is the-man who introduced this concept. He showed that mentally ill people don’t have a body image that is reasonably normal. Their body image is distorted and not similar to a healthy person, for example some feel their arms much longer than they really are.

Schilder worked with the EMOTIONAL, PSYCHIC, and SPIRITUAL body images. There is the body. image from PHYSIOLOGY and the image THAT YOU SEE. All these images form through the personal experience of the person. They grow with the person. For-example, a child, whose hand was amputated at birth, has a brain with very few cells connected to the amputated hand. There won’t be any connections to feelings of heat, pain, pressure, or touch. Everything that person does uses only one hand so his physiological body image will be different from someone with two hands. When he learns to speak one language, American English, he will organize his tongue to say an “R” or a “W” like an American. His body image is different from someone who speak Arabic or Japanese. The differences between each occur according to personal experiences.

In a complete system that is balanced and developed, there is a realistic relationship among those THREE images – the image THAT YOU SEE, the EMOTIONAL image, and the image EXTERNALLY DEVELOPED from the FEELINGS IN the BODY. All three have a relationship. If someone walks without knowing the length of his arms or the distance from the arm to an object, he would get hit each time he walked through a door. He may burn his hand on a stove because he doesn’t know the distance between his hand and the hot stove. When I pass a door or a stove, I have a feeling for the distance. When I want to move from here to another point I have a feeling of the length of my arm. I feel where it is and what it is. I have a kinaesthetic feeling.” (emphasis added)

AY 24 The body image, a lecture. Awareness Through Movement® Lesson from Alexander Yanai @ Copyright May 1994. All rights reserved by and to the International Feldenkrais Federation, Paris France in cooperation with The Feldenkrais Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel

“If you take a person who does not know his image in the water – if you put someone who cannot swim and put them in water not deep enough to elicit a fear of drowning – you can see through his movements what parts of his body he doesn’t use or know. Most of his movement it will seem as he wanted to catch or hold something in his hands. His

legs will move as if he wanted to push to be sure he is standing. He TRIES to do IN THE WATER what he PREVIOUSLY learned to do on LAND. These are the movements that DISRUPT swimming. When he is in the water, he can only use familiar images of himself.

If he wants TO IMPROVE that, if he wants to learn how to swim, he must know what arms and legs really do in water rather than what he thinks he does. That is the whole secret of swimming.
(End of lecture)”  (emphasis added)

1 Schilder, Paul, Mind, Perception, and Thought, Columbia University
Press, 1942 "

AY 24 The body image, a lecture. Awareness Through Movement® Lesson from Alexander Yanai @ Copyright May 1994. All rights reserved by and to the International Feldenkrais Federation, Paris France in cooperation with The Feldenkrais Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel

Mind: perception and thought in their constructive aspects. P Schilder Columbia University Press, 1942

“In his earlier book on The image and appearance of the human body (see 9: 5693) the author clarified his general attitudes and principles concerning psychological problems. In this book the principles and results obtained in his investigation of the BODY IMAGE image are applied to the investigation of the principles of PERCEPTION and THOUGHT, and he extends the results and methods of modern psychology into a field not yet studied from this point of view.
(emphasis added)


PAUL SCHILDER ~ additional reference
The Image and Appearance of the Human Body: Studies in the Constructive Energies of the Psyche. Paul Schilder. Psychology Press, 1999 – Psychology – 362 pages. 0 Reviews. First Published in 1999. The_Image_and_Appearance_of_the_Human_Bo.html?id=L2CNWxKdWhMC

PAUL SCHILDER ~ additional reference
Psychosomatic Medicine: January 1944 – Volume 6 – Issue 1 – ppg 108-109
Book Reviews: PDF Only

PAUL_SCHILDER__Mind,_Perception_and_Thought_in.18.aspx __________________
“The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is one of two components that make up the nervous system of bilateral animals, with the other part being the central nervous system (CNS). The PNS consists of the nerves and ganglia outside the brain and spinal cord” https://

4 replies
  1. happybones
    happybones says:

    The Brain’s Sense of Movement (Perspectives in Cognitive Neuroscience)
    Alain Berthoz

    Transforming Body Image: Learning to Love the Body You Have Paperback – Sept. 1 1985
    by Marcia Germaine Hutchinson

    With appreciation to Rachel for sending this reference:
    The Brain’s Sense of Movement
    Alain Berthoz
    Translated by Giselle Weiss
    Series: Perspectives in Cognitive Neuroscience
    Copyright Date: 2000
    Published by: Harvard University Press


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