Inhibition is usually seen as an exclusively negative trait; something which is there only to be broken or worked past in some sense. It is difficult to see inhibition as a tool instead of a drawback, but Alexander introduces the idea of considering it as such.

Toward any activity, there is inhibition; I am using this term, obviously, in a general sense (since all Alexander work is a “general” schema); the inhibition need not be defined or located; to note that there is some degree or kind of resistance, however large or subtle, toward the activity, is enough.

Once the inhibition has been noted, one can then direct one’s intention toward the activity in a better, less haphazard way. Activities that are routine – like tying one’s shoes – and activities that are extraordinary – like leaping from the top of one building to another – will both have some amount of inhibition associated with them. In both circumstances, noting the inhibition and directing the intention will produce a stronger and finer result, although, obviously, this difference of result may be more noticeable in the second circumstance.

Inhibition and direction: the dynamic between them is something like the dynamic between an avatar in a video game and the person playing the video game. Life mostly happens between these two poles, and it is very easy to forget that the poles are there. But by being aware of them, we can have a tool to aid in producing a better result in any given circumstance or with anything which we choose to do with a moment or with an impulse, whether ordinary or of the spirit.