''What you don’t know can’t hurt you’’ is a saying that is as false as it is familiar. Ignorance of the internal process of our bodies can destroy us, and it does so regularly. Far better the dictum ‘’Know thyself,’’ inscribed on the temple at Delhi.
Usually it is the external world that absorbs our attention. The persistent pressures and challenges of our social and physical environment can keep us so distracted from ourselves that internal strains and imbalances can build up slowly and imperceptibly. Often a client with a painfully distorted body will look up at me and ask, ‘’How could a thing like this happen to me?’’
Of course, the answer is that the disability that eventually thrusts itself painfully into his awareness had been happening all the time, slowly, just beneath the threshold of his consciousness. If, during the course of this gradual buildup, he had turned his attention inward, he might have noticed what was happening. But adults rarely make use of their faculties of self-sensing. The turning of one’s attention inward is a powerful agent for change.
Focusing one’s attention is not simply a psychological act of passive perception; rather, it is a positive, physiological act. To gaze outward at a tree will not affect the tree, but to gaze inward at oneself is a radically different act that cannot fail to affect oneself. Something remarkable happens when we direct our attention inward. If a person stops for a moment and focuses his awareness on his left ear, the ear becomes highlighted.
Only a second earlier, it was submerged in an undifferentiated obscurity, but now it is limned by a neutral spotlight that causes it to stand out like a prominent figure against the obscure background of the rest of one’s body. Focusing awareness on one portion of the body is a most special sensorimotor action, because it not only mobilizes the sensorimotor system in one direction but it simultaneously inhibits its focus in all other directions.
This is to say that it is an action involving the entirety of the sensorimotor system and, thus, the whole of one's body. Just as we can face in only one direction at a time, so also can we focus our awareness in only one direction at a time. Self-awareness is dependent on movement. We perceive that which moves; that which doesn't move fades from consciousness. So any part of the body which is immobile because of chronic tension is removed from perception.
What we turn our consciousness toward may be either immensely complex or infinitely simple, but it is always toward one thing only. It is from this unidirectional focus, excluding all other directions, that the mobilizing power of directed awareness is gained. It is sufficient to recall the procedure of drawing a ‘’neural picture’’ of a shoulder, an action that allowed you not only to become aware of shoulder blade but to begin moving it.
Without self-knowledge, one is neither moral or rational. So the person who lacks true self-confidence doesn't trust himself because he doesn't know himself. He is unaware of his true motives, uncertain of his real feelings, and out of touch with his actual needs. And to know thyself with the learning of AEQ method is a proven way to approach the self.
Aleš Ernst, teacher of the AEQ method Level 5