The Elusive Obvious

The Convergence of Movement, Neuroplasticity, and Health


Author: Moshe Feldenkrais
Forward: Norman Doidge, MD
Media: Paperback Book, 155 Pages

In stock

Scientist, martial artist, and founder of the method that bears his name, Moshe Feldenkrais wrote several influential books on the relationship between movement, learning, and health. In The Elusive Obvious he presents ideas that are more relevant today than when the book was first published, as current research strongly supports many of the insights on which the Feldenkrais Method is based. This beautiful new edition is ready to be treasured by an emerging generation of somatic practitioners, movement teachers, performing artists, and anyone interested in self-improvement and healing. The two main strands of the Feldenkrais Method—Awareness Through Movement® and Functional Integration®—are now known by many around the world for reducing pain and anxiety, cultivating vitality, and improving performance. The Elusive Obvious presents a thorough and accessible explanation of the Feldenkrais Method, and, as its title indicates, throws light on the solutions to many of our difficulties that are hidden in plain sight.

“The Elusive Obvious gives readers a sense of what it may have been like to be with Feldenkrais in person. Across the pages, Feldenkrais’s take on a range of topics is punctuated with flashes of brilliance (such as the exchange between him and anthropologist Margaret Mead), and occasional free associations, but he always circles back to his primary interest in habits, how we learn, and how to learn better or more gratifying ways of performing actions. It is here, in The Elusive Obvious, more than any other work of his that I know, that Feldenkrais makes clear the extent to which his understanding of brain plasticity informed his discoveries of how to help people, and it shows the firm scientific ground his method rested on.”

Norman Doidge, MD

From the foreward

Table of Contents

  • Foreword to the 2019 Edition by Norman Doidge, MD
  • Foreword to the Original Edition
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • The Organism
  • On Learning
  • Biological Aspects of Posture
  • The Body Pattern of Anxiety
  • A Second Look
  • Subjective and Objective Reality
  • Awareness Through Movement
  • Functional Integration
  • The Obvious is Elusive
  • In a Nutshell
  • Bibliography

"Harmonious, efficient movement prevents wear and tear. More important, however, is what it does to the image of ourselves and our relationship to the world around us."

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais

The Elusive Obvious

Read an Excerpt

From the Preface by Moshe Feldenkrais:

The Elusive Obvious deals with simple, fundamental notions of our daily life that through habit become elusive. “Time is money” is obviously a good attitude to have in business or work. It is not at all obvious that in love, the same attitude is the cause of so much unhappiness. We often make mistakes. We carry over from one activity to another attitude of mind that do not make life what it could be. Romance is obviously a fine thing. Romantic love is enchanting, but not so good if one partner is money-minded and the other is romantic. In time, they will finish at the psychiatrist’s or in court. Many troubled relationships come from inadvertently carrying over seemingly good habits of thought to where they do not apply. Somehow we behave as if good habits are always good. We think, or rather feel, that we need not bother about behaving otherwise. It is not so obvious that good habits can make us unhappy. It is an elusive truth. Yet habitual lack of free choice is often, nay, usually, disastrous. If you come across something obviously new to you, in its form at least, please stop for a moment and look inward. Working out new alternatives assists us to grow stronger and wiser. My editor tells me that I should free readers from having to think and look inward. I believe she knows what the average reader likes. I myself do not like predigested food. For you, the reader, I have added to the beginning and end of each chapter a short introduction and summary to facilitate your digestion so that you will find it easier to make what is elusive more obvious.


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