"My creed"– Genevieve Stebbins System of Physical Training

The 1913 enlarged edition of Stebbins’s guide has been available for some time in electronic format on Google Books, but for those who prefer a physical book, Nabu Press now has reprinted the work which is available through Amazon and other online booksellers.  In the appendix, written for this edition, Stebbins summarizes the conclusions reached in her decades as a teacher:

This is my creed:

First—All faculties lie deep within the soul and are there potential as the oak in the acorn

Second—These faculties can not be manifested without the cooperation of the brain, each portion of the brain having its own function.

Third—Through the nervous system is established communication between brain and body; each function in the brain sympathizing with some part of the body, and corresponding surfaces also having corresponding meanings,—the upper with the upper, the lower with the lower, the anterior with the anterior, the posterior with the posterior, and so on.

Fourth—The psychic faculties are throned in the brain, the physiological functions find their seat in the body, and action and reaction between the two swings the great pendulum of life. Thus, when anger or love quickens the circulation and changes the breathing, we recognize the physiological correspondence to the psychic faculty which, if unobstructed, is further carried outward into pantomime. Per contra, the wilful expression of an emotion which we do not feel generates it by generating the sensations connected with it, which, in their turn, are associated with analogous emotions. Note, friends, this latter statement, for upon it is founded much of my teaching.

Fifth—When emotion has been stirred, from either within or without, impulses of expression are roused into action not primarily initiated by the conscious brain. This we term instinct or inspiration.

Sixth—Again the brain must step in and judge of the impulse, remembering it for future artistic use, otherwise the emotional impulse may indicate the wrong road to true art.

Seventh—Practice in guiding both intellect and emotion when attained, is the sure road to power.

Eighth—Absolute justice in rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s, must’ be the constant aim of the artist, if he would cultivate in himself those instincts of right which alone will enable him to separate the gold from the dross, the true from the false. This habit of right judgment in the daily life alone leads to true art.

Ninth—Trusting to his past work he feels he has stored his life’s lessons in this subconscious memory and can safely look within for his master, knowing that the light which shines there is for him the life-giving sun of his universe.

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