How not to be a slave


This is the fourth, and final article, on how to become the person you always were. Or, to use another terminology, to exercise your Personal Genius.

The first article in the series was Why it’s ok to be a bit weird, the second was How to be strange and the third was How to be unique.

This one is about how to get free of personal slavery. For, so long as you are a slave to opinions, to convention, to other people, to your ego, or to routine, then you cannot really be you.

For some free spirits slavery to convention is the worst. Which means doing what your parents and teachers always told you to do; or following along the mores of what the ‘right’ people do – the people you went to school with, or the people in your church, your company, your club, your neighbourhood and so forth. So that you end up speaking with the same accent, dressing the same way, behaving the same way, and, what is most despicable – judging, excluding or persecuting people who don’t follow that same ‘right’ way of life.

For other fans of enlightenment slavery to opinion is the worst. That means thinking the same way as the majority. Sharing the same newspapers, the same TV programs, the same politics, the same religion and the same prejudices. And although I don’t read newspapers, rarely watch TV, don’t vote and don’t subscribe to any single religion, I certainly agree that Headmind slavery can be a problem. In this respect I remind my readers that dumb thinking is one sure path to unhappiness and illness, as well as slavery.

Sceptics throughout history have argued that slavery to gurus is pretty bad too. But since I have also written about that subject in a prior blog article I won’t go over that ground again here. Likewise I have also written elsewhere about slavery to personal ‘bananas’, the ego, and personality.

Now I agree that if you really want to be someone worth paying attention to then you are going to have to ruthlessly discard conventions, ideas and obsessions you have always taken for granted. You are also going to have to get out of your comfort zone.  Although that is hard work (the work of a life-time, in fact) the rewards – in terms of personal fulfilment – are unspeakable.

But, for me, the worst form of slavery is the one most of us take for granted. And that is slavery to routine: doing the same things, in the same way, at the same time, in the same place, with the same people, every day. Right down to the way you dress yourself, eat your food, drive your car, do the shopping, surf the internet, walk the dog, take a nap, smoke cigarettes, have a drink and so on and on and on. So that life becomes a kind of mechanical, living death. So that you go to sleep and stay there. So that life just passes you by without you ever really exercising Awareness.

The reason this is the worst kind of slavery is that, in it, Bodymind dies slowly. And when that happens the brain loses neuroplasticity. Which means that the cells in the brain (as well as those 2 trillion cells in the body that communicate to it) either die off or become rigid. Which, in turn, means that you become a zombie incapable of changing, evolving, or learning anything new.

For me, slavery to habit is the basis for all the other kinds of slavery mentioned above. Simply because it keeps you asleep. Avoiding premature death is hard work but it is simple too. All you have to do is break one habit every day.


Most people are other people.  Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. Oscar Wilde.



Personal Genius II

Bowie Recently I have been developing a training which shows people how to recognise, channel and unleash personal genius.

Just to remind you, your personal genius is the inner daimon that drives you on to become the person you were truly meant to be.

It is expressed through the unique mix of gifts, talents, desires, inner compulsions and perceptions which make up the person you are. No one can duplicate it; it is your unique personal ‘brand’. Nor can you control it – rather your genius controls you and you are its servant.

You cannot be a genius, you can only try to express it.

You don’t have to be a creative artist to have genius. Your daimon may prefer to express itself in other ways: sport, caring for others, leadership, science, philosophy, civil rights, religion, communion with Nature, or technological invention – to name just a few modes of expression.

Expressing your personal genius is your personal ‘mission’ in life – the task you were born for. No one can do this but you. And if you fail to do it you will fall into inauthenticity. When your Bodymind (which exists to guide you towards self-fulfilment) notices that you are running away from your mission then it will create emotions like boredom and frustration. And ignoring those may well trigger the state of dis-ease which can damage your health.

Here are some questions that help you identify experiences in which your personal genius is at work:

Your models

Who did you most admire as a child? Who do you most admire now? The people you chose to model are unconsciously displaying the characteristics to which you most aspire. I have written before about this in Your personal myth.

Favourite art

Similarly, the books, paintings, sculptures, music, architecture reflects the moods and taste of your soul.

Your mentors

Who, in your life, has acted as a mentor, drawing out your inner potential. Your daimon is drawn towards like-minded teachers.


What are you drawn towards learning and practicing over and over again? For some people its a particular field of study, for others its an art-form like poetry, dance, literature. But the list is endless, from relationships, being with children, nature (including an attraction to specific localities), animals, the way things work, etc.

Peak experiences

Ecstasy is Bodymind’s way of telling you that you are moving towards self-actualization. The more frequently you enter into states of absorption. ‘flow’ and joy, the more closely connected you are to your genius.


What do you care about the most? Love? Justice? Purity? Personal rights? Freedom? Truth? Individuality? The values you are most passionate about tell us a lot about your personal mission.


Where and when have you most been truly yourself (good or ‘bad’)? This question is concerned with moments when you have taken a risk and spoken up about, or done something, that mattered to you – no matter what others thought.

I will be writing some more about this topic – its going to be a regular feature on this blog from now on so watch out for more.

Image by oddsock