“Abandon talk, say goodbye to your lower self; … grieve over your understanding; stop using it for evil purposes. Lower yourself in submission and become the beloved of every dwelling.”
—Excerpt from The Walled Garden Of Hakin Sanai, Tr. by David Pendlebury
e speak a lot about consensual slavery on the Humbled Females site and its difference from submission. This contrast is a very important one to us: it’s the difference between someone who serves of her own free will, i.e. when and if she wants to (even if she does generally want to, out of the goodness of her sweet heart and responsible conscience), and someone who serves because she must, because she is enslaved, because she has willingly taken sacred vows that she knows in her soul she will never break. A submissive can change her mind, she can walk free and clear away from the man she serves without a backward glance, if a “landslide” seems to bring the relationship down, in her eyes. This is not so for a willing and genuine slave who is not merely playing a temporary role. While half or more of what makes slavery work is the attitude and ability of the dominant man to enslave a willing spirit, the other half is equally important: the mindset, attitudes, and behaviors of the individual who desires to be owned and serve her owner for the rest of her living days. These include extreme loyalty, a strong work ethic, the ability to be perfectly content with one’s lot in life however low that may be–and not be too covetous of it if it is high. It also includes self control: the ability to curb or control the usual human vices which all are subject to, the ability to see someone else as being as real and human as oneself (i.e. not an object one manipulates or maneuvers around), and many other qualities. These qualities are actually forms of experiential intelligence, gained from studying life, seeing how it works, and paying close attention to others who clearly know how it works better than you do. To pay really close attention to others, the attention that over time yields so much, one’s ego must first be able to accept that there are others out there who, overall, know better than oneself, far better, in many cases. Not all people, even those who consider themselves slaves, can accept this fact. Something (insecurity, egotism, resentment, dishonesty, greed, lust for pleasure, pride, and the danse macabre these all engage in within one’s heart) keeps such individuals isolated in a dark, musty, aggrandizing, and self-referential fortress of the soul.
While some people are naturally drawn to slavery, often at an early age, and instinctually understand the basics of genuine service, craving with all their hearts to serve others with pure, loving, unselfish intent, others seem to approach this role from an unconsciously egotistical stance. It’s really, secretly, all about them and their experience and not about the person they serve. They go through the motions, they serve on the surface, but it’s not out of selfless love, nor even an intense liking or appreciation for one’s master. It’s rather a calculated strategy to get the “life goodies” some females feel are their due, but which may, for various reasons, be denied to them through more conventional pursuits or relationships. Worse still, pretend slaves often egotistically assume that everybody else acting like a slave secretly has the same treasonous attitudes they do. Slavery, they think, is, at its deepest heart, just a big pretense, just another life hack which involves fooling others to get more goodies for oneself. This article is probably not for those types, as while such a person will greedily consume words and concepts like the ones in here, she will do so only to add fresh fodder to her pretense, more fancy words she can trot out at will when questioned (as such people always are by astute owners) about her real level of devotion and service.
While no writer can control how readers might interpret their words or even transform them into something entirely different than was meant, this article’s “before the twisting” intention is to describe some of the attitudes that genuinely selfless people who desire to be good, devoted servants or slaves naturally assume. These attitudes seem only common sense to such people and also the only path they can trod through life and still be true to themselves. Not all women who have these qualities of understanding are slaves. But they are often somewhere on the continuum, working toward consensual slavery or perhaps just beginning their orbit around a man who fascinates them. My Master has a word he uses for all those true believers in this gamut who, no matter where they are in the process, exude understanding, passion, and fierce loyalty: they are acolytes.
On the road to a purer devotion toward the man one serves, there can be many difficult attitude changes to make on one’s own. These can be hard even to fully understand, especially if one is just beginning, as these ideas and practices are not taught or encouraged much in one’s surrounding culture. Grasping the importance of making these changes is half the battle. Once a truly devoted heart sees the benefits of making personal changes, all that’s left is to figure out the how: how do you, with the help of your master, change in ways that will benefit him (and, as it happens in this case but isn’t required, you, as well). You will benefit by becoming more selfless, more giving and loving, and a more pleasing slave to him. He will benefit from your becoming this better servant (more loyal, devoted, empathic, skilled, caring, understanding, and useful). It may sound like a lot of hard work. But the act of assuming these attitudes is its own reward: your life becomes much more peaceful and your path in life increasingly clear, as a result.
Fully serving another human being requires a mental shift, a change in your attitudes. Instead of focusing on what you do (I did this thing well, I thought that out poorly—alas for me), you try to remove your self, your ego, from this picture in order to focus more intently on the work at hand and whom you are serving. Doing this enables the one being served to see not only that you are serving him but also why you are really performing this service and obeying his will. In the early stages (and even later, to be truthful) attitudes count more than achievements. Anyone can fail at anything, as things outside of our control, like lack of experience, health issues, or bad luck, affect progress, but your attitude is something you alone control. It is also something that you can control no matter what circumstances you face, if you want to. Genuine and successful acolytes serve with a mindset of several attitudes, some of which are described below. If you are already serving someone deeply, and, ideally, someone who is fully engaged in mastering you (as one cannot serve fully in a vacuum), you will probably recognize a number of these attitudes. They are clear guideposts that you are on the right path. For those who are struggling with their service, some of these attitudes or behaviors might be seen as things to work toward, attitudes and behaviors that, when mastered, will remove all of their difficulties.
An acolyte must be capable of regarding the feelings of somebody other than herself as she would her own.
“A man engrossed in himself is neither brother nor kinsman.”
The unconscious egotism of many who desire or claim to be submissive servants is very obvious these days. When one speaks with or reads the writings of those who identify as submissive, it’s striking to note that often what they say is all about them. It’s all about their feelings, their confusions, their needs, their fantasies, their desires, their fears, what their men don’t understand about them, etc. Their master’s or potential master’s needs are nowhere to be found in these long, self-involved screeds. A good servant, even a new one just learning to serve another, will not be thinking of her needs all the time. She’ll be thinking about what her man’s needs and desires are, asking him about what he expects and wants, and looking forward to meeting his requirements or gratifying his desires. Her man and what he wants matter far more to a devoted acolyte than her own desires. And when she forgets what she wants and just goes with the flow of providing for him, she often finds that she is inexplicably happy whereas her own plans for self-satisfaction, in contrast, often leave her unfulfilled—or worse, wanting even more self-indulgence the next day.
An acolyte must be willing and open to learning about her faults.
“If you will not reprove yourself, you will not welcome reproof from another.”
A lot of people practice a “social skill” of appearing to be modest. They pick and choose minor faults in themselves to advertise to others as signs of their humility. It’s just what most humans do, we’re all used to this. It has appropriate social uses and is even a required role to play in certain situations—like in front of a king who is known for chopping off the heads of those who do not appear humble enough or if you’re desperately hoping to get some free money from someone. It’s a rare person, however, who can hear direct criticism from another and realize or vocalize: “My god, you are so right! I AM like that. I really DO that!” The ability to self-criticize honestly, where necessary (and it seldom involves advertising this to the world) provides one with the ability to hear and use criticism that comes from others that is accurate and true—and not just defensively or arrogantly brush it off because, of course, they cannot begin to know you as well as you know yourself.
If you can accept how someone relevant to you sees you, if an acolyte can remain open to considering her Master’s words as honest labeling with an intent to improve her rather than as vicious attacks which she must cleverly derail or oppose, while all the while “Yes Mastering” him, such a woman will start to see herself more clearly. She will have avoided that dark, smelly, and largely dishonest trap of self-defense at all costs. This may be painful at first, particularly if she has spent a long time hiding her personal faults from herself, but if she can realize that honest and accurate self-criticism is essential if she wants to up the ante of her service and her devotion to her master, she will bear the pain of reproof rather than discarding it as “worthless” or “dead wrong” or “silly” simply because her ego cannot bear to be criticized.
Not everyone is capable of self-blame or even its gentler cousin, self-observation. Some people are extremely insecure. Such types often become very wrapped up in protecting their egos (usually because they see, incorrectly, their egos as themselves rather than a somewhat useful factotum, an actor that allows us to more easily navigate the world). Such rigid, closed-off, and fearful souls cannot bear to entertain even small personal critiques. Others are so far gone in the depths of self-worship (which, more times than not, is sourced by a powerful hidden spring of insecurity) that it never occurs to them that it might be useful to watch themselves closely and to see their own mistakes or misunderstandings clearly—rather than deny that they have any. Such a person can possibly start to change this rigid defensiveness by deciding to find at least one thing she did wrong or thought incorrectly per day. Most of us can do that easily. It can be as simple as forgetting to get an item at the grocery store or interrupting someone because you were too eager to speak…or as serious as avoiding a necessary household chore and lying about it.
If you start with observing the little, inconsequential stuff, eventually the bigger things become both easier to see and also easier to bear. Often, the best time to do this review is in the evening, when you are in bed, readying yourself for sleep. As you close your eyes, think about the day’s events, starting with when you woke up: What did you do first thing this morning? Then what? Who did you talk or type to, where did you go, what did you do inside your home, what did you think about the things you did or observed? Did you get everything done that you wanted to? Most of it? Was it a fun day? Why? Was it a terrible day? Why? Was it unexpected in some way? What were the thoughts or concerns you had at various times that day? What interesting ideas came to you? What unusual things did you see? Did you go to work? Run some errands? Cook a meal? Did you disappoint someone? Please somebody? Confuse them? Did you drop anything you promised to do? Or forget to do something? What words did your Master speak to you today? Perhaps you can also see some small areas (they don’t have to be huge or life-changing) where you can improve something, do it differently the next time. For me personally, these small things often involve forgetfulness. I tend to focus exclusively on one thing and often lose sight of the big picture: all the other things I had planned to do that day.
An acolyte serves another person with loyalty and dedication.
This is most true (and, ironically, least regarded) about intellectual pursuits or outside attractions. As a loyal servant, you follow your man’s ways, you agree with his ideas and adopt those of his practices that are relevant to you as your own, you do not seek out alternative “masters” in pretty forms, including attractive current ideologies, other people’s ways of doing or looking at things, cliques, groups, thought systems, political stances, philosophies, social media trends or fashions, and other things that are outside him or not endorsed by him. You might bring an idea or a way of doing something to his attention and ask him humbly what he thinks about it. But if his opinion is not too high on the matter, a good acolyte accepts this and doesn’t let a stubborn ego get all butt-hurt about it. She realizes this lifestyle is not “all about her,” not about being constantly pampered, pleasured and complimented.
To a true acolyte, one’s master is all, everything. He is the most fascinating individual in the universe. His ideas trump any others and, even if in the moment other ideas seem more attractive, you still accept his, by default, as better and wiser than anything you have found on your own. For some of us, doing this can be quite an exercise in outwitting a stubborn ego. Due to its recalcitrance toward the bigger picture and ravenous greed for attention and accolades, one’s ego can ruin everything if you give it full rein. If you cannot be loyal to your man’s ideas (that is, not secretly counteract them with your own), you are not really serving him. It’s all lip service.
Ask yourself this: if you truly believe a different set of ideals and values is higher than that of your master’s, then what in the world are you doing claiming to serve him? True loyalty to another involves the ability to put aside one’s baser “everything I know is right” attitude and accept that, like most humans wandering this earth, you know very, very little about almost everything, including anything deeply important, and your most urgent need is to learn more and understand more so that, unlike the proverbial tarot card “The Fool,” you don’t stumble off the cliff of reality because your gaze is focused solely on the empyrean heights of your self-perceived intellectual reach. Realizing how little you actually know has strong survival value: it makes you far less of a target for the world, far less of a sucker just waiting to be punched—or robbed and flattered blind. By knowing that you do not know, you can observe more accurately what is actually going on around you rather than seeing it through the glowing mists of the latest Beautify filter for the ego. And by acknowledging that your man knows more than you (why, exactly, are you serving him if he doesn’t?), you reopen a door to learning new things that, depending upon your personal level of ego-bloat, may have been closed to you for years.
An acolyte rids herself of the concepts of “her possessions” and “her time.”
A genuine acolyte regards herself as a steward of the things around her and that she uses, not as their absolute owner. She remembers who the owner is. Servanthood and stewardship are complimentary traits. For one thing, we are expected to be trustworthy in both. The most important thing required of any servant is that this person be faithful to her owner or master. This includes handling the resources entrusted to her. It helps to ask oneself at times, “How am I handling those things and affairs that belong to my owner?” Are you taking care of your man’s possessions in the ways he prefers? Are you making his abode a pleasant, clean, healthy place to live in or do you tend to be a slob, carelessly leaving mess, dirt, stains, clothing, and crumbs on the floors, and bad smells wherever you go? If you are unowned, what does your house look like and smell like at this moment? If it is nice, is that due to your own efforts or to someone else, like a maid service you bring in because you can’t be bothered to clean? What does the hotel room look like when you check out of it? People who are selfless and care about others tend to leave physical things in the same or better shape than when they got them. They consistently and regularly tidy rooms in their homes, even rooms little used, to make them pleasant to live in, cheerful, clean, free of dust, smelling good, and as nice for others to be in as possible. They neaten their hotel room before vacating it, not leaving horrific food messes on the bed, towels scattered everywhere, or an unflushed toilet for some poor minimum wage worker to deal with. They think about others’ experiences as well as their own, because they care about other people and their quality of life, even if they do not know them. They also don’t want someone to be horrified or disgusted at them for their foul or filthy ways. This should be even more true for a slave serving her Master, no matter how well they know each other. Familiarity should breed respect, not contempt, or (often worse) disinterested apathy. His comfort, his aesthetics, his desires for a pleasant home are, by the true acolyte, paid intense attention to and made realities, even if it means she doesn’t get to occupy herself with diversions and recreation as much as she wants to.
To become a service-oriented acolyte and an excellent steward of one’s owner’s possessions and environment, you must remember that it is impossible to serve two masters. You cannot fully serve your own desires (or laziness) and give sufficient attention to the duties entrusted to you. Something has to give. Living to serve and living for yourself and your own pleasure are two mutually exclusive goals. Which one will you choose as coming first, always? If you are a servant, you can’t moonlight for yourself. All your time belongs to the one you love and serve. Thus, a genuine servant is far more concerned about serving then about satisfying her own desires. Genuine, experienced dominant men know this well and will look into your soul as you express it daily in your external actions and words. They will see clearly where your strengths and weaknesses are; where your loyalties lie, what you really think about him. A good Master, as the ruler of your soul and body, will take care of your needs, but the focus of the relationship always remains on the desires of his heart. If that were not so you would be the Master, not him. Or you would both be striving to live in a perfectly egalitarian hell (hell, because it is fraught with constant discord), like most conventional couples. A lot of females posing as slaves or as deeply submissive secretly feel that that their personal desires should always trump their owner’s desires for them. (Oh, I’m just not “feeling” this bathroom cleaning today! Instead I’m going to play avenging angel on my favorite social media sites, and give some deserving “enemies” some hell. I’ll set a timer so that five minutes before he returns, I can do a superficial speed clean.) While few people are honest enough to spell this attitude out to themselves so clearly (most people pleasantly fudge when doing something wrong) others, like their owners, can see this inner attitude clearly through the ways in which they act…and, of course, don’t act.
An acolyte sees every type of service as an opportunity, not as an unpleasant obligation.
Acolytes are people who are deeply submissive and enjoy helping people, meeting the needs of the ones they love, and, in particular, doing whatever their masters, dominants, or husbands require. They serve with gladness, and deep joy. A genuine acolyte sees the unique and rare opportunity she is being given: to fulfill her desire to give and please through serving her master. She sees service as her highest use in life: the only way to be made whole and complete. A master can develop a willing acolyte’s submission and make her a viable part of his vision. A good acolyte becomes an extension of his will. The mind and body she has turned over to him become, in one sense, part of him: she has allowed her master to extend his reach by giving him her intelligence, talents, body, and labor.
The positive ways a good acolyte thinks about this are remembering that “We’re all on the same team and our goal is to make him look good, not ourselves. We each have been given different duties, as we each have unique talents, experience, and strengths that this man can utilize (or not) in whatever ways he sees fit. Therefore it makes no sense for two different people, let alone the two servants of the same man, to compare themselves with each other as if one were better and another worse.
As part of the “opportunity, not obligation” mindset, an acolyte must pay far closer attention to her own responsibilities than to what other servants—whether fully owned by her master or not—are doing or not doing. The only exception to this is if he has ordered a servant to direct her attention in this way. Not all of us are the single slave or submissive of a single dominant man. There are others in his circle whom we hear about, maybe wonder about, maybe even meet or eventually live with. Even if we are the sole servants in our homes, many of us cannot resist the urge to visit BDSM or fetish discussion sites and rather smugly (at least that’s how it feels to me!) compare ourselves to the “terrible” servants others. If the man you serve is exceptional and highly visible, he will attract the eye of other submissive females. And if he is also a man who enjoys owning and keeping multiple females, you will be or become just one of many. In such a situation, a good acolyte doesn’t compare, criticize, or compete with others or their accomplishments. She doesn’t necessarily do this because she has been ordered to (although that is often the case as well) but usually this is because her soul, devoted to and constantly thinking about her man’s happiness, is far too busy doing the work that he has given her. She doesn’t feel the need (born of idleness, insecurity, and competitiveness) to spy on her sister slaves and will not do so unless she has been explicitly ordered to. She is living to serve. This phrase is something of an old canard but there is a golden kernel of truth in in. A genuine acolyte gets intense pleasure from serving, no matter how difficult, demeaning, or boring the tasks may be. She’s deeply enjoying it because she’s thinking about how pleased or comfortable her master will be with the end result, even if he never says anything about it.
A genuine acolyte finds such fulfillment in simple repetitive labor, such quiet joy at making the life and abode of the most important person she knows better, that the egotistic need to compare herself with others seldom, if ever, surfaces. That need to compare often arises from insecurity, boredom and, quite often from a secret awareness in the so-called servant of her own poor performance in serving: how she cuts corners, how she tries to find legitimate excuses to get out of certain chores, how she trains herself not to see the messes around her, even the ones that she herself makes, so that she doesn’t have to clean them up, and so on.
Two or more acolytes competing with one another doesn’t make any sense, particularly if they are the servants of a man who has made it expressly clear that he dislikes this behavior intensely. The positive ways a good acolyte thinks about this are remembering that “We’re all on the same team and our goal is to make him look good, not ourselves. We each have been given different duties, as we each have unique talents, experience, and strengths that this man can utilize (or not) in whatever ways he sees fit. Therefore it makes no sense for two different people, let alone the two servants of the same man, to compare themselves with each other as if one were better and another worse. That is for our lord and master to judge, not us.” Ideally, if you are busy serving, you just don’t have time to be overly observant and critical: you’re too involved with your own assignments. (The only exception to this that I can think of is if you have been ordered to observe.) A good acolyte will keep in mind that any time spent criticizing others is time and mind energy that could have been spent in service to her man. Remember when you experience tough times, as we all do in life: do not to lose your servant’s heart nor your loyal, devoted focus on the happiness and fulfillment of one person: your Master. Real acolytes do not complain of unfairness, do not have have constant self-pity-parties, and do not resent those not serving with domestic labor (for example, a pleasure slave). They just trust in the wisdom and understanding of their masters and continue serving. And normally, what happens when one does this, is that the master recognizes their contribution and lets the good servant know that he knows about her self-constraint and attempts to build good feelings toward his other servants, even if they themselves are jealous, competing, slacking, or always expressing dark, bitter, disappointed-with-life moods.
An important point that can be missed by even the most loyal slave is that it is not her job to defend herself against criticism. Let one’s master handle it, which also means dishing it out to you, if he feels you deserve it. If you are truly humble, you can and do expect to be criticized. All servants are. We aren’t born knowing how to perfectly serve the unique man we find ourselves with. We have to be open to learning his ways and preferences, not forcing our own ways upon him, even with (what we imagine to be) nice, pleasant, helpful “suggestions.” (Those suggestions are often the work of an overly large ego or a controlling spirit who thinks her ways are always the best ways, her likes the things all other people should automatically like, her dislikes things all others, including her master, should respect.) Avoid that type of naval-gazing, the “I’m the only legitimate being in the universe” thinking that a deeply selfish, self-absorbed individual engages in. It is the kind of thinking that is me-focused and incapable of seeing others, even one’s man, as having equal or more worth than her own “lovely” self. Such a person, should she ever try to pass herself off as an acolyte, is a living lie. You might see a lot of these types in BDSM and fetish social media, where they boast about the their sour, control-freak, ugly, feminist, one-upping ways toward their masters—but they will insist they are 100% slaves… and don’t you ever forget it! You can actually learn a lot from such an individual: a lot about what never to become like.
An acolyte must be able to forget herself, to “unself herself.”
There are certain ways of thinking that people devoted to serving someone naturally assume, if they are sincerely motivated to serve and devoted to the one they serve. You may see something of these traits in people performing other self-sacrificing roles (firefighters, doctors in third-world countries, caregivers of all types, and other people doing dangerous, difficult, or thankless work of all persuasions).
Have you ever noticed that when you become really involved in an object of interest, a project, or other endeavor, when you are totally fascinated by it, you almost forget that “you” exist? All that exists is the thing you are focused on, the thing that is intensely interesting to you. Those who love to be servants or slaves automatically focus most of their attention on another, not on themselves. It is often such an intense focus that they almost forget they exist as a separate being, a separate consciousness. They are thinking constantly about what will please the one they serve. This form of humility is not, as some would imagine, a person thinking less of themselves or having a self-hating inferiority complex. Instead, such people are usually more than fine with themselves. They are simply confident enough in their own worth to realize that in some situations they are far less than others. In particular, they are far less important than the one whom each serves.
This is an important distinction to make clear, for so many people unthinkingly equate the two. Hating oneself, however, is a rather selfish and self-absorbing project. So what if it’s negative? It’s still “all about you.” In fact, when you are self-hating, you are, paradoxically, a far bigger egotist, because absolutely everything and everyone outside oneself is related to oneself, reduced to being oneself. Other things, other people even, are simply accessories, tools, extensions of your self-hate. A despicable you is still you, you, YOU, and intense self-hatred is often an indicator of an unhealthily large ego: an ego that has simply turned to another fuel to support its need for being the center of the universe. You are still turned inward, only thinking yourself, which is where the problem lies.
People who forget themselves, in contrast, have very little to do with emotional self-flagellation, except perhaps when they see they have disappointed someone. They focus on another, not on themselves or their “delicate” feelings. Their attention is on how another person feels, not on how they feel. This is true humility: it’s not fetishizing ourselves as less (a path that leads to a different form of egotism) but agreeing that we are less and then not giving this simple fact any sort of peculiar emotional weight. Less important. Less self-centered. Less self-involved. Less reactionary. Less judgmental. To really serve someone, even to successfully lend a helping hand, you need to, for at least a time, forget yourself and your needs. The helping needs to come from an inner generosity that glories in another’s pleasure or ease, not a private scheme to “get in good with the top brass” so as to receive favors and attention from them later down the road. Someone who has truly forgotten themselves doesn’t care about rewards or future good times because, at this time and place, they do not exist. The only things that exist are the task at hand and the beloved person they are doing this task for. This is what it means to “lose your life”: forgetting yourself in service to others. When we stop focusing so much on our perceived needs, we suddenly have free attention capacity to become aware of the needs of those around us…and then sometimes comes a strong desire, a desire that seems almost divine, to serve those needs.
When was the last time you emptied yourself of your self-regard for someone else’s benefit? It is possible to be temporarily of service to others if you are full of yourself. As mentioned before, one’s ego can turn this into a big, pleasurable “look at how good I am” session. But it is impossible for an egotist to keep up this self-aggrandizing “service,” day in and day out. Self-centered people tend to slack off, forget their promises, forget their duties, even forget why they are serving in the first place, because what they crave, at heart, is constant pleasure, compliments from others, and a life of ease and indulgence. A good acolyte works hard to eradicate what is actually a grasping, gluttonous, pleasure-loving ego. She knows that it is only when she forgets herself and her self’s needs that that she is able to put full and dedicated focus on the things that deserve to be remembered: the things that allow her to serve to the very best of her abilities.
Unfortunately, a lot of our service is often self-serving. We serve to get others to like us, to be admired, or to achieve our own goals. That is manipulation rather than real service. All that time we were supposedly serving others needs, we were really thinking about ourselves and how noble and wonderful we are or how many bonus points we were building up in the other person’s bank of regard. It’s service, in a sense, I suppose, but it is not pure, and because it is based on the sands of self-regard and it is likely to collapse if the external rewards one is getting for the service (praise, money, influence, and so on) disappear.
Other people try to use service as a bargaining tool: “I’ll do this for you, if you’ll do something for me.” Real servants don’t try to use the one they serve for their own purposes in a “this for that” exchange. Instead, they let themselves be used, even used up, accepting his will as that of their own, without asking for anything in return.
The quality of self-forgetfulness, like an ability to be absolutely faithful, no matter what, is extremely rare. Thinking like a servant is difficult because it bumps up hard against the basic problem of human nature: I am, by nature, selfish. I think most about me. That’s why humility must be made a daily struggle, a lesson a genuine acolyte must relearn over and over. The opportunity to serve confronts you dozens of times a day, times and situations where you are given the choice to decide between meeting your needs and desires or addressing the needs and desires of others. Thus, humility and its bedfellow, frequent self-denial (for a good reason), can be and should be at the core of servanthood.
We can measure our own willingness to serve, and gauge the loyalty and obedience of our hearts, by how we respond when others we have chosen to obey actually treat us just like what we are: servants. How do you react when you’re taken for granted, bossed around, ignored for long periods, or treated as an inferior? If you are unowned and someone takes unfair advantage of you or treats you roughly or in a way that hurts your feelings, you can use your response to this as a gauge of your emotional readiness to practice a life of service. Yes, in some cases, you have to do something about this in the real world (although not always, particularly if it’s a passing minor incident like an insult from a stranger or a misunderstanding over something trivial). Just try not to let your ego get involved. Try hard not to react with outrage. Try not to plan or take revenge even if you’re sure the offender well deserves it. Just… Let. It. Go. Move on. Think or do something else, preferably something useful. Once you’ve done this a few times, you’ll find it’s easier and easier to do in the future. And practicing “just letting it go” until it becomes barely an inconvenience can build another essential and sterling quality in a slave that can never be faked for long: graciousness.
An acolyte bases her identity upon the one she serves.
Some of the sections above described the sort of person that secretly believes she is the only real person in the universe. Everyone else is just an object around her, to be used and manipulated as best she is able, or, if she can’t, then she either ignores or opposes them. This foolish (foolish because it always end in disaster—for her—howsoever differently she “spins” it later) version of solipsism is the opposite of the inner attitude of a genuine, loving, and giving acolyte. A good acolyte remembers that she is accepted (and, perhaps loved, if one’s owner wishes to) by grace, and thus she doesn’t have to prove her worth with grandiose displays of superiority or feel threatened when she is provided with lowly tasks. Many people are too insecure to become willing servants, however much they crave the moral high ground and admiring status this gives them. They are afraid that their weaknesses and insecurities will be uncovered, so they hide them with layers of protective pride and much pretense.
There are numerous profound examples of happy and fulfilling service one might perform with a secure (but not highly exaggerated) self-image. One might be toilet service by a non-fetishist (somebody who does not eroticize this behavior): serving as a receptacle for one’s master’s waste, or as a instrument to clean him or his toilet after he is finished. You may not personally like this act (only a few narrow-focused fetishists tend to eroticize this behavior) but deeply appreciate the opportunity to serve a man worth worshiping in any way he wishes, even if it is uncomfortable or difficult for you (the normal taboo against this sort of thing might be precisely why your master wants to engage in it with you). A second example might involve massaging and washing feet as a lowly servant. Washing feet is often viewed as the equivalent of being a shoeshine boy, one of the lowest jobs and devoid of status, and also harkens back to the maundy of Mary Magdalene, the penitent former whore, who, despite others’ approbation, humbly washed her (spiritual) master’s feet. A third example might be having to orally service a really hot girl (or at least one hotter than oneself) that your master is using for his pleasure—and then later told brusquely to exit the room so that they can privately enjoy one another. These examples are at the more extreme ends of service. More common might be any simple chore that one feels intellectually or emotionally above doing: something that is “beneath you” or “not worthy of your skills and knowledge base.” (Can you hear the haughtiness in these phrases?) Or perhaps one is given a job that is very physically or mentally exerting and takes a great deal of time and tedium, perhaps months or years, to accomplish.
The temptation to avoid perceived low-status, tedious, or large, extensive chores is something a genuine acolyte struggles with and wins, for pleasing her man is far more important to her than avoiding a difficult or unpleasant duty. She will work so hard at physical chores that her muscles may ache for days afterward. She will toil in the hot sun, if required, until she’s dizzy and bug-bitten. She will perform the most boring, tedious, repetitious, even dangerous work, if it serves his purposes. She does all of this cheerfully and without complaint or concocted clever excuses about why she cannot. She does this because she not only adores her master but identifies with him and his desires so strongly that she sees herself as merely an extension of him, an appendage to be moved or a tool to be used, at his will. This is deep and true identification with one’s owner, a state that only a few servants are capable of achieving or even willing to strive for. She still likes relaxing, she still needs rest, she still enjoys pleasant experiences, but an acolyte’s desires take backseat to her master’s: she likes even more doing his will, even if it is very hard on her and not the least bit fun. She learns how to ignore the hardship and not whine about it incessantly in her head with the tedious and repetitive drone of the selfish: “It’s Not Fair!” “Why Can’t I…” “Why Does He…” and above all: “What about ME? My needs. My desires. My time. My pleasure. My rest. My indulgences. The flattery due me.” On and on this harsh, buzzing whine might spin in a so-called servant’s head. The plaints of the profoundly selfish are endless and they rise, like foul-smelling fumes, from an inner bottomless black pit, whose walls are caked in the emotional equivalent of excrement.
If you are going to be a good acolyte you must, in a sense, merge your identity into the man you serve. Only a secure female can serve in this way because only the secure find it easy and comfortable to let go of what we call ourselves—a pre-packaged identity, most often built from the unstable twin pillars of ego and insecurity—and become whatever and whoever it is our masters want us to be, no matter how strange or difficult it is. Only someone secure in her identity as a servant of others will passionately love giving up her formerly cherished illusions, the palace of fantasies and lies she has built around her great wonderful self. She will love and find fulfillment in whatever ways she is ordered to serve, even if her duties are at a far lower status and skill level than she is capable of. She will love them even if they are boring or painfully arduous because she loves being of use to a great and wonderful man. Much of the work given a useful servant can be seen by ignorant outsiders as extremely boring, hard, things to be avoided at all costs. But something a genuinely devoted servant realizes is that by doing her tasks regularly and consistently she is either (a) saving someone else she loves that time and difficultly or (b) saving that person from the time and difficulty of having to constantly remind her to do her chores or (c) saving that person from the sour experience of constantly being disappointed in her performance. One of a good servant’s duties is to save her owner from the tedium of having to do such things himself—at least the ones he doesn’t want to do or judges to be women’s work. He shouldn’t have to “pay” for her labor with compliments, nights on the town, presents, or other special favors. If he does, how is she any different from an ordinary housewife, or worse yet, a common whore who must be paid for her services?
A good acolyte also knows not take things too far in the opposite direction: it is not for her to judge what new activities should comprise her work, if they have not yet been assigned to her. There may be a very good reason for their non-assignment. She knows that new duties (aside from common-sense cleanup when she makes messes) are for her man to set and direct. Doing work not assigned to her that she doesn’t even know if he wants her to do—and she doesn’t bother asking about because she assumes she’s always right—is a common beginner’s mistake. It often comes from good intentions and a desire to be helpful but the individual’s ego is still too much involved in the mix. In choosing what is useful for her to do and what isn’t, she neglects finding out if this is actually a useful activity for the one she serves. (There may be many reasons why it isn’t.) Here’s an obvious example that probably no sensible woman would do: vigorously and loudly vacuuming the house at 2:00 in the morning when her man is sleeping because she has insomnia and wants something to do. No consideration is being shown for him and his desires in such “service.” It can be a fine line to walk between doing too little and doing too much, but it’s also very easy for someone serving a strong, deserving man to find that line and stay on it: she stays alert, not sleeping in a “I already know everything” lazy ego-somnolence, and simply asks him, as frequently as is needed and using simple common sense, if a certain activity is something she should do at this time.
A negligent acolyte, on the other hand, is one who thinks of herself and her own pleasure first and always, even when purportedly serving a man. She secretly (and often she is in total self-denial about this, as well) worships at the Temple of Me. Although part of that pleasure involves lying to herself—telling herself how hard-working and self-sacrificing she is as she lays about doing nothing except feeding her cravings—she will find all sorts of excuses for avoiding or cleverly slipping off unwanted work. She forgets. She just stops doing a regularly assigned task out of the blue. She imagines her work is another slave’s job, even though her master has given her no such information. Or she does the converse: she assumes some other servant’s assigned task, equally out of the blue, either because she’s really not paying attention to anything or because she wants to see what mischief this will cause. Or, when she experiences a one-day emergency or obligation like a dental appointment, something that causes a slight change in schedule and allows a lightening of her duties, she then slyly sticks forever to that lightened schedule, as if it were the rule rather than a single exception.
If, on the other hand, a servant bases her worth and identity upon her relationship with her master and in responsibly taking part in the fulfillment of his will, she will find that the more she works for him, the more fulfilled and happy she is. She will not be constantly on the lookout for ways to shirk, ignore, and avoid her duties and responsibilities. She will not find herself bored with her work, because she’ll be too busy paying close attention to the details and thinking about how happy the man she serves will be with the results. Boredom and resentment are the emotions of a more indolent and self-centered individual, someone who is still primarily amusing herself with the egotistic fantasy that she is a deeply obedient slave—while in reality she couldn’t care less about anything that is not connected to satisfying her own desires. This can be a subtle and very self-deceptive trick of the mind, seldom noticed, but it’s critical to identify it, either in one’s acolytes or as an acolyte who is striving to do better.
Genuine servants don’t have a need for physical display. They don’t need to wear an expensive or impressively slavish collar, dress themselves in hot fetish latex/leather/lace fashions, or show their loyalty to the one who owns them by constantly kneeling when others are present (unless, of course, one’s owner has ordered this behavior). They don’t need to verbally show off online and display to the world how superior they or their masters are. Genuine servants tend to find fine clothing, a beautifully appointed room, lots of the latest electronic toys, plentiful and fine-quality kitchen appliances, a nice car, a filled-to-the-brim larder, and other visual status symbols as not only unnecessary but rather crass. Such individuals never measure their worth by their salaries, past achievements, or physical possessions. Some devoted slaves do not think they own anything at all, because their masters have told them this. Instead they are just temporarily using the things their owners have told them they could use. (One could say that all of human life is this way: we come onto this planet, stay a short while, use a few things while here, get to know a few other souls, and then, in a few dozen years, disappear.) A devoted slave gets immense pleasure and self-worth in the moment, quietly and largely anonymously serving her master, making this one person’s life better and richer. She remains in the background until wanted, and then enthusiastically serves when called, hoping to put a smile on her owner’s face. Why would such a person need to brag about herself? The only approval that has any meaning to her comes from her Master. The closer an acolyte gets to her owner, the less she feels the need to promote herself (and denigrate others so that she can feel better than them). She does not expect recognition for what personality traits she has managed to acquire, what great feats she has accomplished in her life, or what she thinks she “owns.” If all is well with Him, the person who matters most in her life, all is well with her—and she will do absolutely anything to keep things that way. For a good acolyte, her ultimate goal is that everything she does be a reflection of her master’s will and desires. She feels as though she is a part of him: an appendage he can use at will for whatever purpose he desires. This experience is quietly profound, born of extensive, loyal untiring service, and does not magically come to anyone who just wants to imagine that they can feel it.
An acolyte must realize the truth of the statement “you get nothing for free.”
When you want something important, valuable, or rare in life, you often have to pay for it–in various ways. When an acolyte serves the one she is devoted to she considers many more things than payment, than “how is this act going to make me feel?” The manner of giving, the effect of the giving on both individuals, the thing that is given—all these elements must be taken into account. Yes, anticipation of how you feel is sometimes an element of the experience (although at other times, you may not have time to remember to anticipate), but, if you’re experiencing the giving fully, your personal experience, including gratification, is only a small part of it. If you don’t consider the other elements involved in giving, particularly the effect the gift will have on the one it’s given to, and if it’s all about how good something makes you feel, one’s act of giving is much like being a blind person at a fireworks display. You think you’re having the experience because you hear the booms or smell the gun powder and hear gasps of amazement and pleasure all around you, but the real show is actually far beyond your ken.
A core requirement of a consensual slave and a true acolyte is to regard the one she serves as greater, better, more important, more deserving than herself and to behave according to that understanding by always putting that person’s needs, desires, feelings, and thoughts first. This is expressed by noticing, really noticing (through careful listening, observing, and, most of all, asking) what the person you serve really wants from you, and then providing that, whatever it is, even if it isn’t what you imagined or planned upon giving, even if it disappoints you because it isn’t what you expected you’d be giving. A second behavior is to observe his general likes and dislikes and accept them all, not just the ones you happen to share or agree with. You fully accept all of his tastes, even the ones that seem strange or uncomfortable to you, even the ones that make you feel jealous or left out. Giving is, at its core, about offering something that you hope (or know, because he’s said so) will make the one you offer it to feel happy. It is not about picking out with your “great sense of taste” what you imagine he should like (if he were as tasteful as you, that is) and then patting yourself on the back over what a great giver you are.
The general rule for gracious giving, at least in the West (in the East these habits are known to be much more extravagant and profound), is that if you really want to give something that will be appreciated, you carefully study the individual’s tastes, ask questions at unsuspecting times and contexts, and explore in detail who this person is and what he likes. You do diligent, careful research. (This is assuming the current cultural custom that the “gift” must be some sort of surprise is in place where you are.) But if you really want to give your master and owner something he’ll appreciate, the very best way to accomplish this may be just to ask him what you should get him or do for him and then accept that completely, even if he tells you not to give him any gifts. Instead of being sad over this, it should be a matter of twice rejoicing: 1. He trusts you enough to be perfectly honest about his tastes and attitudes toward gifts, even though these may be so unconventional that, with other people like his family, he might have to fudge and pretend something entirely different and 2. You know that despite disobeying a cultural imperative to “give a gift” at certain times, you are doing precisely what pleases him the most (and that, truly, is the greatest gift of all).
In every walk of life, you pay for what you get, not always with money, but with time, suffering, effort, or the loss of something else of value. This seems to be a general rule of human existence on this planet. If you are utterly determined to be crazily wealthy, there are payments for achieving this, some obvious, many subtle. If you are really determined to be someone’s appreciated, devoted acolyte, a payment for this state also exists. That payment is that you must become who and what the individual you serve wants you to be, not what your ego imagines you should be. This is sometimes called aligning with one’s Master, and it cannot be genuinely done without a certain form of selfless giving that comes directly from your heart, more specifically the part of you that relates deeply to your man’s interests, desires, goals, and pleasure and wants them always to be fulfilled, even when it means yours go unfulfilled. At times, the payment for abandoning one’s egotistical sense of self-regard is light; at other times it can feel back-breaking. A lot depends on how much inflated ego one initially brings to to the table: sometimes that balloon is just too fat and full of itself to painlessly lose even a single ounce of hot, self-congratulating air. A woman who knows she must live this type of life and isn’t constantly vacillating back and forth between his desires and her pleasures, reduces her self with joy and abandons herself to service for as long as the man she serves wishes and for as long as her body and mind hold up. This self-reduction and abandonment of ego is a great joy to those who are genuinely suited for a life of slavery.
An acolyte is capable of extreme loyalty…to the end.
This one is a requirement, and not just the requirement to keep a sacred vow to the one you serve, but a requirement for a rich, fulfilling, and deeply happy life from which one can depart with a smile on one’s face and with absolutely no regrets. It is, in essence, a lifesaver. At the core of the deepest forms of loyalty is intense gratitude, gratitude toward someone or to a life that gives you so much that you could never give yourself. That latter emotion is one of the most useful and productive emotions to cultivate, no matter what your status or role in life. (Just ask Michael J. Fox, an entertainer who has undergone much difficulty with an ever-worsening case of Parkinson’s disease, but lives with it as if he were madly playing his infamous “Johnny B. Goode” solo to a disease that would utterly halt or at least slow down and deeply depress most people.)
In the late 1970s, at the start of the modern feminist movement, a very popular singer with a voice like a thrush, a woman who thrilled her audiences with her soulful performances, wrote and performed a song that became an instant hit upon release: she was Stevie Nicks and the song was Landslide. The melody is hauntingly beautiful but the lyrics put one in a mood of proud self-righteousness over the destruction one can cause others as one cuts a swath through life, thinking only of oneself and one’s (so-called) needs. The song, at its core, is a glorification of the usual tawdry and self-serving mid-life crises that so many people go through and that tear apart lives and families that they have spent years building. Someone gets bored of their lover, of their domestic situation, or of the “just you and me” and “let’s build a family” memes that used to be so important to them, and they want out. Or they find out that a youthful delusion that their partner was perfect and nothing would ever be stressful or go wrong has been smashed–and so, of course, that means the relationship has come to an end and one must seek out a “more perfect” partner. In reality, most such people are just bored: they may have a very good situation, but songs and media and even their own friends make them restless, wanting even more or at least something newer and more exciting.
In these times, at least in most developed cultures, opting out of responsibility and connections is extremely easy to do. Nothing in these permissive, “You are Number One” times forbids it. Even though such a break can have considerable legal, social, and financial obligations, many are willing to pay those prices for a shot at what they think is the only way to inject some novelty into their routine and boring lives. Most people who get the itch for “something else” give up on the person they’ve spent so many years with, shared so many moments of joy and pain with, and experienced so much simple, quiet, happy living with, in order to assuage what they imagine is restlessness, boredom, an unmet itch that has to be scratched: a need to ramble in search of new endeavors, new lovers, new careers, new possibilities, and new experiences. The insidiousness of this slightly sad, melodic song and its brilliant vocal presentation is that it makes the listener feel that betraying everyone one has ever loved (and who loved you back) and ruthlessly tearing down all the things one has worked so very hard to build is somehow a noble endeavor, rather than the lazy, indolent, shiftless coward’s way out. It’s a total lie, this song, but the music is so moving that many who hear it believe the lie. (I sometimes wonder how many thousands or tens of thousands of relationships this song has helped destroy.) So what is the truth that the song denies? In my experience, it is that staying with something or someone, sticking it out through thick and thin, is what takes you deeper and deeper, into new and amazing realms. You are no longer just a water strider, flitting about on the surface of the pond of life, you are diving in and exploring the depths of a relationship with another person that doesn’t end at some arbitrary point determined by boredom or comfort, but just gets deeper and deeper. In doing this, you discover many treasures. Truly it is said that “deep in the sea there are riches beyond compare. But if you seek safety, it is on the shore” (or on the surface, if you are a water strider). Yes, this can be frightening to do. But diving deep into life and with people can be immensely exhilarating and one of the surest ways in which one can grow and change, rather than stagnate in comfortable but static self-referential navel-gazing and restless, never-content wandering.
When one believes the “landslides happen” lie, one generates self-serving reasoning: the destruction “just happened.” It was an act of nature, certainly not my fault, it was bound to happen, it was destined. Actually, breaking an otherwise solid relationship asunder or not doing the work to maintain it are not accidents, not acts of nature that just happen out of the blue, they are born of human volition and often stem from an always-take-the-easiest-path personality who has led a self-indulgent me-first life for far too long. In one sense, “landslides” are fulfilled destiny: one’s persistence in uselessness, self-centeredness, and self-flattering narratives generates its own consequences. From the eyes of a devoted acolyte, this is the deepest of betrayals: the act of someone who is utterly focused on herself, someone who cares only about shaping and molding her own experiences to enhance her own pleasure—a slothful attitude which she self-flatteringly covers up with terms like “personal growth” or “following one’s path” or “destiny.” And in all this me-firstness, there is no sign of the man she swore to give up her life to serve and to please. Needless to say, this is one of the most horrific and deceptive works of musical art I have ever heard. It wallows in self-serving insincerity while spinning these despicable emotions as noble, honorable endeavors or realizations. And, sadly, some people adopt this pretty tune and its ugly values, perhaps unthinkingly buying the self-serving rationale for destroying their relationships with others whenever things get a little difficult or require a bit of work and self-reassessment.
A genuine acolyte senses in her deepest core that this back-stabbing behavior is the path to destruction, the fruit never to be tasted, the Pandora’s box one is forbidden to open. Once she opens that box, once she lets her inner ego-demons out to fully feed, once she betrays those who rely upon her service (and who provides her with possibly ignored and scorned but very real sustenance and benefits in exchange), she will try to steer a dark, confusing, unlit course through life, a heading from which there is almost no hope of course-correction later because, rather than being guided through rough waters by a sane and knowledgeable navigator, she’s now become a small skiff without a clear direction, a plaything of the constantly changing moods and whims of the chthonic seas.
At first, the sun may glint off the tips of the ever-moving wavelets of life, firing one’s imagination, making one think of gold and treasures beyond compare will soon be within one’s independent, intelligent reach, but in most cases, it’s just a pretty illusion. Even if one’s material wealth increases and one’s imagined hungers and needs are all apparently “satisfied,” in the end, the dark clouds begin moving in. It may start with questions: What does this raging feeling of hunger and emptiness mean and why does it remain, even when I’ve got everything? Why does life seem so dreary and old, so cynical and worn out? Why don’t my former simple pleasures satisfy me anymore? One eventually realizes that the rudder that once steered you truly is broken due to lack of knowledge about ship repair: the sail is ragged and eaten with holes due to years of neglect when one was too busy serving oneself. It’s impossible to navigate without the stars, and when was the last time the sky was clear? One may no longer remember.
The bilge is filling, the ship wallows lower in the sea, and the waves have become enormous and even violent, spilling roughly over the deck—and perhaps this may remind the errant acolyte of the similar dire situation she was in before she first became a great man’s servant. Finally, there is no longer anyone worth following that she can find who is willing to help and even if there was, her reliance on and pride in only herself, a trait that has blocked her from learning all these years, would make it impossible for her proud ego to recognize a situation that is right for her. She peers dimly outward, but like most self-referential egotists, all she sees is herself. To her, a person whose facial expressions and speaking tones now reflect only years upon years of greed, pride, superiority, anger, and self-indulgence, demons are perceived as angels, and angels are seen as horrid demons. She is completely lost, and it won’t be long before this particular ship sinks, filled to the brim with the overripe fruits of disloyalty, selfishness, and irrationally high self-regard.
An acolyte is genuine because of what she knows, not what she believes or how she acts.
“Without knowledge there is no certainty that behavior is right, and no guarantee that belief is real.”
– Idries Shah
Actions can be faked. Beliefs are often forced upon us when we are young or assumed as ego-ornaments when we are older. Actions and beliefs change with passing personal, social, and political seasons or alter based on experiences or new lusts. But knowledge (as opposed to tawdry cousin, “information,” that likes to pass itself off as the more modern alternative) is something permanent: something that becomes a part of who we are. Per Webster’s Dictionary, it is an “awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.” Experience is the key word here.
Humans are animals and a major part of our large mammalian brains is something you might call “legacy software.” It’s concerned with survival, dominance, acquiring the things it needs (or thinks it needs) to live successfully and be happy. This software had value in earlier, more primitive times. But like all legacy software that has been around a little too long, these human mental systems are old, clunky, meant for different times, bug-ridden and do not respond well (if it all) to the complex, modern challenges that thinking, social animals, like ourselves, face. Two of these outdated but still successful survival strategies are behavioral displays designed to evoke certain reactions from others (such as awe, admiration, fear, avoidance, agreement, or desire) and the adoption of belief systems that, like anything fashionable, an individual assumes makes them somehow better, more attractive, more knowledgeable, or having an edge over others who lack the given item (in this case, the belief system). Religions are a prime example of belief systems, although they are only the most obvious example. A person without a religious belief system can easily hold other, equally irrational ideas which get a total pass in her brain because they don’t fall under the more-obvious and easily-critiqued “religious” category.
Behavior is easily faked. It is done millions of times a day in attempts by humans to get what they need or want, be it money, adoration, praise, attention, job promotions, a sale, favors, fame, a good meal, a hot date, etc.. Anyone with enough motivation and information can fake being a genuine servant, a true acolyte—at least for a while or in front of some audiences. Why would they do so? Well, for one thing, it’s a marvelously high-status role for those attracted to a dominant/submissive relationship to fake in a world that increasingly doesn’t believe in saints, martyrs, and holy recluses. In these irreligious modern times there are increasing fewer ways of standing out as pure, holy, saintly, or “better than thou.” Sad to say, some females are attracted to the role of serving as an acolyte not because of a genuine or natural vocation to willingly and happily expend oneself the service of another, but simply because they love the odd sort of status it incurs in certain social circles. They love lording it over others. They love appearing as the ultimate, most pure form of humble servant. You can spot these individuals by the way they talk about their peers when they let their guard down and are not fully “in role:” they’re often the types that have something vicious and denigrating to say about everyone they know—except themselves.
If you watch closely and think about what you see, you’ll notice that a lot of people involved in dominance and submission fake things. They put on behavioral displays that signal some special interior magic they wish the observer to assume that they have so that said observer will bow to their awesomeness. They wear certain clothes, or display items such as collars, tattoos, cuffs, brandings, baldness, exotic whips, wild hair, sexy fetish outfits, or other things that supposedly signal “I’m deep and extreme.” Or they act inside their peer groups like they imagine good slaves (or masters) act. A self-identified slave will do the kinky equivalent of “virtue signaling” along the lines of: “See how I superficially politely I speak and act? See how gracefully I kneel? See how well I argue with the unwashed masses who know nothing of how wonderful my lifestyle is? See how I so carefully and patiently explain the “right” way to do things and the best ways to think to the ignorant and confused? See my social-media reports of how my master beat me last night replete with photos and videos? See my saintly tweets with the unwashed and confused masses about what submission is? With all this, how can you possibly doubt my authenticity?”
Some have acquired the additional vice of imagining that because they think of themselves as slaves or are called slaves, they are saints by association. Without really “walking the walk” they just magically know all there is to know about loyally and lovingly serving another. This kind of female never knows what she doesn’t know because she never imagines that her great and wonderful self could not already know something. How does that old rhyme go? Here’s one version: “I am a master at Balliol College, and what I don’t know just can’t be knowledge.” This “knowledgeable and pious servant” goes through the motions very well and might be able to put on quite an act in public. She is a label collector, a badge wearer, a social media contacts/audience collector, not a person who is deeply passionate about service and serves because she loves her master and wants to make his life happier or because she gets deep fulfillment from her work. In contrast, genuine slaves are often far too busy working for their masters to have much time for grandiose social media pursuits and, when they do take that time, it’s usually because they have been ordered to do so, not because they want to be admired or known by others. Most genuine acolytes abhor a life lived in public—they would much rather be invisible, known only to their masters, if given that choice. In contrast, public attention is the very thing a veiled egotist adores.
A genuine acolyte is a female who doesn’t rest on her laurels (or labels or status), doesn’t use what she is to boast or show off to others. Instead, she quietly tries (without display or show, even to her master) to constantly learn more so she can improve her service to the man she adores with all her heart. You can tell by closely watching an acolyte’s behavior over a period of time whether her heart is genuinely into serving or whether she’s just doing this for the ancillary goodies, which could include the praise and worship of others, a comfortable living, high standing in social circles, the ability and self-endowed license to stalk, make fun of, brow-beat and brutalize others who are not as saintly as her, and the ability to feed her never-ending self-centered lusts: be they for physical hungers or less material things like praise, ego-stroking, and status.
But what about belief? Isn’t piously spouting from memory the current version of dominance and submission or master and slave theory that one subscribes to proof that one truly is what one claims to be (in this case a pure, serving acolyte)? Unfortunately, memorizing the theories, postulates and principles of a body of knowledge to the point where you can recite them at will when prompted is what one does when cramming for a test. It’s no indication of the bearing one’s inner nature is taking or the nature of the true object around which one’s heart orbits. Just because somebody believes something doesn’t mean that that this person actually practices it or has absorbed it so deeply that it has become a part of herself. Quite often, belief systems are merely personality flourishes someone displays to others in order to appear cool: pretty feathers in one’s ego-cap.
Generally speaking, belief systems in modern times—be they religious, political, social, or otherwise—tend to be comprised of superficial, surface-level automatic reactions and behaviors rather than deeply and passionately lived experiences, constantly tended to and carefully thought about. Belief systems, particularly the ones popular in the time one lives in, definitely make one’s ego feel good because they give you something bigger or better than yourself to identify with and a gang of others you can band together with and identify as your pack because they think the same way you do, and… well, that’s usually about it, despite grandiose “Emperor’s New Clothes” claims of happiness, enlightenment, deep knowledge, and self-improvement such systems tend advertise for themselves. Then there is the problem that, usually (although not always) those people who talk a good game about their given belief system often cannot, when it comes down to the wire, walk the actual walk. They do not consistently act in a way that demonstrates that they really accept or believe what they mouth. Talking the talk but not walking the walk can have numerous sources, such as:
- Approaching something for all the wrong reasons (theoretical vs. practical; greed- or status-based vs. a desire to care or give back, etc.);
- Imagining an unrealistic, ideal, all-my-problems-will-vanish fairy-tale outcome despite being warned against building such castles in the sand;
- Bringing to the belief system an enormous ego that cannot conceive that any idea it considers or practices could possibly be wrong–hence it is easily led astray; and
- A general inability to see the world, the things in it, and even oneself very clearly or realistically—because one’s favorite self-aggrandizing fantasies always take precedence, and paint the world (including any adopted belief system) only in the colors one wants to see.
Many high-sounding and passionate beliefs that look so lovely and structurally firm from a certain distance are created from these poor materials, these mental and emotional building blocks made of sand. Thus, many beliefs or entire belief systems that unprepared individuals adopt are often assailable by outside forces. They crumble to pieces, because there are no firm foundations of experience holding them up: all that is at their foundation is the belief-holder’s personal desire that her subscribed fairy tale (in which she is always the beautiful, misunderstood princess who eventually comes to be regarded as the wonderful creature she actually is) magically be true. Such deluded souls are enthusiastically marching down a path to perdition, as it is based on a disastrously bad map and a false orientation that they chose usually because of uncontrolled desires for adulation or attention (or other chaotic and unconscious cravings that tend to rule such minds). They “wanted it to be so”—and so it is (or, rather, seems to be). No, simply believing isn’t enough. Not nearly enough, especially for the deep level of service we are speaking of in this article.
So what is knowledge? It’s more than just facts or information. In this context, knowledge usually consists of verifiable experiences you have had and and information that you have acquired, understand, and remember. One’s experiences have to be correctly interpreted (or digested) in order to be of use. If your master corrects you for misbehavior and your conclusion is a melodramatic “He hates me and wants me to leave!” you probably lack the necessary background and experience to interpret the correction properly. Knowledge is not merely information. It involves the assimilation of information into a coherent whole, a pattern, something which is often termed, “experience.” Knowledge is informed and enhanced by experience, especially relevant, direct, first-hand, real-world experiences. Knowledge involves exclusion as much as it does inclusion. To be knowledgeable, you may have to remove many unworkable, unproven ideas, fantasies, and theories from your mind (these often come in through books or online reading, not experience). Avoiding these flawed biases and sticking always with what works here and now, in real life, with your master, is the way to succeed as slave: you trust in that which you have experienced directly and is practical reliable, and repeatable. Compared to mere information which may or may not be right, particularly if you don’t know the source, knowledge is priceless. It, alone, lets you navigate successfully through life. A genuine acolyte knows through her life experiences (not through reading a sexy novel) that she loves serving. She isn’t imaging service to be a non-stop orgy of pleasuring her personal desires, feeding her ego, and indulging in sensual indolence. She knows service is about working for someone else, not for herself, and she fully accepts this because she acquires qualities and experiences that are precious and rare in such service. To use an old-fashioned term, she is “transformed” by it.
To acquire knowledge requires the ability to see clearly what is directly in front of one’s face—and also to accept it, whatever it may be, not denying it by calling up a preferred belief-system or fantasy to counteract it. For this reason, knowledge tends to get in the door only when the sensitive and prickly sides of one’s ego are carefully controlled and dampened. The ego too often sees only what it wants to see and often becomes outraged when it is required to see something else. Formal belief systems are often ideal for a sensitive ego. They only claim to have a strong connection to actual truth (at least as we experience it in this world) and some people who accept their claims love the “easy path” they offer. Nothing needs to be thought about carefully, nothing proven if you merely “believe.” Knowledge, in contrast, does have a strong connection with reality, one that, unfortunately, strikes certain minds as dull and boring—not to mention hard to practice. So they shun it. Knowledge, if it is genuine, requires proof, and obtaining proof takes work—something some people avoid at all costs, because they’re all about their own immediate pleasure, not about working to understand something. They lack the breadth of mind to imagine the vista of pleasure and knowledge that hard work, particularly for a great cause or person, affords in the long run. Thus, knowledge which is more difficult to obtain and thus valuable is often rejected in favor of the shinier, easier-to-consume baubles of preferred beliefs and ideological systems—especially belief systems that allow one to justify and even glorify one’s personal laziness, self-indulgence, lust, or greed.
When you actually have knowledge about a subject then you really know it, at least that part of it that you have acquired. You have experienced it, lived it, experimented with it, worked with it and laid beside it. It has benefited you and frustrated you, and you’ve learned many things from it. Through this experience, knowledge becomes a part of you. You are intimate with the subject because, unlike an intellectual pretense, donned like the latest fashion only to be discarded when nobody cares about that particular faddish idea anymore, knowledge is now in you and of you, forever yours to call upon.
Probably the thing that makes genuine acolytes stand out from all the rest claiming that role with displays of behavioral signaling and showmanship is the quiet sense you get from them as you watch them in their modest day-to-day activities and encounters, where nothing is to be gained from display, that they really understand what service is all about. They understand the mental part (the willpower and the rewards) and the physical part and their steadfast remembrance and performance of their regular assignments as well as their willingness to volunteer for extra work when they see it needs doing is very apparent. They pay careful attention to and acquiesce to their master’s desires and preferences, even when those counteract their own tastes or come at bad times. They don’t “conveniently” forget their regular duties or assigned tasks the following week. They don’t demand their masters “pay” them for their duties by having to personally remind them, constantly, to do them. This is because a genuine acolyte has abandoned a certain childish level of selfishness and self-worship that puts herself first before others and has consciously and maturely adopted an attitude of responsible stewardship: clear concern for her master’s welfare, health, and wealth; very little concern for her own, except where it may impact her service to him.
Before committing, she asks herself things like: Can I bear a life of service, performed without expectation of thanks, payment, rewards? How have I behaved in other relationships and, if it was poorly, what makes me think I’ll be magically different in this one?
On Becoming an Acolyte
Below are some short points further describing the practices of genuine acolytes. These points (as well as what came before) might sound difficult to some reading this who are used to a more casual form of service. Assuming your man is happy with the current level, you have nothing to worry about. But if you have signed on to be the type of servant to a man that is described in this article, a servant to his every desire and command, then it is important that you learn to acquire the grace, willingness and large, generous spirit of the genuine acolyte—the passionate slave of his temple. It’s the only thing that will keep you consistently (and with a loving, generous heart) doing his will.
What follows are some ways of behaving that genuine acolytes, true servants of strong men, tend to follow. Some of these will resemble what’s already been written about above, but in a shorter, more digestible form. Others might be new. Either way, the more you can assume these traits and the more you desire to assume them, the better servant you will someday make a man. Some of these points may describe things you can practice alone or practice with a more conventional partner. You may be surprised at what results from this. But if you enter into a relationship with a very controlling man and take sacred vows to become his trusted servant and acolyte, to please him in every way you can, do consider cultivating these attitudes and practices.
* Genuine acolytes have both the desire and the ability to change for their masters already in their hearts. Even if an acolyte starts out with some bad habits, she values nothing as more important than serving her man, without expectation of constant rewards for service or the special attention women in conventional relationships get from their mates. One common example of this is that the acolyte who carries some extra weight who then loses that weight for her man. She takes responsibility for this weight loss so he doesn’t have to police her or nag her like a parent with an errant, willful five-year-old. She finds ways to continue to lose weight until she reaches his goal for her. This is not always easy: food addiction can be as hard to break as a drug or alcohol addiction. She doesn’t slack off unless she’s been given special permission to. She also never goes on self-indulgent eating binges to “punish” him for some perceived fault, like a perceived lack of attention, attention she automatically but incorrectly assumes is “her due” or even “payment” for being his slave.
* A genuine acolyte is honest to herself about what she really wants. It takes an unusual person who can be honest enough to admit that they are not acolyte material, that they want something or someone a little less strict. But it saves everyone involved a lot of time, work, and heartache if a potential acolyte does an honest self-assessment before taking sacred vows involving absolute service. Before committing, she asks herself things like: Can I bear a life of service, performed without expectation of thanks, payment, rewards? How have I behaved in other relationships and, if it was poorly, what makes me think I’ll be magically different in this one? Do I have the strength of will to stop thinking constantly about myself and my own pleasure? Do I still selfishly pursue my own cravings and desires and make these my number one priority? Am I capable of just quietly doing what I am told without pouting, getting grumpy, only half-completing my tasks, or feeling resentment or disappointment for not being constantly praised? Is enslavement supposed to be all about good times, gifts, and flattery for the slave, or should the Master be benefiting most from this arrangement? So, how, exactly, am I benefiting him…and is it enough? Am I making his life happier? Putting a smile on his face? Or do I perform just the bare minimum that lets me slide by?
* A genuine acolyte learns how to find pleasure in hard work. She discovers, if she doesn’t already know, a deep fulfilling enjoyment in working for her man, including doing the lowliest of chores or the ones that are physically difficult. She discovers the secret joys of labor that her more lazy sisters have absolutely no clue about nor interest in. She has a strong work ethic but she doesn’t go around boasting about it. Normally what inspires such egregious “I’m such a good slave” boasting is an attempt to cover up laziness and sloth. Slaves who quietly do all they are told to do feel no need to boast about it. Their actions speak for themselves. But some individuals work on the principle that if you speak of something frequently and loudly enough then even if it is totally false, people will eventually start to believe it. Unless, of course, that person is very perceptive and hip-to-the-bullshit master who is watching what you do vs. what you say as self-promotion and quietly, without your knowledge, forming his own conclusions about your worth.
* A genuine acolyte thinks frequently, lovingly, and happily about the man she serves. He is, to her, the Prime Purpose of the life she is living. Thoughts of him occur throughout the day, even if she has a lot of things on her plate, like mentally rigorous employment outside the home that requires deep focus. The thoughts often involve ideas about pleasing him in the future and they make her very happy. Why? Because she adores him with all her heart and soul. He is what her mind and feelings gravitate toward when she has spare time. This kind of thinking is natural and habitual to somebody genuinely in love. Before you meet a man you want to serve you will often have fantasies about what the service experience will be like. As you have these fantasies, prepare yourself for the idea that the right man for you may require a very different form of service from you than the one you are fantasizing about. Try fantasizing about different forms of serving, things that require you to give up pleasures or preferred acts and ways of relating, and imagine honestly how you would respond to them. Do you really have the soul of a devoted servant, a true acolyte?
* A genuine acolyte will bend over backward to put a smile on her man’s face. She will go to great efforts to make him happy and pleased with her. She’s always looking out for things that might help him achieve his goals or become greater, but she is careful not to overstep her bounds, and always asks Him if it would be pleasing before she implements something new. She doesn’t give a damn what happens to her, she only cares about maintaining herself, with minimal cost to him, so that she can serve him fully. Her idea of self-maintenance does not stray into the realm of self-indulgence. Sure, she has desires for things that please or enhance her, but when she has these desires, she honestly admits what they are and asks her Master if she can indulge. She never secretly takes or buys that which he has not directly said she can have. She is not a thief. Someone can start to practice this virtue long before she meets a man she wants to serve. Practice denying yourself things that you want and can afford in order to experience what it will be like to not always get something you want when you want it. Give yourself a taste of denial. Watch how it makes you feel inside. These experiments, if done genuinely, over things you really want, can tell you a lot about your current ability to sacrifice for a man. No, everything isn’t going to be magically different when you are in his presence: old, self-indulgent habits are strong and it takes a long and determined battle to quell them. Don’t be lazy and assume your future master is going to want do all of this hard work for you. Most masters expect their servants to have at least a minimum ability (that can be built on) to exercise self-control.
* A genuine acolyte is honest with her master, even when it is very hard. She admits to her flaws and weaknesses, she tells him when she is having trouble with something, and, not surprisingly, she gets great relief from his wise guidance, even if she must suffer his disapproval. Under no circumstances does she regularly hide things from him. Practice this early, once you meet a promising man. Tell him something that is hard to speak of but is also important for him to know about you. Don’t put it off for a “better time.” That time will not come. Now is the best time to get something off your chest. Maybe it embarrasses you. Maybe you fear it will make him reject you. Nevertheless, tell him. The more you practice openness and honesty with him, the easier it will become to be honest about hard things later on. Most men worth serving require absolute and complete honesty in their servants. If you were in their position would you want someone concealing important information from you?
* A genuine acolyte takes joy and pride in not being a burden to her man, financially, physically, and emotionally. She tries to avoid the situation where he is working for her, serving her, chauffeuring her around, supporting her (unless he himself wants this), getting her things. That is a role-reversal she should naturally find abhorrent, and even if she is ill and this role-reversal must be done for a short time, she does her best to recover and get back to her regular duties as soon as possible. While you are still single, make it a practice to become more self-reliant, if you are not already. If something breaks around your home, look up how to fix it online, and, if it seems clear enough, give it a try. Or do something else independent that you usually rely on family or friends or a landlord to help you with. If you don’t know how to drive, find someone to give you lessons. Find a part-time job, even if you don’t have to work. Experience what it is like to be accountable to something or someone besides yourself. Try traveling somewhere new by yourself, without a family member or friend. If you work outside the home for him and get a promotion, do not assume the extra money or a bonus in your paycheck means all sorts of goodies for you. If you are an owned slave, that money is his, not yours, and if you want anything, you should go to him and beg for it, the way a real slave does.
* A genuine acolyte does her best to keep her emotions under control and not cause unnecessary “drama” for her man. This is a fine line to walk: it doesn’t mean intentionally hiding things from him that he should know. But it does mean she isn’t constantly taking out her spleen and bad moods on him or others in his household. Nor does it mean she is constantly complaining, about her workload, her health, her unmet desires. If you have problems controlling your emotions, begin immediately to practice self-control. Some women who live alone and don’t have many real life contacts are vitriolic to others they engage with online. This is a good place to begin, in the virtual world, where relationships and connections are less important and critical than real-life ones. Either stop being hostile to others, or, if you can’t, cut the connection. Better yet, start gently praising and supporting your “worst” online enemy—and watch what happens. You might be surprised. :-) If you can’t manage that, at very least don’t engage with the person you are constantly dissing or arguing with. Stop talking about them with your gossipy online connections. Stop being a cowardly online two-year-old and insta-blocking anyone who displeases you (or whom you imagine is displeasing you). Do what other grownups do: learn ways to cope with your imagined virtual “thorn in my side.” Stop treating someone who doesn’t fully stroke your inflated online ego as a dire enemy. If you can learn to let go, grow up, and not fight in these “easy” childish online arenas, life will be much easier when you eventually aspire a higher level of relating with a dominant man. Self-control is a very important skill for a good servant to cultivate.
* A genuine acolyte takes disappointment gracefully. She doesn’t pout and stomp around when she doesn’t get something she wants when she wants it. She doesn’t let herself fall into a fit of depression over anything, no matter how hard she thinks it is on her. She, especially, doesn’t show her master how annoyed she is. She remains cheerful and sensible and calm till the end. To practice this before you are owned, you can start out by disappointing yourself. Don’t give yourself that “goodie” you’ve been looking forward to all week, be it a new beauty treatment, a food treat, even a night out with close friends. Don’t buy extra food every time you are at the store if you are overweight. Or stop collecting objects if you have hoarder tendencies. Once in a while this might be OK, but try to cut back. Cut back on your social-media addictions. (Yes, however much “good” you imagine you are doing with them, that is truly what they are: they are ways that you use to decrease your loneliness. There is no need to be ashamed of this. Almost everyone does this.) Don’t immediately binge-watch a streaming show you were looking forward to; wait a couple of months, and then take it very slow—1-2 episodes a week. If you disappoint yourself in little ways like this, you will be ready to hit the floor running when you meet someone who actually controls you. You’ll know better how to deal with the disappointment of not doing or getting everything that you want exactly when you want it.
* While a genuine acolyte cultivates strong self-control, she only uses that skill in positive ways. She doesn’t use it to hide things from her master or to pull the wool over his eyes. She admits openly and honestly to her feelings, even when they are negative. Example of appropriate self-control: Some is dressing you down, quite rightly, for something you didn’t do that you said you would and when you had all the time in the world to do it. You don’t start screaming back at him or turning the tables, accusing him of something else he did bad. You don’t practice the “tit for tat” give-back-as-good-as-you-get principle. Instead, you humbly accept in your heart that you were wrong this time and say so to the person you wronged. Apologize sincerely with no snarkiness, bitterness, or sly resentment in your voice or text which totally negates the apology. Always ask for forgiveness when it is obviously needed. If you practice humbling yourself with others before you meet the man of your dreams, especially when you are in the wrong, then this will be easy and graceful to do with him. And it will, I guarantee, be required.
* A genuine acolyte knows herself well and knows what she can bear happily and peacefully. She does not dive into an “all or nothing” control and service relationship unless she’s certain she’s strong enough to handle it. As an example, she either openly welcomes other females that are or become part of her master’s household or she is honest enough with herself to never get involved in that sort of situation in the first place, if she can’t live peacefully with other females. She knows what she can handle and she doesn’t lie about it to herself and thus, to him, imagining falsely that she will supplant somebody already there or drive new females away with her sterling perfection. Start thinking about all the possible living arrangements that could occur if you are considering living with a deeply dominant man, a man who does whatever he wishes. Discuss those “what-if” situations that you personally fear with him before committing to fully be his servant. Find out which ones might be likely. Try to find out about things you may not have ever considered (such as he likes to whore you out to other men; he also likes to have trans-female servants, he wants you fully bisexual with other females or doing it with dogs, etc.). Or maybe it’s something non-exotic like he wants you to have children and you don’t, or vice-versa. Consider even the possibility of his not wanting you for sex, suddenly, only for income, errands, and housework. If you thought certain extreme sexual scenarios were hard, can you bear to live with a sexless possibility? Think very, very carefully about all of this, and be sure you discuss the possibilities with a potential master before taking sacred vows of service.
* A genuine acolyte has an open mind and is constantly learning new things. She is not closed off to life. Because she is open, curious, and observant (in the right way, not as a spy or sneak), she is capable of learning and growing as her master’s desires change, as the ship he steers through life alters course, as shoals or storms threaten, or as treasures are found. She adopts to change readily and easily because the one thing that never, ever changes is her utter devotion to the man she serves. All the rest, whether it involve fortune or disaster, are just stage props, just window-dressing, to the rightly-aligned female. They aren’t the main show. Practice opening your mind. Buy a non-fiction book on a subject that interests you but that you know little about. Or watch a documentary on a subject or person that would never normally interest you. If you are not a news reader, make a habit of visiting one of the free online news websites and reading a couple of headline stories a day (but be wary, this can quickly become just another online addiction). See what else is out there in this marvelously complex and huge world you live in that is beyond your current narrow interests or desires. If you can be open-minded and deeply curious about other new things, you will respond similarly when your relationship with your owner changes in unexpected ways. Keep in mind that life always changes unexpectedly, surprises happen, and master/slave relationships are not exempt from this overall rule. A flexible mind, however, can see you through almost any change that doesn’t kill you.
This article was written, as I’m sure some readers will have noticed, for women who are either already acolytes to a strong man or who who are striving to reach this state. It was not intended for those who have long ago fallen by the wayside or are faking it as they go along, as these minds and hearts tend to be completely closed to the concepts expressed here. But, consider these two things (1) such individuals make excellent examples of what not to do, so if you know a “slave” like this, learn from her bahvior and (2) you never know, sometimes people do change. Weird, unexpected outcomes happen all the time in life, and sometimes cause profound reversals of personality traits. But this article’s primary intent is to provide support and confirmation to those who are at this time consciously and willingly traveling a hard, but honorable and deeply rewarding path: working at becoming better slaves for their current man or a future man. Don’t forget that you are not alone. Others are on this journey, too, and understand in varying depths the difficulties and the joys that one can face. It is a journey that has no ending, as there is always room for self-improvement. Don’t be discouraged by that, it helps keep life interesting, and you should rejoice as you slowly improve your service or prepare yourself to be a good server someday.
We hope that this article has offered some reassurance that what one does as a man’s devoted servant may be hard but it is a deeply honorable role to fill in life (some, like me, would say the best role to fill) and it has its own secret but truly wonderful rewards. Perhaps it may even inspire those who might be undergoing a period of hard struggle that there is light ahead, just traverse a few more valleys, and on the next peak you’ll see the world that you helped build with your master spread shining below in you the blazing glory of the sun. This is the view that is often entirely hidden to those who wallow in the self-indulgent gloom-filled me-first-always valleys. We did not write this to criticize those who are still struggling with slavery, although certain types of unwanted behavior have been described so that you can recognize them if you see them crop up in yourself. None of us are ever free from the struggle to improve as slaves and we’re always going to encounter events or have duties are quite difficult or trying and take a lot strength to endure. That is just life: shit happens. Or, to put it more politely, situations are never static, they’re always change with time, often bringing new challenges. But, as a genuine slave develops some some of the traits discussed in this article and/or recognizes ones she already has, it is hoped that she will realize that she is on the right path. She is not lost, as some, particularly the envious, may suggest, in some “bewildering self-destructive, insane fantasy of servile perfection.” She is actually doing something immensely constructive and positive, something very few people can do and a role that we sorely need more of in this gluttonous-pigs-in-a-trough world: she has devoted herself, not to a cause, not to a religion, not to a social movement, not to a corporation, not to being a slave to money or sensual pleasures, and most certainly not to egotistically aggrandizing herself, but to another human being: a man she has met who is worth giving everything to and doing anything for. To me, this path through life is one of the most honorable, honest, rewarding…and certain. The only life pursuit I know that is far better is one that I (and many other females) are constitutionally, mentally, and emotionally incapable of traveling: the blazing, golden trail of a genuine Master. That is a truly admirable way to travel through life, but if one is temperamentally incapable of such a role, then following in the footsteps of such an amazing trail-blazer is the next best option. Every path in life has its difficulties and rewards along the way, but some end in misery and confusion while other end in peace and joy. May you choose truly and travel well, dear reader, on whatever path you decide to explore and make your own.