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"The intellect is characterised by a natural inability to comprehend the living, life." Henri Bergson.



Polymathics is the study of multiple expertise. Though there is benefit in specialisation- usually commercial- there is also benefit in a wider sense to being polymathic- multi-active and sometimes multi-expert. The truth is, many polymathic types just can't help themselves- they refuse to conform and be specialists. And even many specialists yearn to be allowed some extra-curricular interest, even if it is only an engrossing hobby of some kind. Polymathics is an obvioulsy multi-disciplinary attempt to understand and better use our polymathic selves in a world that coerces us to be specialists. My book Micromastery (Penguin 2017) introduces and expands the notion of Polymathics, and this website continues that task.


Original Thinking

The word original is a word I early on learned to avoid. Nothing is original, everything is copied or stolen, there's nothing new under the sun. It's also a rather comfortable position for lazy critics to adopt. One of the writers I admire- Jorge Luis Borges- one of the most original writers of the 20th Century (some might argue the MOST original) was always genuinely amazed that people found him to be so. He had simply in his own mind stitched together influences from the writers he most admired. But he employed a trick of the truly original- encircling. Encircling is a concept that is borrowed from the game of Go. In Go you have to encircle a player's piece (stone) in order to capture it. But you can have so many individual encircling operations going on you may not notice your opponent is only a move away from encircling you. Original thinkers and makers and doers build up from copied sources but at a certain point create a LINK between them that is wholly new. And this effectively sunders the older connections, makes them almost irrelevant. 

But as well as people making BIG new connections there are thousands of unknown original thinkers out there bringing to bear their intelligence on their own situation and experience creating thousands of smaller but equally original connections. They are both open and rather humble; they are people who spend a lot of time on their own thinking about things, not plugged into crowd-mind devices. Once you start looking you'll find them and be able to benefit from them. On this website I share some of the insights I've gained from meeting original thinkers and some of my own original thinking.


Analogue Activism

As an early adopter of all things digital...including this blog. It's with mixed feelings that I have turned increasingly BACK towards the analogue. Yet you can never really turn the clock back can you? All relations have subtly changed with time. A printing press or a large format plate camera mean something quite different now than they did in their functional heyday. So I embrace the new meaning of analogue- which is nothing short of a potential revolution in our bland acceptance of technoauthoritarianism...


My Current Book is MICROMASTERY

Why the desert picture? I had dreamed of exploring a desert. The Sahara no less. I was no desert 'master' and I didn't have 10,000 hours to spare to learn...The secret was: MICROMASTERY. Micromastery is about mastering a small, discrete, learnable chunk of something much bigger and more inchoate. It provides several crucial things: a way into the new subject, a fun bitesized chunk, a model of how to proceed and most importantly- motivational nutrition.

Rapid Learning is all very well, but if it doesn't supply ongoing motivation you WILL give up. Rapid Learning is a short cut and some short cuts are so unpleasant you wish you'd gone the long way round. Micromastery provides many of the benefits of rapid learning but also, crucially, it contains within it the MOTIVATIONAL NUTRITION to continue. Turning up and keeping going are where it's at.

THe book MICROMASTERY is dedicated to people who want to grow, become more, happier, brighter, bigger, better- however you want to put it. This blog supports the book- here are hundreds of articles, many featuring some aspect of development or personal growth. You can get to them from the archive, by using 'search this sit' or just scrolling down the side.

You'll find I often recommend the books of Idries Shah. It's because they have been a huge and useful influence on my life and work. I think reading his books is the best start for any kind of life altering you have in mind.

I believe that what I have to offer is best appreciated in this blog or in my books. But I know that some people love to chat and desire the attention you get in such encounters (me too of course). However to reduce the incidence of such chats on lifeshifting/personal growth/original thinking I charge £1000 a day to put people off. If you really think you'll benefit then get in touch using the email at the foot of this page. But doing some more reading/thinking will probably be time better spent and cheaper too.

One aspect of this site is an interest in exploring, promoting and developing the idea of polymathics as a distinct area of study. Though we may follow a single path, a specialisation - for commercial or other reasons - we all know rejuvenation, new ideas, new energy and complete revolutions in thinking come from outside our own little ghetto. The more open you are the more possibilities you have.

Photos I've taken of other writers with their own life messages form part of the The Message project to be found HERE

Two more books- which help feed the polymathic theme are:


Click on the below to see it at amazon: 

Zenslacker- 101 things to bear in mind when you're doing nothing

This is available for kindle only. It's a very short book and is designed for people who need a few good ways to breakout of feeling time-and-spirit poor.

The other one is:



Click here to get to Amazon for my new book: RED NILE

Sunday Times (May 19 2013) say: "Robert Twigger's ambitious biography of the Nile is an unexpected triumph...a scintillatingly colourful account of a river and a region Twigger knows elegiac moving book...hugely entertaining...probably the author's magnum opus"

"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit." Helen Keller.

Oh yes, aardvarks... "Aardvarks can dig fast or run in zigzag fashion to elude enemies, but if all else fails, they will strike with their claws, tail and shoulders, sometimes flipping onto their backs lying motionless except to lash out with all four feet. They are capable of causing substantial damage to unprotected areas of an attacker. Their thick skin also protects them to some extent." Are you a smart one?

contact: robtwigger 'at'