1 March 2012

Notes from Ayn Rand

I once felt I was oscillating between Catcher in the Rye and Atlas Shrugged when it comes to my preference in books and also in terms of what I want in life. The latter was a turning point of sorts in the story of my life, when I read a tattered version of it in college. Sometime back I bought the 50th anniversary edition of Atlas Shrugged for my collection which also has excerpts from her notes while she was writing the book. How naive of me to think that I have read the book once and my relationship with it is over. I always find something in it that makes me question my own premises and think really hard, one such instance...
"Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone" -
At least in my experience I have spent many a day wondering why someone doesn't see the logic in what I am saying. I don't mind being corrected by a stronger logic. In fact I have tried to see if my logic was wrong and if yes, how. But no! logic doesn't even feature in some discussions... damn right, reason is not automatic!
She continues to write about the creator's ability to achieve anything he wants to, with a clause, that it should not concern others primarily and should not be through the exercise of will of others, demonstrated through Dagny's efforts in the story. While this may be similar to what Covey would call circle of control and circle of influence, there is of course a fundamental difference. Rand is very clear that it shouldn't matter to the creator whether he is alone or there are only a handful of similar people around or everyone is like him. The creator is complete in himself. Somehow I find this more practical and correct than thinking win-win or interdependence or whatever.
On a lighter note, I like to believe that this could work and I don't have to embrace the whole of mankind to succeed in life. While I am no creator with purpose yet, it is definitely worth trying and much more inspiring than my efforts to be a people person ;-)
p.s.: recycled from another blog, hope you don’t mind :-)

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