Freedom from Pain, Fear, and Guilt (Book Review)

NOTE: This mini-essay originally appeared in my free email course on books and literature, which you can sign up for (free, of course) by clicking here. Over 1,500 other book-lovers have already signed up!

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Good morning!

Big day today!

For one, I turn 29 today.

It always sneaks up on me, but here we are. This is now, officially, the oldest I’ve ever been haha.

But it’s also the day when I re-release my online course, Hit the Books!

You may know already that it’s about how to read more books, read faster, choose what to read, etc. But this is NOTHING like the last time I released this course.

It’s…oh, I dunno…like, 1,000 times better than it used to be.

I completely re-recorded the whole thing, so that it now comes with 60 instructional videos, totally more than 11 hours, on EVERYTHING I KNOW about how to become a better reader.

You might know that my current pace is around 200 books per year. Well, these are all of my secrets.

It’s also WAY CHEAPER than it used to be, and I actually dropped the price by about 66%.

Not only THAT, but I will be donating a full 33% of the NEW price to Doctors Without Borders, the international humanitarian relief organization.

And it’s not just because of my birthday. That’s going to be the case with EVERYONE who buys my course from now on. It’s time I did more to help those in desperate need.

So long story short, you can check out (and preview) the new course here, and I’d be extremely grateful (on this, the day commemorating my birth) if you did.

Today’s book, however, is Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. A 1,200-page mind-blower of a book that has literally changed millions of lives, including my own.

So, let’s get started!

Today’s Book on Amazon: Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

Image for post
Image for post


Ayn Rand: “My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”

— -

“He had never been able to understand why men should be unhappy.”

— -

“The newspapers are against you.”

“They have time to waste. I haven’t.”

— -

Dagny Taggart, in the book, was nine years old when she decided she was going to run Transcontinental one day, and Ayn Rand was nine years old when she decided she was going to become a writer

— -

“She was fifteen when it occurred to her for the first time that women did not run railroads and that people might object. To hell with that, she thought — and never worried about it again.”

— -

“Yet no penny of his wealth had been obtained by force or fraud; he was guilty of nothing, except that he earned his own fortune and never forgot that it was his.”

— -

“He held his head as if he faced a challenge and found joy in his capacity to meet it.”

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

It’s clear to many people who have read Atlas Shrugged that Rand’s heroes are almost TOO heroic, her villains TOO villainous.

No one is that evil, and no one is that good.

People rip on her SO MUCH though for some of her political views, and personal indiscretions etc, but she was also so RIGHT about so many things, and her detractors don’t give her any of the credit she deserves.

Of course she’s not right about everything. Is anyone? Ever?

No one, in the entire history of being right, has anyone ever been right about everything. So to throw away her whole philosophy without taking the best of it and applying it yourself and seeing what is actually true would be a tragic waste.

What’s the best of it?

Answer: IMO, her insistence on the reality of an entirely different mode of existence than most people believe is possible. A happy, productive life of achievement, free from psychological pain, fear, and guilt.

Put simply, her heroes are GOING FOR SOMETHING, and they put everything they have into work that’s important to them. They remain true to their vision, forge forthrightly ahead, and refuse to acknowledge the necessary existence of suffering.

Their work is something that gives meaning to their lives, and their mind is a value they refuse to sacrifice for the sake of any other value.

Ayn Rand is a heroine herself, and her life’s work was her writing, which has sold millions and millions of copies worldwide in dozens of languages. Ignored by pretty much everybody at first, she literally shook up the world with her philosophy, and continues to impact people…like me…today.

I don’t believe that life is nothing but struggle and grasping and desiring things, until you die. I don’t believe that anyone can tell you how to lead your one and only life, and I don’t believe that human value can be measured in dollars per hour.

There’s nothing WRONG with wanting to make more money, or have people like you, or anything else like that, but to be in a state of emotional panic and desperation while you’re trying to “make it” is a state not worthy of a dignified human being.

I just place a higher value on human life, MY life, than that.

Existence IS, and existence is mine…and yours…to shape. The earth is rich, the universe can provide for us all, and hard work makes you happy. That’s not the whole answer of course, but it’s a cognitive reappraisal worth starting from.

All the best,

Matt Karamazov

NOTE: This mini-essay originally appeared in my free email course on books and literature, which you can sign up for (free, of course) by clicking here. Over 1,500 other book-lovers have already signed up!

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

I’m Also On These Drugs: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store