By-Two Kaapi in an oilfield

The weblog of Abhilash Ravishankar, India.


Here I blog about my personal experiences [posting rarely]


At my tumblelog Intoxicated by possibility I blog about my opinions/likes/dislikes [posting heavily]


The Fountainhead of all Achievements

I am carrying this title over from my last post. Most of you might have guessed the origin of this phrase. Yes, Ayn Rand - 'The Fountainhead'.

The first time I heard about this book and its author was in somebody's Orkut profile, but it didnt strike me where it had to. I remember the second time, something more memorable was when we were playing Hangman sometime in BITS, and I just survived the gallows by guessing this book's name. But the most memorable incident was when my wingmate bought her other book - Atlas Shrugged. The rave reviews I read about both the books on the back cover page of that book hit me. And then, as Destiny had it, I again bought a pirated version of this book on the streets of Bangalore for 60 bucks, when the original costs around 250. (PS: In no way am I encouraging piracy through this measly little blog of mine, nor am I recommending pirated books for your 'i-have-no-work' eyes (coz ur reading this post). I am after all a non-earning 'gotta-save-some-money' student with an insatiable thirst for books and the incongruable society leaves me no choice !)

Primarily introduced to the philosophy of 'Objectivism', one feels the urge to read more. She defines her philosophy as

"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."

There's loads of philosophy embedded in her writing, and that makes it the best read I have ever had. Chunks of her writing are so deep and intellectual that it takes atleast a couple of readings to grasp the true meaning and the hidden wisdom. One of the best chunks I came across in the book -
Let's take two parallel lines. I'm inclined to agree with Euclid, I don't think these two parallels will ever meet....No man likes to be beaten. But to be beaten by the man who has always stood as the particular example of mediocrity in his eyes, to start by the side of this mediocrity and to watch it shoot up, while he struggles and gets nothing but a boot in his face, to see the mediocrity snatch from him, one after another, the chances he'd give his life for, to see the mediocrity worshipped....well, my little amateur, do you think the Spanish Inquisition ever thought of a torture to equal this?"


And then comes the legendary duel between individualsim and collectivism. The best part of the book is that it shakes every definition you have assumed of words like integrity, individualism, courage...everything that seemed so obvious to you..think again.

Disclaimer: This book is meant only for 'serious' people. In simpler terms, read this only if you have an inclination towards philosohpy and human psychology. If you are more of a thrill-seaking reader, please do stay away from this book. Its more for slow, intellectual reading.

After all, man has to aim to be the Fountainhead of all achievements.

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