One Esteem Blog

Dissolving barriers to the positive change life wants to happen

Atlas Shrugged’s Subtle Danger Nobody Talks About

The obvious objection against Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is that it promotes the kind of selfishness that most of us try to avoid. This objection can simply be overcome by actually reading the book, which argues for an alternative definition of selfishness: A self-interest that is a given, for you and me alike. Atlas Shrugged illustrates that our choice is not if but how we care for ourselves. Which depends a great deal on whether we fully own our self-interest authentically, or try to hide and deny it.

But if Atlas Shrugged just advocates making life more wonderful through embracing who we already are—which encompasses giving to others for our true fulfillment, rather than out of psychological-, social- or authoritarian pressure—how can anyone who praises a book sharing these spiritual values ever act out of extreme divisiveness?

Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand’s Unintended Advocacy for Collectivism

Please note that this article was written when I had read half-way through Atlas Shrugged and didn’t have time to do more than read the Cliff’s Notes, while wanting to share my thoughts and get some feedback on them. For now, I am leaving the article below as it is, as it contains thoughts that I didn’t want to include in my final blog on Atlas Shrugged, to keep the focus there mostly on one particularly concerning rhetoric I had found at the end of the book.

Q & A on The Guilt Delusion

Why do you promote forgiveness and nonviolence? Doesn’t such a weak attitude cause people to try to make hopelessly toxic relationships work when they should simply walk away from them instead?

Jeroen: First of all, walking away from a toxic relationship is never an easy thing to do. Even when you’re sure you should, it can still be dangerous to break up with someone who cannot accept it. The more toxic the relationship, the more difficult it is to break up safely. Being able to leave someone without defending, arguing and blaming can be a life saver for both.

Disrupting the Circle of Violence with Understanding

Meeting racism, sexism or other forms of conditional despise, hatred or disrespect with a rejection of the person only perpetuates the momentum of violence in a different form. Do you really believe that you can eradicate darkness by denying it your light?

As long as we don’t recognise ourselves in the other, we do not yet understand. And without understanding, we remain powerless to recognise and bring out the intrinsic beauty of ourselves and others; to encourage a genuine kindness that comes from the heart, rather than forging a mask of niceness out of the fear of guilt and shame.

Fear as the Opposite of Love: Time for a Reality Check

Fear as the opposite of love

This harmful meme about fear has been circulating for at least half a century because it is partly true, but not in the way you might think.

Security from Love or Guilt: A Side by Side Comparison

Security through love or guilt!Warning!

Reading this side-by-side comparison between security from love or guilt might make you want to always choose love and avoid any perception of guilt. However, thinking that you should be loving when you’re not actually connected with love might make it even more difficult to reach to your genuine sense of oneness and love.

Thanks to Idiots

Idiots are more important to the world than they get credit for. If you’re not an idiot already, you might want to consider becoming one too…

3 Ways to Change the World

The three ways we can make a difference in the world are to abide, fight or unite. To abide requires the courage to live. To fight requires the courage to overcome our fear of “the other”. To unite requires the courage to overcome our fear of ourselves.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
Marianne Williamson

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