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The “Virtue” Of Selfishness

October 12, 2008

Musical Mood – Chale jaise hawaan

I am a bookworm….I love reading :)….Of all the many books I read, two books have always topped the list….And incidentally, both from the same author. I am not a person who would enjoy (though I read) works of same author… gets a bit boring and predictive for me. But this author is an exception 🙂

She is AYN RAND….and the books are “Atlas Shrugged” and “Fountain Head”. I hope to post a detailed review soon 🙂 but for now, I have got something which I learnt from these books.


Virtue of Selfishness –

eh?? Selfishness and calling it a virtue….whats that mean???

For me, I like to say I am selfish…I do things for my own sake…I definitely live and am responsible for myself……being selfish is not bad as long as you know what you are doing!!

let me explain by an example….I get my friend a gift, or i celebrate my mom’s birthday…or i donate clothes to orphans…In doing all these ” I am getting something called happiness” !! This is my take on selfishness…I gained such a line of thought from Ayn Rand’s books 🙂

What makes me believe this?? – 

Well, crux of life is attaining moksha and enjoying the path which takes us there to reach that goal!!  Aint it??

So, if i am selfish in my own deeds….I dont tend to blame anyone for anything….and also expectations from others become less and less….U dont tend to get hurt easily…….and finally every little thing in world brings a smile on face…..So you definitely enjoy ur path…atleast u are near 🙂

Then where does moksha fit in here?

Hmm…This is just my school of thought….might be right, might be wrong 🙂

My mom says, Good or Bad; God or devil – both coexist in you!! I grew up listening to that and believing that!! So, for me, MOKSHA is discovering GOD within oneself!! As they say, in Hindu scriptures, PARAMATMA!! Being selfish is thinking about yourself…discovering yourself….and so MOKSHA….:)

This is my view of “VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS”

PS: I highly recommend Ayn Rand….but BEWARE before you read them, make sure you can digest this sort of philosophy…coz mainly her readers would either love her or hate her!!

Disclaimer – Not to hurt anyone’s feelings. These are just my opinions :)…..But ofcourse discussions are welcome 🙂 (would like to get different views -being selfish again u knw 😉 )

12 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2008 11:58 am


  2. October 12, 2008 7:09 pm

    Dear Sahaja,

    I know how much you admire Ayn Rand. I have known some fans of here. So I can see how young you are.

    But as you grow and search for simple questions like “what makes this world, this whole universe (plus parallel universes?) tick?”, you will see why Ayn Rand’s philosophy of ‘Objectivism’ is flawed.

    I think Ayn RAnd and ‘moksha’ are simply incompatible. Ayn Rand is out out materialistic, she can barely reach beyond ‘self’, but moksha is said to unify you with the whole universe 🙂

    Btw, I was thinkg of Ayn Rand last week (I was trying to recall another figure I could hate more 🙂

    (If ya love books, try something on particle physics.)

  3. October 12, 2008 7:53 pm

    Thanks swaps….for the constructive comment 🙂

    Ya I am very young….just out of college….I have got friends who hate Ayn rand’s philosophy and friends who love….

    And Ayn Rand in her books doesnt speak of nirvana/moksha in regard to objectivism….

    That was just the way I interpreted it…She herself if there, might not agree with that!! She might not put it the way I saw it….Its my perspective…:D

    And may be as u say, as I grow old, I may tend to disagree with this ….

    But as of now, what I meant to say, my take on “SELF” is everything in and around me….the whole Universe, Nature, People…..I dont mean to say I am all pervading….I mean to say, I am in love with Nature, everything around me so much that I consider them as a part of me 🙂

    Thanks for putting out your opinion 🙂 Kudos!!

    And Ya….I love Physics 🙂 I keep reading stuff here and there but nothing as a book …I would be glad if you suggest 🙂

  4. October 13, 2008 6:35 am

    On physics, “Tao of Physics” is a good one.
    The famous “A brief history of time” …esp the chapter on “fate of universe” is very philosophical (I find it very agreeable).

    Also, try books by Brian Greene.


  5. October 13, 2008 9:25 am

    I don’t know anything about Ayn Rand’s philosophy as I haven’t read any of her books 😐

  6. October 13, 2008 9:46 am

    I love Ayn Rand… like his philosohies, but its very hard to implement those in ur real life.

    The characters of her novels are so so strong, that its hard to find such characters in real life.

    Reading first 70 pages of her novels is the most difficult thing to do, once you get passed it, you can’t put the book down…

  7. October 13, 2008 11:18 am

    I haven’t read this book though I too am a bookworm..but I am not really fond of philosophy……do I’d better keep mum and listen to the professionals speak 😛

    ..catch them soon and will be bck to comment again 🙂

  8. October 14, 2008 1:02 pm

    Thanks a lot all!!
    @ swaps….I have started brief history of time but dint know about others…I shall try to get hold of them soon and read :D…Thanks for the links…Amazon one seems really fun , may be I’ll like it 😛
    @ Raj……. Ayn Rand’s books are based on her philosophy of objectivism but as I said, either you hate or love….but it might shackle your beliefs if u go deep…..As I said, my perspective might not be same as what She meant!! But I liked it a lot!
    @ Sharad……..That’s true Sharad….its hard to find Roarks or Dagnys in life….and her philosophy is not ideal though….I believe her philosophy, the way she must have thought, is contemporary to her generation….I see her books as a result of capitalistic culture prevailing at that time….I loved the book mainly because, I liked the way and her courage to put out her opinion solidly before not so enthusiastic public living around her…..I liked it for the fact that it did change my view on certain things J
    @ Meghana……Thanks for stoppin by and welcome to my blog….And I suggest you don’t read this one for the near future J….its too much for a young girl 😀

  9. October 14, 2008 3:23 pm

    Yes I so badly wanted to be as strong as characters in her novels, buts its not possible i guess… she has changed my thinking too…. atleast for the time when I was reading her work. The strenght of the characters is simply amazing.

    have u read Ken follet??

    Sahaja : Ya, the strength of characters is amazing and a bit unrealistic…You cant possibly expect to disappear like in AS :)….No, have not read any of Ken follet…..Shall see what are they about?

  10. renuka permalink
    October 14, 2008 4:05 pm

    I havenot read Ayn Rand so I cannot comment about the books…but I agree that selfishness to some extent is a virtue!!!! [:)]

  11. July 24, 2009 7:15 pm

    You are not the first one to come up with this perspective of AR’s virtues of selfishness, and possible parallel with some aspects of Hindu philosophy (not religion)!! 🙂
    I have been hearing about similar parallel from a number of people over the past 25 years. One could look at Hindu philosophy, as completely individualistic and materialistic, and Moksha would be the salvation of the self, discovering the best within one self. The god from that perspective is not an external being, but a reflection of the best within oneself.

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