The U.S. Library of Congress has called "Atlas Shrugged" the second most influential book ever written (with the first being the Bible).
Ayn HERSELF wrote the following in "The Romantic Manifesto":
"The motive and purpose of my writing can best be summed up by saying that if a dedication page were to precede the total of my work, it would read: To the glory of Man."
"And if anyone should ask me what it is that I have said to the glory of Man, I will answer only by paraphrasing Howard Roark. I will hold up a copy of Atlas Shrugged and say: 'The explanation rests.'"
I have contacted both The Ayn Rand Institute and The Objective Center. Despite what Ayn HERSELF wrote, BOTH organizations that claim to be the source of understanding as it relates to Ayn Rand value her essays MUCH MORE than Atlas Shrugged! Neither of them is interested in discussing the greater meanings found in Atlas Shrugged.
In "The Romantic Manifesto", Ayn speaks of a "sense of life". She writes: "A sense of life is a pre-conceptual equivalent of metaphysics, an emotional, subconsciously integrated appraisal of man and of existence."
At the time of Ayn's writing, this was a theoretical belief. Today, this has been proven to be true PHYSIOLOGICALLY! Books such as "Blink!" have explained the "Unaware Brain" which is the SAME as Ayn's "sense of life". Ayn herself wrote that what is in a person's sense of life is MORE LIKELY to be understood through LITERATURE (specifically the novel) than conscious essays.
The notes offered on this blog show a deeper explanation for what Ayn was TRULY attempting to convey from her sense of life. Be warned, so called "experts" at understanding Ayn vehemently disagree with the conclusions reached by these notes AND are unwilling to discuss these conclusion and support their claims. They are behaving EXACTLY like characters in Atlas Shrugged!
In the first four months of 2009, sales of "Atlas Shrugged" have sky rocketed. People are seeing the similarity between the recent financial events and what "Atlas Shrugged" predicted.
Ayn Rand created a world where Justice is COMPLETELY resolved. Ms. Rand also correctly identified that thinking is man's only moral responsibility. The choice to think is a first cause and everything else, including interacting with God is an effect.
Ayn has written that the theme of Atlas Shrugged is: "The role of the mind in man's existence."
When Ayn discusses "religion", she correctly identifies that a deterministic view is contradictory and results in abuse. Calvinism and determinism negate the role of the mind in man's existence. For "Christians", Ayn is stating that Calvinism is contradictory AND IF this is truly what the Bible states, then the Bible would be contradictory.
However, this blog shows that the Bible is actually NOT deterministic. Ayn did not know it, but she ACTUALLY agrees with the Bible...or as she would state it: Ayn believes what the Bible says...NOT peoples' opinion of the Bible, but the actual facts. In fact, Ayn also wrote that the Romanticists of her time - the people that believed man's mind had a crucial role in his existence - "are escaping, not into the past, but into the supernatural..."
The people who think "Atlas Shrugged" isn't spiritual are naive. In April 2011, the movie "Atlas Shrugged: Part I" opened. Owen Kellogg stated there was nothing on earth Dagny could offer him. Hugh Akston told Dagny that this was bigger than a motor. This book begins about physical (business) principles. However, by the second book, the focus changes to the spiritual.
This realization caused me to determine a non-contradictory model for God and write a book. The explanation for that process can be read here. I realize that some people think that "Atlas Shrugged" and God are contradictory because Ayn spent most of her life stating she didn't believe in God and this world was the final reality. However, shortly before Ayn's death, she admitted Justice ISN'T resolved in this world AND (like she wrote in "Atlas Shrugged") Justice will eventually equal everything out. She admitted there was an afterlife and she thought she would see her husband again.
In fact, here is a copy of the poem Ayn read over her husband's grave during his burial in 1979:
When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted
- Rudyard Kipling
When Earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors have faded
And the youngest critic has died
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it
Lie down for an aeon or two
'Till the Master of all good workmen
Shall put us to work anew
And those that were good shall be happy
They'll sit in a golden chair
They'll splash at a ten league canvas
With brushes of comet's hair
They'll find real saints to draw from
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul
They'll work for an age at a sitting
And never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us.
And only the Master shall blame.
And no one will work for the money.
No one will work for the fame.
But each for the joy of the working,
And each, in his separate star,
Will draw the thing as he sees it.
For the God of things as they are!
I have found that "Atlas Shrugged" actually goes beyond anything Ayn wrote, including her essays that came after "Atlas Shrugged". In fact, her explanation of how God and Heaven ought to be (from "Atlas Shrugged") goes beyond anything I have heard from any "expert" on the subject. Recently, a reader of these notes (Ed Mabrie) explained the reason better than I could have:
"An excellent thought process will lead you to God no matter what your other intentions may have been."
Ayn has an excellent thought process. If you don't believe this, please read the notes before you assert your opinion...otherwise, you are acting just like Jim Taggart and his friends...
Nine years ago, I wrote notes for "Atlas Shrugged" because I wanted others to get the gems that are hidden in this book during their first read through. It really takes more than one read because the book is set up as a series of mysteries.
I have shared these notes with over 100 people and have been told countless times how they would never had made it past Chapter 5 without these notes.
The notes are set up with the following sections:
PLOT: The events that occur in the chapter that come to conclusion.
SUBPLOT: The events that occur during the chapter that are important to remember during future chapters.
COMMENTS: Insight into the events that occurred during the chapter.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: A review of a section of the chapter that is worth re-reading because it can be practically applied to your life.
SUPPLEMENT: Quotes and examples from other works that add further insight to the events of the chapter.
Those who have read "Atlas Shrugged" find the best way to re-read the book is to read the notes and then re-read the section mentioned in PRACTICAL APPLICATION.
Here are the notes:
Book 1: Non-contradiction
Chapter 1 The Theme
Chapter 2 The Chain
Chapter 3 The Top and the Bottom
Chapter 4 The Immovable Movers
Chapter 5 The Climax of the D'Anconias
Chapter 6 The Non-commercial
Chapter 7 The Exploiters and the Exploited
Chapter 8 The John Galt Line
Chapter 9 The Sacred and the Profane
Chapter 10 Wyatt's Torch
Book 2: Either-Or
Chapter 1 The Man Who Belonged on Earth
Chapter 2 The Aristocracy of Pull
Chapter 3 White Blackmail
Chapter 4 The Sanction of the Victim
Chapter 5 Account Overdrawn
Chapter 6 Miracle Metal
Chapter 7 The Moratorium on Brains
Chapter 8 By Our Love
Chapter 9 The Face Without Pain or Fear of Guilt
Chapter 10 The Sign of the Dollar
Book 3: A is A
Chapter 1: Atlantis
Chapter 2: The Utopia of Greed
Chapter 3: Anti-Greed
Chapter 4: Anti-Life
Chapter 5: Their Brothers' Keepers
Chapter 6: The Concerto of Deliverance
Chapter 7: This is John Galt Speaking
Chapter 8: The Egoist
Chapter 9: The Generator
Chapter 10: In the Name of the Best Within Us