“ Everything appeared to be fucked. But in the bottom of that box there remained something shiny and beautiful. There remained hope.” ― Mark Manson, Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope
Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope is 2019 self-help book by Mark Manson. It’s a continuation to the author’s previous book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.
We live in an interesting time. Everything is better than ever. Yet, somehow everything seems to be irreparably and horribly f*cked—the planet is warming, governments are failing, economies are collapsing, and everyone is perpetually offended on Twitter. So what’s wrong?
I am infatuated by this book. I feel so grateful for coming across so many good books this year. In my review, ‘ll cover some parts that really impressed me.
The book starts in a great fucked-up place. It starts in a Nazi-Holocaust place of wonder called Auschwitz. There was a Polish man named Witold Pilecki. He fought in World War 1 and Polish-Soviet War in 1918 against Communists. He was a decorated officer and for a while after the war, life was good. Slowly though it became less good. There was Russia nearing closer from one side. Germany from the other. Something was wrong and Pilecki and his good fellow officer friends decided to start a resistance group. They called themselves the Secret Polich Army. In 1940, they got a wind that the Germans were building something and people were disappearing and that it wasn’t any good. They knew something very awful was happening. Guess what Pilecki decided to do? Well, he volunteered to sneak into Auschwitz. He did. And then what. Of course, he went on to build a resistance unit inside the camp trying to get the communications regularly outside. He believed they could revolt and overrun SS guards. He informed his fellow officers about his plans and he waited. And waited. For months, he waited.
But then came the Jews. Pilecki’s messages became more frantic. He begged Secret Polish Army to liberate the camp. Or if not that, at least to bomb it down.
“The death toll could potentially be in the millions. He pleaded with the Secret Polish Army. He said if you can’t liberate the camp, then at least bomb it. For God’s sake, at least destroy the gas chambers. At least. ” ― Mark Manson, Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope
In 1943, Pilecki realized help wasn’t coming. Guess what. Well obviously, he decided to break out. Inspiring, isn’t it? I first heard of Pilecki in Finnish podcast called #Mojomornings but I was not anticipating this level of heroism. Things are messed up but there’s hope. Pilecki never gave up.
Book moves on to talk about Feeling Brain and Thinking Brain. Feeling Brain is the one that is telling you to quit your job, to give away your material possessions and move to Bali. Your Thinking Brain is the one who’s telling you to be rational and that you need this job so that you can buy a house. Fun fact is that unlike you think, your thinking brain is not in control. You just hide it well and do what you want. As the book says: “Ever wonder why a page-turner is a page-turner? It’s not you turning those pages, idiot: it’s your Feeling Brain.”. If you thought that you’re being a rational creature and you’re reading for self-development… are you sure about that?
It covers religion. Manson summarizes how you too can start your own religion. It’s just 6 steps. Step One is selling Hope to the Hopeless, which sounds like something any clever businessperson would take advantage of.
From religion, the next logical step is Nietzsche. Yes, GOD IS DEAD. And it was not some obnoxious atheistic gloating. No. It was a lament, a warning, a cry help. This great philosopher realized something a long time ago. Who are we to determine the meaning and significance of our existence. How can we decide what’s good and what’s bad. Eventually, we will evolve from Homo Sapiens to Homo Deus. And we will be at war with each other.
So far, everything might have been somewhat familiar to you if you’ve read history, psychology, and philosophy. At least it was to me on some level, even though it wasn’t that clear in my head before reading this. Book after this covers what you probably have gotten wrong before. Happiness and Freedom. A quote about happiness:
“The pursuit of happiness is, then, an avoidance of growth, an avoidance of maturity, an avoidance of virtue. It is treating ourselves and our minds as a means to some emotionally giddy end. It is sacrificing our concsiousness for feeling good. It’s giving up our dignity for feeling good.” ― Mark Manson, Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope
How about that. Do you still want to be happy? Book also covers something very similar about freedom. We have absolutely no idea what true freedom is. It’s not doing whatever we want, it is in fact a total opposite of that. Finally, the book talks about AI. Google has a program called AlphaZero. It’s not a chess software. It’s the chess software because it’s AI chess software. And it took the software 9 hours to beat the best existing chess software in the world. I was always impressed with artificial intelligence but I always thought it’s a century away. Maybe it’s not.
How-To Read Everything is Fucked
1. It’s kind of funny that in my previous review I complained about optimism. Well… Everything is Fucked very much inspired me. The most inspiring book for me this year and I promise it’ll inspire you too.
2. This works perfectly independently but you’ll love it more if you read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck first.
3. Recommended reading: Homo Sapiens and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
Have you read this? Thoughts?