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People may vaguely sense that Shawn Mirza's concern, like many before him, has been the romanticisms of his generation - that coming-of-age zeitgeist, or "spirit of the times," that besets and disillusions each of us in our youth. Yet such a dismissal overlooks his much more prudent aim: to show that beneath every current of human suffering and confusion lies merely a philosophical debate, that man's chief endeavor must be to increase his fortitude, that mediocrity is repulsive, that the essence of man's achievement lies in his acceptance of personal responsibility, and in doing so, he creates a power that no force, neither human or divine, can disturb. That has always been the core of Shawn Mirza's philosophy: man is what he chooses himself to be. Essays, Mirza's introductory work, is many things to many people, as it must be. Its free-thinking spirit, dabbling in themes of personal power, strategy, pragmatism, metaphysics, and anti-theism, characterized by strong, empowering language with a hint of metaphor, challenges the reader in piercing fashion. Written and published when he was only twenty years old, it is not a book, but an experience; not a book written for an audience, but a book written to find one.
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