The Tao of Roark

by Peter Saint-Andre

Chapter 29: To Feel and Not to Feel

Previous: Chapter 28: To Act and Not to Act

Honoring the power of feeling brings me great depth, but sometimes greater depth comes from not feeling.

Just as worrying is not a form of thinking, so it is best to cast off many of the negative emotions of life. Yes, I can feel righteous in my anger, realistic in my pessimism, justified in my anxiety, alive in my misery or grief. Yet the essence of life is serenity, optimism, creation, energy, action, joy.

Does this path lead to repression? I once thought so, but now I see how unproductive it is to wallow in negative emotions. Notice how, even with those who wanted to destroy him, Roark did not hate others or fear them or get angry with them or let them cause him suffering, because that which is negative goes down only so deep and does not touch the essence of life. I can experience and accept such things without giving up the fundamental assertiveness of the life force within me, without giving up my positive right to happiness and beauty and fulfillment.

Knowing when not to feel gives me a peculiar sense of freedom — of being light, clean, unpressured, unburdened, self-contained, untainted by all that is ugly and small.

Next: Chapter 30: Yin and Yang

Peter Saint-Andre > Writings > The Tao of Roark