The Tao of Roark

by Peter Saint-Andre

Chapter 37: Freedom

Previous: Chapter 36: The Spirit of Youth

The Fountainhead is a novel of freedom.

This freedom is not political but personal: the freedom of self-reliance, of skill, of being capable of surviving and thriving in the world, of standing on my own two feet, of moving through life with strength and competence and independence.

This freedom is the positive liberty to do what matters — to create, to produce, to think, to choose, to act, to feel, to live.

This freedom is the liberation of holding nothing back from my life, of being fundamentally open to experience, of actively seeking after enlightenment, dignity, depth, and beauty.

This freedom is the true wealth of creativity, of friendship, of love, of knowing what I truly want, of doing what I truly value, of being what I aspire to be.

This freedom is the result of self-governance, self-mastery, and self-trust — for when I trust myself completely, I do not need to depend on some authority outside of myself and my own relationship to reality.

This freedom brings the ultimate security and leads to the ultimate serenity.

Yet this freedom can be approached only from the side. I cannot grasp it directly. It must grow within me and around me, through the decisions and actions I take every day, through the responsibilities I shoulder, through the powers I exercise. The liberation I experience is a sign of success, and results from the hard work of personal responsibility.

Next: Chapter 38: Dignity

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