The Tao of Roark

by Peter Saint-Andre

Chapter 41: The Fountainhead

Previous: Chapter 40: Beauty

Roark is uniquely different because he consistently and fundamentally honors the fountainhead of human progress: the individual person whose self-nature is aligned with the human powers of thought, choice, action, and feeling, and therefore who has the courage to independently understand reality, to focus on what is important, to create great value in the world, and to experience the deep emotional meaning of life.

There is something primal and eternal about this fountainhead — it is an ever-flowing spring of upward movement, the ultimate source of human ingenuity and happiness, an inexhaustible well of energy, the life-force that has raised humanity in its ever-accelerating ascent, the deepest root of joy and reason and meaning in life. And this is so because the ground of all reality, the depth of all being, lies in individuality. Every thing and every being is individual by virtue of itself and nothing else.

Although this fountainhead is often obstructed and redirected, it can never be fully suppressed because it is latent in every human being as a divine spark of curiosity, a sacred fire of passion, a focused beam of attention, a molten source of energy. These qualities might sound sophisticated, but in fact they are utterly natural: for I am born into this world as a thinking, choosing, acting, feeling being, and when I grow up and out into the world I cannot help but wonder about what I see, turn my attention toward what interests me, care about some people and things more than others, and act to fulfill my needs and desires.

The question is not whether I will think and choose and act and feel, for exercising these powers is as natural as moving and breathing. The question is whether I will honor these innate powers in myself and in others, whether I will live a life of freedom, dignity, depth, and beauty, whether I will align my character with what is best in human nature, whether I will find joy and reason and meaning on this earth, whether I will live up to my highest potential and in so doing transform the latent fountainhead within me into a living reality.

Next: Chapter 42: The Life Force

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