The Tao of Roark

by Peter Saint-Andre

Chapter 42: The Life Force

Previous: Chapter 41: The Fountainhead

The depth of all being lies in individuality, and the basis of all life lies in the energy of every living thing.

My living energy takes many forms: the mental energy of my thinking, the psychological energy of my attention, the physical energy of my actions, the emotional energy of my feelings, and other, more specific forms of energy within me.

At every moment of my existence, my life is defined by the energy I absorb, the energy I conserve, the energy I transform, and the energy I expend.

There are many external sources of energy in my life: the food I eat and drink, the air I breathe, the sunlight I soak up, the sights and sounds that impinge upon my senses, the things I buy and trade, the books I read, the art works I experience, the inspiration of witnessing the happiness and success of others, the attention I receive from my companions and friends and family. In all these domains of life, I can choose wisely or poorly.

The same is true of the ways I can conserve or waste the energy within me: my posture, my breathing, my sense of balance and proportion, my emotional self-control, my avoidance of negative thoughts and emotions, my honoring the wisdom of my body and my soul, and all the ways that I prepare my mind and body for the activities of life.

That which I take in and conserve is potential energy that I can transform into the kinetic energy of action: the work I do, the things I create, the people I love and support, and how I move through the hours and days and years of my life.

What is my life but this living energy, which I can harness and expend to create joy and reason and meaning? Indeed, just as Newton described physical force as mass times acceleration, I can measure the life force in everything I do as content times intensity: that which I have chosen to do multiplied by the energy, attention, and passion I bring to each activity.

This life force is mine to control, mine to master, mine to direct as I choose, and mine to expend as I think best. No one else has a right to one iota of my living energy, and I have no right to yours, for this life force is the essence of individuality for every living thing.

Next: Chapter 43: Love for Existence

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