Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Our refuge is not outside ourselves

Rand’s character notes in the afterword of her legendary novel are fascinating. 

She actually wrote them several years before the publication of the book itself. Not for any outside reader, but for the clarity of her own understanding. 

And what’s interesting is, although the notes weren’t included in the final manuscript, they’re still some of the most important words in the book. 

Roark, our protagonist, is depicted in both his spiritual and physical elements as follows:

Howard’s feeling is a steady, unruffled flame, deep and hidden, a profound joy of living and of knowing his power, a joy that is not even conscious of being joy, because it is so steady, natural and unchangeable. If outside life brings him disappointment, well, it is merely a detail of the battle

That’s not a architect, that’s an archetype. And it’s a life philosophy worth learning from. 

Rand’s words implore us to seek refuge inside ourselves. To become free from the threat of external evaluation. And to weaken our ties to peripheral joys. 

Doesn’t that sound blissful? Doesn’t that seem healthier than tricking ourselves into thinking security comes from somewhere outside ourselves? 

It’s the love we can never lose. The love that belongs to us. The love that nobody would dare take away because it’s too deep, too hidden, too natural and too steadfast. 

One way to keep that flame unruffled is by asking ourselves the following question. 

What do I need to do to water the root of inner joy? 

Whatever the answer is, it’s not something that can be bought, bottled, bent or beat. It’s ours. 

And once we take extreme ownership over it, no amount of rejection, disappointment or criticism can touch us.

Are you fanning the flame within, or forever requiring the balloon of external joy to remain inflated?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

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