Nearing the end of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, I am taking note of the qualities in the characters that I find admirable and deplorable. Initially I could not understand why, Ellsworth Toohey, Peter Keating, and his awful mother made me sick. Their behaviors are so common and familiar that I almost mistook them for normal. Maybe they are normal, typical–but they are unwholesome posing as wholesome and good–each people pleasing, heavily reliant on sneaky, underhanded diminishing of and climbing on the backs of others. I also did not fully comprehend my immediate awe over Howard Roark, whose disinterest in conformity could be considered freakish. His fierce, unyielding truth speaking is breath-taking. A million ways he could sell out for the benefits of social and professional “success”. But his truth matters most to him and he gladly pays the price. Not for a moment, pitying himself or resenting others. He is free, as a result of his purity of intention, which is transparent and unwavering. AND that level of integrity and respect for himself and others, is what I seek for myself.
Roark’s words, actions, and beliefs remain in alignment. That badass integrity- that way of being in the world, has been defined, in spirituality, as genuine happiness. In the non-spiritual world, this is considered subversive, and just cause for abuse. His ease with himself and others seems a natural by-product of his deep knowing of what is real and important. He chooses to honestly work for what he wants, without gunning for those who oppose or obstruct him. Roark wastes no effort trying to control or to please others.
Howard Roark’s manner of living, reminds me of the Doctors’ Oath to DO NO HARM. His void of drive to please or punish others exceeds my original ideas of wholesome badassery. In these ways, I find him to be spiritually excellent and very sane. …reasonable.
I am reveling this book, as it relates to my recovery and parenting, which to be honest, are the only things I have going these days.Much Love,
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