Ayn Rand Quotes on Mind (29 Quotes)


    The fortune my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to the winds as alms for the poor of the spirit. I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.


    Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy--a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind's fullest power, not the joy of faking reality, but of achieving values that are real, not the joy of a drunkard, but of a producer.

    He had to say; words were a lens to focus one's mind, and he could not use words for anything else tonight.

    People, he thought, were as hungry for a sight of joy as he had always been--for a moment's relief from that gray load of suffering which seemed so inexplicable and unnecessary. He had never been able to understand why men should be unhappy.




    But a few understand that building is a great symbol we live in our minds, and existence is the attempt to bring that life into physical reality, to state it in gesture and form. For the man who understands this, a house he owns is a statement of his life.


    Have you noticed that the imbecile always smiles? Man's first frown is the first touch of God on his forehead. The touch of thought.

    He wanted nothing, for the time being, except to understand .... Without advice, assistance or plan, he began reading an incongruous assortment of books; he would find some passage which he could not understand in one book, and he would get another on that subject .... There was no order in his reading; but there was order in what remained of it in his mind.

    It's so much easier to pass judgment on a man than on an idea. Though how in hell one passes judgment on a man without considering the content of his brain is more than I'll ever understand.

    She thought: at this moment, the glass stem between his fingers feels just like the one between mine. We have this much in common.

    He stood motionless, not turning to the crowd, barely hearing the applause. He stood looking at the judges. There was no triumph in his face, no elation, only the still intensity of contemplating a vision with a bitter wonder that was almost fear. He was seeing the enormity of the smallness of the enemy who was destroying the devastation, past the ruins of great factories, the wrecks of powerful engines, the bodies of invincible men, he had come upon the despoiler, expecting to find a giant and had found a rat eager to scurry for cover at the first sound of a human step. If this is what has beaten us, he thought, the guilt is ours.

    That woman and all those like her keep evading the thoughts which they know to be good. You keep pushing out of your mind the thoughts which you believe to be evil. They do it, because they want to avoid effort. You do it, because you won't permit yourself to consider anything that would spare you. They indulge their emotions at any cost. You sacrifice your emotions as the first cost of any problem. They are willing to bear nothing. You are willing to bear anything. They keep evading responsibility. You keep assuming it. But don't you see that the essential error is the same Any refusal to recognize reality, for any reason whatever, has disastrous consequences. There are no evil thoughts except one the refusal to think. Don't ignore your own desires. Don't sacrifice them. Examine their cause. There is a limit to how much you should have to bear.

    Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins.

    Honesty is the recognition of the fact that the unreal is unreal and can have no value, that neither love nor fame nor cash is a value if obtained by fraud that an attempt to gain a value by deceiving the mind of others is an act of raising your victims to a position higher than reality, where you become a pawn of their blindness, a slave of their non-thinking and their evasions, while their intelligence, their rationality, their perceptiveness become the enemies you have to dread and flee that you do not care to live as a dependent, least of all a dependent on the stupidity of others, or as a fool whose source of values is the fools he succeeds in fooling that honesty is not a social duty, not a sacrifice for the sake of others, but the most profoundly selfish virtue man can practice his refusal to sacrifice the reality of his own existence to the deluded consciousness of others.

    It was his Fourth Concerto, the last work he had written. The crash of its opening chords swept the sights of the streets away from her mind. The Concerto was a great cry of rebellion. It was a 'NO' flung at some vast process of torture, a denial of suffering, a denial that held the agony of the struggle to break free. The sounds were like a voice saying There is no necessity for pain why, then, is the worst pain reserved for those who will not accept its necessity we who hold the love and the secret of joy, to what punishment have we been sentenced for it, and by whom ... The sounds of torture became defiance, the statement of agony became a hymn to a distant vision for whose sake anything was worth enduring, even this. It was the song of rebellion and of a desperate quest.

    Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind, and a step that travels unlimited roads

    No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it. It is only with your own knowledge that you can deal. It is only your own knowledge that you can claim to possess or ask others to consider. Your mind is your only judge of truth and if others dissent from your verdict, reality is the court of final appeal. Nothing but a man's mind can perform that complex, delicate, crucial process of identification which is thinking. Nothing can direct the process but his own judgment. Nothing can direct his judgment but his moral integrity.

    In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.

    Why should this seem so startling There is only one kind of men who have never been on strike in human history. Every other kind and class have stopped, when they so wished, and have presented demands to the world, claiming to be indispensable except the men who have carried the world on their shoulders, have kept it alive, have endured torture as sole payment, but have never walked out on the human race. Well, their turn has come. Let the world discover who they are, what they do and what happens when they refuse to function. This is the strike of the men of the mind. This is the mind on strike.

    John Galt is Prometheus who changed his mind. After centuries of being torn by vultures in payment for having brought to men the fire of the gods, he broke his chains and he withdrew his fire until the day when men withdraw their vultures.

    If any part of your uncertainty, is a conflict between your heart and your mind follow your mind.

    I want you to observe, that those who cry the loudest about their disillusionment, about the failure of virtue, the futility of reason, the impotence of logic are those who have achieved the full, exact, logical result of the ideas they preached, so mercilessly logical that they dare not identify it. In a world that proclaims the non-existence of the mind, the moral righteousness of rule by brute force, the penalizing of the competent in favour of the incompetent, the sacrifice of the best to the worst in such a world, the best have to turn against society and have to become it's deadliest enemies.

    He thought of all the living species that train their young in the art of survival, the cats who teach their kittens to hunt, the birds who spend such strident efforts on teaching their fledglings to fly - yet man, whose tool of survival is the mind, does not merely fail to teach a child to think, but devotes the child's education to the purpose of destroying his brain, of convincing him that thought is futile and evil, before he has started to think ... Men would shudder, he thought, if they saw a mother bird plucking the feathers from the wings of her young, then pushing him out of the nest to struggle for survival - yet that was what they did to their children.

    To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that's real power.

    From the smallest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from one attribute of man - the function of his reasoning mind.

    My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom existence exists and in a single choice to live. The rest proceeds from these. To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life Reason Purpose Self-esteem. Reason, as his only tool of knowledge Purpose, as his choice of the happiness which that tool must proceed to achieve Self-esteem, as his inviolate certainty that his mind is competent to think and his person is worth of happiness, which means is worthy of living. These three values imply and require all of man's virtues, and all his virtues pertain to the relation of existence and consciousness rationality, independence, integrity, honesty, justice, productiveness, pride.


    More Ayn Rand Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Mind - Life - Money & Wealth - World - Morality - Reality - Love - Good & Evil - Value - Success - Honesty & Integrity - Sense & Perception - Purposes - Vice & Virtue - Thought & Thinking - Reasoning - Efforts - Happiness - View All Ayn Rand Quotations

    More Ayn Rand Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Anthem
    - Atlas Shrugged
    - The Fountainhead

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