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.
I started my life with a single absolute: that the world was mine to shape in the image of my highest values and never to be given up to a lesser standard, no matter how long or hard the struggle.
The course led them to the moment when, in answer to the highest of one's values, one's spirit makes one's body become the tribute, recasting it--as proof, as sanction, as reward--into a single sensation of such intensity of joy that no other sanction of one's existence is necessary.
Ask anything of men. Ask them to achieve wealth, fame, love, brutality, murder, self-sacrifice. But don't ask them to achieve self-respect. They will hate your soul.
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.
Your eyes are as a flame, but our brothers have neither hope nor fire. Your mouth is cut of granite, but our brothers are soft and humble. Your head is high, but our brothers cringe. You walk, but our brothers crawl. We wish to be damned with you, rather than blessed with all our brothers. Do as you please with us, but do not send us away from you.
It was the greatest sensation of existence: not to trust but to know.
Wasn't it evil to wish without moving- or to move without aim?
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.
Self-sacrifice? But it is precisely the self that cannot and must not be sacrificed.
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.
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.
You know, I think that only if one feels immensely important can one feel truly light.
I love you, Dominique. As selfishly as the fact that I exist. As selfishly as my lungs breathe air. I breathe for my own necessity, for the fuel of my body, for my survival. I've given you, not my sacrifice or my pity, but my ego and my naked need. This is the only way I can want you to love me.
They have to take a chance, everything they do is taking a chance, but they feel so much safer when they take it on something they know to be ugly, vain and stupid.
The leaves had edges of silver that trembled and rippled like a river of green and fire flowing high above us.
I take no pride in hopeless longing; I wouldn't hold a stillborn aspiration. I'd want to have it, to make it, to live it.
The nation which once held the creed that greatness is achieved by production, is now told that it is achieved by squalor.
Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man.
It's very uncomfortable to be a hero, Joel, and you don't have the figure for it.
A man's sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions.... He will always be attracted to the woman who reflects his deepest vision of himself, the woman whose surrender permits him to experience a sense of self-esteem. The man who is proudly certain of his own value, will want the highest type of woman he can find, the woman he admires, the strongest, the hardest to conquer--because only the possession of a heroine will give him the sense of an achievement.
Joy is the goal of existence, and joy is not to be stumbled upon, but to be achieved, and the act of treason is to let its vision drown in the swamp of the moment's torture.
We are born into this world unarmed - our mind is our only weapon.
He demonstrated that there was no such thing as free will, since men's creative impulses were determined, as all else, by the economic structure of the epoch in which they lived.
She did not know what it was about him that had always made her want to see him broken.
And questions give us no rest. We know not why our curse makes us seek we know not what, ever and ever. But we cannot resist it. It whispers to us that there are great things on this earth of ours, and that we can know them if we try, and that we must know them. We ask, why must we know, but it has no answer to give us. We must know that we may know.
He despised causeless affection, just as he despised unearned wealth. They professed to love him for some unknown reason and they ignored all the things for which he could wish to be loved.
Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind.
You still love me - even if there's one expression of it that you will always feel and want, but will not give me no longer. I'm still what I was, and you'll always see it, and you'll always grant me the same response, even if there's a greater one that you grant another man. No matter what you feel for him, it will not change what you feel for me, and it won't treason to either, because it comes from the same root, it's the same payment in answer to the same values.
I regret nothing. There have been things I missed, but I ask no questions, because I have loved it, such as it has been, even the moments of emptiness, even the unanswered-and that I loved it, that is the unanswered in my life.
More Ayn Rand Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Mind - Life - Money & Wealth - World - Morality - Reality - Love - Good & Evil - Value - Honesty & Integrity - Success - Vice & Virtue - Thought & Thinking - Sense & Perception - Purposes - Happiness - Efforts - Reasoning - View All Ayn Rand Quotations
More Ayn Rand Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Atlas Shrugged
- The Fountainhead
Voltaire - O. Henry - T. H. White - Michael Cunningham - Ella Wheeler Wilcox - Edward Fairfax - Dr. Seuss - Catherine Crowe - Antiphanes - Agatha Christie