fixed on a star

Atlas Shrugged… Distinction of Power vs. Force

“Miss Taggart, do you know the hallmark of the second-rater? It’s resentment of another man’s achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone’s work prove greater than their own – they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The lonliness for an equal – for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire. They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes, thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them – while you’d give a year of your life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them. They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don’t know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear. They have no way of knowing what he feels when surrounded by inferiors – hatred? no, not hatred, but boredom – the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men whom you don’t respect? Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?”

Dr. Stadler to Miss Dagny Taggart
“Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand PART II “Either-Or”

I went to the Illiad bookstore and replaced my tattered copy of “Atlas Shrugged,” one of my favorite books. I also bought a copy of Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” and tried to find a copy of “The Alchemist” but only found a copy in Spanish.

I love “Atlas Shrugged” because the heros are such strong personalities… strong meaning in spirit and passion… industrialists whose passions are the empires they build. And the heroine rocks. I want to be her when I grow up. She’s the brains running a railroad empire who knows the company better than her brother who is the acting president. The power, the intrigue, the intelligence of the powerful and the cunning of the weak rolled into a concert of strategies.

The above paragraph really spoke to me that I copied it onto my journal… It speaks of power which I distinguish as something that wells from inner strength… and it speaks of force… the inauthentic power produced from weakness used in manipulation. There are those who find their source intrinsically and there are those who seek their source outside of themselves.

Nelson Mandela said something that complements the above paragraph … which I’ve included in my journal as well…

“You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us… And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

On a more optimistic point he encourages one to integrate one’s aspiration with their actions and way of being… you become a “second rater” once you dismiss the dignity of aspiration and opt for cut-throat competition with slippery tactics… Both writers would encourage to just focus one’s self to the star which has one’s gaze. As Leonardi da Vinci had put it…

“Obstacles cannot crush me, every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.”



~ by jnetsworld on November 29, 2005.

7 Responses to “fixed on a star”

  1. “I went to the Illiad bookstore and replaced my tattered copy of “Atlas Shrugged,” one of my favorite books.”
    Perhaps, like me many years ago, you should invest in a hardcover edition of ‘Atlas’.

  2. 🙂 aye aye captain ed!

    • An interesting story .. to me anyway. Years ago I loaned out my hardcover of The Fountainhead. Some years passed .. friends scattered. As it happens my birthday is July 4th .. so I decided to gather old friends putting the word out several months in advance. Seems my book had made the rounds unbeknownst to me. It was wrapped and presented as a birthday present .. nearly ten years after I had initially loaned it out. And, it was in almost as good condition as when I had last seen it and most who had gathered had read and signed it, like a book from the library.

      • What a great story, captain ed 🙂 When loaning my books, I also request that people sign it and date it when they have completed reading it…

        So it looks like a library book too 🙂


    • Hmmm…. Never been called ‘captain’ before ! Mr Ed, but, not captain … sounds good to me !


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