Rebirth of Reason

Sense of Life

Pride of Place
by Stephen Boydstun

"It is my eyes which see, and the sight of my eyes grants beauty to the earth. It is my ears which hear, and the hearing of my ears gives its song to the world. It is my mind which thinks, and the judgment of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth." Those are the words of the hero in Rand's Anthem (1946). They should be the standpoint for every one of us.

No one should be striving to be or to become an Objectivist. It is the verdicts of one's own mind upon the world that should be given pride of place. The judgments of Ayn Rand, her expositors, or anyone not oneself should be secondary. From Rand, as from any other mind, one should keep and integrate what one judges true, bracket and remember what one finds false.

To keep things clear and clean, one should not fall into equating Objectivism with "whatever is the truth of the matter." Charity of interpretation of Rand's texts is always in order, but not a presumption that "somehow" Objectivism must always be correct or can always be supplemented, without alteration, so as to make it correct. One should not regard one's own philosophy (or moral character) as in some sort of deficiency insofar as it departs from Objectivism. The deficiency is rather in Objectivism, insofar as it departs from what one judges to be the truth.

You are the sole judge. You live and love, you die, you are forgotten, and every trace of you is erased. So it is eventually for all life and intelligence in the universe. Then is all value, significance, and meaning vanished from that dead universe of the far, far future. But this day, you and I are here, with vistas to attain and share, as we find them.

Here is a poem of this sense of life, which I wrote when I was twenty (1968).

Lush, sheenuous pluming-greens
      slip peeks
of the milk-limpid moon
      to him,
and delirious lofty fan-flares
      wreak quakes
of tensile steel-lance cries
      to him.
A stone stardrop
a whiff-frail light,
     flushing his chest.
He sweeps touchless drift-shades,
      and flash-streaks
      a glancing crester,
      sailing breath-brimmed space,
      splitting, splash-sparkling
      on a wind-spilled pool
      of silver rock.
Fan-flares fly to open sky.
Swirl-leaves flow,
      flicker and toss,
      and whispers cease on fluffs of moss.
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