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mystic
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Atlas Shrugged
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mystic
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Atlas Shrugged
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  • Once he surrendered reason, he was left at the mercy of ... a body moved by unaccountable instincts and of a soul moved by mystic revelations...
  • It was all right for a disreputable mediocrity like Simon Pritchett to drool it as some sort of woozy mysticism-nobody listened to him.
  • Love was the key to the mystic secrets, they cried, love and selfless sacrifice to the needs of others.
  • You have heard no concepts of morality but the mystical or the social.
  • I thought I could afford to ignore them-all those impotent mystics who prattle about their souls and are unable to build a roof over their heads.
  • I had cut myself in two, as the mystics preached, and I ran my business by one code of rules, but my own life by another.
  • His reward, say the mystics of spirit, will be given to him beyond the grave.
  • His reward, say the mystics of muscle, will be given on earth-to his great-grandchildren.
  • The mystics of both schools, who preach the creed of sacrifice, are germs that attack you through a single sore: your fear of relying on your mind.
  • The mystics of spirit call it ’another dimension,’ which consists of denying dimensions.
  • The mystics of muscle call it ’the future,’ which consists of denying the present.
  • The mystics of spirit curse matter, the mystics of muscle curse profit.
  • The mystics of spirit curse matter, the mystics of muscle curse profit.
  • Your teachers, the mystics of both schools, have reversed causality in their consciousness, then strive to reverse it in existence.
  • For centuries, the mystics of spirit have proclaimed that faith is superior to reason, but have not dared deny the existence of reason.
  • Make no mistake about the character of mystics.
  • The game of the mystics is up.
  • Are you safer in surrendering to mystics and discarding the little that you know?
  • From its start, this country was a threat to the ancient rule of mystics.
  • It was one or the other: America or mystics.
  • The mystics knew it; you didn’t.
  • His fear now seemed to have some much less mystic and much more practical quality.
  • The supernatural power that a mystic dreads, the unknowable spirit he worships, the consciousness he considers omnipotent is-yours.
  • A mystic is a man who surrendered his mind at its first encounter with the minds of others.
  • A mystic is driven by the urge to impress, to cheat, to flatter, to deceive, to force that omnipotent consciousness of others.
  • Every dictator is a mystic, and every mystic is a potential dictator.
  • Every dictator is a mystic, and every mystic is a potential dictator.
  • A mystic craves obedience from men, not their agreement.
  • There is only one state that fulfills the mystic’s longing for infinity, non-causality, non-identity: death.
  • Every mystic had always longed for slaves, to protect him from the material reality he dreaded.
  • It could not stand on the mystic split that divorced man’s soul from his body.
  • They, the impotent mystics, struggling to escape the responsibility of reason, had known that he, the rationalist, had undertaken to serve their whims.
  • No matter how eagerly you claim that the goal of your mystic wishing is a higher mode of life, the rebellion against identity is the wish for non-existence.
  • Man’s standard of value, say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man’s power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith.
  • Sweep aside those hatred-eaten mystics, who pose as friends of humanity and preach that the highest virtue man can practice is to hold his own life as of no value.
  • Man’s mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God, Man’s mind, say the mystics of muscle, must be subordinated to the will of Society.
  • Man’s mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God, Man’s mind, say the mystics of muscle, must be subordinated to the will of Society.
  • The mystics of spirit declare that they possess an extra sense you lack: this special sixth sense consists of contradicting the whole of the knowledge of your five.
  • "If you don’t understand it, I can’t explain," he said in the tone of a mystic who implies that a lack of understanding is the confession of a shameful inferiority.
  • But perfection is not to be gauged by mystic commandments to practice the impossible, and your moral stature is not to be gauged by matters not open to your choice.
  • It was not the face itself that made him draw back in horror, but the professors, the philosophers, the moralists, the mystics who had released that face upon the world.
  • Man’s standard of value, say the mystics of muscle, is the pleasure of Society, whose standards are beyond man’s right of judgment and must be obeyed as a primary absolute.
  • If you worked as a blacksmith in the mystics’ Middle Ages, the whole of your earning capacity would consist of an iron bar produced by your hands in days and days of effort.
  • Their heirs and product, the mystics of muscle, have completed their job and achieved their dream: they proclaim that everything is faith, and call it a revolt against believing.
  • An error of knowledge is not a moral flaw, provided you are willing to correct it; only a mystic would judge human beings by the standard of an impossible, automatic omniscience.
  • If you doubt that such is their purpose, observe with what passionate consistency the mystics of muscle are striving to make you forget that a concept such as ’mind’ has ever existed.
  • If some man like Hugh Akston had told me, when I started, that by accepting the mystics’ theory of sex I was accepting the looters’ theory of economics, I would have laughed in his face.
  • Take a look around you, you savages who stutter that ideas are created by men’s means of production, that a machine is not the product of human thought, but a mystical power that produces human thinking.
  • And yet there were men-and she knew it-who were able to obtain transportation whenever they wished, as by a mystic secret, as by the grace of some power which one was not to question or explain.
  • The good, say the mystics of muscle, is Society-a thing which they define as an organism that possesses no physical form, a super-being embodied in no one in particular and everyone in general except yourself.
  • The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive-a definition that invalidates man’s consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence.
  • As you surrendered to the mystics of muscle when they told you that ignorance consists of claiming knowledge, so now you surrender to them when they shriek that immorality consists of pronouncing moral judgment.
  • I had accepted, unwittingly and by default, the tenet that ideas were of no consequence to one’s existence, to one’s work, to reality, to this earth-as if ideas were not the province of reason, but of that mystic faith which I despised.
  • You who are innocent enough to believe that the forces let loose in your world today are moved by greed for material plunder-the mystics’ scramble for spoils is only a screen to conceal from their mind the nature of their motive.
  • The mystics of muscle do not bother to assert any claim to extrasensory perception: they merely declare that your senses are not valid, and that their wisdom consists of perceiving your blindness by some manner of unspecified means.
  • They were the men whose dealings with Cuffy Meigs were regarded by people as that unknowable of mystic creeds which smites the observer for the sin of looking, so people kept their eyes closed, dreading, not ignorance, but knowledge.
  • The modern mystics of muscle who offer you the fraudulent alternative of ’human rights’ versus ’property rights,’ as if one could exist without the other, are making a last, grotesque attempt to revive the doctrine of soul versus body.
  • The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held them in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread-a man of justice.
  • When a mystic declares that he feels the existence of a power superior to reason, he feels it all right, but that power is not an omniscient super-spirit of the universe, it is the consciousness of any passer-by to whom he has surrendered his own.
  • All your gangs of mystics, of spirit or muscle, are fighting one another for power to rule you, snarling that love is the solution for all the problems of your spirit and that a whip is the solution for all the problems of your bodyyou who have agreed to have no mind.
  • You who’re depraved enough to believe that you could adjust yourself to a mystic’s dictatorship and could please him by obeying his orders-there is no way to please him; when you obey, he will reverse his orders; he seeks obedience for the sake of obedience and destruction for the sake of destruction.
  • Man’s life, as required by his nature, is not the life of a mindless brute, of a looting thug or a mooching mystic, but the life of a thinking being-not life by means of force or fraud, but life by means of achievement-not survival at any price, since there’s only one price that pays for man’s survival: reason.
  • People with pleading eyes and desperate faces crowded into tents where evangelists cried in triumphant gloating that man was unable to cope with nature, that his science was a fraud, that his mind was a failure, that he was reaping punishment for the sin of pride, for his confidence in his own intellect-and that only faith in the power of mystic secrets could protect him from the fissure of a rail or from the blowout of the last tire on his last truck.
  • In the presence of that monument to human morality, which is a factory, a highway or a bridge-you kept damning this country as immoral and its progress as ’material greed,’ you kept offering apologies for this country’s greatness to the idol of primordial starvation, to decaying Europe’s idol of a leprous, mystic bum.
  • As products of the split between man’s soul and body, there are two kinds of teachers of the Morality of Death: the mystics of spirit and the mystics of muscle, whom you call the spiritualists and the materialists, those who believe in consciousness without existence and those who believe in existence without consciousness.
  • As products of the split between man’s soul and body, there are two kinds of teachers of the Morality of Death: the mystics of spirit and the mystics of muscle, whom you call the spiritualists and the materialists, those who believe in consciousness without existence and those who believe in existence without consciousness.
  • Just as the mystic is a parasite in matter, who expropriates the wealth created by others-just as he is a parasite in spirit, who plunders the ideas created by others-so he falls below the level of a lunatic who creates his own distortion of reality, to the level of a parasite of lunacy who seeks a distortion created by others.
  • Reason is the enemy he dreads and, simultaneously, considers precarious; reason, to him, is a means of deception; he feels that men possess some power more potent than reason-and only their causeless belief or their forced obedience can give him a sense of security, a proof that he has gained control of the mystic endowment he lacked.
  • Just as your mystics of spirit invented their heaven in the image of our earth, omitting our existence, and promised you rewards created by miracle out of non-matter-so your modern mystics of muscle omit our existence and promise you a heaven where matter shapes itself of its own causeless will into all the rewards desired by your non-mind.
  • Just as your mystics of spirit invented their heaven in the image of our earth, omitting our existence, and promised you rewards created by miracle out of non-matter-so your modern mystics of muscle omit our existence and promise you a heaven where matter shapes itself of its own causeless will into all the rewards desired by your non-mind.
  • When the looters’ state collapses, deprived of the best of its slaves, when it falls to a level of impotent chaos, like the mystic-ridden nations of the Orient, and dissolves into starving robber gangs fighting to rob one another-when the advocates of the morality of sacrifice perish with their final ideal-then and on that day we will return.
  • It was always the animal’s attributes, not man’s, that humanity worshipped: the idol of instinct and the idol of force-the mystics and the kings-the mystics, who longed for an irresponsible consciousness and ruled by means of the claim that their dark emotions were superior to reason, that knowledge came in blind, causeless fits, blindly to be followed, not doubted-and the kings, who ruled by means of claws and muscles, with conquest as their method and looting as their aim, with a…
  • For centuries, the mystics of spirit had existed by running a protection racket-by making life on earth unbearable, then charging you for consolation and relief, by forbidding all the virtues that make existence possible, then riding on the shoulders of your guilt, by declaring production and joy to be sins, then collecting blackmail from the sinners.
  • It was always the animal’s attributes, not man’s, that humanity worshipped: the idol of instinct and the idol of force-the mystics and the kings-the mystics, who longed for an irresponsible consciousness and ruled by means of the claim that their dark emotions were superior to reason, that knowledge came in blind, causeless fits, blindly to be followed, not doubted-and the kings, who ruled by means of claws and muscles, with conquest as their method and looting as their aim, with a…
  • When you listen to a mystic’s harangue on the impotence of the human mind and begin to doubt your consciousness, not his, when you permit your precariously semi-rational state to be shaken by any assertion and decide it is safer to trust his superior certainty and knowledge, the joke is on both of you: your sanction is the only source of certainty he has.
  • The first step of d’Anconia Copper, as of any other human value, has to come from here-because the rest of the earth has reached the consummation of the beliefs it has held through the ages: mystic faith, the supremacy of the irrational, which has but two monuments at the end of its course: the lunatic asylum and the graveyard…… Sebastian d’Anconia committed one error: he accepted a system which declared that the property he had earned by right, was to be his, not by right, but by…
  • We will rebuild America’s system on the moral premise which had been its foundation, but which you treated as a guilty underground, in your frantic evasion of the conflict between that premise and your mystic morality: the premise that man is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others, that man’s life, his freedom, his happiness are his by inalienable right.
  • Dr. Stadler saw the little shyster’s eyes studying him for the fraction of a second: the eyes had a touch of superstitious awe, as at the sight of a phenomenon from a mystical realm forever incomprehensible to Mr. Thompson-and they had the piercing, calculating shrewdness of a ward heeler who feels certain that nothing is immune from his standards, a glance like the visual equivalent of the words: What’s your angle?
  • You who are craven enough to believe that you can make terms with a mystic by giving in to his extortionsthere is no way to buy him off, the bribe he wants is your life, as slowly or as fast as you are willing to give it in-and the monster he seeks to bribe is the hidden blank-out in his mind, which drives him to kill in order not to learn that the death he desires is his own.
  • No matter what unintelligible causes he ascribes to his incommunicable feelings, whoever rejects reality rejects existence-and the feelings that move him from then on are hatred for all the values of man’s life, and lust for all the evils that destroy it, A mystic relishes the spectacle of suffering, of poverty, subservience and terror; these give him a feeling of triumph, a proof of the defeat of rational reality.
  • To the struggling remnants of rational honesty in the twisted, bewildered minds of your children, you declare that you can offer no rational argument to support the ideas that created this country, that there is no rational justification for freedom, for property, for justice, for rights, that they rest on a mystical insight and can be accepted only on faith, that in reason and logic the enemy is right, but faith is superior to reason.
  • At the end of your road of successive betrayals, stripped of weapons, of certainty, of honor, you commit your final act of treason and sign your petition of intellectual bankruptcy: while the muscle-mystics of the People’s States proclaim that they’re the champions of reason and science, you agree and hasten to proclaim that faith is your cardinal principle, that reason is on the side of your destroyers, but yours is the side of faith.
  • Every period ruled by mystics was an era of stagnation and want, when most men were on strike against existence, working for less than their barest survival, leaving nothing but scraps for their rulers to loot, refusing to think, to venture, to produce, when the ultimate collector of their profits and the final authority on truth or error was the whim of some gilded degenerate sanctioned as superior to reason by divine right and by grace of a club.
  • …is one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide of action-that reason is an absolute that permits no compromise-that a concession to the irrational invalidates one’s consciousness and turns it from the task of perceiving to the task of faking reality-that the alleged short-cut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short-circuit destroying the mind-that the acceptance of a mystical invention is a wish for the annihilation of existence and, properly, annihilates one’s consciousness.
  • You, who dare to regard us as the moral inferiors of any mystic who claims supernatural visions-you, who scramble like vultures for plundered pennies, yet honor a fortune-teller above a fortune maker-you, who scorn a businessman as ignoble, but esteem any posturing artist as exalted-the root of your standards is that mystic miasma which comes from primordial swamps, that cult of death, which pronounces a businessman immoral by reason of the fact that he keeps you alive.
  • You, who dare to regard us as the moral inferiors of any mystic who claims supernatural visions-you, who scramble like vultures for plundered pennies, yet honor a fortune-teller above a fortune maker-you, who scorn a businessman as ignoble, but esteem any posturing artist as exalted-the root of your standards is that mystic miasma which comes from primordial swamps, that cult of death, which pronounces a businessman immoral by reason of the fact that he keeps you alive.
  • …and to know the minute when a train will arrive after crossing the span of a continent, we are expected to continue running steel mills and to know the molecular structure of every drop of metal in the cables of your bridges and in the body of the airplanes that support you in mid-airwhile the tribes of your grotesque little mystics of muscle fight over the carcass of our world, gibbering in sounds of non-language that there are no principles, no absolutes, no knowledge, no mind.
  • …of spirit, that they keep switching from one to the other, that the men you call materialists and spiritualists are only two halves of the same dissected human, forever seeking completion, but seeking it by swinging from the destruction of the flesh to the destruction of the soul and vice versa-that they keep running from your colleges to the slave pens of Europe to an open collapse into the mystic muck of India, seeking any refuge against reality, any form of escape from the mind.
  • …their "instincts" as science, their cravings as knowledge, the goal of all the savages of the non-objective, the non-absolute, the relative, the tentative, the probable-the savages who, seeing a farmer gather a harvest, can consider it only as a mystic phenomenon unbound by the law of causality and created by the farmer’s omnipotent whim, who then proceed to seize the farmer, to chain him, to deprive him of tools, of seeds, of water, of soil, to push him out on a barren rock and to…
  • It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some inexplicable claim upon him-it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.
  • Destruction is the only end that the mystics’ creed has ever achieved, as it is the only end that you see them achieving today, and if the ravages wrought by their acts have not made them question their doctrines, if they profess to be moved by love, yet are not deterred by piles of human corpses, it is because the truth about their souls is worse than the obscene excuse you have allowed them, the excuse that the end justifies the means and that the horrors they practice are means to…
  • There is no knowledge, they teach, there’s only faith: your belief that you exist is an act of faith, no more valid than another’s faith in his right to kill you; the axioms of science are an act of faith, no more valid than a mystic’s faith in revelations; the belief that electric light can be produced by a generator is an act of faith, no more valid than the belief that it can be produced by a rabbit’s foot kissed under a stepladder on the first of the moon-truth is whatever people…
  • …to loot, to torture, to enslave, to expropriate, to murder, but that they must resist the temptations of logic and stick to the discipline of remaining irrationalthat skyscrapers, factories, radios, airplanes were the products of faith and mystic intuition, while famines, concentration camps and firing squads are the products of a reasonable manner of existence-that the industrial revolution was the revolt of the men of faith against that era of reason and logic which is known as the…
  • You blank out the fact that most mystics of muscle started out as mystics of spirit, that they keep switching from one to the other, that the men you call materialists and spiritualists are only two halves of the same dissected human, forever seeking completion, but seeking it by swinging from the destruction of the flesh to the destruction of the soul and vice versa-that they keep running from your colleges to the slave pens of Europe to an open collapse into the mystic muck of India,…
  • You blank out the fact that most mystics of muscle started out as mystics of spirit, that they keep switching from one to the other, that the men you call materialists and spiritualists are only two halves of the same dissected human, forever seeking completion, but seeking it by swinging from the destruction of the flesh to the destruction of the soul and vice versa-that they keep running from your colleges to the slave pens of Europe to an open collapse into the mystic muck of India,…
  • This age of misery is God’s punishment to man for the sin of relying on his mind!" snarled the triumphant voices of mystics of every sect and sort, on street corners, in rain-soaked tents, in crumbling temples.
  • "It seems to me," said Chick Morrison, his voice tentatively helpful, ’ "that people of nobler spiritual nature, you know what I mean, people of …. of …. well, of mystical insight"-he paused, as if waiting to be slapped, but no one moved, so he repeated firmly-"yes, of mystical insight, won’t go for that speech.
  • "It seems to me," said Chick Morrison, his voice tentatively helpful, ’ "that people of nobler spiritual nature, you know what I mean, people of …. of …. well, of mystical insight"-he paused, as if waiting to be slapped, but no one moved, so he repeated firmly-"yes, of mystical insight, won’t go for that speech.
  • …forbids you to oppose them in the only way they can be opposed: by refusing to become a sacrificial animal and proudly asserting your right to exist-that in order to fight them to the finish and with full rectitude, it is your morality that you have to reject, "You blank it out, because your self-esteem is tied to that mystic ’unselfishness’ which you’ve never possessed or practiced, but spent so many years pretending to possess that the thought of denouncing it fills you with terror.
  • It could not live by the mystic doctrine that damned this earth as evil and those who succeeded on earth as depraved.
  • But the damned and the guiltiest among you are the men who had the capacity to know, yet chose to blank out reality, the men who were willing to sell their intelligence into cynical servitude to force: the contemptible breed of those mystics of science who profess a devotion to some sort of ’pure knowledge’ the purity consisting of their claim that such knowledge has no practical purpose on this earth-who reserve their logic for inanimate matter, but believe that the subject of dealing…

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  • She is a mystic who believes enlightenment will come from communing with nature.
  • She is a mystic who claims to be able to both talk to the dead and see into the future.

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