The Soul of An Individualist

The mind is an attribute 
of the individual. 
There is no such thing 
as a collective brain. 
There is no such thing 
as a collective thought. 
An agreement reached by a group 
is only a compromise 
or an average drawn upon 
many individual thoughts. 
It is a secondary consequence. 

The primary act
the process of reason
must be performed 
by each person alone. 
We can divide a meal among many people. 
We cannot digest it in a collective stomach. 
No one can use their lungs to breathe for another. 
No one can use their brain to think for another
All the functions of body and spirit are private. 
They cannot be shared or transferred.

We inherit the products 
of the thought 
of other people. 
We inherit the wheel. 
We make a cart
The cart becomes an automobile. 
The automobile becomes an airplane. 
But all through the process 
what we receive 
from others is only the end product of their thinking. 

The moving force is 
the creative faculty 
which takes 
this product as material, 
uses it and originates 
the next step. 
This creative faculty cannot be 
given or received
shared or borrowed
It belongs to 
single, individual people. 
That which it creates is the property of the creator. 

Individual's learn 
from one another. 
But all learning is only 
the exchange of material. 
No one can 'give' another 
the 'capacity to think'. 
Yet that capacity 
is our only 
means of survival.

from Ayn Rand - For the New Intellectual