Masked self-love

The mere egoistic, soul-stirring talk of loving our fellow-men and acting upon this love at the first opportunity, that does not constitute social life. This sort of love is, for the most part, terribly egoistic. Many a man is supported by what he has first gained through robbing his fellow-men in a truly patriarchal fashion, in order to create for himself an object for his self-love, so that he can then feel nice and warm with the thought, “You are doing this, you are doing that.” One does not easily discover that a large part of the so-called love of doing good is a masked self-love.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 186 – Social and Anti-Social Forces in the Human Being – Bern, 12th December 1918

Revised translation by Christopher Schaefer

Previously posted on March 26, 2014

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