A higher degree of interest

May 18th 2011
Disinterestedness is not the most widespread of virtues where humans are concerned. Even when they give something away or give generous speeches, there is nearly always a hidden motive. Of course, no gesture, feeling or thought can truly be absolutely disinterested. Even love of God is motivated by self-interest. Those who love God know they will gain light, freedom and eternal life, so their love contains an element of self-interest. But in changing its objective, this interest has moved to another level, for light, freedom and eternal life are divine acquisitions. So this is the direction we must go in: we must conquer the lower interest, which tends only to satisfy the instincts and desires, and find a higher interest: the need to grow, to become nobler, more godlike. But this too has an element of self-interest – whatever we do, we act in our own interest.