interest

We are all greater than we know and that wisdom is the means to freedom... Work done with no selfish interest purifies the mind and that duties are opportunites afforded to man to sink his separate self and become one with the universal self.

If life were eternal all interest and anticipation would vanish. It is uncertainty which lends its fascination.

PAC [Political Action Committee] money is destroying the electoral process. It feeds the growth of special interest groups created solely to channel money into political campaigns. It creates an impression that every candidate is bought and owned by the biggest givers.

The principle of self-interest rightly understood produces no great acts of self-sacrificed, but it suggest daily small acts of self-denial. By itself it cannot suffice to make a man virtuous; but it disciplines a number of person sin habits of regularity, temperance, moderation, foresight, self-command; and if it does not lead men straight to virtue by the will, it gradually draws them in that direction by their habits. If the principle of interest rightly understood were to sway the whole moral world, extraordinary virtues would doubtless be more rare; but I think that gross depravity would then also be less common. The principle of interest rightly understood perhaps prevents men from rising far above the level of mankind, but a great number of other men, who were falling far below it, are caught and restrained by it.

Those laws, being forged for universal application, are in perpetual conflict with personal interest, just as personal interest is always in contradiction with the general interest. Good for society, our laws are very bad for the individuals whereof.

Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. "Patriotism” is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by "patriotism” I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one’s own nation, which is the concern with the nation’s spiritual as much as with its material welfare — never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.

By narcissism is meant ceasing to have an authentic interest in the outside world but instead an intense attachment to oneself, to one’s own group, clan, religion, nation, race, etc. — with consequent serious distortions of rational judgment. In general, the need for narcissistic satisfaction derives from the necessity to compensate for material and cultural poverty.

There are persons who, when they cease to shock us, cease to interest us.

The conception of worth, that each person is an end per se, is not a mere abstraction. Our interest in it is not merely academic. Every outcry against the oppression of some people by other people, or against what is morally hideous is the affirmation of the principle that a human being as such is not to be violated. A human being is not to be handled as a tool but is to be respected and revered.

There are persons who, when they cease to shock us, cease to interest us.

He who lives by fighting with an enemy has an interest in preservation of the enemy's life.

Freedom is not only the absence of external restraints. It also is the absence of irresistible internal compulsions, unmanageable passions and uncensorable appetites. From the need to resist, manage and censor the passions there flows the need to do so in the interest of some ends rather than others. Hence freedom requires reflective choice about the ends of life.

These cases . . . teach us the immense importance of Right Knowledge. Love is not enough unless it is complete love; that is, understanding as well as attachment, comprehension as well as compassion, intelligent interest as well as emotive affection. We must grasp what the process is, of which we are the growing edge.

A government for the people must depend for its success on the intelligence, the morality, the justice, and the interest of the people themselves.

We must face the recognition that what the early Christians saw in Jesus Christ, and what we must accept if we look at him rather than at our imaginations about him, was not a person characterized by universal benignity, loving God and loving man. His love of God and his love of neighbor are two distinct virtues that have no common quality but only a common source. Love of God is adoration of the only true good; it is gratitude to the bestower of all gifts; it is joy in holiness; it is "consent to Being." But the love of man is pitiful rather than adoring; it is giving and forgiving rather than grateful. It suffers for them in their viciousness and profaneness; it does not consent to accept them as they are, but calls them to repentance. The love of God is nonpossessive Eros; the love of man pure Agape; the love of God is passion; the love of man, compassion. There is duality here, but not of like-minded interest in two great values, God and man. It is rather the duality of the Son of Man and Son of God, who loves God as man should love Him, and loves man as only God can love, with powerful pity for those who are foundering.

A teacher, like a playwright, has an obligation to be interesting or, at least, brief. A play closes when it ceases to interest audiences.

What the Court really has refused to recognize is the fundamental interest all individuals have in controlling the nature of their intimate associations.

How was it possible, I asked myself, to walk for an hour through the woods and see nothing worthy of note? I who cannot see find hundreds of things to interest me through mere touch. I feel the delicate symmetry of a leaf. I pass my hands lovingly about the smooth skin of a silver birch, or the rough, shaggy bark of a pine. In spring I touch the branches of trees hopefully in search of a bud, the first sign of awakening Nature after her winter’s sleep. I feel the delightful, velvety texture of a flower, and discover its remarkable convolutions; and something of the miracle of Nature is revealed to me.

But it is well to remember that we are dealing with nations every one of which has a direct individual interest to serve, and there is grave danger in an unshared idealism.

In self-awareness there is no need for confession, for self-awareness creates the mirror in which all things are reflected without distortion. Every thought- feeling is thrown, as it were, on the screen of awareness to be observed, studied and understood; but this flow of understanding is blocked when there is condemnation or acceptance, judgment or identification. The more the screen is watched and understood—not as a duty or enforced practice, but because pain and sorrow have created the insatiable interest that brings its own discipline—the greater the intensity of awareness, and this in turn brings heightened understanding.