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The disinterested person February 27, 2012

Posted by aldelsol in MORALITY.
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Now that the praise of the “disinterested person” is so popular one must–probably not without some danger–get an idea of WHAT people actually take an interest in, and what are the things generally which fundamentally and profoundly concern ordinary men–including the cultured, even the learned, and perhaps philosophers also, if appearances do not deceive. The fact thereby becomes obvious that the greater part of what interests and charms higher natures, and more refined and fastidious tastes, seems absolutely “uninteresting” to the average man–if, notwithstanding, he perceive devotion to these interests, he calls it desinteresse, and wonders how it is possible to act “disinterestedly.”

There have been philosophers who could give this popular astonishment a seductive and

mystical, other-worldly expression (perhaps because they did not

know the higher nature by experience?), instead of stating the

naked and candidly reasonable truth that “disinterested” action

is very interesting and “interested” action, provided that. . .

“And love?”–What! Even an action for love’s sake shall be

“unegoistic”? But you fools–! “And the praise of the self-

sacrificer?”–But whoever has really offered sacrifice knows that

he wanted and obtained something for it–perhaps something from

himself for something from himself; that he relinquished here in

order to have more there, perhaps in general to be more, or even

feel himself “more.” But this is a realm of questions and answers

in which a more fastidious spirit does not like to stay: for here

truth has to stifle her yawns so much when she is obliged to

answer. And after all, truth is a woman; one must not use force

with her.

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