”Psychology has distinctions only between good and bad forms of selfishness, like Rousseau's deliciously candid distinction between amour de soi and amour-propre, untranslatable into English because we would have to use self-love for both terms.”
Allan Bloom. The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987. p. 178.
The puzzle in this seeming contradiction is easy to solve. Selfishness is rooted in this very lack of fondness for oneself. The person who is not fond of himself, who does not approve of himself, is in constant anxiety concerning his own self. He has not the inner security which can exist only on the basis of genuine fondness and affirmation. He must be concerned about himself, greedy to get everything for himself, since basically he lacks security and satisfaction.
Erich Fromm. Escape from Freedom. New York: Avon, 1941. pp. 136-137.
“The ego and soul are two wheels of the same bike, each necessary, both important. Without soul, the ego would be completely misdirected. The soul without ego would be endangered.”
Brian Luke Seaward. Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water: Reflections on Stress and Human Spirituality. (1997) Deerfield Beach, Fla.: Health Communications, Inc. 2007. p. 93.
“Iris Murdoch writes that to respond to the world justly, you first have to perceive it clearly, and this requires a kind of ‘unselfing.’ … ‘[V]irtue is the attempt to pierce the veil of selfish consciousness and join the world as it really is.’”
Matthew B. Crawford. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. New York: Penguin Press, 2009. pp. 99-100.