notes on self-forgetfulness

The Moral Bucket List” written by David Brooks begins with the following paragraph:

“ABOUT once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.” David Brooks, “The Moral Bucket List“, New York Times, April 11, 2015
This idea instantly reminded of what C.S. Lewis wrote many years ago in his book Mere Christianity:
“Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.” — C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 1952 (via )
Then, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) noted in his book Orthodoxy (1908) to the effect that self-absorption and self-aggrandizement would lead to lunacy:
““I said to him, “Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most in themselves? For I can tell you. I know of men who believe in themselves more colossally than Napoleon or Caesar. I know where flames the fixed star of certainty and success. I can guide you to the thrones of the Super-men. The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.”” — G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908), via
Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) often mentions in his books the loftiness of letting down of one’s ego. There must be a bliss in self-forgetfulness. (There is a sermon by Tim Keller on that subject: “Blessed Self-Forgetfulness“) ]]>

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