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on egotism [Dec. 20th, 2006|11:50 am]
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An egotism, like an eggshell, is a thing from which to escape; the art of life is that escape. The fundamental art of life is to recover the sense of that great self-forgetful continuous life from which we have individually budded off. Many people have done this through religion, which begins with a tremendous clamour to some saviour god or other to recognise us and ends in our recognition of him; or through science, when your egotist begins with: 'Behold me! I, I your humble servant, am a scientific man, devoted to the clear statement of truth,' and ends with so passionate a statement of truth that self is forgotten altogether.

-- H.G. Wells, from the introduction to The Journal of a Disappointed Man, by B.F. Cummings (1919)