from The Spiritual Foundation of Morality. Lecture 3 of 3.
Rudolf Steiner, May 30, 1912:
...Let us now ask: How can the sentient soul turn to one side or the other, away from what is right? The sentient soul is that quality in man which enables him to perceive the objective world, to take it into himself, to take part in it, not to pass through the world ignorant of all the diversified objects it contains, but to go through the world in such a way that he forms a relationship with them. All this is brought about by the sentient soul. We find one side to which man can deviate with the sentient soul when we enquire: What makes it possible for man to enter into relationship with the objective world? It is what may be called interest in the different things, and by this word “interest” something is expressed which in a moral sense is extremely important. It is much more important that one should bear in mind the moral significance of interest than that one should devote oneself to thousands of beautiful moral axioms, which may be only paltry and hypocritical. Let it be clearly understood that our moral impulses are in fact never better guided than when we take a proper interest in objects and beings. In our last lecture we spoke in a deeper sense of love as an impulse, and in such a way that we cannot now be misunderstood if we say that the usual, oft-repeated declamation “love, love, and again love” cannot replace the moral impulse contained in what may be described by the word interest.