C. S. Lewis on self-love and self-admiration.
My afternoon “meditations”—which I at least attempt quite regularly now—I have found out ludicrous and terrible things about my own character. Sitting by, watching the rising thoughts to break their necks as they pop up, one learns to know the sort of thoughts that do come. And, will you believe it, one out of every three is the thought of self-admiration: when everything else fails, having had its neck broken, up comes the thought “What an admirable fellow I am to have broken their necks!” I catch myself posturing before the mirror, so to speak, all day long. I pretend I am carefully thinking out what to say to the next pupil (for his good, of course) and then suddenly realize I am really thinking how frightfully clever I am going to be and how he will admire me . . . And then when you force yourself to stop it, you admire yourself for doing that. It is like fighting the hydra . . . There seems to be no end to it. Depth under depth of self-love and self-admiration.
C. S. Lewis: Collected Letters, Vol. 1, Family Letters 1905–1931, ed. Walter Hooper, p. 877.