"[The seers call him wise] whose every attempt is free, without any desire for gain, without any selfishness." Truth can never come to us as long as we are selfish. We colour everything with our own selves. Things come to us as they are. Not that they are hidden, not at all! We hide them. We have the brush. A thing comes, and we do not like it, and we brush a little and then look at it. ... We do not want to know. We paint everything with ourselves. In all action the motive power is selfishness. Everything is hidden by ourselves. We are like the caterpillar which takes the thread out of his own body and of that makes the cocoon, and behold, he is caught. By his own work he imprisons himself. That is what we are doing. The moment I say "me" the thread makes a turn. "I and mine," another turn. So it goes. ...
- Swami Vivekananda
(Delivered in San Francisco, on May 29, 1900)
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 1/Lectures And Discourses/The Gita III