Spirituality and the Love of Man
Q: What is the love of man in the spiritual sense?
A: A true act of love is when I do something good for someone I love only because I want to delight that person, even without their knowing that I’m the one who did this good thing, and even if I do not derive any direct pleasure from it. Love would be my only motivation to act.
The Torah explains that a true act of altruism (love of man) is when one party does not know about the other party, whether or not the party is giving. Otherwise there is pleasure derived from it.
If the Creator knows about a person’s act, this is already a reward. But for true giving, there need not be any kind of reward. We always speak from the perspective of the person with real feelings and not of abstract creatures. One must come to that sensation of genuine giving step by step, meaning one must attain the spiritual level of giving, while in the meantime performing it only mechanically.
But all the while, we should be aware that such existence is only mechanical, in the degree of this world, our temporary place.