A person’s life is a person’s love. Or (to put it into the “good and truth” terms we’ve been using recently) love is the essence of your life and your life is the expression of your love. Each of us has one love that is our “ruling” love, the one that is at the very core of who we are and how we live, that animates us. There are four types of ruling loves:
1. love to the Lord
2. love towards the neighbor
3. love of the world
4. love of self.
Everything that is good and true has to do with the first two, and everything that is evil and false comes from the last two.
The love of self is willing well to yourself alone, and not to other except when it benefits ourselves. A person ruled by this love thinks of everyone and everything as his servant, to be used for his own benefit. To see what such a person is like without the external checks of law and punishment, look at some of the worst kings and popes.
The love of the world is wishing to gather the things of this world by any means, for the sake of having them. It is certainly possible to gather wealth for the sake of helping others, but gathering money and possessions just to have them means that you love the things of the world more than the people of the world, your neighbors. Such people are described in the Writings for the New Church as predators.
All evil comes from these two loves. Unfortunately, we inherit a will (part of our mind) that is based entirely on these evil loves, and so we inherit tendencies to do evils of every kind. Reformation and regeneration are all about not acting on these motivations, and acting on the new, good motivations that the Lord instills into your mind as you live a life that is compatible with those goods.