What did the Chinese philosopher Lie Zi mean when he said "When there is a motive to be virtuous,
there is no virtue"?
He meant that real virtue is dispassionate. Where there is a motive to virtue there is spiritual pride
and vanity. Jesus' parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18) says the same thing. The
Greeks called this dispassion apatheiaand the Latins humilitas. Benedict of Nursia (480-547) who
founded Western monasticism speaks with wisdom and at some length on this matter in his RuleCh.
VII — the so-called twelve steps of humility on the ladder of virtue. Monastic obedience was one of
the three vows which protected the monk from vainglory.