To fight abstraction you must have something of it in your own make-up. But how could Rambert be expected to grasp that? Abstraction for him was all that stood in the way of happiness. (2.2.74)
"I haven’t a notion, Tarrou; I assure you I haven’t a notion. When I entered this profession, I did it ‘abstractedly,’ so to speak; because I had a desire for it, because it meant a career like another, one that young men often aspire to." (2.7.63)
"Man isn’t an idea, Rambert."
Rambert sprang off the bed, his faze ablaze with passion.
"Man is an idea, and a precious small idea, once he turns his back on love. And that’s my point; we—mankind—have lost the capacity for love. […] Let’s wait to acquire the capacity […]. Personally, I look no further. (2.9.237-9)