Rav Dessler (in Michtav M’Eliyahu: Kuntres HaChessed) writes that self-love is evil, because it is the power of taking, while the Rav seems to be disagreeing with Rav Dessler’s approach, because the Rav is saying that even self-love is pure.
Rav Dessler is talking about the result of self-love; when the result is evil, it is the power of taking, and when it is positive, it is the power of giving. But they are both the results of self-love. Here in this class we were addressing the essence of self-love [which is not evil]. That is why we emphasized here in this class that there is the essence of self-love, and there is the result of self-love. The result of our self-love can either be good (giving) or evil (taking), but that is a separate factor than self-love itself. Here in this class we explained the essence of self-love, and we did not discuss its results of either giving or taking.
To illustrate the difference, when two friends meet, if they hug or kiss, we can say that this describes the essence of their love. If they give each other presents afterwards, this is the results of their love, but it is not the love itself.