Selfishness is not a force implanted in human nature by the gods in order to be denied or rejected; It is essential for man’s wellbeing and survival.
If, looking for the reasons behind selfishness, we ask ourselves: Why have the gods, the good gods, implanted what in the opinion of many is so horrible into mankind? The answer given by spiritual science is that selfishness offers a very strong protection against what people would face without it.
If one wanted to practice black magic, he would normally find it relatively easy to gather apprentices and teach them about certain machinations that are terribly damaging to the world. But why do most people avoid becoming pupils of black magic? The answer is simple: they are afraid of the potential harm to their own personality.
Selfish fear offers the best protection against the use of very evil forces, like black magic. It drives people away from utilising such forces, and that is an excellent thing.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 101 – Mythen und Sagen Okkulte Zeichen und Symbole – Berlin, October 21, 1907 (page 119-120)