As we established in Part One, selfishness means I want the most for me, or more to the point, I choose the most for me. Furthermore, true selfishness requires that I consider other people and circumstances in order to get the most from them. Now we’ll look at how this plays out physiologically in the body.
When I engage in lying (one of the cornerstones of our culture and society – when in doubt: lie) and its relatives, cheating and stealing, my belief system is based on the fact that my truth is not enough, that my truth does not make me safe. I inherently do not trust myself when I lie. For my brainstem, all information has an emotional component, and it will organize my body accordingly. In short, all thoughts are interpreted as either suggesting threat or safety. My brainstem will interpret mistrust as a threat, and will engage the sympathetic neural response.
We have discussed the dynamics of the sympathetic response elsewhere, and we’ll summarize the two key aspects relative to bodywork here: the sympathetic response inhibits the immune system, and it engages protective muscle hypertonicity somewhere (and to a degree, everywhere) in the body structure. Together, these provide the setting in the body for dysfunction and disease (see the blog ‘Hypertonicity Defined’ and the article ‘Viability of theInterstitial Space’).
Conversely, true selfishness leads to, and actually requires, self-trust.
In order to truly choose the most for me, I must believe I deserve the most for me, and I therefore must believe and trust in myself. The more thoroughly I trust in myself, the more parasympathetic my nervous system will be operating because I will feel safe within myself. And, the more ideal my muscle tone will be, the more fluid my interstitial space will be (‘Viability of the Interstitial Space’). True selfishness is a key aspect of optimal health. From another perspective, when I enlist others’ help in becoming more abundant by being a part of their becoming more abundant, I am engaging myself and them in a creative process. A creative process always excites the quest for and the sense of satisfaction, which is probably human beings’ most desirable experience. The sense of satisfaction which arises from a creative process is a sublime experience which induces a parasympathetic perspective and a sense of self-trust.