More on fun and pleasure, this time focusing on helplessness and recklessness, and how these can be reigned in using "selective withdrawal" and "partial indifference".

Paul introduces the concepts of selective withdrawal and partial indifference for dealing with the problems of recurrent overstimulation in modern society. The development of internal monitoring systems for feeling and action states is seen as central for those who are trying to grow psychologically. The effect of self-awareness on helplessness, and self-control on recklessness is discussed, as is the role of hate and anger stimuli in protecting mental health.

Opening passage:

Civilization takes its being from man's ability to pursue truth and right for their own sake. This capacity did not emerge in evolutionary history simply from man's higher cortical functions. A psychological change was necessary to bring this kind of fruitfulness into being. The psychological basis of civilization is to be found in the fact that individuals develop specialized personalities of two kinds, the one submissive and the other dominant. Submissive personalities develop much deeper levels of sensitivity than would otherwise be possible, and dominant personalities have consistent access to high levels of energy and vigor. These specially developed inner psychological resources bring complications in their wake. Along with the assets they confer in the form of great elaborations of conceptual analytic ability and manipulative skills, they expose civilized man to the recurrent threat of overstimulation. Submissive personalities must learn to regulate their sensitivity so they are not overwhelmed by feelings that build up inside them with nowhere to go, and vigorous personalities must find the inner resources to monitor their participation in the flow of experience so that they are not disorganized by energy that cannot find a home