Declan Donnellan, co-founder of Cheek by Jowl, a company that regularly stages Jacobean drama, argues that our comfortable lives may make the corpse piles necessary. “I’ve got nothing against civilisation, but we pay a terrible price. We are repressed. It’s one of the reasons why murder stories in newspapers sell well, and a good reason why there is a lot of violence, or why we want to gossip about other people’s sex lives. It’s because there are dark places in ourselves that we don’t want to go to. But it actually keeps us sane to go to those places occasionally.”
This sounds like old-fashioned Freudianism to me. And as someone who spent no small part of his adult life doing pretty much what I felt like, including some thing seriously frowned upon in many circles, I can't say that anything especially good comes out of over-indulgence of the self — except, if one survives, a certain fine sense of proportion.