Beyond the PIG and the APE
Realizing SUCCESS and true HAPPINESS
By Krishna Pendyala
with Mike Vargo
We humans have innate drives that evolved to help us feed and protect ourselves. Yet often these drives act in ways that sabotage our chances for happiness and success. They make us focus on instant but fleeting rewards, and the drives also get entangled with our Egos — making us obsessed with “feeding and protecting” delusional mind-made identities that aren’t who we really are. The way through the maze is simply awareness. By growing aware of how this inner mischief distorts and limits us, we naturally open up to a larger state of being — joyful, creative, fully present to life.
Beyond the PIG and the APE is for anyone seeking lasting happiness in life. It’s written to be useful to people at any stage of the journey. The Introduction recounts my own journey, with an emphasis on “stages” that many of us can relate to. Ultimately we learn that happiness is to be found by looking within. But the secret is not likely to await us in a box marked “happiness,” so a practical question remains.
Exactly what are we supposed to be looking for?
The rest of the book answers that question, in part by offering a simple guide to what to look out for — i.e., the chief sources of suffering, the inner impediments to happiness. Two of these are mental drives which for many thousands of years were essential to survival, but tend to get us modern humans into trouble — the PIG, the ever-present drive to Pursue Instant Gratification; and the APE, the drive to Avoid Painful Experience. In earlier times, these drives served our ancestors well in feeding and protecting themselves. But today they operate mainly within the mind, where they serve to feed and protect the Ego, the false mind-created identity whose constant demands lead us astray.
All three mind-creatures get away with their mischief by functioning below the level of Awareness. Like vampires, they can’t stand the light. So a significant part of the book is about building Awareness. First we learn simply to “watch” the PIG, APE, and Ego, using our minds to, well, mind them and to start making better choices than the choices they urge upon us.
However, the mind-level approach has inherent limits. For lasting happiness we must move to a higher Awareness, which transcends the thinking mind. And from this level we can see what we really are. The core of each person’s being — the “big YOU” — is a knower, not a thinker, which has been obscured by the thinking mind or “little you.” Whereas the little you harbors the mischievous inner creatures and all mind-spun woes, the big YOU lives beyond that prison. Awareness flows through it — a higher Awareness and fundamental connectedness with a world in which we feel at home.
The Introduction and first four chapters carry us through this revelation. The remaining chapters as listed in the table of contents bring the esoteric back to the realm of the practical. Stories to illustrate key points are used throughout, and the entire back of the book is a collection of twenty one stories for practical learning.
These truths seem all too self-evident: Most of us are under a lot of stress. We often feel that our work is too demanding and our personal lives are chaotic. We think we would really like a much more relaxed and enjoyable life — but it’s all so hard, with the many difficulties we face in our busy modern world.
Then someone like Krishna Pendyala comes along to challenge these views. He dares to speak of creating lasting happiness, right here, right now. A busy and successful person himself, he says it is possible to find profound joy and inner peace, not by “escaping” from our lives but by living at a higher level of awareness. If you don’t think it can happen in your life, you might change your mind when you read this book.
Lasting fulfillment is not only possible, Krishna Pendyala tells us, it is our birthright. And the steps to reaching this wonderful state of happiness, inner peace and contentment are not all that difficult. One of Krishna’s strengths is showing us how simple it can be. His clear little diagrams alone are worth the price of admission. When I first saw those illustrations, I told him he had put the great concepts of Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now into a simple form. Eckhart Tolle is my favorite writer of all time, so these are words of praise.
Every generation needs new writers and speakers to remind us of the age-old truths that lead to a better life experience. With this book, Krishna Pendyala emerges as a voice of clarity and sanity in a crazy, stress-filled world. As he likes to say, “We have been conditioned to focus on misguided goals — success at any cost in business and instant happiness in personal life.” To learn a path that is far more fruitful, read on. Krishna has written the best kind of book: one that can improve your life and your world in a great many remarkable ways.
— Marc Allen
Author, Visionary Business
Publisher, Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now
Co-founder, New World Library