Beyond the PIG and the APE

Book Review: Beyond the PIG and the APE

Dave Kinnear4-ExtPost, Blog, Book Reviews

Beyond the PIG and the APE: Realizing success and true happiness, By Krishna Pendyala and Mike Vargo


Authors Krishna Pendyala and Mike Vargo suggest we have things backward: Success may not make us happy. But, on the other hand, learning to be happy may well bring success! Further, he suggests that we are happy because we belong to life, not because of what belongs to us (possessions).

The PIG acronym stands for the ever-present drive to Pursue Instant Gratification. And, the APE acronym stands for the ever-present desire to Avoid Painful Experiences. This excellent book enlightens the reader

Beyond the PIG and the APE

on how our complex human nature trips us up when we pursue what we think is happiness.

The PIG and the APE on their own are neither good nor bad. BUT, when they are in service of the Ego, they are almost always troublesome. “When the PIG and the APE are in action together, serving the Ego, it is always trouble and usually trouble of the worst kind.”


We make decisions emotionally and then rationalize them intellectually. And, we also realize that the choices (decisions) we make shape our lives. We make choices on three levels. “Level 1 choices are made by the PIG and APE. You are not really ‘in control’ at all.

Level 2 choices are made by engaging the mind. Here, you think over the choice logically, and also add time into the equation — that is, take a longer view of the consequences. Typically you think you are in control although often, it is your Ego that’s in charge.

Level 3 choices are made by accessing a higher level of intelligence, beyond the Egoic mind. Your choices can have far-reaching impact but the notion of “control” no longer applies, because you have transcended control. You don’t need it. You are acting in harmony with the world and with life.”


The authors explain that there are also three levels of awareness. At level 1, we are creatures of our Ego, always responding in a way to protect it. If we can move to the semi-aware stage (level 2), we will be able to realize, usually after the fact, that we responded in a way that was designed to protect our Ego.

The third level is challenging to explain. That is because “words themselves break down.” According to the authors, Antoine de Saint-Exupery stated that “Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.” Similarly, our intuition arises from that part of our brains that lacks verbal skills. The authors speak of an area of our neuron system as the “knower.” The part of our brain that is the “thinker” overshadows and obscures the intuiting “knower.”

Unaware à Semi-Aware à Aware


Another word for Awareness is Presence. Presence is the “key to all locked doors” and means being where you are and being when you are. That implies you are not mired in thinking about the past, trying to analyze your situation, and not living in a fantasized future either.

The authors suggest that the last step is to decouple your Mind from your Ego. Easier said than done! But, they provide some tools for us to use in that work. I will leave the discovery of those tools up to you. I sincerely hope you will take the time to read this excellent book. It is worth your time and will assist you in finding true happiness.

See this book on Amazon.