1. For one thing, real life can’t compete well in general with fantasy, fiction, or the engineered-to-feel-good artificial life that substances and acting out behaviors provide (the “this isn’t it” syndrome; the downside of living inauthentically never seems to become apparent to the protagonist until the story has pretty much already gone seriously awry);
  1. Pleasure is hard to say “NO” to, especially for the immature or under-developed mind (the ability to delay gratification is a hallmark feature of a genuine adult);


  1. Escape from pain is even harder to say ”NO” to, even for relatively mature individuals (the ability to tolerate great frustration is another hallmark feature of genuine adulthood);
  1. Meaningful purposes do not grow on trees, they aren’t delivered to us, they have to be created; Why have purposes? Because we need a reason to move from here to there,  and we’re built that way.   Purpose shapes what goals will be end up being meaningful to us — the pickpocket looking at the saint, and only sees his pockets, for example;
  2. Goals that are more like “carrots” than sticks are more ego syntonic — that is, more fully favored by the self and more genuinely satisfying (though still fleeting). Goals and “missions in life” that are driven by “stick” motivation are inherently under-satisfying, though often more intense and motivating in the short term;
  3. Purpose (of the congruent variety) is also the only thing that can give pain a context that can make it “ok enough” for us to live with it;  As our sense of purpose develops and matures, if love is at the basis of it, health is more likely on all fronts;  if love is not a significant part of a person’s operating platform, illness of all kinds will happen and purposes will be narrow and unanchored to a sense of the healthy and the profound;
  1. Western values are so much about the “payoffs” for the individual (as opposed to what is good for the group, or “the other”) — leading to exaggerated or inflated sense of personal entitlement (also developmental arrest — perpetual immaturity);
  2. Love is profanely reduced by much of the world (both east and west) into a set of notions that leave us feeling both empty and yet at the same time, entitled to have good feelings; the real power of love gets lost in the middle of this conceptual and emotional morass;
  3. Dysfunction in families is the norm as a consequence of the fact and the outcome of this fracturing or profaning of love and our understanding of it; there are, of course, other contributing factors, such as the overpowering instinct to avoid pain and the irresponsible attribution of cause or agency in our personal explanations and definitions of who we are and why we are the way we are and why we do what we do;
  1. The challenges associated with identifying and healing emotional and “psychic” wounds are inherently great, and treatment science has failed to support the de facto resolutionary goal or the process of completing unfinished business;
  2. Universal and ingrained misunderstandings regarding the nature and role of emotions and emotioning leaves us bereft of any sense about what actually motivates us; To be Unwise or ignore-ant means to be under aware, being “out of touch” with meanings and signals of purpose expression and goal pursuit;
  3. The interplay dynamics of meanings and purposes, actions and goals, feelings and larger emotioning processes reveal who we are to ourselves if we can tune in and see what is so or true in our actual meaningful worlds (multiverses);
  1. As a constructivist I assume: The being is wrapped inside a mind; the mind is largely wrapped inside the individual’s significant proximal relationships (e.g., family, friends); these relationships are wrapped inside the culture, the culture is influenced by the clash with other cultures and the history of epistemological premises of its ancestors, and normal distribution phenomena predict at best a slow and conservative evolution of these premises. Picture a series of concentric circles with each level of larger containing circle limiting the possibilities for change or expansion of all those situated within its boundaries; Traditions will be established, and they will be slow and “hard” to change;
  2. Radicals, revolutionaries, and other types of outliers lead the change process for the larger “embedded” group; But, at the same time, these types of individuals are assassination targets — this is the systemic tendency toward “conservation” at work, not evil or special pathology;
  3. One conclusion to take from this: No matter how much the human talks about wanting to change oneself, or change the world…there are multiple, substantive obstacles or barriers making “deliberate” change very difficult, even while there are plenty of evolutionary forces making change inevitable (just not too often consciously directed);
  4. It turns out the way we operate is a bit paradoxical — in some senses working too hard to deliberately change, which we all tend to do, is one of the biggest impediments to change;
  5. All addiction is a set of paradoxes or contradictions; e.g., refusing/resisting change and wanting to change, changing the irrelevant and maintaining what should be changed, taking on city hall and running from your shadow, growing small to avoid bigger hits, overcompensating “after the fact” and so much more;
  6. Knowing more about how we are individually wired (especially our “cross wiring”) can help a great deal–in fact, it may be the only tool we have in our possession. Other essential curative elements don’t belong to us…we have to get them from interactions with others, e.g., compassion, intimacy, validation, caretaking, support;