What’s so addictive about the HOGAB? What are the (seeming) benefits of living inside the HOGAB?


Would you have to give up these benefits if you lived outside the HOGAB?

  • We enjoy the drama of it all: good guys and bad guys! We are addicted to drama. Our movies, our TV series, and the news that’s made for general consumption show us how addicted we are.

  • When we see ourselves as good compared to someone else, we can feel good about that.

  • Seeing others as bad reduces our compassion for them and allows us to more easily take action to protect ourselves against them and get revenge.

  • Life seems safer by having clear rules of good and bad and right and wrong.

  • We get some feeling that others will agree with us and support us if we will just be the good guy (and we can even get sympathy and support as the poor victim).

  • Feeling righteous and angry gives us a rush of energy. It feels so right to be right. No need to get curious about the other side. No need to wonder about your own contribution to the circumstances. No need to choose courage to explore the possibility of a win-win.

  • Living in the HOGAB gives us a feeling of solidity about who we are; it reinforces our identity (we are a good, hard-working person, different from others).

  • Some feeling of control (or possible control) and a reduced sense of risk when we know we’re right.

  • We can feel motivated to exact revenge and enjoy that revenge.

  • If we’re suffering, we can feel okay about making or expecting others to suffer also (equality of suffering lives inside the HOGAB).

  • Feeling righteous can provide anesthesia for our own hurt.

  • We can live in the fantasy that, if everyone would just be good and do the right thing, then all problems would be solved.

  • The feeling of justice/revenge that we get from living in a world in which we believe that God and/or others will reward the good people and punish the bad.

  • Somehow the universe seems more understandable if bad things are caused by bad people.

  • We can have some sense of control/influence over others if we think we can appeal to what is right and good and blame what is wrong and bad.

  • We can avoid the fear associated with trying to understand the other person’s perspective or get some alignment with them.

  • We can avoid the fear associated with our Next having to consider what our Now wants.

  • We get a feeling that the world makes sense from the perspective of good and bad, right and wrong.

  • Blame gives us a feeling of, “I know what’s going on here and I don’t need to question myself.” This even includes when you’re blaming yourself (when your Next is blaming your Now).

  • Blaming others dulls our fear or hurt when others blame us.

  • If we didn’t live in the HOGAB, how would we ever protect ourselves from the bad guys?!

  • Buying into the HOGAB confirms that we belong to humanity (or at least, our tribe); the righteous are often threatened by those who are not righteous in the same way. If you had been a U.S. citizen during WW II who expressed disagreement regarding the anti-Japanese posters at that time, you would have gotten a lot of flak for not supporting your country (just as one of a thousand possible examples involving tribes). Check out this American WWII poster; of course, the Japanese did the same in different forms. For example, the Japanese movie widely released in 1945, "Momotarō: Umi no Shinpei," portrayed the Americans and British in Singapore as morally decadent and physically weak "devils."


Or what if you were one who questioned this anti-German poster from WW I?


And the Germans had their posters; this one says, "Behind the enemy powers: The Jews."


“One that confounds good and evil is an enemy to good.” -Edmund Burke (a British author, orator, political theorist and philosopher, 1729-1797)


Edmund, would you think I am confounding good and evil? I suspect you might.


  • How could we possibly know how to make choices and guide our lives if we did not live in the HOGAB?! Everything would seem so arbitrary.

  • Living inside the HOGAB is so addictive that we would rather lose and be right than to get what we want.

Negotiating my parent’s divorce


After my mother separated from my father in 1984, I ended up negotiating the divorce settlement between my mother and father (otherwise the lawyers were going to get everything). I would go back and forth—talking with my father on the telephone and then talking with my mother. In one conversation with my mother, she said, “I just want to make him hurt for all the things he did to me.” I replied, “Well, Mama, we could focus on doing that. If we do, however, you’re likely to get a less favorable outcome than if we focus directly on getting an agreement, without trying to hurt him.” In spite of her desire for revenge, she agreed, and she ended up with a favorable settlement with my father.

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