A gunman entered a movie theatre in Denver, Colorado. He killed 14 and injured another 50. The AP coverage reports that there is "no immediate word of any motive." But will we ever be able to understand why he or any human being does what what they do? In addition, will he?
The drivers of individual human behavior remain a mystery. Article after article in brandname media struggled and will continue to struggle for years to connect the dots on the unraveling of former McKinsey head Rajat Gupta. He went from respected and well-paid member of the establishment to crook who will be sentenced in October. Few dare contend they have a handle on what drove convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff to cheat friends. And who is presidential candidate Mitt Romney and why is he exposing himself to such humiliation to get the low-paying job of president.
Religions, philosophies like Buddhism, and 12-step programs all exist to break us open to self awareness. At the very best, though, we get a mere peek.