Sunday, May 08, 2016

a map of emotions

When the Dalai Lama makes a move, people pay attention:  An atlas of emotions,  part of a wider effort to understand emotions and use that understanding to reduce suffering in the world.

Certainly it is an honorable goal, to reduce suffering, but among the tools and studies of emotion, Lisa Barrett has done some importantt work developing alternative interpretations to Ekman's work:

More study is needed on the entire topic of emotion, and alternative approaches are more important than ever.

Ekman's atlas shows five major moods:  Fear, Anger, Disgust, Sadness, and Enjoyment.   Among these categories, it is tragic that only one of them (20%) is a happy one.  I wonder if this is reflection of our times, or of humanity in general?  The atlas maps out certain ideas, and is described as a tool to finding inner peace, but I'm not sure how it applies to me individually, nor how I can use it to find my own inner peace.

Perhaps what is needed is not so much a map, as a better understanding of what emotions are,  how individuals experience it, and how emotions affect our behavior and our internal happiness. 

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