ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Dalai Lama, who tirelessly preaches inner peace while chiding people for their selfish, materialistic ways, has commissioned scientists for a lofty mission: to help turn secular audiences into more self-aware, compassionate humans.
That is, of course, no easy task. So the Dalai Lama ordered up something with a grand name to go with his grand ambitions: a comprehensive Atlas of Emotions to help the more than seven billion people on the planet navigate the morass of their feelings to attain peace and happiness.
“It is my duty to publish such work,” the Dalai Lama said.
To create this “map of the mind,” as he called it, the Dalai Lama reached out to a source Hollywood had used to plumb the workings of the human psyche.
Specifically, he commissioned his good friend Paul Ekman — a psychologist who helped advise the creators of Pixar’s “Inside Out,” an animated film set inside a girl’s head — to map out the range of human sentiments. Dr. Ekman later distilled them into the five basic emotions depicted in the movie, from anger to enjoyment.
Dr. Ekman’s daughter, Eve, a post-doctoral fellow in integrative medicine research, worked on the project as well, with the goal of producing a guide to human emotions that anyone with an Internet connection could study in a quest for self-understanding, calm and constructive action.
“We have, by nature or biologically, this destructive emotion, also constructive emotion,” the Dalai Lama said. “This innerness, people should pay more attention to, from kindergarten level up to university level. This is not just for knowledge, but in order to create a happy human being. Happy family, happy community and, finally, happy humanity.”
Oakland Tribune, Empathy antidote to Job Burnout, 2012