The Dalai Lama has teamed up with American psychologist Paul Ekman to create a website in which they map out the entire range of human emotions.
The website is called Atlas Of Emotions and was created in order to increase our understanding of how human emotions influence our lives.
From their website “This atlas was inspired by a series of conversations between the Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman about the science of emotions. With the help of Stamen Design and Paul’s daughter, Dr. Eve Ekman, this tool was created to be a visual journey through the world of emotions.”
Paul Ekman is an American psychologist who has worked in the field of emotional research. His pioneering work was linking emotions with facial expressions, in which he mapped out all 43 muscle groups which are used during our different facial expression.
The Dalai Lama contacted Paul to see if he could create a map of human emotions, in the hope that such a map would work like a blueprint where people can experience a much more constructive range of emotions. He requested that Dr Ekman base the map of emotions on the scientific consensus about what emotions are.
The Dalai Lama stated “When we wanted to get to the new world, we needed a map to get there. If we want to get to a calm state of mind we need a map of the emotion.”
It is thought that this map could help to give us a choice, or at least some of the time give us a choice about the emotions we experience and also a deeper understanding of how emotions influence our behaviour.
Taken from their website- “We need to understand our emotions and develop skills to have a choice about (1) when we become emotional or what brings forth an emotional response, and (2) how we respond and what we say and do when we are emotional.”
According to Atlas Of Emotions, having this awareness leads to less bad decision making, less impulsive behavior and less regret that usually follows an emotional outburst.
Emotions are a central part of our lives – And the suppression of them is an unhealthy way to move forward. However a better understanding is definately a progressive step in the right direction, as we all need to feel the full range of emotions to have a full human experience.