Sunday, March 14, 2010

Paul Ekman On The Run

Dr. Paul Ekman is an impressive and renown psychologist in the field of emotions. He has a very long list of accomplishments but besides that it is enjoyable to watch him on video. He always seems to me as a peaceful, calm and warm person. He would certainly fit to the urban definition of being Zen and it's not surprising that he befriended the Dalai Lama.

This video is depicting the man in a slightly different manner since he seems a bit more agitated than his normal behaviour. I believe this is a combination of excitement and stress. He meets with a long time and important friend front of an audience. No surprise here!

This can be seen in many ways but the most conspicuous is the manner in which he sits: he is not seated up to the back of the chair and he is leaning forward. It shows both interest and stress. The stress level would be even greater if his feet would be closer (or behind) to his coronal plane. Both behavioural positions at the same time is something rather typical to a first meeting.

A monologue given by Dr. Paul Ekman on the emotions characterizing happiness goes on and he finally asks the Dalai Lama whether or not he experiences any of them. The interpreter answers to the question on the behalf of his Holiness by stating all of them, to the obvious exception of naches.

“Even Schadenfreude?” uttered at 3:35 by a bewildered Dr. Ekman. Schadenfreude is the pleasure taken from others' misfortune. I don't have to go very far to identify a person who takes such pleasure. A serious question is raised as whether or not the highest rank member in Tibetan Buddhism, his Holiness, a master at controlling his inner self, can experience such a negative emotion. Dr. Paul Ekman has a certain admiration for his Holiness.

This is perhaps the reason why Dr. Paul Ekman momentarily feels uneasy where he literally attempts to replace his sock at 3:36. Blood flow increases down to the feet when we need to run away. It is especially true when a micromovement is made on the back of our leg(s).

The reality may be difficult to accept because one would expect his Holiness to be a saint, exempt of any negative personality traits, that is, an improbable possibility — an illusion. The Dalai Lama understands he is not perfect and dark thoughts may come and go, as in any human being. Notwithstanding his dark feelings, he most likely does not hold on them contrary to many of us...

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