In my recent conversations with the Dalai Lama (which eventuated into a book – Emotional Awareness) we disagreed about two matters. One was fear of death, which I claim not to feel and he claims everyone has. The evidence is in his favor since all religions promise life of some kind after death, and they would not do so if people didn’t need it. I fear a painful death, but not death itself. Can’t comprehend why people do; which doesn’t mean I don’t wish to continue living, but as time progresses and body parts and the mind wears out I expect death will be welcome. Our other disagreement was about forgiveness. I believe there are unforgivable actions – child abuse, rape, holocausts, torture are examples. The Dalai Lama says he forgives but does not forget. In my view, since he believes such people will be reincarnated in an undesirable form, he doesn’t need to forgive them.
Dr Paul Ekman is Manager of the Paul Ekman Group, LLC (PEG), a small company that produces training devices relevant to emotional skills, and is initiating new research relevant to national security and law enforcement. He was listed as one of the 100 most influential psychologists of the twentieth century by the Review of General Psychology in 2002, and was among Time magazine’s most influential people of 2009.
Return to menu for One Nagging Thing.