“Emotional Awareness”: Dalai Llama and Paul Eckman; Moods

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Emotions also filter the knowledge that is available to us.
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When we are in the grip of an emotion, I have proposed that we are in a “refractory period,” during which we can only remember information that fits the emotion; we can only interpret others in a way that fits the emotion.
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Often a refractory period is very short-lived, and when that is so, it can be helpful, by focusing our attention.
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For moods, a refractory period can last a whole day, and all of that time we are misperceiving the world.
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We do not have access to everything we know, only to what fits our mood. .
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That is why, as a Darwinian, I believe that moods must be a byproduct of something else.
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They are a plague for us, distorting how we see the world and respond to others.
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People have heard me say I want to banish moods and have asked me, What about a good mood?
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But in a good mood, we are not sensitive to potential problems; we are in a deluded state.
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We enjoy it, but just because we enjoy it does not mean it is really useful.
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