Iceland to build first temple to Norse gods in 1,000 years
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, also a psychologist, worked on the project as well, with the goal of producing an interactive 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.”
The Dalai Lama paid Dr. Ekman at least $750,000 to develop the project, which began with a request several years ago.
Dr. Ekman recalled the Dalai Lama telling him: “When we wanted to get to the New World, we needed a map. So make a map of emotions so we can get to a calm state.”
As a first step, Dr. Ekman conducted a survey of 149 scientists (emotion scientists, neuroscientists and psychologists who are published leaders in their fields) to see where there was consensus about the nature of emotions, the moods or states they produce, and related areas.
Based on the survey, Dr. Ekman concluded that there were five broad categories of emotions — anger, fear, disgust, sadness and enjoyment — and that each had an elaborate subset of emotional states, triggers, actions and moods. He took these findings to a cartography and data visualization firm, Stamen, to depict them in a visual and, he hoped, useful way.
“If it isn’t fun, it’s a failure,” Dr. Ekman said. “It’s got to be fun for people to use.”
Stamen’s founder, Eric Rodenbeck, has created data visualizations for Google, Facebook and MTV, as well as maps showing climate change and rising oceans. But he said the Atlas was the most challenging project he had worked on because it was “built around knowledge and wisdom rather than data.”
Not surprisingly, getting scientists to reach a unified understanding of human emotions was difficult.
Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, also counseled Pixar on establishing and depicting the emotional characters for “Inside Out.” He has even advised Facebook on emoticons.
Although Dr. Keltner took part in Dr. Ekman’s survey, the two are not in complete agreement on the number of core emotions. Still, Dr. Keltner said he saw the project as a good step.
“The survey questions could have allowed for more gray areas,” he said. “But it’s important to take stock of what the scientific consensus is in the field.”
Dr. Ekman emphasized that the Atlas was not a scientific work intended for peer review.
“It is a visualization for what we think has been learned from scientific studies,” he said. “It’s a transformative process, a work of explanation.”
The Dalai Lama wants to keep religion out of it.
“If we see this research work as relying on religious belief or tradition, then it automatically becomes limited,” he said. “Even if you pray to God, pray to Buddha, emotionally, very nice, very good. But every problem, we have created. So I think even God or Buddha cannot do much.”
The Dalai Lama said he hoped the Atlas could be a tool for cultivating good in the world by defeating the bad within us.
“Ultimately, our emotion is the real troublemaker,” he said. “We have to know the nature of that enemy.”
Icelanders will soon be able to publicly worship at a shrine to Thor, Odin and Frigg with construction starting this month on the island’s first major temple to the Norse gods since the Viking age.
Worship of the gods in Scandinavia gave way to Christianity around 1,000 years ago but a modern version of Norse paganism has been gaining popularity in Iceland.
“I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet,” said Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson, high priest of ‘Asatruarfelagid’, an association that promotes faith in the Norse gods.
“We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology.”
Membership in Asatruarfelagid has tripled in Iceland in the last decade to 2,400 members last year, out of a total population of 330,000, data from Statistics Iceland showed. Read more…
Source: The Talking Stick: News and Information from the First Nations Longhouse, November 16, 2015
Assistant Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies
The University of Sudbury, a bilingual and tri-cultural institution and founding member of the Laurentian Federation, invites applications for a tenure-stream position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies commencing July 1, 2016. The Department of Indigenous Studies seeks a dynamic candidate with an expertise in the areas of: health and wellness, community-based research, Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous spirituality. Applicants should have a PhD, or ABD in Indigenous Studies or related discipline and have a demonstrated ability for excellence in research, teaching, publications and working with Indigenous communities. Experience in teaching and Indigenous research and knowledge of an Indigenous language and/or French will be considered definite assets.
Applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, teaching dossier and three separate confidential reference letters directed to: Dr. Pierre Zundel, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Sudbury, 935 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 2C6. The deadline for applications is December 1, 2015 but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
This announcement is directed primarily but not exclusively to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. The University of Sudbury encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including women, members of visible and ethnic minorities, Indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities.
Summer Medicine Workshop Series at UBC Farm
All workshops will be at the UBC Farm, Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden
$10 – 20 sliding scale
RSVP or learn more, contact Hannah.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Talking Stick: News and Information from the First Nations Longhouse, May 15, 2015
To imagine what “Australia” was like B.C. (“Before Cook”, or before colonisation), one needs to envision the entire landmass of this island/continent and most of its surrounding islands and waters as crisscrossed by “Dreamings” (in popular parlance sometimes referred to as “Songlines”).
Each of the approximately 250 separate Australian languages had their own words for and substantial vocabularies relating to what has now become known in English almost universally as “The Dreamtime” or “The Dreaming”. These usages have now entered other world languages as global tags for Indigenous Australian religion, thereby dramatically reducing outsiders’ capacity to grasp the diversity of Australian languages and cultures… Read More.
MONDAY, DEC 15, 2014 11:15 AM PST
Navajos buy back artifacts at disputed auction
THOMAS ADAMSON, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Navajos buy back artifacts at disputed auction
French lawyer Pierre Servan-Schreiber defending Native Americans speaks to the media at the Drouot’s auction house during the contested auction of Native American items in Paris, Monday Dec. 15, 2014. Navajo officials have spent several hundred thousand euros to buy back seven tribal masks put up for sale at a disputed auction despite the U.S. Embassy in Paris asking Drouot to suspend the sale to allow Navajo and Hopi representatives to determine where they came from. (AP Photo/Francois Mori )(Credit: AP)
PARIS (AP) — The Native American Navajo tribe won its bid Monday to buy back seven sacred masks at a contested auction of tribal artifacts in Paris that netted over a million dollars.
The objects for sale at the Drouot auction house included religious masks, colored in pigment, that are believed to have been used in Navajo wintertime healing ceremonies.
The sale went ahead despite efforts to halt it by the U.S. government and Senator John McCain of Arizona.
The sale — which totaled 929,000 euros ($1.12 million) — also included dozens of Hopi Kachina dolls and several striking Pueblo masks embellished with horse hair, bone and feathers, thought to be from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Read More