Introduction

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This course explores a perennial human predicament, the nature and destructive potential of "negative" emotions — when, for example, jealousy turns into murderous rage. The Buddhist tradition has long pointed out that recognizing and transforming negative emotions lies at the heart of spiritual practice. From the perspective of science, many of these same emotional states played a critical role in human survival—but now, in modern life, they pose grave dangers to our individual and collective fate.

Buddhism and Western philosophy/psychology offer different perspectives on the nature of emotions and when they become "destructive." 

In the first module of this course you can explore some of these perspectives as well as your relationship to negative emotions.

Once we have identified the destructive emotions and seen their causes and their detrimental effects, then we can ask what the antidote is for these afflictions. What is the medicine? How can we counteract them?

The second module presents a 1500-year-old teaching on the destructive potential of one negative emotion— anger — and ways to develop patience as an antidote to the arising of anger.