In this talk, I will present an argument for how humans have evolved defining capacities to transcend self interest, and orient, as Jane Goodall said, to that which is amazing outside of the self. I will chart the new science and practice of compassion and awe, and how these transcendent states are vital to the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and cultures. Arising out of these experiences, I will suggest, are cultural experiences of self-transcendence — in ethical principle, artistic expression, and contemplative practice — that further contribute to well-being.
About the Presenter
Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dacher is the host of the Greater Good Science Center’s award-winning podcast, The Science of Happiness and is a co-instructor of the GGSC’s popular online course of the same name.
One of the world’s foremost emotion scientists, Dacher has over 200 scientific publications and six books, including Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How it Can Transform Her Life, The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence and Born to Be Good; he was a co-editor of the Greater Good anthology, The Compassionate Instinct. He has also written for many popular outlets, from The New York Times to Slate, and was the scientific advisor behind Pixar’s Inside Out.
Our annual Lecture on Compassion is made possible by a generous endowment from Mark Greenberg, former Center Director and holder of the Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research and his wife, Christa Turksma, a child-clinical psychologist and teacher of mindfulness skills.