The ‘loving’ human brain

Writing in The Huffington Post, Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom, examines the origins of human emotions such as happiness and love.

Humans are the most sociable species on earth — for better and for worse.

On the one hand, we have the greatest capacities for empathy, communication, friendship, romance, complex social structures and altruism. On the other, we have the greatest capacities for shaming, emotional cruelty, sadism, envy, jealousy, discrimination and other forms of dehumanization, and wholesale slaughter of our fellow humans.

In other words, to paraphrase a Native American teaching, a wolf of love and a wolf of hate live in the heart of every person.

Many factors shape each of these two wolves, including biological evolution, culture, economics and personal history.

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