Film Release Honors the Dalai Lama’s Birthday
On July 6th, Mind & Life honored the Dalai Lama’s birthday with the release of “Evolution of the Heart.” The 37-minute film chronicles conversations between the Dalai Lama, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson, and social scientist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela. The film emerged from a 2019 Mind & Life event, “Conversations on Compassion, Interconnection, and Transformation,” held in Dharamsala, India.
The film explores questions at the heart of the human condition. Can we consciously evolve to be kinder and more compassionate? How do we reconcile the needs of the individual with those of society? And what makes true forgiveness possible? David points to a sea change that has occurred in evolutionary science toward a focus on altruism and prosociality. Pumla describes the African philosophy of ubuntu that laid the groundwork for healing in the aftermath of apartheid in South Africa. All three speakers point to steps each of us can take to advance the Dalai Lama’s call to create an “ethics for the whole world.”
Hear more from David on this bonus episode of the Mind & Life podcast. Download the film discussion guide, or read more about the conversation that inspired it on our blog.
Mind & Life is eager to learn about conversations and actions that result from the film and this guide. Please share your reflections with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This beautiful film reveals a path to real hope for our future through the transformative power of compassion.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Change
“As we face threats to our very existence, ‘Evolution of the Heart’ conveys a critical message—that we can consciously evolve to promote our collective well-being. The film offers hope of a world where compassion, forgiveness, and connection overcome hatred, greed, and apathy.”
—Patricia Jennings, Professor of Education, University of Virginia