Which wolf do you feed?
Feed the wolf of love.
I once heard a teaching story in which an elder, a grandmother, was asked what she had done to become so happy, so wise, so loved, and respected. She replied: “It’s because I know that there are two wolves in my heart, a wolf of love and a wolf of hate. And I know that everything depends on which one I feed each day.”
How did we evolve the most loving brain on the planet?
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 teaching story, 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. Here, I’d like to comment on key elements of the neural substrate of bonding and love; in next week’s blog, I’ll write about the evolution of aggression and hate; then, in the next several posts, we’ll explore the crucial skill of empathy, perhaps the premier way to feed the wolf of love.
Don’t worry this blog does not contain spoilers from Game of Thrones season 7 finale but I couldn’t help but be compelled by the sentence in quotes I put in the title. ( fans go and watch it now!!)
Thought it might be interesting to explore some questions this week. They sound easy to answer but I gotta be honest I squirmed when being really honest with my answers.
This past week being the eclipse week has required me to ask myself some very important questions you might like to ponder too.