The Seat of the Soul [NOOK Book]

Overview

The twenty-fifth anniversary of this beloved bestseller is celebrated in Prefaces by Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou and contains a new Foreword by the author, website links, and a new Study Guide to help readers find even deeper meaning and fulfillment.

The Seat of the Soul encourages you become the authority in your own life. It will change the way you see the world, interact with other people, and understand your own actions and motivations....
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The Seat of the Soul

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Overview

The twenty-fifth anniversary of this beloved bestseller is celebrated in Prefaces by Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou and contains a new Foreword by the author, website links, and a new Study Guide to help readers find even deeper meaning and fulfillment.

The Seat of the Soul encourages you become the authority in your own life. It will change the way you see the world, interact with other people, and understand your own actions and motivations. Beginning with evolution, Gary Zukav takes you on a penetrating exploration of the new phase humanity has entered: we are evolving from a species that understands power as the ability to manipulate and control—external power—into a species that understands power as the alignment of the personality with the soul--authentic power. Our evolution requires each of us to make the values of the soul our own: harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. Using his scientist’s eye and philosopher’s heart, Zukav shows us how to participate fully in this evolution, enlivening our everyday activities and all of our relationships with meaning and purpose.

The Seat of the Soul has sold millions of copies around the globe, and as it changes lives, more and more people begin to live by the values of the spirit. Indeed, a new world is emerging, and this book brings its message to you.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
'A laser is like a whole personality,' writes Zukav. In a sequel to The Dancing Wu Li Masters, this exponent of the spiritual side of the 'new physics' goes beyond intriguing parallels. In gracefully written sermonettes with titles like 'Evolution,' 'Light,' 'Power' and 'Addiction,' he makes a bold attempt to fuse so-called New Age wisdom with modern psychology, science and sociopolitical reality. Zukav posits two types of people: the 'five-sensory human' who puts mind over heart, lacks trust, plays power games and can't tap intuition is contrasted with the 'multisensory' individual who seeks alignment of the soul with the personality. One section relates personal and national karma to the theory of Gaia, which holds that Earth is a single living entity with a soul. Though Zukav explores themes long familiar to astrologers and occultists, his high-minded synthesis is something more than old wine in a new bottle.
Library Journal
Zukav describes a new form of evolution in which humans learn to value authentic power--power based on the perceptions and values of the spirit. Authentic power differs from external power in that external power is based on perceptions of the five senses and is thus missing a dimension. Zukav (The Dancing Wu Li Masters) recommends that in order to achieve wholeness, we need to recognize a realm outside and beyond ourselves. He insists that we not become caught up in definitions of this higher power or names. The important thing is that we recognize that we need this sixth sense in order to discover the true meaning of life. The Seat of the Soul depicts the transformation from an ordinary, externally powered world to an authentic, new-dimensional life. Although the author seems to come to few conclusions about the benefits of the authentic self or how to achieve this state, this work, narrated by William Griffith, may be of interest to libraries establishing large alternative religion collections.--Ravonne A. Green, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & State Univ., Blacksburg Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Library Journal
This remarkable treatment of thought, evolution, and reincarnation examines the purpose of the immortal human soul during life and its continuation after physical death. Zukav's extraordinary skill in explaining scientific abstraction and the new physics, displayed in his best-selling The Dancing Wu Li Masters), is again evident as he critically questions the link between the existing Western model of the soul and the subsequent lack of meaningful human evolution. Beginning by examining the debilitating effect of this model, Zukav then describes the importance of non-physical reality, alluding to properties not yet accepted or understood by scientists. Overall, a readable, thought-provoking tome on how our perceptions must change dramatically if we are to survive. -- Kevin M. Roddy, Oakland Public Library, California
From the Publisher
Library Journal A remarkable treatment of thought, evolution, and reincarnation.

Huston Smith, Ph.D. former professor of philosophy, MIT, and author of The Religions of Man How remarkable — to find that one of our finest interpreters of frontier science is equally conversant with the human spirit. This augurs well for our times.

Brian Weiss, M.D. Chairman of Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Miami, and author of Many Lives, Many Masters Filled with wisdom, and written in a beautifully simple, almost poetic style, The Seat of the Soul is a book to be savored.

Library Journal A readable, thought-provoking [work] on how our perceptions must change dramatically if we are to survive.

author of The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
"The Seat of the Soul was a very important book for me."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416561934
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/19/2007
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 12,381
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Gary Zukav is the author of The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics, winner of The American Book Award for Science; The Seat of the Soul, the celebrated #1 New York Times bestseller; Soul Stories, also a New York Times bestseller; and many others. His books have sold millions of copies and are published in twenty-four languages. He is a graduate of Harvard University and a former US Army Special Forces (Green Beret) officer with Vietnam service. He lives in Oregon with his spiritual partner, Linda Francis.
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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER I: Evolution from the Introduction
The evolution that we learned about in school is the evolution of physical form we learned, for example, that the single-celled creatures of the oceans are the predecessors of all more complex forms of life. A fish is more complex, and, therefore, more evolved than a sponge; a horse is more complex, and, therefore, more evolved than a snake; a monkey is more complex, and, therefore, more evolved than a horse, and so on, up to human beings which are the most complex, and, therefore, the most evolved Life forms upon our planet. We were taught, in other words, that evolution means the progressive development of organizational complexity.
This definition is an expression of the idea that the organism that is best able to control both its environment and all of the other organisms in its environment is the most evolved. "Survival of the fittest" means that the most evolved organism in a given environment is the organism that is at the top of the food chain in that environment. According to this definition, therefore, the organism that is most able to ensure its own survival, most able to serve its self-preservation, is the most evolved.
We have long known that this definition of evolution is inadequate, but we have not known why. When two humans engage one another, they are, in terms of organizational complexity, equally evolved. If both have the same intelligence, yet one is small-minded, mean and selfish while the other is magnanimous and altruistic, we say that the one who is magnanimous and altruistic is the more evolved. If one human intentionally sacrifices his or her life to save another, by, for example, using his or her own body to shield another from an unseen bullet or a speeding car, we say that the human who sacrificed his or her life, indeed, was one of the most evolved among us. We know these things to be true, but they are at variance with our understanding of evolution.
Jesus, we are told, foresaw the plot against His life, even to the details of how His friends would act and react, yet He did not run from what He saw. The entirety of humankind has been inexorably shaped by the power and love of One who gave His life for others. All who revere Him, and almost all who but know His story, agree that He was one of the most evolved of our species.
Our deeper understanding tells us that a truly evolved being is one that values others more than it values itself, and that values love more than it values the physical world and what is in it. We must now bring our understanding of evolution into alignment with this deeper understanding. It is important that we do this because our current understanding of evolution reflects the phase of evolution that we are now leaving. By examining this understanding, we can perceive how we have evolved to now, and what we are now in the process of leaving behind. By reflecting upon a new and expanded understanding of evolution, one that validates our deepest truths, we can see what we are evolving into, and what that means in terms of what we experience, what we value, and how we act.
Our current understanding of evolution results from the fact that we have evolved until now by exploring physical reality with our five senses. We have been, until now, five-sensory human beings. This path of evolution has allowed us to see the basic principles of the Universe in concrete ways. We see through our five senses that every action is a cause that has an effect, and that every effect has a cause. We see the results of our intentions. We see that rage kills: it takes away breath -- the Life force -- and it spills blood -- the carrier of vitality. We see that kindness nurtures. We see and feel the effects of a snarl and a smile.
We experience our ability to process knowledge. We see, for example, that a stick is a tool, and we see the effects of how we choose to use it. The club that kills can drive a stake into the ground to hold a shelter. The spear that takes a life can be used as a lever to ease life's burdens. The knife that cuts flesh can be used to cut cloth. The hands that build bombs can be used to build schools. The minds that coordinate the activities of violence can coordinate the activities of cooperation.
We see that when the activities of life are infused with reverence, they come alive with meaning and purpose. We see that when reverence is lacking from life's activities, the result is cruelty, violence and loneliness. The physical arena is a magnificent learning environment. It is a school within which, through experimentation, we come to understand what causes us to expand and what causes us to contract, what causes us to grow and what causes us to shrivel, what nourishes our souls and what depletes them, what works and what does not.
When the physical environment is seen only from the five-sensory point of view, physical survival appears to be the fundamental criterion of evolution because no other kind of evolution is detectable. It is from this point of view that "survival of the fittest" appears to be synonymous with evolution, and physical dominance appears to characterize advanced evolution.
When perception of the physical world is limited to the five-sensory modality, the basis of life in the physical arena becomes fear. Power to control the environment, and those within the environment appears to be essential.
The need for physical dominance produces a type of competition that affects every aspect of our lives. It affects relationships between lovers and between superpowers, between siblings and between races, between classes and between sexes. It disrupts the natural tendency toward harmony between nations and between friends. The same energy that sent warships to the Persian Gulf sent soldiers to Vietnam and Crusaders to Palestine. The energy that separated the family of Romeo from the family of Juliet is the same energy that separates the racial family of the black husband from the racial family of the white wife. The energy that set Lee Harvey Oswald against John Kennedy is the same energy that set Cain against Abel. Brothers and sisters quarrel for the same reason that corporations quarrel -- they seek power over one another.
The power to control the environment, and those within it, is power over what can be felt, smelled, tasted, heard or seen. This type of power is external power. External power can be acquired or lost, as in the stock market or an election. It can be bought or stolen, transferred or inherited. It is thought of as something that can be gotten from someone else, or somewhere else. One person's gain of external power is perceived as another person's loss. The result of seeing power as external is violence and destruction. All of our institutions -- social, economic and political -- reflect our understanding of power as external.
Families, like cultures, are patriarchal or matriarchal. One person "wears the pants." Children learn this early, and it shapes their lives.
Police departments, like the military, are produced by the perception of power as external. Badge, boots, rank, radio, uniform, weapons, and armor are symbols of fear. Those who wear them are fearful. They fear to engage the world without defenses. Those who encounter these symbols are fearful. They fear the power that these symbols represent, or they fear those whom they expect this power to contain, or they fear both. The police and the military, like patriarchal and matriarchal families and cultures, are not origins of the perception of power as external. They are reflections of the way that we, as a species and as individuals, have come to view power.
The perception of power as external has shaped our economics. The ability to control economies, within communities and within nations, and the ability to control the transnational economy of the world, is concentrated in the hands of a few people. To protect workers from these people, we have created unions. To protect consumers, we have created bureaucracies in government. To protect the poor, we have created welfare systems. This is a perfect reflection of how we have come to perceive power -- as the possession of a few while the majority serve it as victims.
Money is a symbol of external power. Those who have the most money have the most ability to control their environment and those within it, while those who have the least money have the least ability to control their environment and those within it. Money is acquired, lost, stolen, inherited and fought for. Education, social status, fame, and things that are owned, if we derive a sense of increased security from them, are symbols of external power. Anything we fear to lose -- a home, a car, an attractive body, an agile mind, a deep belief -- is a symbol of external power. What we fear is an increase in our vulnerability. This results from seeing power as external.
When power is seen as external, the hierarchies of our social, economic and political structures, as well as the hierarchies of the Universe, appear as indicators of who has power and who does not. Those at the top appear to have the most power and, therefore, to be the most valuable and the least vulnerable. Those at the bottom appear to be the least powerful, and, therefore, to be the least valuable and the most vulnerable. From this perception, the general is more valuable than the private, the executive is more valuable than the chauffeur, the doctor is more valuable than the receptionist, the parent is more valuable than the child, and the Divine is more valuable than the worshiper. We fear to transgress our parents, our bosses, and our God. All perceptions of lesser and greater personal value result from the perception of power as external.
Competition for external power lies at the heart of all violence. The secondary gain behind ideological conflicts, such as capitalism versus communism, and religious conflicts, such as Irish Catholic versus Irish Protestant, and geographical conflicts, such as Jew versus Arab, and familial and marital conflicts, is external power.
The perception of power as external splinters the psyche, whether it is the psyche of the individual, the community, the nation, or the world. There is no difference between acute schizophrenia and a world at war. There is no difference between the agony of a splintered soul and the agony of a splintered nation. When a husband and a wife compete for power, they engage the same dynamic that humans of one race do when they fear humans of another race.
From these dynamics, we have formed our present understanding of evolution as a process of ever-increasing ability to dominate the environment and each other. This definition reflects the limitations of perceiving the physical world with only five senses. It reflects the competition for external power that is generated by fear.
After millennia of brutality to one another, individual to individual and group to group, it is now clear that the insecurity which underlies the perception of power as external cannot be healed by the accumulation of external power. It is evident for all to see, not only with each newscast and evening paper, but also through each of our countless sufferings as individuals and as a species, that the perception of power as external brings only pain, violence and destruction. This is how we have evolved until now, and this is what we are leaving behind.
Our deeper understanding leads us to another kind of power, a power that loves life in every form that it appears, a power that does not judge what it encounters, a power that perceives meaningfulness and purpose in the smallest details upon the Earth. This is authentic power. When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning. Life is rich and full. We have no thoughts of bitterness. We have no memory of fear. We are joyously and intimately engaged with our world. This is the experience of authentic power.
Authentic power has its roots in the deepest source of our being. Authentic power cannot be bought, inherited or hoarded. An authentically empowered person is incapable of making anyone or anything a victim. An authentically empowered person is one who is so strong, so empowered, that the idea of using force against another is not a part of his or her consciousness.
No understanding of evolution is adequate that does not have at its core that we are on a journey toward authentic power, and that authentic empowerment is the goal of our evolutionary process and the purpose of our being. We are evolving from a species that pursues external power into a species that pursues authentic power. We are leaving behind exploration of the physical world as our sole means of evolution. This means of evolution, and the consciousness that results from an awareness that is limited to the five-sensory modality, are no longer adequate to what we must become.
We are evolving from five-sensory humans into multisensory humans. Our five senses, together, form a single sensory system that is designed to perceive physical reality. The perceptions of a multisensory human extend beyond physical reality to the larger dynamical systems of which our physical reality is a part. The multisensory human is able to perceive, and to appreciate, the role that our physical reality plays in a larger picture of evolution, and the dynamics by which our physical reality is created and sustained. This realm is invisible to the five-sensory human.
It is in this invisible realm that the origins of our deepest values are found. From the perspective of this invisible realm, the motivations of those who consciously sacrifice their lives for higher purposes make sense, the power of Gandhi is explicable, and the compassionate acts of the Christ are comprehensible in a fullness that is not accessible to the five-sensory human.
All of our great teachers have been, or are, multisensory humans. They have spoken to us and acted in accordance with perceptions and values that reflect the larger perspective of the multisensory being, and, therefore, their words and actions awaken within us the recognition of truths.
From the perception of the five-sensory human, we are alone in a universe that is physical. From the perception of the multisensory human, we are never alone, and the Universe is alive, conscious, intelligent and compassionate. From the perception of the five-sensory human, the physical world is an unaccountable given in which we unaccountably find ourselves, and we strive to dominate it so that we can survive. From the perception of the multisensory human, the physical world is a learning environment that is created jointly by the souls that share it, and everything that occurs within it serves their learning. From the perception of the five-sensory human, intentions have no effects, the effects of actions are physical, and not all actions affect us or others. From the perception of the multisensory human, the intention behind an action determines its effects, every intention affects both us and others, and the effects of intentions extend far beyond the physical world.
What does it mean to say that an "invisible" realm exists in which the origins of our deeper understandings are located? What are the implications of considering the existence of a realm that is not detectable through the five senses, but that can be known, explored, and understood by other human faculties?
When a question is asked that cannot be answered within the common frame of reference, it can be classified as nonsensical, or it can be dismissed as a question that is not appropriate, or the person who is asking the question can expand his or her consciousness to encompass a frame of reference from which the question can be answered. The first two options are the easy ways out of a confrontation with a question that appears to be nonsensical or inappropriate, but the seeker, the true scientist, will allow himself or herself to expand into a frame of reference from which the answers that he or she is seeking can be understood.
We, as a species, have been asking the questions, "Is there a God?", "Is there a Divine Intelligence?", and, "Is there a purpose to life?", for as long as we have been able to articulate questions. The time has now come for us to expand into a frame of reference that allows these questions to be answered.
The larger frame of reference of the multisensory human allows an understanding of the experientially meaningful distinction between the personality and the soul. Your personality is that part of you that was born into, lives within, and will die within time. To be a human and to have a personality are the same thing. Your personality, like your body, is the vehicle of your evolution.
The decisions that you make and the actions that you take upon the Earth are the means by which you evolve. At each moment you choose the intentions that will shape your experiences and those things upon which you will focus your attention. These choices affect your evolutionary process. This is so for each person. If you choose unconsciously, you evolve unconsciously. If you choose consciously, you evolve consciously.
The fearful and violent emotions that have come to characterize human existence can be experienced only by the personality. Only the personality can feel anger, fear, hatred, vengeance, sorrow, shame, regret, indifference, frustration, cynicism and loneliness. Only the personality can judge, manipulate and exploit. Only the personality can pursue external power. The personality can also be loving, compassionate, and wise in its relations with others, but love, compassion, and wisdom do not come from the personality. They are experiences of the soul.
Your soul is that part of you that is immortal. Every person has a soul, but a personality that is limited in its perception to the five senses is not aware of its soul, and, therefore, cannot recognize the influences of its soul. As a personality becomes multisensory, its intuitions -- its hunches and subtle feelings -- become important to it. It senses things about itself, other people, and the situations in which it finds itself that it cannot justify on the basis of the information that its five senses can provide. It comes to recognize intentions, and to respond to them rather than to the actions and the words that it encounters. It can recognize, for example, a warm heart beneath a harsh and angry manner, and a cold heart beneath polished and pleasing words.
When a multisensory personality looks inside itself, it finds a multitude of different currents. Through experience, it learns to distinguish between these currents and to identify the emotional, psychological and physical effects of each. It learns, for example, which currents produce anger, divisive thoughts, and destructive actions, and which currents produce love, healing thoughts, and constructive actions. In time, it learns to value and to identify with those currents that generate creativity, healing and love, and to challenge and release those currents that create negativity, disharmony and violence. In this way, a personality comes to experience the energy of its soul.
Your soul is not a passive or a theoretical entity that occupies a space in the vicinity of your chest cavity. It is a positive, purposeful force at the core of your being. It is that part of you that understands the impersonal nature of the energy dynamics in which you are involved, that loves without restriction and accepts without judgment.
If you desire to know your soul, the first step is to recognize that you have a soul. The next step is to allow yourself to consider, "If I have a soul, what is my soul? What does my soul want? What is the relationship between my soul and me? How does my soul affect my life?"
When the energy of the soul is recognized, acknowledged, and valued, it begins to infuse the life of the personality. When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment. This is the goal of the evolutionary process in which we are involved and the reason for our being. Every experience that you have and will have upon the Earth encourages the alignment of your personality with your soul. Every circumstance and situation gives you the opportunity to choose this path, to allow your soul to shine through you, to bring into the physical world through you its unending and unfathomable reverence for and love of Life.
This is a book about authentic empowerment -- the alignment of the personality with the soul -- what that involves, how it happens, and what it creates. To understand these things requires an understanding of things that appear unusual to the five-sensory human, but they become natural once you understand evolution -- that five-sensory perception is a journey leading to multisensory perception -- and that you were not always meant to be five-sensory.
Copyright © 1989 by Gary Zukav
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Table of Contents

CONTENTS
Foreword
INTRODUCTION
Evolution
Karma
Reverence
Heart
CREATION
Intuition
Light
Intention I
Intention II
RESPONSIBILITY
Choice
Addiction
Relationships
Souls
POWER
Psychology
Illusion
Power
Trust
Index
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First Chapter

CHAPTER I: Evolution from the Introduction

The evolution that we learned about in school is the evolution of physical form we learned, for example, that the single-celled creatures of the oceans are the predecessors of all more complex forms of life. A fish is more complex, and, therefore, more evolved than a sponge; a horse is more complex, and, therefore, more evolved than a snake; a monkey is more complex, and, therefore, more evolved than a horse, and so on, up to human beings which are the most complex, and, therefore, the most evolved Life forms upon our planet. We were taught, in other words, that evolution means the progressive development of organizational complexity.

This definition is an expression of the idea that the organism that is best able to control both its environment and all of the other organisms in its environment is the most evolved. "Survival of the fittest" means that the most evolved organism in a given environment is the organism that is at the top of the food chain in that environment. According to this definition, therefore, the organism that is most able to ensure its own survival, most able to serve its self-preservation, is the most evolved.

We have long known that this definition of evolution is inadequate, but we have not known why. When two humans engage one another, they are, in terms of organizational complexity, equally evolved. If both have the same intelligence, yet one is small-minded, mean and selfish while the other is magnanimous and altruistic, we say that the one who is magnanimous and altruistic is the more evolved. If one human intentionally sacrifices his or her life to save another, by, for example, using his ooncrete ways. We see through our five senses that every action is a cause that has an effect, and that every effect has a cause. We see the results of our intentions. We see that rage kills: it takes away breath -- the Life force -- and it spills blood -- the carrier of vitality. We see that kindness nurtures. We see and feel the effects of a snarl and a smile.

We experience our ability to process knowledge. We see, for example, that a stick is a tool, and we see the effects of how we choose to use it. The club that kills can drive a stake into the ground to hold a shelter. The spear that takes a life can be used as a lever to ease life's burdens. The knife that cuts flesh can be used to cut cloth. The hands that build bombs can be used to build schools. The minds that coordinate the activities of violence can coordinate the activities of cooperation.

We see that when the activities of life are infused with reverence, they come alive with meaning and purpose. We see that when reverence is lacking from life's activities, the result is cruelty, violence and loneliness. The physical arena is a magnificent learning environment. It is a school within which, through experimentation, we come to understand what causes us to expand and what causes us to contract, what causes us to grow and what causes us to shrivel, what nourishes our souls and what depletes them, what works and what does not.

When the physical environment is seen only from the five-sensory point of view, physical survival appears to be the fundamental criterion of evolution because no other kind of evolution is detectable. It is from this point of view that "survival of the fittest" appears to be synonymous with evolution, and physica l dominance appears to characterize advanced evolution.

When perception of the physical world is limited to the five-sensory modality, the basis of life in the physical arena becomes fear. Power to control the environment, and those within the environment appears to be essential.

The need for physical dominance produces a type of competition that affects every aspect of our lives. It affects relationships between lovers and between superpowers, between siblings and between races, between classes and between sexes. It disrupts the natural tendency toward harmony between nations and between friends. The same energy that sent warships to the Persian Gulf sent soldiers to Vietnam and Crusaders to Palestine. The energy that separated the family of Romeo from the family of Juliet is the same energy that separates the racial family of the black husband from the racial family of the white wife. The energy that set Lee Harvey Oswald against John Kennedy is the same energy that set Cain against Abel. Brothers and sisters quarrel for the same reason that corporations quarrel -- they seek power over one another.

The power to control the environment, and those within it, is power over what can be felt, smelled, tasted, heard or seen. This type of power is external power. External power can be acquired or lost, as in the stock market or an election. It can be bought or stolen, transferred or inherited. It is thought of as something that can be gotten from someone else, or somewhere else. One person's gain of external power is perceived as another person's loss. The result of seeing power as external is violence and destruction. All of our institutions -- social, economic and political -- reflect our underst anding of power as external.

Families, like cultures, are patriarchal or matriarchal. One person "wears the pants." Children learn this early, and it shapes their lives.

Police departments, like the military, are produced by the perception of power as external. Badge, boots, rank, radio, uniform, weapons, and armor are symbols of fear. Those who wear them are fearful. They fear to engage the world without defenses. Those who encounter these symbols are fearful. They fear the power that these symbols represent, or they fear those whom they expect this power to contain, or they fear both. The police and the military, like patriarchal and matriarchal families and cultures, are not origins of the perception of power as external. They are reflections of the way that we, as a species and as individuals, have come to view power.

The perception of power as external has shaped our economics. The ability to control economies, within communities and within nations, and the ability to control the transnational economy of the world, is concentrated in the hands of a few people. To protect workers from these people, we have created unions. To protect consumers, we have created bureaucracies in government. To protect the poor, we have created welfare systems. This is a perfect reflection of how we have come to perceive power -- as the possession of a few while the majority serve it as victims.

Money is a symbol of external power. Those who have the most money have the most ability to control their environment and those within it, while those who have the least money have the least ability to control their environment and those within it. Money is acquired, lost, stolen, inherited and fought for. Education, social status, fame, and things that are owned, if we derive a sense of increased security from them, are symbols of external power. Anything we fear to lose -- a home, a car, an attractive body, an agile mind, a deep belief -- is a symbol of external power. What we fear is an increase in our vulnerability. This results from seeing power as external.

When power is seen as external, the hierarchies of our social, economic and political structures, as well as the hierarchies of the Universe, appear as indicators of who has power and who does not. Those at the top appear to have the most power and, therefore, to be the most valuable and the least vulnerable. Those at the bottom appear to be the least powerful, and, therefore, to be the least valuable and the most vulnerable. From this perception, the general is more valuable than the private, the executive is more valuable than the chauffeur, the doctor is more valuable than the receptionist, the parent is more valuable than the child, and the Divine is more valuable than the worshiper. We fear to transgress our parents, our bosses, and our God. All perceptions of lesser and greater personal value result from the perception of power as external.

Competition for external power lies at the heart of all violence. The secondary gain behind ideological conflicts, such as capitalism versus communism, and religious conflicts, such as Irish Catholic versus Irish Protestant, and geographical conflicts, such as Jew versus Arab, and familial and marital conflicts, is external power.

The perception of power as external splinters the psyche, whether it is the psyche of the individual, the community, the nation, or the world. There is no difference between ac ute schizophrenia and a world at war. There is no difference between the agony of a splintered soul and the agony of a splintered nation. When a husband and a wife compete for power, they engage the same dynamic that humans of one race do when they fear humans of another race.

From these dynamics, we have formed our present understanding of evolution as a process of ever-increasing ability to dominate the environment and each other. This definition reflects the limitations of perceiving the physical world with only five senses. It reflects the competition for external power that is generated by fear.

After millennia of brutality to one another, individual to individual and group to group, it is now clear that the insecurity which underlies the perception of power as external cannot be healed by the accumulation of external power. It is evident for all to see, not only with each newscast and evening paper, but also through each of our countless sufferings as individuals and as a species, that the perception of power as external brings only pain, violence and destruction. This is how we have evolved until now, and this is what we are leaving behind.

Our deeper understanding leads us to another kind of power, a power that loves life in every form that it appears, a power that does not judge what it encounters, a power that perceives meaningfulness and purpose in the smallest details upon the Earth. This is authentic power. When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning. Life is rich and full. We have no thoughts of bitterness. We have no memory of fear. We are joyously and intimately engaged with our world. This is the experience of authentic power.

Authentic power has its roots in the deepest source of our being. Authentic power cannot be bought, inherited or hoarded. An authentically empowered person is incapable of making anyone or anything a victim. An authentically empowered person is one who is so strong, so empowered, that the idea of using force against another is not a part of his or her consciousness.

No understanding of evolution is adequate that does not have at its core that we are on a journey toward authentic power, and that authentic empowerment is the goal of our evolutionary process and the purpose of our being. We are evolving from a species that pursues external power into a species that pursues authentic power. We are leaving behind exploration of the physical world as our sole means of evolution. This means of evolution, and the consciousness that results from an awareness that is limited to the five-sensory modality, are no longer adequate to what we must become.

We are evolving from five-sensory humans into multisensory humans. Our five senses, together, form a single sensory system that is designed to perceive physical reality. The perceptions of a multisensory human extend beyond physical reality to the larger dynamical systems of which our physical reality is a part. The multisensory human is able to perceive, and to appreciate, the role that our physical reality plays in a larger picture of evolution, and the dynamics by which our physical reality is created and sustained. This realm is invisible to the five-sensory human.

It is in this invisible realm that the origins of our deepest values are found. From the perspective of this invisible realm, the motivations of those who consciously sacrifice their lives for higher purposes make sense, the power of Gandhi is explicable, and the compassionate acts of the Christ are comprehensible in a fullness that is not accessible to the five-sensory human.

All of our great teachers have been, or are, multisensory humans. They have spoken to us and acted in accordance with perceptions and values that reflect the larger perspective of the multisensory being, and, therefore, their words and actions awaken within us the recognition of truths.

From the perception of the five-sensory human, we are alone in a universe that is physical. From the perception of the multisensory human, we are never alone, and the Universe is alive, conscious, intelligent and compassionate. From the perception of the five-sensory human, the physical world is an unaccountable given in which we unaccountably find ourselves, and we strive to dominate it so that we can survive. From the perception of the multisensory human, the physical world is a learning environment that is created jointly by the souls that share it, and everything that occurs within it serves their learning. From the perception of the five-sensory human, intentions have no effects, the effects of actions are physical, and not all actions affect us or others. From the perception of the multisensory human, the intention behind an action determines its effects, every intention affects both us and others, and the effects of intentions extend far beyond the physical world.

What does it mean to say that an "invisible" realm exists in which the origins of our deeper understandings are located? What are the implications of considering the existence of a realm that is not detectable thr ough the five senses, but that can be known, explored, and understood by other human faculties?

When a question is asked that cannot be answered within the common frame of reference, it can be classified as nonsensical, or it can be dismissed as a question that is not appropriate, or the person who is asking the question can expand his or her consciousness to encompass a frame of reference from which the question can be answered. The first two options are the easy ways out of a confrontation with a question that appears to be nonsensical or inappropriate, but the seeker, the true scientist, will allow himself or herself to expand into a frame of reference from which the answers that he or she is seeking can be understood.

We, as a species, have been asking the questions, "Is there a God?", "Is there a Divine Intelligence?", and, "Is there a purpose to life?", for as long as we have been able to articulate questions. The time has now come for us to expand into a frame of reference that allows these questions to be answered.

The larger frame of reference of the multisensory human allows an understanding of the experientially meaningful distinction between the personality and the soul. Your personality is that part of you that was born into, lives within, and will die within time. To be a human and to have a personality are the same thing. Your personality, like your body, is the vehicle of your evolution.

The decisions that you make and the actions that you take upon the Earth are the means by which you evolve. At each moment you choose the intentions that will shape your experiences and those things upon which you will focus your attention. These choices affect your evolutionary process. This is so for each person. If you choose unconsciously, you evolve unconsciously. If you choose consciously, you evolve consciously.

The fearful and violent emotions that have come to characterize human existence can be experienced only by the personality. Only the personality can feel anger, fear, hatred, vengeance, sorrow, shame, regret, indifference, frustration, cynicism and loneliness. Only the personality can judge, manipulate and exploit. Only the personality can pursue external power. The personality can also be loving, compassionate, and wise in its relations with others, but love, compassion, and wisdom do not come from the personality. They are experiences of the soul.

Your soul is that part of you that is immortal. Every person has a soul, but a personality that is limited in its perception to the five senses is not aware of its soul, and, therefore, cannot recognize the influences of its soul. As a personality becomes multisensory, its intuitions -- its hunches and subtle feelings -- become important to it. It senses things about itself, other people, and the situations in which it finds itself that it cannot justify on the basis of the information that its five senses can provide. It comes to recognize intentions, and to respond to them rather than to the actions and the words that it encounters. It can recognize, for example, a warm heart beneath a harsh and angry manner, and a cold heart beneath polished and pleasing words.

When a multisensory personality looks inside itself, it finds a multitude of different currents. Through experience, it learns to distinguish between these currents and to identify the emotional, psychological and physical effects of each. It learns, for exampl e, which currents produce anger, divisive thoughts, and destructive actions, and which currents produce love, healing thoughts, and constructive actions. In time, it learns to value and to identify with those currents that generate creativity, healing and love, and to challenge and release those currents that create negativity, disharmony and violence. In this way, a personality comes to experience the energy of its soul.

Your soul is not a passive or a theoretical entity that occupies a space in the vicinity of your chest cavity. It is a positive, purposeful force at the core of your being. It is that part of you that understands the impersonal nature of the energy dynamics in which you are involved, that loves without restriction and accepts without judgment.

If you desire to know your soul, the first step is to recognize that you have a soul. The next step is to allow yourself to consider, "If I have a soul, what is my soul? What does my soul want? What is the relationship between my soul and me? How does my soul affect my life?"

When the energy of the soul is recognized, acknowledged, and valued, it begins to infuse the life of the personality. When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment. This is the goal of the evolutionary process in which we are involved and the reason for our being. Every experience that you have and will have upon the Earth encourages the alignment of your personality with your soul. Every circumstance and situation gives you the opportunity to choose this path, to allow your soul to shine through you, to bring into the physical world through you its unending and unfathomable reverence for and love of Life.

TThis is a book about authentic empowerment -- the alignment of the personality with the soul -- what that involves, how it happens, and what it creates. To understand these things requires an understanding of things that appear unusual to the five-sensory human, but they become natural once you understand evolution -- that five-sensory perception is a journey leading to multisensory perception -- and that you were not always meant to be five-sensory.

Copyright © 1989 by Gary Zukav

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Foreword

Foreword

During the years that I was writing The Dancing Wu Li Masters and after, I was drawn again and again to the writings of William James, Carl Jung, Benjamin Lee Whorf, Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein. I returned to them repeatedly. I found in them something special, although it was not until later that I was able to understand that specialness: these fellow humans reached for something greater than they were able to express directly through their work. They saw more than they could express in the language of psychology or linguistics or physics, and they sought to share what they saw. It is what they sought to share through the medium of their work that drew me to them.

They were mystics. That is my word. They would not use such language, but they knew it. They feared that their careers might become contaminated by association with those who did not work within the scientific model, but in the depths of their own thoughts they each saw much too much to be limited by the five senses, and they were not. Their works contribute not only to the evolution of psychology, linguistics and physics, but also to the evolution of those who read them. They have the capability to change those who touch them in ways that also cannot be expressed directly in the terms of psychology, or linguistics, or physics.

As I came to understand, in retrospect, the magnetic quality that these works held for me, I came to understand that what motivated these men was not Earthly prizes or the respect of colleagues, but that they put their souls and minds on something and reached the extraordinary place where the mind could no longer produce data of the type that they wanted, and they were in the territory of inspiration where their intuitions accelerated and they knew that there was something more than the realm of time and space and matter, something more than physical life. They knew it. They could not necessarily articulate this clearly because they were not equipped to talk about such things, but they felt it and their writings reflected it.

In other words, I came to understand that what motivated these men, and many others, was in fact something of great vision that comes from beyond the personality. Each of us is now being drawn, in one way or another, to that same great vision. It is more than a vision. It is an emerging force. It is the next step in our evolutionary journey. Humanity, the human species, is longing now to touch that force, to shed that which interferes with clear contact. Much of the difficulty in doing this lies in the fact that the vocabulary with which to address this new force, which is indeed the eternal force, is not yet born.

In this moment and in this hour of human evolution this proper vocabulary and means of addressing that which longs to transcend religiosity and spirituality and assume the position of authentic power is longing to be born. We need to give that which we as a species are now touching consciously for the first time a vocabulary that is not clouded so that it can be identified clearly in the acts and judgments of the human race, so that it can be seen clearly, and not through veils of mystery or mysticism, but simply as the authentic power that moves the force fields of this Earth of ours. I hope that this book will assist.

As a way of talking about what we are and what we are becoming, I have used the terms five-sensory and multisensory. Multisensory is not better than five-sensory. It is simply more appropriate now. As one system of human experience winds down and another, more advanced system emerges the older system may appear by comparison to be lacking, but from the perspective of the Universe, the language of comparison is not the language of lesser and better, but of limitation and opportunity.

The experiences of the multisensory human are less limited than the experiences of the five-sensory human. They provide more opportunities for growth and development and more opportunities to avoid unnecessary difficulties. I have contrasted the experiences of the five-sensory human with the experiences of the multisensory human in each instance to make their differences as clear as possible, but this does not mean that the five-sensory phase of our evolution, the phase from which we are emerging, is negative in comparison to the phase of our evolution that we are entering, the multisensory phase. It is simply that it is now no longer appropriate just as there came a time when the use of candles became inappropriate because of electricity, but the advent of electricity did not make candle power negative.

Who among us is an expert on the human experience? We have only the gift of sharing perceptions that hopefully can help those on their journey. There is no such thing as an expert on the human experience. The human experience is an experience in movement and thought and form, and, in some cases, an experiment in movement and thought and form. The most that we can do is comment on the movement, the thought and the form, but those comments are of great value if they can help people to learn to move gracefully, to think clearly, to form -- like artists -- the matter of their lives.

We are in a time of deep change. We will move through this change more easily if we are able to see the road upon which we are traveling, our destination, and what it is that is in motion. I offer what is in this book as a window through which I have come to see life. I offer this window to you, but I do not say that it is necessary that you accept it. There are so many ways to wisdom and to the heart. This is our greatest richness, and the one that gives me the most joy.

We have much to do together.

Let us do it in wisdom and love and joy.

Let us make this the human experience.


Gary Zukav

Copyright © 1989 by Gary Zukav

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 72 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2001

    I Feel Transformed!!

    I just finished the book, and all I can say is 'awesome.' Kind of a trendy word for a 41-year-old to use, but it's all I can think of to appropriately describe it. Mr. Zuvak puts everything into such powerful perspective, cuts through all the greed, anger, and jealousy that this world is thriving on now, and gets to the common root that we ALL have, a soul and spirit. Sure, we all love our SUVs and summer vacations and trips to the mall, but it's not what this life is all about. It's the life the five sense personality has created for itself, and as a result, we're all walking around like a bunch of empty shells wearing designer labels! I think Congress should cancel the upcoming inaguration balls (they've spent enough time on this election already!) and use the money that is wasted on yet more greed and misuse of power, and instead mail a copy of this wonderful and insightive book to every person in this country. It would be money much well spent. What's more important, discovering our true selves and ridding the country of some anger and hatred, or tuning in to see what color gown Laura Bush is wearing??!!

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

    This book is a "must read" for all those individuals who are trying to make sense of how our life's lessons are developed and used for our spiritual awakening and journey. All those who enjoy psycho-analyzing themselves, want to understand why situations occur, and wonder why they have been placed in situations need to read this book. Furthermore, the best thing about this book is that it is the first that I have seen on how our personality is reflected through the soul's journey. It is an important piece to a puzzle of evolution of a person's soul on Earth. Gary Zukav makes it clear and helps to distinguish why some of us see things through our senses, and others see things through more developed senses and intuition. If anyone wonders why they are different from their mates, etc. and how in the world they connected and wonder why others don't see things the way they see things, this book is useful to unraveling the mystery. Gary maps out why we have come to Earth and how we connect to the universe in an understandable and simple way. I loved this book-- but I believe nothing happens by chance. I was told about this book by a well known astrologer.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2000

    A Comprehensive Theory of Personality

    In my training as a therapist I have studied many theories of personality. Like the Transpersonal Psychologists Gary Zurkov, in his book ¿Seat of the Soul,¿ challenges psychology to include the language of the spirit. Psychology and spirituality are integrated in Transpersonal Psychology but the American Psychological Association, APA, does not recognize Transpersonal Psychology because the ¿soul¿ cannot be verified scientifically. However, many of Gary¿s descriptions of the human psyche ring true for me. That we are evolving from a five-sensory to multi-sensory beings; that we have non-physical teachers; that our purpose in life is to align the personality with the soul; that mental illness is a shattered spirit; that we are reincarnated; that our choices result in positive or negative karma; that evil is an absence of light and that the universe is alive, intelligent and compassionate. It¿s sad when a physicist presents a more comprehensive theory of personality than a psychologist. But I¿m also glad that ¿Seat of the Soul¿ had touched and helped so many people.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Great Book, every must read!!!

    Loved this book, could not put it down. I am reading it a second time and finding new things that I missed. Would read over and over just to make sure I don't forget the teachings in it. You do need to have a very open mind to be able to really learn and expand your insight.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    Perfect book

    Hold on to your seat as you read through this book. It will open your mind in ways you may not have thought of before. For me, it was reassuring to the way i feel and think. Glad we are coming together! Unconditional peace and love world wide! Thank you Gary!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Feel Good Book :)

    Enjoyed this book. A must read for enligthening the soul. :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2007

    Inspirational

    Gary Zukav clarifies our movement from sensory knowledge to intuitive understanding. The topics presented show our evolution moving from outer changes to inner unfolding of consciousness expressed as both personal and social transformation. I gained many insights from 'Seat of the Soul' and highly recommend it as a guide to transformation work.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2007

    a reviewer

    This book brought to the surface basic understandings that needed to be recognized. I felt a sense of inner strength forming as I read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2003

    Wonderful work in progress!

    Although he is not the best in articulating his vision in a convincing way, I have to say that this book is evidence that Zukav is on his way to something wonderful. Though his commercial success may serve as a impediment in his own path, I think that he has made a positive and significant contribution to public consciousness through this book. All I can hope for is that he continues developing his understanding and uses his fame in a responsible and positive way. If you are looking for this type of vision that is explained in a much more articulate manner, read 'The Ever-Transcending Spirit' by Toru Sato. If you read Sato's book, you will see how it all comes together and also feel incredibly inspired!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2001

    Life Changing

    The Seat of the Soul is with out a doubt the most inspiring book I have ever read, I have searched for many years for some spiritual guidance and direction, and until I read this book had not found any. My life has changed dramatically, in that I take full responsibility for my thoughts and actions, and realize I am not alone in the Universe. I recommend to anyone searching for truth and clarity to read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    great read, highly recommended!

    great read, highly recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Enriching and enlightening.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2010

    No spiritual library collection is complete without this one.

    A Masterpiece of Spirituality.A book for the ages.Sheer metaphysical genius, done simplistically, concise, and with reverence, it is a book I treasure and keep at my bedside.

    J. Carroll
    Author of
    Silver Threads.to Gold

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2007

    Introspective

    This book is a wonderful journey to introspection. At the beginning, it seemed like a rehash of some other books I've read, but in the second part of the book Zukav surprised me by introducing ways to look at myself and others. Although some may not believe in karma and some of the other beliefs Zukav speaks about, it is still an excellent book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2003

    Tantalizing

    Zukav's deep and intense thoughts are arranged and described in impressive fashion. Some of what's here is a bit subjective and imaginative -- I think this is part of the book's mystique.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2001

    The Book That Changed My Life

    The Seat Of the Soul wrote by Gary Zukav has very directly affected my life in a way that is hard to decribe. For a five-sentory thinking world at times, I often wondered who it is that I am? Because; I just don't fit in to that way of thinking. I can forgive the crimnial, the crime, and look beyond the face, and now see his spirit. There we can find the reason for his deed!! This could chance the world as we know it!! Gary Zukav has said it. He had the courage to bring it to light. That forgiveness and love, compasstion and understanding our fellow Earth school pupils just might be the right thing to do. More inpotantly; it might be the REAL thing to do!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2001

    Excellent

    I don't know how Gary Zukav does it, but this book speaks to me like very few books ever have. I just read this book for the third time and I am reminded why so many people love this author so much. Every time I read it I find new meanings, new inspiration and new ways of looking at myself and my circumstances that help me grow as a person and be happier.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2001

    Not Entirely Convincing

    Zukav's argument is based around the premise that there is a soul, but this is a premise he never sets out to prove. The book thereafter is quite logical, though not really refreshing and somewhat typical of the a+b=c argument. It reminds me of Plato's attempts to prove the existence of the soul, which even he began to reject. A good book, but not Zukav's best.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2000

    Thesis to Test with Your Intuition

    Let me explain my rating of 3 stars first. I am required to put a rating on, but do not want to do so on this book. So the 3 stars are my attempt not to rate the book, rather than a rating so disregard it totally. Since the book argues that judging is harmful to the soul and I agree with that, I will try to avoid being judgmental as much as I am able, in order to be fair to the spirit of this book. Let me share with you my reactions to the book. The author has written a series of 16 interrelated essays that take you as a starting point from the perspective of the potential for humans to evolve from being limited by their five senses and personalities to a more authentic existence using more senses and soul-based decisions. The ending is well captured by the concept of becoming a body in a soul, rather than just the opposite. As you read each section, you are encouraged to feel whether the assertion works for you or not. I found that some did and some did not. You would probably have a different experience. I also found that I have had some spiritual experiences that the book did not seem to describe. That left me a little unsettled. You may find that also. On the whole, I found more truth in my own experiences than disconnection in reading the book. Also, it was a peaceful experience, which is always a good sign for me when I read a book. If you are interested in having another perspective on the meaning of existence than the one that your religion, your spiritual advisor, or your family may have taught you or helped you understand, you will probably like this book. If you are not seeking out another perspective, you may find it hard to relate some of the book to what you know and believe. That could be a helpful experience for you. You should decide if you want to read this book or not. I have no recommendat

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2000

    Inspiring

    This book truly inspires me. I have picked it up several times now, and every time I¿ve read different things that influence my life in a profound way. One of the things that opened my eyes that Mr. Zukav writes is: 'When perception of the physical world is limited to the five-sensory modality, the basis of life in the physical arena becomes fear. Power to control the environment, and those within it appears to be essential.' Control has been one of my `issues¿ for a long time. And indeed, now I¿ve become more in tune with my intuition and other `sensors¿, my life has become some much richer. I embrace the concept of multi-sensory perception. I¿ve discovered that I know so much more than logically I should be able to know. I¿ve recently met this wonderful guy; we¿ve `known¿ each other for only 2 weeks now. But I know him and about him for what seems forever. We¿ve even started to communicate `telepathically¿. It¿s so wonderful. And this has all happened since I¿ve become aware of the possibilities of multi-sensory perception. Mr. Zukav has helped a lot in that area. Other people who have helped me trust my intuition are Shya & Ariel Kane. They have written a book about their technique Instantaneous Transformation¿. The book is called 'Working on yourself doesn¿t work' and I can very much recommend this book to anyone interested in the topics mentioned above. I¿ve also bought the tapes (Magical Relationships is one of them) and it has truly redefined my life. Everything has become so much easier and so much fun. If you¿re looking for easy & simple enlightenment you must read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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