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.
Copyright © 1989 by Gary Zukav
25th Anniversary Edition with a Study Guide
The Seat of the Soul
25th Anniversary Edition with a Study Guide
With lucidity and elegance, Zukav explains that we are evolving from a species that pursues power based upon the perceptions of the five senses -- external power -- into a species that pursues authentic power -- power that is based upon the perceptions and values of the spirit. He shows how the pursuit of external power has produced our survival-of-the-fittest understanding of evolution, generated conflict between lovers, communities, and superpowers, and brought us to the edge of destruction.
Using his scientist's eye and philosopher's heart, Zukav shows how infusing the activities of life with reverence, compassion, and trust makes them come alive with meaning and purpose. He illustrates how the emerging values of the spirit are changing marriages into spiritual partnerships, psychology into spiritual psychology, and transforming our everyday lives. The Seat of the Soul describes the remarkable journey to the spirit that each of us is on.