A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This hardcover edition of The Seat of the Soul celebrates its tenth anniversary. The Seat of the Soul became a national bestseller when it was first published, but more people are buying it now than ever before. Why is this?
It is because a new species is being born. The Seat of the Soul is about this birth. This new species longs for harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. It uses higher orders of logic and justice -- those of the heart. The number of people who are becoming aware of this birth is growing very fast, because the new species is being born inside all of us.
The Seat of the Soul provides a vocabulary for this new species -- a vocabulary of authentic power, the alignment of the personality with the soul. Human experience is exploding beyond the five senses, and The Seat of the Soul is about that, too. This is the most exciting time to be on Earth, and The Seat of the Soul describes why.
As we become aware of our new abilities and values, like a baby opening its eyes and stretching its arms and legs for the first time, we are also becoming aware of an entirely new potential that we have never had before. I have been writing a book about this new potential for nine years. I am looking forward to sharing that with you, too.
The tremendous growth of interest in The Seat of the Soul is humbling to me. I dream of a world where people respect each other and the living Earth, and spiritual growth is the first priority. I work daily to develop the awareness, compassion, and intentions that are necessary to create it. The extraordinary reception of The Seat of the Soul shows me, among other things, how many fellow souls are doing the same.
The more this happens, the more I see myself, with gratitude, as a traveler among travelers, an experimenter among experimenters, and a soul among souls.
``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. (Mar.) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Simon & Schuster
January 15, 1990
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Excerpt from The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav
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.