On The Next Human Being: Gary Zukov

On The Next Human Being: Gary Zukov

Gary Zukav writes on reincarnation: “The incarnation of a soul is a massive reduction of the power of the soul to a scale that is appropriate to a physical form.  It is a reduction of an immortal Life system into the framework of time and the span of a few years.  It is the reduction of a perceptual system that partakes simultaneously, through direct experience, of countless lifetimes, some of them physical and some of them nonphysical, to the five physical senses.  The soul chooses, voluntarily, to undertake this experience in order to heal.” (The Seat of the Soul)

The details of reincarnation (called by some ” involution” or unfoldment of the individual soul through time) have been exposited by God-Realized ones, those who have experienced continually and without a break the formless state behind the world of forms. Gary Zukov is one among many “students” of the writing and visions of such Masters. His work has helped build bridges between East and West, intuition and reason, faith and experiential knowledge, science and religion.

Any serious acceptance of the notion of reincarnation is still relatively new for the majority of the Western world and is rejected by most fundamentalist Christians, Jews and Muslims—those who are unable to reconcile devotion to the core teachings of their founders with the scriptures and spiritual cultures of the East that view reincarnation as a primary vehicle for the gradual development of a human being. Like an aged wine, the fermentation of a self is a long process. The thought that one lifetime could accomplish the final goal would be likened to a normally intelligent elementary school student being awarded with a doctor’s degree, or—more preposterous— a five-year old with a driver’s license.

Enlightenment is not achieved by one mere lifetime —short or long—of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. Nor does it seem plausible that eternal darkness issued by a Divine Punisher could be the result of one life span’s practice of the opposite by a well-meaning but ignorant student of life.

To those who are in search of “evidence”, read Old Souls – The Scientific Evidence for Past Lives, by Tom Shroder, a Washington Post editor.  This book is a  journalist’s account of portions of the casework of psychiatrist and scholar Dr. Ian Stevenson who reports the memories of children’s past lives. More information about his studies can be found at the Children’s Past Lives Research Center website. Below, in addition to a snippet from one of Zukav’s lectures, I’ve added a brief commentary on Dr. Ian Stevenson’s case studies by Philosophy professor Dr. Robert Almeder of Georgia State University.


Wikipedia: Gary Zukav is a spiritual teacher and author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers. Beginning in 1998, Zukav appeared more than 30 times on The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss transformation in human consciousness concepts presented in The Seat of the Soul.

In 1959 he received a scholarship to Harvard and matriculated in 1960. In his junior year he left Harvard to motorcycle in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East before returning the following year.  In 1965 he graduated from Harvard and enlisted in the U.S. Army. That same year he entered U.S. Army Infantry Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in 1966. He volunteered for the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets), completed Parachute Training (Fort Benning, Georgia); U.S. Army Special Warfare School (Fort Bragg, North Carolina), and served as an A Detachment Executive Officer in Okinawa and Vietnam, participating in Top Secret operations in Vietnam and Laos. He left Vietnam after the Tet Offensive and was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1968 as 1st Lieutenant.

Zukav returned to the U.S. in 1970. He recounts this period as an emotionally volatile time of sexual addiction, motorcycles, anger, and experimentation with drugs until 1975 when an unexpected introduction to quantum physics at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory initiated changes in his experience that led to his first book. He later described this book as his “first gift to Life.” In 1987 he moved to Mount Shasta, California, where he lived in a cabin as a self-described “secular monk” and spent extensive time in the surrounding wilderness. In 1993 he met Linda Francis. They co-founded the Seat of the Soul Institute in 1998 and moved to Ashland, Oregon, in 2000.

In 1979 Zukav’s first book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, An Overview of the New Physics was reviewed by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt in The New York Times as “a book that manages to explain relativity and a lot more without resorting to a single bit of mathematics (except for asking you to grasp the not-too-onerous concept that the velocity of light, a constant 186,000 miles-per-second, is a product of its frequency and wavelength.) After all, Mr. Zukav writes, ‘The fact is that physics is not mathematics. Physics, in essence, is simple wonder at the way things are and a divine (some call it compulsive) interest in how that is so. Mathematics is the tool of physics, stripped of mathematics, physics becomes pure enchantment.’ ”

The drama built into Mr. Zukav’s presentation is considerable. It begins with his introduction of an Oriental dimension. The Chinese word for physics, Wu Li, also means, depending upon how it is pronounced, “Patterns of Organic Energy”, “My Way,”, “Nonsense,” I Clutch My Ideas” and “Enlightenment.” These six meanings, not only become the title of the book’s six sections-for instance, “Nonsense” is the heading of the one on Einstein’s ideas, which is divided into chapters called “Beginner’s Mind,” “Special Nonsense,” and “General Nonsense”-they also server to shape the leitmotif of Mr. Zukav’s discussion that relates modern physics to Oriental religion.”

In 1979 The Dancing Wu Li Masters won The American Book Award for Science for its “outstanding contribution to American literature.”  David Bohm, renowned quantum physicist, wrote a personal endorsement provided to the book’s publisher Harper Collins: “Recommended highly for those who want to understand the essential significance of modern physics, and for those who are concerned with its implications for possible transformation of human consciousness.”

Zukav’s next book, The Seat of the Soul, published in 1989, was a #1 New York Times Bestseller 31 weeks and remained on the same list for three years. In an interview by Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove for the popular Public Television series Thinking Allowed Zukav summarized the concepts presented in The Seat of the Soul.

“My objective was not to make the soul legitimate in terms of science. The soul is legitimate, period. It doesn’t need validation. At least that was my perception and so I wrote The Seat of the Soul to share the things that were most important to me. The Dancing Wu Li Masters was designed to open the mind and The Seat of the Soul, is a book designed to open the heart. And this is often the sequence that many people encounter as they move into an expanded awareness of who they are and why they are here.

Our evolution, until very recently, has been as five sensory humans evolving through the exploration of physical reality. That is the same thing as the pursuit of external power. Now we have crossed the threshold, we’re in new territory, a brand new domain. We are now becoming multi sensory. That means we are no longer confined to the five senses. Now I use these terms because the five senses together form a single sensory system and the object of that sensory system is physical reality. That’s what it is designed to detect.

As we become multi sensory, we move beyond the limitations of the five senses and we now are evolving to a different mechanism in the exploration of physical reality. We are evolving through responsible choice of and with the assistance and guidance of non physical guides and teachers. We are spiritual beings, we have always been spiritual beings and we will always be spiritual beings. The difference is that now we are becoming aware of ourselves as spiritual beings and that is making all the difference.”


Zukav introduces the concept of the alignment of personality with soul as the creation of “authentic power.” He asserts that a transformation of humanity is underway from a species that is limited to the perceptions of the five senses, evolves by surviving, and survives by pursuing “external power,” which he defines as the ability to manipulate and control, into a species that is not limited to the perceptions of the five senses, evolves by growing spiritually, and grows spiritually by creating authentic power. He further asserts that this transformation brings with it the new potential of authentic power and that the pursuit of external power is henceforth counter-productive to our evolution and produces only violence and destruction.

According to Zukav, creating authentic power is a highly personal endeavor that requires the development of emotional awareness, responsible choice, intuition, and trust in the Universe, which he describes as “alive, wise, and compassionate.” He asserts that each individual can create authentic power only for himself or herself. He defines intention as a “quality of consciousness that infuses an action,” i.e., the reason or motivation for the action, and choice of intention as the “fundamental creative act” that each individual performs continually, whether unconsciously or consciously. Creating authentic power requires consciously choosing intentions that create consequences for which the chooser is willing to assume responsibility (responsible choice), which requires emotional awareness, and which intuition can assist.

Zukav distinguishes the “Old Male” (five-sensory, protector, provider) and the “Old Female” (five-sensory, child bearer, homemaker) who join in marriage in order to enhance probabilities of survival and comfort from the emerging “New Male” (multi sensory, intuitive, emotionally aware) and the “New Female” (multi sensory, capable in all chosen endeavors) who join in a new kind of relationship in order to create authentic power and assist each other in creating authentic power. He calls this relationship “spiritual partnership” and defines it as “partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth.” According to Zukav, “spiritual growth now requires relationships of substance and depth” and only spiritual partnerships are able to support all multi sensory individuals (not only couples) in creating authentic power.

Zukav posits the “Universal Human” as the ultimate potential of the emerging multi sensory humanity – a human who is “beyond nation, religion, race, sex, and economic status; a Citizen of the Universe whose allegiance is to Life first and all else second.”

  • Jack Graham
    Posted at 20:56h, 07 December Reply

    Neale, I appreciate your opening up the discussion about reincarnation. To say that enlightenment cannot be achieved in a single lifetime is to open up a much deeper appreciation for the soul’s progression throughout the entire evolutionary and involutionary journey. It interests me that people can believe in evolution but do not see that as an aspect of reincarnation as well. We have to experience every possible form of life before we can reach infinite knowing. Thank you for mentioning the work of Tom Shroder, Ian Stevenson, and the observations of Robert Almeder.

  • Eugene
    Posted at 19:37h, 13 September Reply

    I hope you all are right…I have much to improve upon and foresee needing more than one lifetime to make these improvements…I’m 67 already and am just beginning to see how misguided I’ve been through most of this current life…thanks for your “faith,” if that is what it is. I’ve read a lot of books about channeling, reincarnation, and such, and about our forefathers and fore mothers who did feel the truth in reincarnation, the soul itself. I hope you all are right…maybe one day we’ll all know for sure.

Post A Comment