The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

In my quest to come to a greater understanding of consciousness, I was initially excited by the names given to some of this book’s chapters (twenty-four in all): Evolution; Karma; Intuition; Intention; Choice; Addiction; Souls; Illusion – all of these leapt out to me as subjects that I knew a little about and was hungry for a deeper understanding.

The book is literally jam-packed with information. You have to read it slowly and carefully or you will find yourself quickly confused. Actually, you may find yourself confused anyway. Things started well as the book talked about humanity evolving from five-sensory beings into multi-sensory beings – something that I feel is true from my own personal awakening. External vs. internal power is discussed and the important distinction between the personality and the soul. All excellent material.

Things started to sit a little badly with me in the following chapter, Karma. The idea behind karma is that life is a learning experience, and anything you do to harm another being will ultimately be inflicted back upon you, in this life or a future one. To my ears, that is just too much like the old religious idea of punishment for sin that locks you into a fear-based morality. Besides, it just doesn’t make rational sense. If I torture someone, and thus create negative karma upon myself, someone will later torture me and create negative karma on himself. So in order to clear negative karma, you have to create more negative karma. This massive abnormality is not brought to light by the book.

Another “insight” that didn’t sit well with me was the way the author categorised how we talk differently to different groups of people – how we reveal a greater or lesser extent of who we are depending on who we are in conversation with. Zukav accepted this as the way things are, whereas to me, an important spiritual leap that we all need to make is to express ourselves without fear of what others think of us – to express what we truly are, and not a false projection of what we think is acceptable. For instance, after being a Christian for many years and accumulating Christian friends, I eventually changed my mind about religion, and I had to share my new beliefs with my friends, otherwise I would be allowing them to relate to a false me. I also had to face the loss of several friends, as they branded me unacceptable. We need to be who we are truly are and take the heat for it. Sadly, this is not the attitude portrayed in the book.

At times, what I was reading became so structured and complex that it was almost like reading religious doctine. And I had to wonder, where does all this come from? Because it’s presented matter-of-factly as “the way it is,” without any evidence to back it up. I found that if I come at it from a rational left-brained perspective, I don’t get very far. That is to be expected. On the other hand, if I come at it from an intuitive right-brained perspective, I find that some of it gets through to me, some of it screws with me, and some of it I just don’t know what to make of.

One question I kept asking myself as I was reading was “What about the idea that everything is one, that we’re all one consciousness?” I kept expecting that to turn up, because it seems to be a widely held belief in this kind of literature. The topic finally did come up, but I was surprised that so little time was devoted to it. I feel this the foundation that allows so much more to make sense. Oneness is the very thing that allows us to see why love is what life is all about. And yet the book concerns itself largely with the ins and outs of our separation from each other. Separate souls, reincarnating from life to life, learning and evolving with the aid of non-physical spirit guides. I learned more from one of David Icke’s simple, sharp insights (paraphrased): “If we are Infinite Conciousness, if we are everything that was, is and will be, if we already know everything, how can we possibly evolve by experience?”

The Seat of the Soul was a useful book that gave me some insights, but I feel it’s also expressing a mentality that doesn’t quite get to the really big questions that need asked about what life is all about.