Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

The Seat of the Soul (original 1989; edition 1990)

by Gary Zukav (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,049196,184 (3.62)10
Presents the evolution of man from a species that pursues external power, power based upon the perceptions of the five senses, into a species that pursues authentic power, power based upon spiritual perceptions and values.
Title:The Seat of the Soul
Authors:Gary Zukav (Author)
Info:Fireside / Simon & Schuster (1990), 256 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav (1989)

  1. 00
    The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker (PlaidStallion)
    PlaidStallion: God, Jesus, Virgin Mary, Yahweh, Allah, Mohammed, Shiva, Buddha, Zeus, Odin, Horus, Emperor of Heaven, Haile Selassie, Great Spirit, Spider Grandmother, Flying Spaghetti Monster—take a lesson:

    MOST PEOPLE ARE familiar with the idea that some of our ordeals come from a mismatch between the source of our passions in evolutionary history and the goals we set for ourselves today. People gorge themselves in anticipation of a famine that never comes, engage in dangerous liaisons that conceive babies they don’t want, and rev up their bodies in response to stressors from which they cannot run away.

    What is true for the emotions may also be true for the intellect. Some of our perplexities may come from a mismatch between the purposes for which our cognitive faculties evolved and the purposes to which we put them today. This is obvious enough when it comes to raw data processing. People do not try to multiply six-digit numbers in their heads or remember the phone number of everyone they meet, because they know their minds were not designed for the job. But it is not as obvious when it comes to the way we conceptualize the world. Our minds keep us in touch with aspects of reality—such as objects, animals, and people—that our ancestors dealt with for millions of years. But as science and technology open up new and hidden worlds, our untutored intuitions may find themselves at sea.

    What are these intuitions? Many cognitive scientists believe that human reasoning is not accomplished by a single, general-purpose computer in the head. The world is a heterogeneous place, and we are equipped with different kinds of intuitions and logics, each appropriate to one department of reality. These ways of knowing have been called systems, modules, stances, faculties, mental organs, multiple intelligences, and reasoning engines. They emerge early in life, are present in every normal person, and appear to be computed in partly distinct sets of networks in the brain. They may be installed by different combinations of genes, or they may emerge when brain tissue self-organizes in response to different problems to be solved and different patterns in the sensory input. Most likely they develop by some combination of these forces.

    What makes our reasoning faculties different from the departments in a university is that they are not just broad areas of knowledge, analyzed with whatever tools work best. Each faculty is based on a core intuition that was suitable for analyzing the world in which we evolved. Though cognitive scientists have not agreed on a Gray’s Anatomy of the mind, here is a tentative but defensible list of cognitive faculties and the core intuitions on which they are based:
    • An intuitive physics, which we use to keep track of how objects fall, bounce, and bend. Its core intuition is the concept of the object, which occupies one place, exists for a continuous span of time, and follows laws of motion and force. These are not Newton’s laws but something closer to the medieval conception of impetus, an “oomph” that keeps an object in motion and gradually dissipates.
    • An intuitive version of biology or natural history, which we use to understand the living world. Its core intuition is that living things house a hidden essence that gives them their form and powers and drives their growth and bodily functions.
    • An intuitive engineering, which we use to make and understand tools and other artifacts. Its core intuition is that a tool is an object with a purpose—an object designed by a person to achieve a goal.
    • An intuitive psychology, which we use to understand other people. Its core intuition is that other people are not objects or machines but are animated by the invisible entity we call the mind or the soul. Minds contain beliefs and desires and are the immediate cause of behavior.
    • A spatial sense, which we use to navigate the world and keep track of where things are. It is based on a dead reckoner, which updates coordinates of the body's location as it moves and turns, and a network of mental maps. Each map is organized by a different reference frame: the eyes, the head, the body, or salient objects and places in the world.
    • A number sense, which we use to think about quantities and amounts. It is based on an ability to register exact quantities for small numbers of objects (one, two, and three) and to make rough relative estimates for larger numbers.
    • A sense of probability, which we use to reason about the likelihood of uncertain events. It is based on the ability to track the relative frequencies of events, that is, the proportion of events of some kind that turn out one way or the other.
    • An intuitive economics, which we use to exchange goods and favors. It is based on the concept of reciprocal exchange, in which one party confers a benefit on another and is entitled to an equivalent benefit in return.
    • A mental database and logic, which we use to represent ideas and to infer new ideas from old ones. It is based on assertions about what’s what, what’s where, or who did what to whom, when, where, and why. The assertions are linked in a mind-wide web and can be recombined with logical and causal operators such as AND, OR, NOT, ALL, SOME, NECESSARY, POSSIBLE, and CAUSE.
    • Language, which we use to share the ideas from our mental logic. It is based on a mental dictionary of memorized words and a mental grammar of combinatorial rules. The rules organize vowels and consonants into words, words into bigger words and phrases, and phrases into sentences, in such a way that the meaning of the combination can be computed from the meanings of the parts and the way they are arranged.
    The mind also has components for which it is hard to tell where cognition leaves off and emotion begins. These include a system for assessing danger, coupled with the emotion called fear, a system for assessing contamination, coupled with the emotion called disgust, and a moral sense, which is complex enough to deserve a chapter of its own.

    These ways of knowing and core intuitions are suitable for the lifestyle of small groups of illiterate, stateless people who live off the land, survive by their wits, and depend on what they can carry. Our ancestors left this lifestyle for a settled existence only a few millennia ago, too recently for evolution to have done much, if anything, to our brains. Conspicuous by their absence are faculties suited to the stunning new understanding of the world wrought by science and technology. For many domains of knowledge, the mind could not have evolved dedicated machinery, the brain and genome show no hints of specialization, and people show no spontaneous intuitive understanding either in the crib or afterward. They include modern physics, cosmology, genetics, evolution, neuroscience, embryology, economics, and mathematics.

    It’s not just that we have to go to school or read books to learn these subjects. It’s that we have no mental tools to grasp them intuitively. We depend on analogies that press an old mental faculty into service, or on jerry-built mental contraptions that wire together bits and pieces of other faculties. Understanding in these domains is likely to be uneven, shallow, and contaminated by primitive intuitions. And that can shape debates in the border disputes in which science and technology make contact with everyday life. The point … is that together with all the moral, empirical, and political factors that go into these debates, we should add the cognitive factors: the way our minds naturally frame issues. Our own cognitive makeup is a missing piece of many puzzles, including education, bioethics, food safety, economics, and human understanding itself.
    … (more)
  2. 01
    The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra (DetailMuse)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

English (17)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Gary Zukav, an Eagle Scout Harvard graduate, who served as a Green Beret officer (1st Lt) in Viet Nam, fell in with young theoretical physicists in San Francisco, and wrote "Dancing Wu Li Masters" [Wu Li = Chinese "Physics" with five definitions -- including "nonsense"]. Zukav explains that work was intended to 'open the mind", and this "Seat of the Soul" is intended to "open the heart".

Zukav does not seem have have done any actual "science" for either book. He posits an elaboration of Soul, alleging that the human species is emerging from the illusions of the "five senses" and "external power". Transformation is possible with intention and better choices. A transformational Power based upon perceptions of this Soul thing--moving from "external" to "authentic power."

This is an unwavering mashup of psychology, Jain/Hindu Karmic creation, and heady speculations about the existence of a Soul in everyone. The Soul is "that part of you that is immortal". [14] The Will to Intention, (cf. Adler's Will to Power, Freud's Will to Pleasure, Frankl's Will to Meaning), the idea of having Choice, is developed without credit to those who opened this door to self-awareness .

We can choose fear, and evolve through the destruction fear creates. Why not choose the conscious path, the path of Joy? Can we transform energy into matter with better intentions? [Written 2014, two years before the Naqba.]

This is not a work of theology, but a courageous effort to provide useful tools to free our "splintered" personalities from fear, addiction, and a poor quality of consciousness. Zukav uses the example of "the personality, Jesus" who chose the path of glory over the temptations offered by the "Luciferic principle". [157] "Authentic empowerment is not gained by making choices that do not stretch you."

In the intentional effort to align our personalities with our soul--we will stimulate our spiritual growth and become better people in the process. This insightful, lucid synthesis of concepts of psychology, karmic debts, and new-age principles of consciousness-raising.

Example of advice for giving spiritual care: Offer comfort to the group-soul of the dolphins. The dolphins are creating diseases within, and beaching themselves, as "their way of refusing to continue to live upon the Earth...."They are exhausted." [165]
  keylawk | Aug 30, 2019 |
Shucks. I am having a hard time believing this tripe is by the same guy who wrote THE DANCING WU LI MASTERS. Zukav was almost prescient with his insights and final predictions in DANCING. SEAT is all hot air. There are not many books I toss, but I don't think I want to offer the tacit approval a place on my bookshelf offers. ( )
  Mark-Bailey | Jul 1, 2017 |
Shucks. I am having a hard time believing this tripe is by the same guy who wrote THE DANCING WU LI MASTERS. Zukav was almost prescient with his insights and final predictions in DANCING. SEAT is all hot air. There are not many books I toss, but I don't think I want to offer the tacit approval a place on my bookshelf offers. ( )
  torreyhouse | Jun 25, 2016 |
Good stuff in here to make your brain work hard. Open the book with an open mind for best results! ( )
  BethanyMoore | May 13, 2016 |
I feel pretty ambiguous about this book. On the one hand, the author presents a "formula" for living that I largely agree with: the positive aspects of life flow from love, the negative flow from fear. If you can let go of fear, a lot of personal problems just disappear. If we could do that as a society, it would go a long way toward making everything better.

On the other hand, he presents a lot of very specific information about the mechanics of how a soul moves and advances through the levels of enlightenment. A lot of this sounds like just another new age pseudo religion.

If you can take the basic principles he is expounding, without getting wrapped up in the quasi-religious stuff, then I think its worth the time. ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
The loving support and many contributions of Caroline Myss are woven through these pages.
This book is dedicated to my parents, Morris L. Zhukov and Lorene Zukav, with love, respect and gratitude.
First words
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Presents the evolution of man from a species that pursues external power, power based upon the perceptions of the five senses, into a species that pursues authentic power, power based upon spiritual perceptions and values.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Eindelijk: het nieuwe boek van de beroemde schrijver van De dansende Woe Li meesters!
In De Zetel van de Ziel onderzoekt Zukav het mysterie van onze persoonlijke werkelijkheid en de gebieden die buiten het bereik van onze vijf zintuigen liggen. Zoals de microscoop ooit nieuwe werelden voor ons onthulde, zo opent Gary Zukav onze ogen voor het bestaan van ontastbare gebieden, met name dat van de ziel, 'het middelpunt tussen energie en materie'.
De Zetel van de Ziel toont aan hoe we onze ervaringen creëren met de kracht van onze eigen gedachten. We volgen | het pad van de evolutie van de ziel en ontdekken ons :~—^ vermogen om ons leven te transformeren door onze wezenlijke innerlijke kracht te ontwikkelen. Een adembenemende odyssee voor allen die geïnteresseerd zijn in de speurtocht van de mens naar zijn essentie!
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.62)
0.5 1
1 13
1.5 2
2 18
2.5 5
3 60
3.5 11
4 60
4.5 3
5 64

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 166,145,473 books! | Top bar: Always visible