Seat Of The Soul, p.4Gary Zukav
Approaching and regarding Life with an attitude of reverence permits the experience of being unempowered but not cruel. As you work toward becoming reverent, your tendencies toward harming others and other forms of Life diminish. As you acquire a sense of reverence, you develop a capacity to think more deeply about the value of Life before you commit your energy to action. When you are fully reverent, you cannot harm Life, even though you are unempowered. Without reverence the experience of being unempowered can become a very cruel one because a disempowered person is a frightened person, and if a frightened person has no sense of reverence, he or she will harm or kill indiscriminately.
Reverence is a level of protection and honor about the process of life so that while a person is maturing toward the journey and through the journey of authentic empowerment, he or she harms nothing. Because we have no reverence, our journey to empowerment often includes the experiences of victimizing life. Therefore, there are victims and victimizers. The process of destroying Life while we are learning about Life that has characterized our evolution would cease, or at least would be very different, if we approached Life with a quality of reverence.
It is because we have no sense of reverence, no true belief in the holiness of all Life, that Life is destroyed and tortured, brutalized, starved and maimed while we journey from unempowerment to empowerment. If a sense of reverence were brought into the process of evolution, then as each of us, and our species, moves through the cycle of being unempowered to becoming empowered, the many learnings that are contained within that growing process of evolution would not likely produce violence and fear to the extent that it is now experienced.
The destructions of human Life, plant Life, animal Life, and the planet would be considerably diminished, or would cease, if there were an active principle of reverence within our species, if there were the perception within our species, and within each of us, that although we are engaged in evolutionary processes that require personal learning, that does not authorize us to destroy Life while we are learning, or because we are. We would not have the karmic energy of destruction, only of learning. Even though learning is contained in destruction, the karmic consequences of participating in violence and destruction are a high price to pay for it.
It is not necessary, in other words, to learn what we need to learn and have it cost somebody his or her life. It is not necessary for progress and the experience of progress to cost the destruction of nature. It is not necessary, but without a sense of reverence for Life, who cares that it destroys Life? Without reverence, Life becomes a very cheap commodity, as it is upon our planet now where the entire process and the sacredness of evolution is not regarded, accepted, or honored.
If we perceived Life with reverence, and understood our evolutionary process, we would stand in awe at the experience of physical Life and walk the Earth in a very deep sense of gratitude. As it is, there are billions of human beings who are filled with regret that they are on the Earth, with overwhelming experiences of pain, despair, discouragement, depression, starvation and disease. These are the things of our planet. They result largely from the fact that so much of the human condition is without reverence.
Reverence is a perception of the soul. Only the personality can perceive Life without reverence. Reverence is a natural aspect of authentic empowerment because the soul reveres all of Life. Therefore, when the personality is aligned with the soul, it cannot perceive Life except with reverence. Approaching Life with reverence not only protects the soul from the karmic obligations that are created by personalities that do not honor Life, but it also is a step toward moving the personality into alignment with the soul because it brings an aspect of the soul directly into the physical environment.
What does the decision to approach Life with reverence mean in practical terms?
It means challenging the perceptions and the values of a fivesensory world that lacks reverence. This is not always easy, especially for males who have been taught values that serve the accumulation of external power. An authentically empowered male will not be embarrassed or feel less than fully masculine by showing concern for Life, and for the many creatures on our planet. That is very much the energy of reverence. Therefore, the decision to approach Life with reverence often requires courage, not only of men, but also of women who have adopted these values.
The decision to become a reverent person is essentially the decision to become a spiritual person. There is currently no place for spirituality within science, politics, business or academia. To a fivesensory personality that lacks reverence, a reverent businessman or businesswoman appears to be competing at a disadvantage, because the range of his or her activities is not unlimited, and a reverent politician appears to be unqualified for leadership in a world where the only power that is recognized is external power. Yet, to the multisensory human, a reverent businessman or businesswoman is a person who infuses a new energy into the archetype of entrepreneur, shifting it from a dynamic that is motivated by profits that are generated by serving others to a dynamic of serving others that is made possible by profits, and a reverent politician is a person who challenges the concept of external power, and brings to the political arena the concerns of the heart. Therefore, the decision to approach Life with reverence means acting and thinking as a spiritual person in a world that does not recognize spirit, and it means moving consciously toward the perceptions of the multisensory human.
To live with reverence means being willing to say, “That is Life, we must not harm it,” and “Those are our fellow humans, we must not destroy them,” and mean it. It means reexamining the way that we treat the members of the animal kingdom that serve us so-patiently. It means recognizing the rights of the Earth. That the Earth has rights is a concept that is not even present in our species yet.
An attitude of reverence is the atmosphere, the environment, in which the multisensory personality evolves. It is a sense of richness and fullness and intimacy of being. It creates compassion and acts of kindness. Without reverence, without the perception of the holiness of all things, the world becomes cold and barren, mechanical and random at the same time, and this creates experiences of alienation and acts of violence. It is not natural for us to live without reverence, because that separates us from the basic energy of the soul.
Reverence automatically brings forth patience. Impatience is the desire to have your needs met first. When your needs are taken care of, do you not then have patience with the needs of others? A reverent person honors Life in all its forms and all its activities. It does not think in the terms that are required to produce impatience.
Reverence permits non judgmental justice. The soul does not judge, and so the personality chooses to bring into physical reality another of its soul’s characteristics when it chooses to approach Life with reverence. The reverent person cannot consider himself or herself superior to another person or to any other form of Life, because the reverent person sees Divinity in all forms of Life, and honors it.
An attitude of reverence facilitates the transition from the logic and understanding of the fivesensory human to the higher order of logic and understanding of the multisensory human, because, as we shall see, this higher order of logic and understanding originates in the heart.
Without reverence, our experiences are brutal and destructive. With reverence, our experiences become compassionate and caring. We shall come to honor all of Life sooner or later. Our choices are when that shall happen, and the quality of experience that we shall have as we learn.
CHAPTER 4: HEART
The logics that have served our fivesensory exploration of physical reality cannot comprehend evolution without time or the influence of the present upon the past. They cannot meaningfully represent the existence of the soul or a dynamic of energy balancing that generates and links many lifetimes. They reflect no experiential points of reference beyond those of the fivesensory personality. Therefore, the time has come for a higher order of logic and understanding.
The central position of the heart in the higher order of logic and understanding of the multisensory human, and the sensitivity to emotional currents that is characteristic of multisensory humans, appear as extraneous to the five sensory personality because they do not serve the accumulation of external power. As we have come to seek and wield external power consciously, we have come to view feelings as unnecessary appendages, like tonsils-useless, but capable of creating pain and dysfunction. Thus, the pursuit of external power has led to a repression of emotion. This is true of us as individuals and as a species.
The irrelevancy that we attribute to feelings pervades our thinking and our values. We admire the “hard-nosed” businessman who fires employees for the sake of external power. We reward the military officer who sends himself or others to pain and death for the sake of external power. We honor the statesman who is not swayed by compassion.
When we close the door to our feelings, we close the door to the vital currents that energize and activate our thoughts and actions. We cannot begin the process of understanding the effects of our emotions upon us, our environment, and other people, or the effects of the emotions of other people upon themselves, their environment, and us. Without an awareness of our emotions, we cannot associate the effects of anger, sadness, grief, and joy-within ourselves or others-with their causes. We cannot distinguish between that part of us which is personality and that part of us which is soul. Without an awareness of our feelings we cannot experience compassion. How can we share the sufferings and the joys of others if we cannot experience our own?
If we are not intimate with our emotions, we cannot perceive the dynamics that lie behind emotions, the way that these dynamics work, and the ends that they serve. Emotions are currents of energy that pass through us. Awareness of these currents is the first step in learning how our experiences come into being and why.
Emotions reflect intentions. Therefore, awareness of emotions leads to awareness of intentions. Every discrepancy between a conscious intention and the emotions that accompany it points directly to a splintered aspect of these. lf that requires healing. If, for example, your intention to marry causes pain instead of joy, following the pain will lead you to unconscious intentions. If your intention to advance in your work causes sorrow instead of satisfaction, following the sorrow will lead you to unconscious intentions.
Without an awareness of your emotions you are not able to experience reverence. Reverence is not an emotion. It is a way of being, but the path to reverence is through your heart, and only an awareness of your feelings can open your heart.
The higher order of logic and understanding of the multisensory personality reveals connections where no connections are apparent to the fivesensory personality, and meaning where no meaning is apparent to the fivesensory personality. A fivesensory personality is not able to process fully the data of its senses. Its perception of reality is segmented. Its experience of the Universe is partitioned.
The fivesensory personality can learn that internal dynamics affect perception, and formulate this as folklore or cliché, such as, “Smile and the world smiles with you.” It can discover regularities within physical reality, and formulate them as laws, such as, “A body in uniform motion will remain in uniform motion until it is acted upon by a force.” Yet, the fivesensory personality is not able to experience the relationships between these domains, and, therefore, is not able to learn about one from the other. It is not able to experience the same richness through each.
Science, for example, reflects the Divine impulse to become conscious of relationships that connect apparently separate aspects of experience. It is the pinnacle achievement of the fivesensory personality, yet when the fruits of science are grasped only with the logic and understanding of the fivesensory human, internal dynamics-feelings and intentions-appear to be unrelated to the world of matter. Neither supernovas nor subatomic decay rates nor anything in between appear to be affected by what human beings feel or think.
When the discoveries of science are comprehended with the logic and understanding of the multisensory human, intimate relationships appear between internal dynamics and regularities that govern physical phenomena. To the multisensory human, for example, “A body in uniform motion will remain in uniform motion until it is acted upon by a force,” reflects not only a dynamic at work within the realm of time and space and matter, but also a deeper dynamic that works within nonphysical reality as well.
How is this?
One of my friends in infantry officer candidate school was a tall, affable and pleasant-looking young man from Kentucky named Hank. Hank and I liked each other early on. Several times he lent me his physical strength when my load became too heavy, and I helped him through intellectual obstacles, such as calculating artillery trajectories. We shared adventures, and our friendship grew.
Upon graduation, we were assigned to different organizations. I lost track of Hank until I ran into him in Saigon. He had been wounded, and due to the befriending of an Army General, had been assigned to a unit that I came frequently to visit. While serving in Saigon he met a popular female radio announcer, and they became engaged. It seemed a perfect match-a tall, handsome captain and a beautiful and admired public figure.
I again lost track of Hank until I had left the army. He called me to say that his wife was coming to make an appearance at a resort near me, and he asked me to meet him there. When I met Hank, now a civilian also, he looked troubled, and his easygoing manner was dampened. He had changed his name to Hal, he told me, and apologized that his wife was unable to join us. We spoke for a while, and when I asked him what he was doing with himself, he told me, “Looking for my place in the sun.”
The next news that I heard of Hank/Hal was that he had killed himself. When I was later able to meet his widow, she told me a painful story of marital difficulties, of Hank’s despondency, and of his suicide. In the years immediately following the Vietnam War, the rate of suicides among Vietnam veterans was significantly higher than the rate of suicides among non-veterans. Therefore, it is likely that Hank, also, was affected adversely by his experiences in Vietnam. Yet there was also a more common dynamic at work in my friend.
Hank was not the kind of person to ask himself deeper questions about his life. He did not inquire into the deeper meaning of his existence upon the Earth, because that would have caused him to change his life, and he did not want to do that. He lived his life without much reflection, and one day he awoke to overwhelming emptiness and powerlessness.
How does my friend’s life relate to the first law of motion, “A body in uniform motion will remain in uniform motion until it is acted upon by a force”? What does “uniform motion” mean in terms of a human Life, and what is the “force” that alters that motion?
The outward events of Hank’s life were not uniform. He grew up on a farm in Kentucky, became a military officer, traveled thousands of miles from his home, married a celebrity and brought his own life to an end. It was the unconscious quality of the flow of Hank’s life that was uniform in its motion. Neither the experiences of his childhood nor his military service nor his marriage caused Hank to consider seriously the deeper meaning of his existence. The pains and the joys that flowed through him did not affect his awareness of who he was, or what he might become.
Hank did not allow himself to follow the experiences of his life to their roots. On the contrary, he feared such a pursuit. As a result, his life flowed uniformly unaware, uniformly unconscious, from its incarnation to its release. He experienced the situations that were necessary to the balancing of the energy of his soul, he responded to them in accordance with the conditioning that he ha
The compassion that Hank brought into the world nurtured many people around him, including me, but he did not allow it to become his center of gravity. Hank made no effort to move toward his soul. He spent his life attempting to fulfill the wants of his personality, and he became too attached to those wants to attempt to change them. Thus, Hank’s life was a “body in uniform motion” that never encountered a “force.”
What is the “force” that Hank’s life did not encounter?
Gregory was a white, middle-class, and college-educated man from the Northeast. His childhood was emotionally difficult, and he grew up angry, manipulative, and bitter. He was incapable of forming relationships, and his violent temper and argumentative nature kept people at a distance. This further increased Gregory’s disdain for Life and for other people, but he did not stop to ask what role he played in his experiences.
When, at last, his temper and his disagreeable disposition caused the woman that he was living with to leave, Gregory fell into a deep anguish not only because of his loss, but also because he recognized in this latest event the repetition of a long-standing pattern in which he found himself, in each instance, suffering from rejection. He determined to confront both his pain and his pattern. He made arrangements to live in solitude while he searched within himself for the deepest causes of his painful life.
When he emerged, weeks later, both his perceptions and his values had changed. He began to soften, and, slowly, his old mannerisms dropped away. Over the following years he developed a more sensitive way of being with people. His cynicism gave way to an emerging joy, his anger melted, and other people became central to his life. He is a productive person now, and he draws his strength from the contributions that he makes to his fellows.
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