New Age Thinking about the Soul: the Postmodern Metaphysics of Gary Zukav -- By: Ben M. Carter
New Age Thinking about the Soul:
the Postmodern Metaphysics of Gary Zukav
“My life is dedicated to the birth of a new humanity.”
With the publication in 1979 of The Dancing Wu Li Masters, an attempt to explain the New Physics through the grid of Taoism rather than mathematics, Gary Zukav first came into national prominence. The book was a huge success and won the American Book Award for Science that same year. It has since been translated into sixteen languages. On his web site www.zukav.com Gary Zukav calls The Dancing Wu Li Masters his “first gift to life.”
Ten years later he published The Seat of the Soul (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1989). Overnight that book, too, became a national best seller. Indeed, Zukav on his web site maintains that together those volumes have sold over a million-and-a-half copies. Gary Zukav reports that The Seat of the Soul originally had the title Physics and Consciousness. He began it hoping to analyze what he saw as interesting parallels between quantum physics and depth psychology in an effort to illuminate the problem of consciousness. The project eventually expanded into three volumes which were never published. Zukav abandoned the enterprise because in the midst of it, “a very dramatic thing happened to me. I discovered non-physical truth.” The phrase is an odd one and is unexplained, but whatever it suggests to the web site visitor, for Gary Zukav it resulted in a profound reorientation to the universe and transformed his research. Physics and Consciousness was abandoned in favor of The Seat of the Soul. Listening to the universe as he shared with others what he was learning, Zukav fashioned the ideas expressed within its pages.
For Gary Zukav evolution is the fundamental reality, but, he argues, our prevailing understanding of evolution is conditioned by our current limitations and hence is inadequate. It is too scientific, too dependent on empiricism, too materialistic.1 Because we are emerging from the stage of human development dominated by those limitations, we must devise a new model2 to make sense of what we are on the verge of experiencing. This will not be easy, he warns us. The vocabulary needed for the task has not yet been devised.3 But it is a task we must begin for even now each of us is being drawn to the next stage of evolution by the same great vision,4 a vision that will lift us from the level where we exercise only external pow...
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