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Gary Zukav on the New Consciousness & How to Be a Universal Human

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Gary Zukav, spiritual teacher and author of "The Seat of the Soul"

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Summary: Legendary spiritual teacher Gary Zukav discusses what it means to be this new kind of Universal Human at Mindvalley Summit 2021.

Is humankind at the precipice of an entirely new consciousness? Legendary spiritual teacher Gary Zukav joined Vishen Lakhiani live at Mindvalley Summit 2021 to discuss what it means to be this new kind of Universal Human.

Gary Zukav at Mindvalley Summit

Gary Zukav is a man who needs no introduction, but just to be on the safe side, we’ll give him one anyway. A master teacher and author of four consecutive New York Times Best Sellers, Gary has dedicated his life to facilitating the unprecedented transformation of human consciousness.

Gary Zukav has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show almost as many times as Oprah has (okay, just the 34 appearances) to discuss concepts from his book The Seat of the Soul, which Oprah credits as her second favorite book. It sits at the top of her list, just behind the Bible, which is fairly stiff competition when you consider the supposed author of that particular book.

The wonderful thing about Gary (other than having the most soothing voice in the world) is his incredible ability to put complex philosophical and metaphysical ideas into language anyone can understand.

From his comparison of spirituality to quantum physics in The Dancing Wu Li Masters in 1979 to his framing of a new paradigm of consciousness in Universal Human in 2021, over and over, he challenges us to see the depth of our potential in the world and, more importantly, to act on that awareness.

Mindvalley members will have heard Vishen Lakhiani speak about Gary many times before. And, since Vishen shares Oprah’s enthusiasm and deep gratitude for The Seat of the Soul, he used his favorite Gary Zukav quotes as a springboard to talk about Gary’s latest work, Universal Human.

The New Consciousness and the Universal Human 

There is a new level of consciousness emerging. 

This new consciousness goes beyond five-sensory perception. A new kind of human being is coming forth: the Universal Human.

“A Universal Human is authentically powerful beyond culture, religion, nation, ethnic group, and gender. A human whose allegiance is to life first and all else second.”

This shift in human consciousness is unprecedented, and it’s happening fast. Human consciousness has evolved over 300,000 to 2,500,000 years, depending upon when you start to count. It’s been a definite slow boil. But now, all of a sudden, it’s bubbling over.

The new consciousness is very different from the old consciousness. Within the old consciousness, the universe and everything in our world were defined by the five senses, and our understanding of power was the ability to manipulate and control. 

That was before. This is the after.

Hundreds of millions of you are in the after. If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’ve already crossed the threshold. 

The new consciousness goes beyond the five senses and the experience of the individual. And, according to Gary, with this new consciousness comes a new understanding of power. 

The new power is an alignment of your personality with the highest aspect of yourself.  The new “power” is the extent to which you can sense, grasp, and experience your soul.

How to Become a Universal Human

Those becoming multi-sensory aren’t in any way better than those that are still five-sensory. It’s just a temporary ebb and flow and evolution. Within another few generations, Gary believes all of us will be touched by the new consciousness. 

We will all have a sense of ourselves as more than our bodies and minds, as more than entities with a birthdate and a death date. This new awareness will lead us to new understandings of ourselves, the world, the universe, relationships, religion, and community.

“This expanded perception is a gift from the universe. You don’t have to develop it, although we will. All you have to do is unwrap it and use it.” 

But Gary warns that using this gift to create total alignment between your soul and your personality is not a given. The potential is the gift, but creating it in your life requires commitment, courage, and compassion.

Becoming a Universal Human requires conscious communication and action. It requires the practice of transforming life from one of fear, anger, jealousy, or resentment into one of love, gratitude, appreciation, caring, and unlimited vitality and creativity. 

Becoming a Universal Human means living a life of reverence.

The Intention of Reverence

“Reverence is engaging in a form and a depth of contact with Life that is well beyond the shell of form and into essence.” 

Reverence is contact with the essence of each thing and person and plant and bird and animal. It is contact with the interior of its beingness. Even if you cannot sense the interior, it is enough to know that the form, the shell, is merely an outer layer and that underneath it, the true power and essence of who a person is, or what a thing is, is present. That is what is honored in reverence.

Gary says that even those of us who struggle to revere the “divine” in the world can benefit from the conscious intention of reverence. Often, the intention behind a thing is what defines the experience. And, by merely approaching life with that intention, life will respond in ways you can’t imagine:

“Volition is the creation of authentic power. It’s a moment-by-moment creation. And as you do,  it moves you in completely surprising ways, expanding ways and loving ways.”

3 Steps Toward Authentic Power 

If this is all sounding a little too intangible for you, then Gary offered some practical advice on stepping into reverence, stepping into authentic power, and embracing the ideals of a universal human:

1. Emotional awareness

Now, the more poetic and creative among you may be able to identify a multitude of emotions and describe every nuanced feeling. To keep things simple, let’s say that there are only really two emotions – fear and love. 

Emotional awareness means becoming consciously aware of every emotional current in you (that’s all those nuanced feelings) and recognizing whether they fall under the umbrella of fear or the umbrella of love. 

There are some very specific physical sensations associated with fear. Heartache, for example, is not poetic; it’s real. So learn to identify physical sensations within certain areas of your body, such as your throat, solar plexus, chest, stomach, or any of the major chakra points. Ask yourself if the feeling is expansive or contractive. Ask yourself if it comes from a place of love or a place of fear.

(Tip: If you’re interested in developing emotional awareness, read The Heart of the Soul by Gary and his spiritual partner, Linden. But as Gary says: “Do the exercises. Don’t just read the book. If you just read the book, you’ll know a lot about emotional awareness. But you won’t be emotionally aware.”)

2. Understand responsible choice

We’ve all had a responsible choice or two to make, haven’t we? Another glass of wine? Or a wheatgrass smoothie? Another half-hour in bed? Or yoga in the morning? 

But what may surprise you about Gary’s definition of a responsible choice is that all of the above could be one. It all depends on whether you’re willing to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choice you make.

So if you’re willing to accept the headache, have the wine. If you’re okay with not getting the benefits of the practice, stay in bed. But what you need to understand is this:

“When you choose to act on loving and reverent parts of yourself,  you naturally create blissful consequences. It’s your responsibility to choose love over fear.”

3. Choose love over fear

When you become sharply emotionally aware, you’re able to make responsible choices. You’re able to respond and act in a way that takes you where you want to go—to a deeper alignment with your multi-sensory self.

Next time you’re angry, or about to act out of jealousy, or you’re judging someone, or you’re judging yourself, look inside, and you’ll realize that a frightened part of your personality is active. 

But Gary suggests, whatever you’re feeling, feel it fully before choosing how to proceed. Reverence extends to all aspects of existence, not just the “good” stuff:

“Never repress, suppress, or deny any emotion. Feel them fully. Every frightened part of your personality is righteous. It does what it does because it’s justified in doing it, but it’s just one part of your personality, and you don’t have to act with that part.”

Opposites attract, and there’s a magnetic attraction between poles, so even when you’re feeling an emotion based on fear, you can reach for love.

“You can reach for the healthiest part, the sanest, the most loving, the most grounded part of your personality that you can. And act from that. That is creating authentic power.”

So authentic power is just developing the ability to recognize, distinguish within yourself, the difference between love and fear. And then act with love every time.

Challenge the Frightened Part of Your Personality

These two emotions, fear, and love, are really just an emotional expression of duality. It’s the same deal as the binary “1” and “0” or the yin and yang. One cannot exist without the other. You can’t have something without nothing. You can’t have expansion without contraction. 

And that’s really what fear and love do, from a spiritual standpoint—fear contracts, love expands. So in order to expand, you have to identify where the contraction is, and like a tense muscle, relax it and surrender to love.

There are countless ways to act from love and challenge the frightened part of your personality.  Maybe you read from your holy book. Maybe you chant. Maybe you listen to beautiful music. Maybe you walk by a stream. Maybe you go into town. 

The critical thing to remember is your intention. If you hold the right intention, the universe and other forces will conspire to guide you home.

Continue Your Spiritual Growth

Zukav fans will be happy to hear that Mindvalley is pursuing a program with Gary in the near future to add to our arsenal of incredible spiritual wisdom from other inspirational teachers like Neale Donald Walsch, Christie Marie Sheldon, Jeffrey Allen, Jose Silva, Ken Wilber, and Alan Watts.

When trying to unlock your new consciousness, it’s essential to find the proper guides and teachers. Gary puts it this way:

“Don’t believe it,  just because I say it. Don’t believe anything that anyone else tells you just because they say it. Take it into your heart. See if you resonate with it. 

If you do, experiment with it. And if that experiment creates things that you want to continue to experience, then experiment with it again. 

And if you don’t resonate with anything that I say. Throw it away. Don’t wear a shoe that pinches.”

If you’re interested in experimenting with the best modern spiritual practices out there, take a look at Mindvalley Membership. 

With over 50 transformative courses and 200+ training sessions with teachers like Gary, plus weekly live calls with the trainers, special events, and regular opportunities to have your questions answered live on air, Mindvalley Membership is the easiest and most comprehensive way to access the spiritual wisdom and create the habits and lifestyle to tap into the new consciousness.

You’ll also gain access to the Mindvalley Tribe, a network of changemakers just like you to support each other in spiritual practice, business ventures, and creating global change and shifts in consciousness.

Get all the benefits of being a Mindvalley Member today.

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Written by

Matt Coates

Matt is a copywriter for Mindvalley. As a professional word putterer, he can be found constantly squeezing his creative juices to concoct personal growth narratives to transport people to a place where great potential knows no bounds. He is also on a quest to be seriously funny.
Picture of Matt Coates

Matt Coates

Matt is a copywriter for Mindvalley. As a professional word putterer, he can be found constantly squeezing his creative juices to concoct personal growth narratives to transport people to a place where great potential knows no bounds. He is also on a quest to be seriously funny.
Gary Zukav, spiritual teacher and author of "The Seat of the Soul"
Expertise by

Gary Zukav is a spiritual teacher and author, best known for his self-help books like the ever-so-popular The Seat of the Soul and Universal Human. He’s a staunch believer that our souls have a purpose, and understanding this can lead to a more fulfilling life. As a result, his work focuses on the importance of inner growth and spiritual awareness.

Often appearing on TV shows like Oprah, Gary shares insights that are meant to inspire people to lead more meaningful and conscious lives.

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