January 23rd, 2011


Uhhhh ... duuuude ...

Every now and again I hit a book that I anticipated really liking, and find that the reality runs counter to the anticipation, and I have to wonder “is it ME or is it the book?”. In this case I'm not sure which one it is, but there was a definite disconnect. I'd picked this up via one of B&N's clearance sales (which I've come to realize do not mean that the book is out of print, as this is still available for order) for $1.99 … and was having “warm fuzzies” about getting it, having read The Dancing Wu Li Masters “back in the day” … however, whether it's me ceasing to be a starry-eyed youth, or the author descending into a newagey morass, I'm not sure.

However, reading Gary Zukav's The Seat of the Soul reminded me nothing so much as hanging out with intelligent, but deeply dope-addicted, friends in college and listening to them ramble on about spiritual matters based on little more than the effects of the weed. Sure, they had some bits and pieces thrown into their discourse based on solid research and/or meditative experience, but most of it seemed to be flying “off the cuff” in the moment. This book is like 250 pages of that.

As suggested in the above, this does not mean that there is nothing of value in this, it's just that filtering out what is worthwhile is quite a challenge given the level that most of this is at. One main part of this book is the difference between the “five-sensory human” and the “multisensory personality” contrasting the two with attention to “external power” vs. “authentic power” … these dichotomies weave through the book, but go on such rollercoaster rides that it's very difficult to walk away from the reading with any concrete understanding of what the author's getting at. I guess for a certain “newagey” audience this suffices, but it really does sound like the herb talking.

Rather than trying to provide a cogent over-view of something which does not seem to be particularly amenable to this approach, I'll throw out some quotes here:

We are evolving from five-sensory humans into multisensory humans. Our five senses, together, form a single sensory system that is designed to perceive physical reality. The perceptions of a multisensory human extend beyond physical reality to the larger dynamical systems of which our physical reality is a part. The multisensory human is able to perceive and to appreciate, the role that our physical reality plays in a larger picture of evolution, and the dynamics by which our physical reality is created and sustained. This realm is invisible to the five-sensory human.

To the five-sensory personality, intuitive insights, or hunches, occur unpredictably, and cannot be counted upon. To the multisensory personality, intuitive insights are registrations within its consciousness of a loving guidance that is continually assisting and supporting its growth. Therefore, the mutisensory personality strives to increase its awareness of this guidance.
      The first step to this is becoming aware of what you are feeling. Following your feeling will lead you to their source. Only through emotions can you encounter the force field of your own soul. That is the human passage in a word.

Temptation is the Universe's compassionate way of allowing you to run through what would be a harmful negative karmic dynamic if you were to allow it to become physically manifest. It is the energy through which your soul is given the gracious opportunity to have a dry run at a life lesson, at a situation that, if you can see clearly, can be removed and healed within the confines of your private world of energy and not spill into a larger energy field of other souls. Temptation is a dress rehearsal for a karmic experience of negativity.
While there are good, perhaps even profound perceptions cropping up at various points here, most of it is dense, hazy, and ill-defined, and swings between discussions of things from animals to diet, with sweeping assertions presented without a shred of what would be called (in a “five-sensory” context, I suppose) evidence. Again, the general tenor of the book is of being stuck in a seemingly endless (I kept aching to get done with reading this!) discussion with your favorite pot-headed friend.

Of course if the above quotes sound great to you … you'll probably find The Seat of the Soul your cup of tea (or some other leafy product), but for most, it's not worth the time it will take to plow through. If you do think that this sounds like something that you'd be interested in subjecting yourself to, you should certainly take up the new/used guy's deals, as “like new” copies of the hardcover are available for a penny (four bucks with shipping).

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