Achieving Authenticity

Best-selling author Gary Zukav says everyone can achieve their fullest potential … with a little help from some true partners.
by : 

Jayne Denker

January 1, 2011
Achieving Authenticity

Something new is going on in our world—something big, says Gary Zukav, author of several bestsellers, including the New Age classics, The Seat of the Soul and The Dancing Wu Li Masters. Zukav believes our consciousness is evolving and a new world is being born; we are now in a time when reliance on Spirit is increasing. Whether attached to the prophecies of 2012 or not, the change is as undeniable as it is unavoidable, he says. Spiritual seekers have been aware of it for some time, and they also know if they want to get on the bus traveling to our new, better world to come, they have to consciously change themselves.

In The Seat of the Soul, Zukav explains that “five-sensory” individuals can detect only what their five physical senses show them. They seek external power and base their self-worth on traditional modes of success (making money, having authority over others, etc.) Five-sensory relationships, then, “offer genuine bonding and connections but no longer serve our evolution,” Zukav says.

This type of relationship is outmoded now, he explains, because so many people are evolving into “multisensory individuals,” who are aware of much more. Multisensory people follow their intuition and the guidance of Spirit, and strive to create “authentic power” by distinguishing love from fear and choosing love.

As part of that evolution, Zukav says in his latest book, Spiritual Partnership: The Journey to Authentic Power, we are naturally drawn to others who are also striving to develop spiritually, healing wounded parts of our personalities along the way and acting with love every moment.

“Relationships are different for multisensory humans,” he says. “Spiritual partnerships facilitate spiritual growth. More important [than being comforted] is aligning your personality with your soul. Spiritual partners help one another achieve this.”

And while the term “spiritual partner” might suggest Zukav is only referring to romantic relationships, in actuality, a spiritual partnership can be not only between significant others, but among friends, parent and child, or coworkers—any type of relationship, as long as all the individuals are committed to growing and evolving.

Authentic power in the workplace

In fact, Zukav says, body-mind-spirit retailers in particular have an ideal opportunity to share these practices. “Being a shopowner is a wonderful arena in which to create authentic power in yourself and recognize others who are committed to creating relationships of substance and depth. The people who come into your shop are already more aware and more open to creating authentic power,” he says.

Shopowners can demonstrate their authentic power by challenging the parts of their personalities that focus on profit alone, Zukav writes in Spiritual Partnership. “Commercial organizations (businesses) are pursuits of external power embedded in a statistical entity (economy) that assumes this pursuit … No matter how understanding your boss, congenial your coworkers, and constructive the products or services your company provides, the enterprise itself is the pursuit of external power, and the participation of five-sensory individuals within it serves the toxic pursuit of external power.”

Striving for success, getting to the top of the economic heap, is born of the desire to manipulate and control in order to feel more valuable and safe. It is the fear that you’ll lose out to the competition, fear of not having enough, fear of the business ultimately failing and shutting its doors for good. Challenge the fear, however, and you change the way you feel, think, and respond to situations and to others—you alter the entire scenario. “Changing the movie [the situation] does not require changing others,” Zukav writes. “It requires changing you … Each time you challenge a frightened part of your personality or cultivate a loving part, you contribute differently to the collective consciousness, and the movie changes.”

In addition, shopowners can guide their clientele toward their own spiritual evolution—not only by example, but also by recommending classes, books, and communities of individuals who can assist them with developing their spiritual side. And, of course, customers who are on their own spiritual journey have an innate ability to keep proprietors present and aware—with themselves, with others, and with the lessons they share every day, even through casual discourse. Likewise, shopowners and their employees can assist one another toward the same goal, creating a workplace that resonates with authentic power, a safe and nurturing environment that evolving individuals naturally seek out.

Soul sense

Zukav doesn’t want you to take his word for it, however. He says he has not invented these teachings—they come from the universe. “I love to share them, but I did not create them. Also, I don’t suggest anyone take what I write—or what anyone writes—as true without trying it first and finding out if it’s true for you. Experiment with what resonates with you and let the rest go.”

And he definitely has tried them himself first. A former Green Beret officer who served in Vietnam and who spent many years working on his own spiritual development, he not only continues to work on himself, but also enjoys supporting his whole family in their spiritual growth. “If I act out of anger or frustration, suddenly one of my young granddaughters will say, ‘Grandpa, what are you feeling?’ I love it.”

Love vs. fear

Zukav says the crux of this consciousness change is a clear-cut choice for everyone, yet it’s the most difficult: making the choice to create with love rather than fear.

“In order to evolve, we have to distinguish between fear and love—and choose love. This is the Adam and Eve question. It’s the longest-running show on Broadway. And now that is being challenged at every moment: Are you going to choose love or fear? Are you going to cultivate the loving parts of your personality, so love begins to fill your awareness and experience, or indulge the frightened parts?” Spiritual partners, he says, help you make that choice again and again without judging, preaching, or teaching.

“When you find yourself judging, that’s fundamentalism—whether it’s arising from a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or New Age point of view. Becoming spiritual means becoming emotionally aware and making responsible choices. And no one who experiences the wisdom and compassion of the Universe will feel superior or inferior to anyone else. You can only create authentic power for yourself. Trying to proselytize, convert, or convince anyone else is the pursuit of external power.”

And what about the people who aren’t quite “there” yet? What’s a multisensory person to do in what can feel like an overwhelmingly five-sensory world?

“Tend your internal garden,” Zukav advises. “You don’t need to change anyone else in order to create authentic power. Even if others are insensitive and are not changing, you can change. Start now. Ask yourself, ‘What will I create in this moment?’”

Seeking more “soul”?

In addition to his books and CDs, Gary Zukav is excited about his website,, which he calls an “online engagement system” offering free tools, online courses, videos, exercises, interviews, events, and a Soul Blog. His Seat of the Soul Institute also offers an annual summer retreat, The Journey to the Soul, as well as a three-year Authentic Power Program for qualified applicants.

Jayne Denker is an editor-at-large for New Age Retailer. She lives in a small village in western New York with her husband and son. Visit her at or her blog,