Some days I really love my job — like days when I get to spend time on the phone with spiritual teachers like Gary Zukav. The New York Times bestselling author of ‘The Seat of the Soul’ is celebrating the 25th anniversary edition of his book in fitting fashion, appearing on “Super Soul Sunday” with his friend Oprah Winfrey.
The episode, “Super Soul Sunday: Oprah & Gary Zukav – Celebrating 25 Years of ‘The Seat of The Soul'”, airs this Sunday, March 30 at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Please do not miss this.
This was honestly one of my favorite interviews. I could hardly wait to publish this one — I absolutely love what Zukav has to say about how we can get to know ourselves better; how we can move beyond living materially and how we can also find the love we have been seeking.
eH: Now more than ever it feels like we are disconnected with so many distractions – everyone walks around staring at their iPhones. What is the best way is for us to reconnect with ourselves and our souls?
Gary Zukav: That’s an excellent question. When you say this is a time of disconnect, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s simply a matter of technology interfering with face-to-face communication. You can be with somebody face-to-face and be disconnected with them.
If you are not in connection with your soul, you can always tell because your life seems like it’s draining of meaning, like you are overwhelmed, like what you are doing doesn’t feed you, you’re not that interested in getting out of bed in the morning. All of these are experiences of being disconnected from the energy of your soul. The energy of your soul is soothing, it nurtures you. These experiences of disconnection are actually experiences of disconnection with yourself, with your inner energy, with your reason for being alive, that’s what you are really talking about.
When we talk about harmony, as in eHarmony, that is a very powerful word to use because harmony requires courage to create. It’s not simply reaching a compromise. It’s not accommodating someone else so that you will continue to have the relationship or the support, or the sex, or the money, or the security that you want.
Harmony requires real communication; it requires knowing who you are and what is important to you. It requires being able to distinguish the difference between your artificial needs, which are the needs you use to control others so that frightened parts of your personality will feel better about themselves, and your authentic needs. Your authentic needs are the needs that the universe continually provides you. The need to love and be loved, the need to create, the need to contribute consciously to the evolution of your own soul, the need to create with the intentions of your own soul — harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life, that’s what we are talking about.
eH: A lot of people on eHarmony are looking for a relationship but are struggling to find a real connection with others. What guidance would you have for someone who has been unsuccessful in finding a romantic partner?
GZ: If you are struggling to find a connection with another person, that’s because you are actually struggling to find a connection with yourself. You are looking outside of yourself, in this case to another person, whom you imagine is going to make your life better — is going to bring the joy, the satisfaction, the fulfillment, the warmth, and the intimacy that you want. When you don’t have those things in yourself, you look for them outside of yourself.
When you look outside of yourself — here’s is an interesting thing – you will find that you will be attracting people like you. That’s the law of attraction. Energy attracts like energy. If you are looking for someone to take responsibility for your wellbeing and your fulfillment and your happiness – you will attract someone who is looking for the same thing. He or she is going to want you to take responsibility for his or her fulfillment and happiness. Are you sure that’s what you want?
I am going to suggest that in order to find the “right” person, you need to become the right person. And what is the right person? Is it someone who needs to find his or her value outside of himself or herself? For example, in what they do, in what they own, in what they say and how they impress others with their body, with their humor, with their wealth, with their fame, with their car, with their mountain bike?
You are attracted to someone like that because you have parts of your personality like that. It’s important to be able to distinguish within you those parts of your personality from the parts of your personality that are loving, caring, patient, grateful, appreciative and content, so you can begin to move beyond the control of the parts of personality that look for validation and value from others and move consciously into the experiences of the parts of your personality that are loving. When you do that, you will draw to yourself people who are doing the same thing.
You always attract people with energy like your own. When you recognize that you have been reaching outward to find your fulfillment in others, and you are determined not to do that anymore, you will draw people to you who also realize that they have been reaching outward for their self-worth and are determined not to do that anymore. In other words, you will attract people who intend to create their own fulfillment, even if they don’t know how. These are people, among others, who will be reading this article and reading ‘The Seat of the Soul.’
eH: It really does start from within. Many comments I’ve read from readers of our articles will sort of blame online dating for not being able to find a relationship. They don’t want to take any responsibility.
GZ: It’s not an Internet site that is bringing them the energy they are attracting – they are attracting it and in this case, the vehicle is an Internet site. It is the energy that they put into Life that is the energy Life is giving back to them. This is good news! This is the compassion and wisdom of the Universe at work. The Universe is not punishing you for wanting to find someone else to make you feel better. The Universe is bringing to your attention that this is what you are doing so that you can change yourself and grow spiritually. It will continue to bring you people of like energy, so that you will eventually begin to see that the source of your own pain, loneliness, and emptiness is within you. Also, the source of your own joy, fulfillment, and gratification is within you.
It’s looking within to experience the parts of your personality that are creating your experiences of emptiness, loneliness, and despair — and challenging them by acting on loving parts of your personality instead. That will change your experiences. If you do not recognize this, your pain will continue to increase until eventually you realize that you are the cause of your experiences, that you are the creator of your experiences, and not the victim of them. When that happens, you will start to move towards authentic power.
Why not do that now? If you resonate with any of the things you are reading in this article, pay attention to what you resonate with. Read The 25th Anniversary Edition of The Seat of the Soul, which has a Study Guide in the back of it. The Study Guide will help you apply what you are reading to your life in practical and helpful ways. The difference between the life that you want to live and the life you are living now is a matter of choice – your choice.
eH: There is a lot of judgment that goes on when it comes to dating. Does judgment come from fear?
GZ: Yes. All judgments of yourself and others are born in fear. All of us on the Earth have a common experience, and that is the pain of powerlessness. It’s the experience of wanting to belong and not belonging. It’s the experience of feeling that you are not lovable and wanting to be loved. It’s the experience of wanting to love and feeling incapable of loving. It’s experiencing yourself as defective, as ugly inside, and thinking that if others could see you the way you actually are, they would not want anything to do with you. The pain of powerlessness is excruciating.
To mask the pain of powerlessness, we reach outward. We try to manipulate others with our painful emotions such as anger, sadness, and disappointment. If we lose a partner, we find a replacement. If a relationship unravels, we find another. If a business fails, we’ll create another one. If a child dies, we’ll conceive another one. Reaching outward to manipulate and control people so that frightened parts of your personality will feel better about themselves and safe is the pursuit of external power. External power doesn’t work anymore. It is now counterproductive. We are in a new evolutionary period. Our human species is changing in ways it has never changed before. We are expanding into new realms of awareness. We are experiencing ourselves as more than bodies and minds. We’re experiencing ourselves as souls.
eH: It’s interesting to look at people that way – and to not judge others because they aren’t in the same place you are in terms of your evolution or self-awareness.
GZ: That is correct. We are all on a journey towards awareness and freedom, but you and I are talking now about being on that journey consciously. People who are on this journey consciously often recognize that they still have parts of their personalities that pursue external power. That is part of the journey. If you judge them, you create painful karma for yourself.
Your responsibility is to change yourself, not to change other people. It’s your responsibility to decide what you are going to do when a difficult emotion comes up in you – such as fear, hatred, repulsion, judgment or a magnetic attraction to food, alcohol, sex, or gambling. What are you going to do? Are you going to react, which means act the same way that you have in the past, or are you going to respond, which means choose consciously to act instead from the healthiest, most grounded, loving part of your personality that you can reach for in the moment?
Super Soul Sunday: Oprah & Gary Zukav – Celebrating 25 Years of “The Seat of The Soul” airs this Sunday, March 30 at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Visit The Seat of the Soul and OWN for more information.