Gary Zukav is well-known for his eloquent writing and speaking on the evolution of consciousness. He’s a visionary who can clearly see beyond the five-sensory, physical world that most of us navigate to a new consciousness in which we are not confined to the limitations of the five senses. Here, we are more spirit-driven than matter-focused. He calls this new consciousness multisensory perception and says that it brings us a new potential—power as the alignment of the personality with the soul, which he calls authentic power. Here, Zukav talks with Unity Magazine editor Katy Koontz about this unprecedented species-wide transformation.

Katy Koontz: When you say humans are moving toward being multisensory, what all does that mean for us? 

Gary Zukav: We are experiencing an epic transformation of human consciousness that has not happened before. The evolution of our species as one whose perception is limited to what we can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell is coming to an end, and the evolution of a new human species that is not similarly limited has begun. Within a few generations, everyone will be multisensory. Until recently, human consciousness evolved slowly through 300 millennia. Now it is evolving very fast—in evolutionary time, faster than a heartbeat or the blink of an eye.

The new human consciousness is emerging in hundreds of millions of us. Not only in neonates, but also in older individuals. They are beginning to sense things that they were not able to sense before. Five-sensory humans and multisensory humans now coexist in this unprecedented period of overlap. This is the most exciting time that humans have yet experienced.

Power in the new consciousness is the alignment of the personality with the soul. As you align your personality with the intentions of your soul, you create authentic power.

KK: Can you elaborate on what it means to be multisensory?

GZ: Have you ever suspected that you might be more than a mind and a body, that you’re not limited to muscles and molecules and enzymes and neurotransmitters? Have you ever wondered whether a part of you existed before you were born and will continue to exist even after you die? Have you ever had a hunch that the world is not random, that it can show you things about yourself? Have you ever become lost looking up at the Milky Way and felt that the universe is wise and compassionate? These are all just a few examples of multisensory perceptions.

KK: Can you say more about what this shift in consciousness entails?

GZ: It entails a new understanding of power. Power in the old consciousness is the ability to manipulate and control. This is external power, and it enabled us to survive. But now, the pursuit of external power creates only violence and destruction. It prevents our evolution. Power in the new consciousness is the alignment of the personality with the soul. As you align your personality with the intentions of your soul, you create authentic power. Creating authentic power is the new requirement of our evolution.

KK: Considering how polarized our society is, do you still think we’re evolving and heading in the right direction?

GZ: Our contemporary circumstances have nothing to do with the emergence of the new human consciousness, nor can they prevent it from emerging in young and old individuals, in all cultures, and in all circumstances. The world that we have inherited from five-sensory humans is built upon, by, and with external power. It expresses external power in every way, and it is disintegrating.

The replacement of the old consciousness by the new consciousness dwarfs our contemporary circumstances, which are just residual products of the old consciousness. That consciousness is five-sensory perception and the experience of power as ability to manipulate and control. The new consciousness is multisensory perception and the experience of power as alignment of the personality with the soul—with harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for life.

There is no right direction and wrong direction. There is only the direction that each individual decides to take. Each of those decisions then creates consequences. The Universe is now teaching us, if we choose to learn, to become the authorities in our own lives—to recognize in ourselves what is constructive and what is destructive, what is love and what is fear, and to choose between them in each moment.

KK: What does that look like?

GZ: We will each become aware of continual opportunities to create with love instead of with fear. We will want harmony yet at the same time create discord. We will want to cooperate yet simultaneously compete. We will want to share while we will also keep hunting to find the best bargains before others find them. We will intend to revere life yet find ourselves exploiting one another. The loving parts of our personalities will ask, “How can I support life?” while the frightened parts will ask, “What’s in it for me?” And we will need to choose again and again.

KK: You teach that this shift in consciousness involves moving from head to heart, relying on knowing from the heart versus intellect.

GZ: That’s right. The intellect was designed to work with the five senses. It compares, analyzes, and concludes which experiences are most helpful in the pursuit of external power. Creating authentic power requires the heart. Comprehending and communicating multisensory perception requires a higher order of logic and understanding of the heart. It requires commitment, courage, compassion, and conscious communications and actions. In short, it requires a new use of courage—courage in the service of the heart.

KK: What precisely is authentic power?

GZ: Authentic power is the ability to distinguish within yourself between love and fear and to choose love all the time, no matter what is happening inside you—such as anger, rage, or jealousy—or outside of you—such as a 9/11-type event or a global pandemic. Emotional awareness is necessary in order to do this. It tells you when fear is active in you—through physical sensations in certain areas of your body that are painful, for instance. It also tells you when love is active in you—through physical sensations in these same areas that feel wonderful, like what you experience when you see a magnificent sunset and every part of you is grateful for it.

KK: So it’s like a barometer.

GZ: Yes, and more. Your emotions are your spiritual GPS. They tell you where you are (in fear or in love) and where you have to travel in order to get where you want to go (love). The only way to get there is to become aware of every part of your personality that does not and cannot love. Those are the parts that are angry, jealous, and resentful; the parts that feel superior and entitled or inferior and need to please; the parts that want to get even, that feel righteous, and that think obsessive thoughts such as, I can’t live without her, and judgmental thoughts such as, She’s so stupid, and I’m so stupid; the parts that are compulsive (those that display perfectionism and workaholism, for example) or that are addicted to things like alcohol, sex, pornography, gambling, tobacco, drugs, and shopping.

All of these parts originate in fear, and when you act from any one of them, you create destructive and painful consequences. Think of them as frightened parts of your personality. The loving parts of your personality are grateful, appreciative, patient, content, and in awe of the universe.

KK: What happens when you create authentic power?

GZ: Your life fills with meaning and joy. It becomes an experiment instead of an experience. Your heart opens. You give the gifts you were born to give. You enjoy yourself, others, and the world. You become an artist, and your life becomes your canvas. You paint with beautiful pastels and vibrant colors, because you’re creating from love, instead of with dark and morose colors (those you use when you create from fear). You move through the Earth school with an empowered heart and without attachment to outcome.

KK: So how do we get there?

GZ: Set the intention to make your spiritual growth your highest priority. Recognize that your emotions are very important to your spiritual development, and then become aware of them in terms of physical sensations in specific areas of your body, such as your chest, throat, and solar plexus (what in the East they call chakras). Choose intentions that will create consequences for which you are willing to assume responsibility. Each time you choose to act from love (with gratitude or patience, for example) at a time when a part of your personality is demanding that you act from fear (say, with anger or jealousy), you create authentic power. This is a process, not an event. You cannot step into, fall into, stumble over, or inherit authentic power. You must create it choice by choice.

KK: You’ve said that multisensory humans aren’t superior to five-sensory humans. Why not?

GZ: All life is precious. You do not become more precious because you have multisensory perception or less precious because you do not. Becoming multisensory does not make you more patient, grateful, or caring. It makes you more aware. How you use your new awareness is for you to decide. As I said previously, as you become multisensory, you acquire the ability to create authentic power by using your emotional awareness to make responsible choices. Creating authentic power greatly accelerates your spiritual development, but you must choose to create it. This has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority.

KK: That sounds a little intimidating, but worth it.

GZ: Intimidation is an experience of fear. It comes from a frightened part of your personality. It does not come from the unchangeable ground of your being. You have many parts of your personality. They all become part of your awareness as you begin to create authentic power. Becoming aware of the painful physical sensations of the frightened parts of your personality (for example, when you want to shout or abuse alcohol) and then turning your attention inward to experience them requires courage. There is no more worthy way to use your courage than to do this.

KK: Just how do you accomplish this?

GZ: Once you become aware of one of these frightened parts, you challenge it by reaching for the healthiest parts of your personality that you can access, such as gratitude, appreciation, caring, contentment, and patience.

KK: So you’re not doing battle with inner demons. You’re calling on your inherent divinity.

GZ: When a frightened part of your personality is active, that’s the dragon coming out of its cave and breathing fire. But it’s not an enemy. It’s your healing coming to reach you. These parts aren’t obstacles to spiritual growth, they’re avenues to spiritual growth. They show you exactly what you must challenge and move beyond the control of in order to become loving. When you think of them as obstacles to your spiritual development, you miss the opportunities they present, but those opportunities will return.

You are in the Earth school to grow spiritually, and every experience you encounter in the Earth school is designed to assist you in that. The Universal Law of Cause and Effect is an example. Think of this law as a message delivery system. Every time you send a message into this system, it’s addressed “return to sender.”

KK: So it boomerangs?

GZ: Yes, but this boomerang is laser-guided, so to speak. It finds you wherever you are. It finds you if you move, if you run, even if you die. That’s because the Universal Law of Cause and Effect does not judge your messages. It doesn’t debate them or consider them. It doesn’t even read them. It delivers them. Every time you act with an intention, you send a message because the experiences that intention creates in another will return to you. This is your karma. If you betray someone, for example, you will eventually experience being betrayed. In this way, the Universal Law of Cause and Effect is the universal impersonal teacher of responsibility.

KK: Can you give an example?

GZ: Your intention for contributing to a nonprofit organization that does good work in the world could be to create an image of yourself as generous, improve your self-image, or obtain a tax write-off—all intentions based in fear—or your intention could be to do good work in the world without strings attached—an intention based in love. It’s the intention behind the action, not the action itself, that determines the consequences of the action. 

KK: But we are quickly evolving now, right? So I hope our intentions will be coming from love more often.

GZ: Yes, we are becoming multisensory quickly. But creating authentic power requires commitment, courage, compassion, conscious communication, and action. If you don’t challenge fear when it is active in you or cultivate love when it is active in you, you will not change. Every frightened part of every personality attempts to manipulate external circumstances to escape its pain. It is attached to getting what it feels it needs and then not losing it. For example, when it finds the right mate, it rockets into happiness—and free-falls into fear again when it loses them. Authentic power is the creation of joy within you, a joy that’s not dependent upon what happens in the external world.

KK: You also teach that what you call universal humanity is our next evolutionary step, yes?

GZ: Yes. Universal humans will emerge from multisensory humans. Universal humans are authentically powerful—beyond culture, religion, nation, ethnic group, and gender. Their allegiance is to life. There are no such humans yet, but if I were one, I’d say, “I am a universal human first, and a male second, a universal human first and an American second, a universal human first and white second; I am a universal human first and all else second.”

We are now in the second stage of human evolution—the transformation from five-sensory perception and the understanding of power as ability to manipulate and control to multisensory perception and the experience of power as alignment of the personality with the soul. Yet our evolution is so rapid now that even as we are moving into this second stage, a third stage is calling to us. We can feel it like a premonition of light before the dawn. We sense something big is coming. This is the universal human. 

Gary Zukav is the author of eight books, including several New York Times best sellers. The Seat of the Soul (Simon & Schuster, 1989) remained on the best seller list for three years. He is the 2014 recipient of the Unity Worldwide Ministries Light of God Expressing in Society Award. In 1991, Zukav cofounded the Seat of the Soul Institute with his spiritual partner Linda Francis. For information about their books, events, Soul2Soul community, and online courses, visit

This article appeared in Unity Magazine®.

About the Author

Katy Koontz is the editor in chief of Unity Magazine.


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