Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

read more


In this episode of MarieTV, we do have some adult language. So if you do have little ones around, grab your headphones now.

Gary Zukav: Your being here is not accidental. Your origin is not merely biological. Your creative capacity is far beyond what you can now imagine. And if you give all that you can to Life, make that with a capital L, you’ll receive in return more than you can imagine.

Marie Forleo: Hey, it’s Marie Forleo. And welcome to another episode of MarieTV, and The Marie Forleo Podcast. I got to say, I am so excited about my guest today. He is a legend in the world of personal growth and spiritual development. And you are in for a big treat. Gary Zukav is the author of four consecutive New York Times Bestsellers, including the legendary, The Seat of the Soul. He’s also the author of The Dancing Wu Li Masters, which won the American Book Award for Science. His books have sold six million copies and are in 32 languages. Gary grew up in the Midwest. He graduated from Harvard and became a special forces officer with the Vietnam Service. His newest book, Universal Human, is available now. So, Gary, it is so wonderful to have you here. Thank you so much for making the time today.

Gary Zukav: You are welcome, Marie. I’m so excited to be with you and to experience what you’ve been doing so wonderfully for so many people for so long.

Marie Forleo: Aw. Let’s get started. I want to go back to a time in your life, it was actually I think a pretty challenging time after you served in Vietnam. And you shared in the book, which is wonderful, Universal Human, by the way, that you were avoiding pain in some destructive ways, that it was around drugs and sex addiction. I’m wondering if you can take us back to that time and share a bit about what you were feeling and experiencing, and what was that moment that helped you begin to turn your life around?

Gary Zukav: It wasn’t a single moment, Marie. It was an incremental process, but there was some good things in it that I remember. And that time you’re talking about, I was living in San Francisco and I was addicted to sex. I was so enamored with myself without realizing at all how much pain I was in. Drugs, women, motorcycles, were all a part of, of being in San Francisco. And I was invited to a meeting of physicists at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. And I accepted immediately. And I was amazed by what I heard them discussing. The question, are we creating the reality that we’re experiencing? Well, that’s the kind of question that I discussed with friends in coffee shops in North Beach, but these were some of the most renowned physicists in the world. And they were asking that question for real. I got so excited about that meeting. And I asked them if I could come back again on the following Friday. And they said, “Yes.” They were very gracious.

And I started reading. I went back and I felt as though I had three cups of cappuccino, and it was sparking off my fingertips. But I couldn’t explain why I was so excited. So I started reading, and I went back again, read more, went back again. And I realized that I wanted to share what I was learning on a silver platter for people who were non-scientists like me, liberal arts majors like me, who couldn’t do any mathematics like me. And I did. I wrote this book called The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. Now, while I was writing this, I started out following an outline for each chapter that I created. But in each case, each chapter, I left the outline behind because the energy led me elsewhere. And the energy was so much more exciting than the outline was.

After six months or so, I began to realize that these chapters fit together beautifully, and I didn’t do it because I discarded the outlines. So how did that happen? And I began to realize that I’m not writing this alone. This doesn’t mean I’m a channel. I wish it were that easy. Actually I don’t. But I imagine for some people, they sit at a keyboard and a book comes out. But it wasn’t that way for me and it isn’t. But I realized that I’m not writing alone because it’s not possible to be alone. Everyone, every co-creation, every creation is a co-creation with you and with your non-physical guides and teachers. And I was, this was a new experience to me. I asked a friend of mine who was a Jungian psychoanalyst about what I was doing. And she said, “Oh, leave that alone, Gary, you don’t know what you’re getting into.” But I knew what I was getting into, and I wanted more of it.

Marie Forleo: What did she mean by that? Did you, did she just not agree with that perspective? Or what did she mean by, “You don’t know what you’re getting into?”

Gary Zukav: I can’t speak for her and I’m not a Jungian analyst, but I think what she meant is there’s lots of scary things in your unconscious and beyond your consciousness and you don’t want to tamper with it.

Marie Forleo: Got it.

Gary Zukav: I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t agree with that perception. And I didn’t agree with her recommendation at all. And I decided that I was going to live my life the way this book was being written, which was spontaneously, joyfully, intelligently. And to a certain extent I’ve accomplished that and I’m very happy about it. So this was my first experience of non-physical reality. It was the first experience of non-physical reality that I recognized as that. When I was at Harvard my grandmother died and she was my favorite, I think I was her favorite too. I used to stay with her in Kansas City and we’d spend nights together in her little apartment.

And we’d be lying side by side on twin beds, holding hands and talking about, gossiping about the family. So, that’s how tight we were. And she would take me to this restaurant in this beautiful, large building she was living in, and we’d have dinner. And afterwards we walked through the lobby and it would be a sea of gray hair. And she’d say, “Gary, you remember Mr. Middlestein?” And I’d say [Gary nods]. And then she’d say, “Gary, you remember Mrs. Goldstein?” I’d say, “Yes.” And if I didn’t shake my head and say yes, she’d take my hand, which she was holding, and she’d jerk down on it like that, she’d say, “Shhh.”

Well, when I was at her funeral, the rabbi was speaking to his audience in front of him. And the family was in an alcove on his right, looking up at a closed circuit monitor, and I was seeing him from the side. And also as he looked, as he addressed the audience in front of him. In those days, Marie, closed circuit TV was completely novel, so novel that it made me laugh. And as soon as I started to laugh, Grandma Libby jerked my hand down and said, “Shhh.” She didn’t want me disrupting her funeral. She wanted to listen.

I never told my folks that, because I knew that they wouldn’t understand. They’d think that I was hallucinating or in the deep grief that they were experiencing. But I wasn’t, Grandma Libby just told me, “Be quiet.” And she did it many, many times before as we walked through the lobby after a meal in that restaurant. I didn’t recognize that as multi-sensory perception, I didn’t understand it, so I couldn’t use it. But when I was writing The Dancing Wu Li Masters and I experienced non-physical reality as a reality, not just a passing experience, that was one of the, that was one of the bigger steps in my incremental process of developing emotional awareness, of developing, pardon me, of using multi-sensory perception.

Marie Forleo: That’s really beautiful. In the intro to Universal Human, I love this. You have a very big promise. You say, “This book shows you how to become loving all the time in every circumstance. That’s what creating authentic power is.” So before we dive into unpacking that promise, can you share with us your definition of authentic power?

Gary Zukav: Authentic power is the alignment of your personality with your soul, with the intentions of your soul. And they are harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for life. When you use your life, your time between your birthday and your death day, consciously, and you decide what you’re going to do with it. And if you haven’t done that yet, I’d suggest that you consider looking at it now, because you made these decisions. And all of the decisions you make that you’re not aware of are decisions that you’ve made unconsciously.

So if you’re creating your life and dedicating it to something unconsciously, I suggest that you consider that you are doing that in fear. Now I know that’s a big statement too, but a personality is not just a single monolithic thing. It gets happy sometimes, sad, depressed, joyful. It’s a complex mandala that has many different aspects. And when one of them is active, you’re blissful, when another is active, you’re vengeful, when another is active, you’re content, when another is active, you’re angry.

So as you become aware, and you can do that now, because we’ve entered new territory, we’re in a new consciousness now, and hundreds of millions of us are experiencing that new consciousness. You can begin to distinguish between these different parts of yourself. And you can see that in general, some of them fall into a category and we’ll put a shorthand label on it: fear, jealousy, resentment, anger, superiority, inferiority, obsession, addiction, everything that hurts, everything that creates destructively when you follow it.

And the other aspects of your personality fall into a basket and we’ll give it the shorthand label, love. That would be when you’re experiencing contentment, or appreciation, or patience, or caring, or awe of the universe. All of these parts of your personality feel wonderful, they feel blissful, and they create constructive consequences when you act on them. So as you create authentic power, you develop the ability to distinguish between the parts of your personality that are painful and destructive, and the parts of your personality that are blissful and constructive, and then choose consciously between them. Choose what you’re going to do. This is another way, Marie, of saying you learn how to choose your intentions consciously.

Marie Forleo: Yes, yes. Which is a topic I want to dive deep into with you about, intentions.

Gary Zukav: Let’s do it.

Marie Forleo: Yeah, so intentions is probably one of my favorite parts of the book. And I know Oprah actually said it was the sentence that radically changed her life. And just so everyone doesn’t get curious, the sentence is, “Every action, thought and feeling is motivated by an intention.” And I love this idea of asking about everything you’re about to do, what is the intention here? Where is this coming from? You wrote, “Intention is a motivation. It’s the reason for doing what you’re doing. It’s an energy that infuses the deed or the word.”

Gary Zukav: That’s right. That’s exactly right, Marie. Well, I hope it is. I wrote that, didn’t I?

Marie Forleo: I think it’s, I mean, it’s amazing. And, you know, as I was diving deep into the book and underlining and highlighting, I found myself bringing more consciousness to every act. So for example, you know Josh, my partner, we’ve been together for over 18 years and I love him dearly. And I can just hear my mind sometimes. Like my mind gets irritated, irritable, frustrated, I think like many other humans do. And he had asked me for something and I could hear the kind of trigger of frustration. And after reading this, I was like, “You know what? I can fulfill his request from that space. Or I can take a minute and go, what if my intention was rooted in love and I can fulfill his request from that space?” And so I just wanted to give that little example because it’s been making such a huge difference for me. I don’t know if there’s…

Gary Zukav: Marie.

Marie Forleo: Yes?

Gary Zukav: That little example is an example of creating authentic power. You put your finger on it. When you do that again, and again, and again, eventually you move beyond the control of that frightened part of your personality. Just exactly as you did it, you felt a part of your personality that was frustrated, maybe it judged Josh in that moment, maybe it was impatient. Whatever it was, you made the decision not to act on it.

Marie Forleo: Yes.

Gary Zukav: Not to be controlled by it in that moment. And in that moment, you move beyond it. You might have still felt it.

And as you develop emotional awareness, you’ll begin to see how painful impatience is, and judgment, and frustration. But when you move beyond it, you really move your life. This is what you were born to do. You were born to give the gifts that you were born to give, but you cannot give those gifts when you are captured in an energy current of anger, or jealousy, or the addictive sexual energy current, or you can’t stop eating, or obsessively thinking. All of these are forms of fear. And they’re not your obstacles to spiritual development. They are your avenues.

Marie Forleo: Yes, that was another thing I had written down. And I want to highlight something that has really been resonating for me from the book, from your teachings. I love that you call it a frightened aspect or frightened part of our personality. It makes it so that my interpretation is I can feel so much compassion for that part of myself. Or I can feel compassion for that part of someone else that I’m interacting with. Like, “Oh, it’s just a frightened aspect of their personality.” My heart opens towards that idea, versus I’m an angry person, or they’re a bad person, or something like that, where it is painting either myself or another with this one stroke brush and then pushing them away.

Gary Zukav: Everything you’re saying is spot on, Marie. And the book you’re talking about now is The Seat of the Soul. That is a book about creating authentic power.

Marie Forleo: Yeah.

Gary Zukav: And you are describing it beautifully. And this is something that’s not an epic occasion in one’s life. It happens continually. Every time Linda and I, that’s my spiritual partner, get in a power struggle, I’ve discovered that it takes more courage to challenge that part of me that needs to be right, that needs to prove that she’s wrong, that needs to have the last world, word, and to challenge all of those patterns, all of those parts of my personality that I acted on when I was living in San Francisco, which would be to shout louder, to be obstinate, to be, to dominate.

Marie Forleo: Yes. And you lead me right up to the part of the book, I thought it was, and this one’s in Universal Human. It was so moving to me. I’m going to read some of your words right now, because I want to get into this more. You said one of them, let me see. Yes. The new use of courage. You talked about how, when you were in the special forces, “Courage looked like parachuting into the ocean off of Okinawa at night, going on these dangerous missions to conceal a motion sensor device.” You did all of these extremely frightening and dangerous things with courage.

And again, I’m going to use your words. You said, “I now use my courage in a new way. I use it when jealousy closes my heart and I choose to instead act from the most loving part of my personality that I can access. I use it when I want to kill someone or kill myself and choose instead to act from the most loving part of my personality I can access. I use my courage when I feel the painful physical sensations of these emotions, and I choose to act from the most loving part of my personality I can access while I’m feeling them. These are examples of the new use of courage.” I loved that so much, because you spoke so directly into that these emotions will continue to be there for as long as they’re there. And we don’t have to pretend not to feel them, nor not act if we’re still experiencing them, but we don’t have to be acting through them. Did I get that?

Gary Zukav: Yes. I wasn’t clear about what you meant about the not act part, but you don’t have a choice. No one has a choice about what they’re going to feel next.

Marie Forleo: Right.

Gary Zukav: It happens. But you do have a choice about what you’re going to do then, and that requires some work on your part. And that’s what creating authentic power entails. It entails becoming aware, excuse me, of all of your emotions among other things.

So to create authentic power, it’s necessary to never deny or suppress or repress an emotion, but to experience it fully, then you know exactly what it is you’re challenging. You can feel the pain of it. Emotional awareness is simply a matter of putting your attention in certain areas of your body. The most easy ones for me to experience sensations in are my throat, my chest, and my solar plexus. So when you’re experiencing any emotion, whether it’s painful or blissful, put your attention in those three areas of your body and see what you find.

And I’m talking about physical sensations. I’m not talking about, I’m happy, I’m light, I’m gay, I’m cheerful. That was a downer. No-no that tells you nothing. Those are poetic labels. I’m talking about what physical sensations you can find. When a frightened part of your personality or a fear-based part of your personality is active and you put your attention in one of these seven areas, and I’m suggesting these three to start, you’ll find physical sensations that are as painful as hitting your finger with a hammer or getting it caught in a car door. Those physical sensations can churn, burn, throb, stab, ache. What is it doing in you? When you can identify those things, then you are developing emotional awareness.

And here’s the thing. Emotional awareness is priceless, because it shows you when fear is active in you and when love is active in you. Your body will not lie to you. If you hurt, fear is present, fear is leaving one of these energy processing centers in fear and doubt, and it’s causing painful physical sensations. I remember once when I was in North Beach, I was having coffee with someone I didn’t know and I was talking. And he looked at me and said, “Ooh, you’re jealous.” I said, “No, I’m not. I’m not jealous. I don’t know where that came from, but I’m not jealous.” Well, now I know enough to understand that if I have a reaction defensively like that, he’s probably right, but I didn’t know it at the time.

But if you’re in a case where you’re not sure of what you’re feeling, even if you think you are, check these areas of your body for physical sensations. And emotional awareness is priceless, because if you discover that you’re in fear, that a fear-based part of your personality is active, then I suggest that you consider the possibility, the real possibility of my experience. That if you act on that part of your personality, you’re going to create destructive and painful consequences.

Now, by the way, Marie, in front of every book and every event that Linda and I give, we give this suggestion, I do not, and I’m giving it now to our viewers and listeners. I don’t suggest that you believe, that you take anything that I’m saying is true, just because I’m saying it. In fact, I suggest that you don’t. I suggest that you don’t accept anything that anybody says is true just because they’ve got a pulpit, or a book, or a television show, or a website. Instead, experiment with it yourself. If you resonate with something you hear, try it in your life. And if it creates constructively, if it creates in a healthy way, experiment with it some more. And if it doesn’t, throw it away, don’t try to wear a shoe that doesn’t fit.

When I say these things, it’s not as though I’m saying, “This is a dogma and you need to believe it in order to become authentically powerful,” which means to move through life with an empowered heart without attachment to the outcome. You don’t, there’s so many ways to the heart and to wisdom. And that’s one of the things that gives me so much joy, but this is a window through which I’ve come to see life, and I hope that it’s helpful to you as well. And I invite you to try it out.

So trying it out means becoming emotionally aware. And once you’re emotionally aware, recognizing, because you have painful physical sensations in all or parts of these centers in your body, or blissful physical sensations, act from love. If you can’t in that moment, remember the last time that you were feeling love, not sentimental love, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the healthiest, most grounded, sanest, constructive, caring part of your personality that you can reach for, or can remember being in or experiencing from someone else. And try to go there. Even if you can’t put yourself there in the moment because anger is raging inside of you, do your best to do that because where your attention goes, you go. So go toward love.

Marie Forleo: One of the other things that I have noted here, which I thought was such an important topic to discuss. You wrote, “The origins of your emotions are inside of you, not outside of you. Until you see your emotions this way, your attention will remain fixated on people, circumstances, and events.” Can you talk more about that? Because I feel like this is a concept, an idea that has brought me so much peace in my heart when I remember it. And when I don’t remember it, I feel so much pain. So I wanted to spend some time on that idea.

Gary Zukav: That idea is central to everything that we’ve been talking about, which is that human consciousness itself is changing now. And it’s changing in a big way. It’s moving beyond the limitations of the five senses. We’re becoming multi-sensory. The five senses together are a single sensory system, and they have only one object of detection, physical reality. As we become multi-sensory, we expand beyond the limitations of the five senses. For example, you might begin to sense yourself as more than a body and a mind. That’s a multi-sensory perception. You might look at the world around you and say, “I’m not sure this is entirely random.”

Now and then you have experiences and we call them synchronistic or, “My, wasn’t that a coincidence?” But then you began to think, “Maybe this world is as meaningful. Maybe it’s actually symbolic of something.” Even if you don’t use that word, you can see that you might learn about yourself from looking at the world, not about the world from looking at the world, but about yourself from looking at the world, that’s a multi-sensory perception. It might look at the way you look at the, you look at the universe.

When I was in high school and took the only science course I ever took, no, one of two, was physics. And the general idea was that the universe is cold, merciless, random, and that’s it, and dark and vast. You might begin to suspect that the universe is wise and compassionate. And then you say to yourself, “How can it be compassionate? There’s starvation, there’s brutality. There’s division. There is racism. There is suffering. How can this universe be wise or compassionate?” Now that you’re becoming multi-sensory, and I believe that the people who listen to your show and your podcast are, that is a thought that the universe is wise and compassionate, to hold on to when you need it most. When you think, “That can’t possibly be,” and then look for what the wisdom and the compassion is in terms of what you can learn about yourself.

Maybe you’re harshly judging someone or something. And if you really look at it, you might find that the harsher your judgment, the more what you are judging can be found in yourself. So if you see a politician or a business person or a banker, and you judge that person as avaricious or self-serving, you can recognize that these people are not the cause of the world being the way they are. They are proxy actors, they are acting out our avariciousness. They’re acting out my greed, my insatiable need for recognition, for something, for love, essentially.

And then you can realize that changing them, criticizing them, judging them, isn’t going to do anything to change the world. Because the world that they’re living in is the world that’s based on an understanding of power, as the ability to manipulate and control. That’s the understanding of power that we had from the origin of our species until about a generation ago. It used to be our good medicine. We used to survive by pursuing this kind of power, external power. Now it produces only violence and destruction, and a new kind of power is making itself felt visible in ways that go beyond your ocular abilities. And that new kind of power, we’ve already discussed, alignment of the personality with the soul.

And you said something very interesting, and in my experience accurate, when you said, “When you hold onto the thought that when you choose an intention of love, it brings you peace. It brings you constructive experiences. And when you don’t, it brings you fear and pain.” That’s because you chose to hang on to a reality. In the Earth School, which is a domain of time and space and matter and duality, there’s only two intentions that are bedrock, can’t go any farther, bottom, love and fear.

And people might say, “No, that’s… I can have lots of intentions. I can have the intention to get a new job. I can have the intention to buy a Ferrari. I can have the intention to go skiing. I can have the intentions to have the best dreadlocks in the neighborhood.” Those are not intentions. Those are out-tensions you might say. In the Earth School, when you follow your intention as far as you can, “Why do I want a better job?” “Well, to make more money.” “Why do I want to make more money?” “Because I’m lonely and it’ll attract somebody to me.” That’s fear.

“Because I want to send my child to school.” “Why do you want to send your child to school?” “Well, because everybody else’s child is going to school and I want mine to go to a school and a better school than her child is going to.” That’s fear. Or, “I want to send my child to school because I think it can benefit her. And whatever she encounters, she may not believe or accept or keep everything she learns, but she’ll be exposed to it. And that’s my motivation. I want to give to her.” That’s love. So…

Marie Forleo: So let’s hang out there for a minute. Because I can hear people in my audience, from doing this for so long, asking the question about out-tensions versus intentions. And I can, I literally heard someone say, “So I can’t get the Ferrari?” Or, you know, “So is it bad to want to get the other house? Or to have these things?” And if I’m hearing you correctly, Gary, it really is about, well why? Why do you want that thing? And is there a true loving intention behind it? So like, if we dig in there a little bit, let’s say somebody wants to get a Vespa, you know, like a little Italian scooter, I’ve had them rented-wise. Is there like a loving intention that is, you know, it’s a thing. It’s not like I want to necessarily look cool on the Vespa, although that could be fun, but there’s a joy that’s associated with it. I’m curious of your take on that?

Gary Zukav: Now you just did something, two things entirely different. “I can look cool on it.”

Marie Forleo: Yep.

Gary Zukav: That’s fair.

Marie Forleo: Yep.

Gary Zukav: That’s an attempt to manipulate the world.

Marie Forleo: Yep.

Gary Zukav: And how they think about you.

Marie Forleo: Yep.

Gary Zukav: And how they receive you. 

Marie Forleo: Yep.

Gary Zukav: The other was, “It’s fun.” 

Marie Forleo: Yes.

Gary Zukav: “I just like riding this little thing.”

Marie Forleo: Yes.

Gary Zukav: That is something else. That’s a simply an attraction to joy. 

Marie Forleo: Yes.

Gary Zukav: A lot of my life was spent skiing in the back country and on ski slopes, but I thought it was fun, and it was fun. There were certain parts of it that were fun. But in general, I did that because I had a manly image of myself, and being a skier was part of that. That was fear. Every part of that was fear. I was aware of the brand of ski I was skiing. I was aware of my ski boots. I was aware of what I was doing. I’ll tell you the only part that was really fun, pure fun, and grew with any question in my mind was in the spring when the snow was soft and forgiving, I could take a lift up or ski up on skins to a beautiful bowl. And I’d ski down.

And especially if I did it at a ski resort I could leave my poles at the bottom, ski up to the top of the lift and ski down without poles. Telemarking, on my telemark skis. And that was wonderful. I love the way my body feels the weight and the unweight and the smoothness of it. And the beauty of the skis carving through the snow. It was snow ballet, it was snow dancing, and that was pure joy. So can you see the difference between skiing, between doing that to impress somebody…

Marie Forleo: Yep.

Gary Zukav: …to get sex?

Marie Forleo: Yep.

Gary Zukav: To get appreciation, to get admiration, or just the joy of being there and doing it?

Marie Forleo: Yes.

Gary Zukav: Yes!

Marie Forleo: Yes. Well, the reason I wanted to peel into that a little bit more was because of something else I highlighted, which was something you wrote on page 45 of Universal Human. “If you are surprised by your experiences, it’s because you are unaware of the intentions that created them.” Right?

Gary Zukav: That’s right.

Marie Forleo: So I was like, “This is amazing.” Because I started to kind of flip through different scenarios in my past and different experiences in my life where absolutely I was creating out of fear, 100% unaware that I was doing that, but that was certainly where the impulse came from. And then I was like, “Ah, that’s how those consequences unfolded.” So I just, that’s why I wanted to say that because I could hear my audience asking questions, “But what about this?” And I also just wanted to highlight this notion that if you are surprised by your experiences, it’s because you were unaware of the intentions that created them.

Gary Zukav: Yes. Every effect has a cause. And if you participate in the cause, you will participate in the effect. The cause is an intention. In the Earth School it’s an intention of love or an intention of fear. An intention is a quality of consciousness that infuses, as you said, a deed or the word. If that energy is love, that infuses the deed. It is more important than the deed. It is more important than how you perform the deed.

Imagine, two friends walking down a trail and they’re talking and then suddenly one of them looks at the other and pushes him hard off the trail and into some blackberry, it’s sticky, it’s a terrible thing to do to somebody. Now, why did that happen? Did it happen because they were talking politics or religion, and one friend got so enraged at the other and they couldn’t stand it anymore and pushed him out of it? Or was it because the friend saw a rattlesnake in the trail directly ahead?

It’s the same scenario with two different, with two different intentions. One was an intention of caring. One was an intention of fear, our judgment. So you, no one can know your intention. I’m speaking to all of us now. No one can know your intention, except you. So creating authentic power is intimate. It is very intimate. What you decide to do is for you to decide, and it affects you. If you consider the fact, I will suggest that the universe doesn’t look in terms of right and wrong, better or worse, but in terms of cause and effect. There’s cause, and there’s effect. And as you choose the cause, you also choose the effect. That means if you believe this, you can create your life consciously. You can choose the types of experience that you’re going to encounter. And if you do choose to believe it, know that there are probably, I’m going to guess four or five billion people that agree with you.

This is karma. Karma is another name for the universal law of cause and effect. The universal law of cause and effect is the impersonal universal teacher of responsibility. What you choose creates consequences in the experience of others, and you yourself will experience those experiences. Say for example, you betray someone, maybe you had a, were engaged to get married and you were walking down the aisle and you couldn’t do it. You couldn’t do it. And you left right then. Well, that betrayal is something, that experience of being betrayed will come back to you. Now I picked a complicated example. It’s much more complex than that, because sometimes there’s a good reason for not walking down the aisle and somebody realizes it and they have the courage to say, “I’m not going to do this.”

And it’s a good reason. It’s not just fear. It’s seeing what’s happening. But the point is, if you do betray someone, say you embezzle money from a friend, or you… You understand what I’m talking about?

Marie Forleo: Yes.

Gary Zukav: You yourself will be betrayed, and it’s not necessarily someone embezzling from you. It could be someone not showing up for your wedding. It could be a, it could be a platoon leader who abandons you in combat. In whatever way this message comes back to you, this experience. It may have different clothing than it had when you sent it, but you’ll recognize the message, you’ve been betrayed. And the pain and the shock and the dismay and the disbelieving and then the agony that you activated in someone else you will experience.

Now, I’m not saying that all of the four or five billion people who believe in this really believe in it, they just have been taught it. And they accepted it so because an authority, a religious institution has told them. In our country, which is mostly Christian, Christians are told that love is the basis of your life when it’s meaningful and worthwhile. And the model is the Christ. And the Christ made this real clear, “Are you, do you love your neighbor enough to die for your neighbor?” Well, what would the world be like if every Christian lived that? Not believed it, felt that? What would the world be like if every Buddhist not only believed that consciousness and responsibility continue after the body dies, and never blamed anybody for anything, what would the world, what would that world be like? But all Buddhist and all Hindus believe in reincarnation and karma.

Now the new consciousness is bringing us to the reality of these things. And we can see for ourselves what we previously had to believe or take on faith. Creating authentic power is becoming the authority in your own life. No longer works to say, “The devil made me do it.” It is a fear-based part of your personality that is speaking to you. It’s not a temptation. Temptation is something else. Temptation is a dress rehearsal for a negative karmic event, giving you another opportunity to choose consciously within it to act or speak with an intention of love. That’s all that we’re talking about is living a conscious life and creating authentic power transforms your life into an ongoing meditation, a heartfulness meditation.

Don’t worry. Everything that you learned in mindfulness meditation applies, very much applies. But as you create authentic power, your meditation becomes intentional. The intention is to act with love, and to eliminate the intentions of fear in your life. And it’s doable. It’s doable. I haven’t done it yet, but if I can come as far as I have, from a motorcycle-riding, drug-doing, sexually-addicted narcissistic, full of myself, macho guy that thought he was cool. Looking back, I can see why some of my relationships didn’t work.

Marie Forleo: Oh my goodness, I adore you.

Gary Zukav: If I could come even this far, you can come farther. You can come farther. You can. And I’m not trying to convince you, because that would be pursuing external power, but I can give you tools for you to experiment with as they were given to me. And then you can see what they do in your life. What are you going to use your life for? You pointed out, Marie, that when you acted with love, it gave you peace.

Marie Forleo: Yes.

Gary Zukav: That’s because love is real. And when you acted in fear, it didn’t.

Marie Forleo: Yes.

Gary Zukav: That’s because fear is not, fear is an illusion. So you might say that when you act on the illusion, you create painful consequences. The illusion is that domain of experience in the Earth School that is fear. Whenever you fear, which means whenever you judge, whenever you’re angry, or jealous, or vengeful, or feel inferior and need to please, or feel superior and entitled, or can’t stop thinking about someone who’s going to be your savior. “I’ve got to have her. Oh, he’s got to be mine.”

Or you can’t stop eating or drinking, or looking for sex, or gambling, or shopping, or any of the things that are beyond, appear to be beyond your control. You are in the illusion, you are controlled by the things of the earth, put it that way. But how to live in that learning environment, which is the Earth School, which is what you’re in now, consciously, and choose between love and fear, which is the fundamental duality in this realm of dualities.

Then you move toward fullness, toward creativity, toward vitality, toward meaning, toward purpose, toward richness, toward health, and the gifts that you were born to give begin to call you to them. And you begin to be aware enough to listen to the call and to experiment. “Maybe I shouldn’t be a doc. Maybe I’m a doc because my mom was a doc. Maybe I want to be a landscape architect.” And you begin to experiment. It’s your life. What are you living it for? Fear or love? Well, the answer right now is probably mostly for fear.

And if you have a reaction to that, pay attention, because whenever somebody says something and you react to it, I’ll put it in first person. When anybody says anything to me, like, “You’re jealous.” If I have a reaction to it, I know that I should listen. When Linda says to me, “Do you think that comes from fear?” If I get angry, if I say, “Well, look, why talk about this now? And why are you always telling me what to do?” Then I know that she’s just told me something that I could benefit from listening to.

Marie Forleo: Yes.

Gary Zukav: But if I’m not doing any of those things, I won’t have a reaction. No, that’s not what I’m doing now. And there won’t be an emotional charge to it.

Marie Forleo: Gary, this has been so incredible. I cannot thank you enough for our time together today. And of course, this gorgeous new book, which I hope everyone gets and reads. Is there anything as we wrap up that you just want to leave people with today?

Gary Zukav: Be gentle with yourself. It’s not easy being in the Earth School. No one has an easy time in it, because it is the domain of experience that a part of you that existed before you were born chose. It volunteered. It’s self, in a larger sense. To participate in the domain of physical-ness and to evolve in that domain and to evolve itself, to mature its personality and help its soul evolve by developing emotional awareness and the conscious use of its volition.

Your being here is not accidental. Your origin is not merely biological. Your creative capacity is far beyond what you can now imagine. And if you give all that you can to Life, make that with a capital L, you’ll receive in return more than you can imagine. Well, that’s more than one thought, Marie, but perhaps it’s an energy or a flavor, and I like to leave that.

Marie Forleo: Thank you so very much for being here with us, Gary, and congratulations again, and I cannot wait to have our next call and our next chat. Thank you.

Gary Zukav: You are very welcome. I’m looking forward to it too. This is the first real talk we’ve had. We’ve had chats before as we interact. So let’s do this again.

Marie Forleo: I would love that. Wasn’t Gary awesome? So now we would actually love to hear from you. I’m curious, out of everything we covered today, what’s the biggest takeaway for you? And most importantly, how can you put it into action into your life, starting right now? Now as always, the best conversations happen over at the magical land of So head on over there and leave a comment now. And while you’re there, if you’re not yet subscribed, you must become an MF Insider. You’re going to get an email from me every Tuesday. They’re inspiring. They’re fun. They’re funny. They’re awesome, and I don’t want you to miss out. Until next time, stay on your game and keep going for your big dreams, because the world really does need that very special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for tuning in, and I’ll catch you next time.

Hey! You having trouble bringing your dreams to life? Well guess what? The problem isn’t you. It’s not that you’re not hard-working, or intelligent, or deserving. It’s that you haven’t yet installed the one key belief that will change it all. Everything is Figureoutable. It’s my new book and you can order it now at

You may also like...