Off the Shelf: Spiritual Partnership by Gary Zukav
Posted May 18 2010 4:02am
I am very pleased to be part of the book tour for Spiritual Partnership. I read the book this past week and learned much from it. Gary Zukav picks up where he left off in The Seat of the Soul, reiterating his point that we are evolving from five-sensory beings into multi-sensory beings and that our purpose in life is to live authentically, or exercise our authentic power.
The catch is that just because we are becoming multi-sensory does not mean that we are automatically granted access to our authentic power. Our multi-sensory abilities bring awareness to the intentions behind our actions as well as the intentions behind the actions of others. But to actually cultivate a life of joy and authenticity, we must bring our will to our awareness. What this means is that anytime we sense an intention rooted in fear, anger, lust, or grief, for example, we must consciously challenge our reaction–and instead respond from the loving parts of our being. Zukav writes that we must “choose words and deeds, moment by moment, that will create joyful and constructive consequences even when painful or violent emotions roar through [us]“ (pxix).
The good thing is, every time we shift from reacting in fear or anger to responding in love and grace, the power behind our fear or anger loses traction. As we continue to challenge our fear and anger, it dissolves completely. Anytime we bring awareness to fear or anger, what we are really bringing awareness to is a wound. When we challenge the emotions or thoughts behind the fear or anger, we heal ourselves. In healing our wounds, and cultivating love and joy, an authentic life is born (and thus, we fulfill our soul’s purpose). Soon our entire existence is love, joy, gratitude and compassion.
Of course, this takes time. Living authentically is a process; it’s a lifestyle we choose moment by moment. As we begin to examine our moments, we begin to examine the people with whom we interact and share our lives. We question whether or not our relationships are authentic. Authentic relationships, or spiritual partnerships, as Zukav calls them, help us to evolve spiritually.
A spiritual partnership is a “partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth” (p124). Spiritual partners help themselves and each other to live authentically. Spiritual partners challenge one another to look inward at derisive thoughts, emotions, and intentions. Spiritual partners risk the relationship even, to maintain integrity. The commitment is always for spiritual growth.
This is different from the goal of the current five-sensory relationship model, which is to help one another “avoid the pain of powerlessness…support one another in…sorrow and celebrate…accomplishments without examining the interior causes of…sorrow and happiness. [Five-sensory relationships] see only physical causes and physical effects…They validate the experiences of frightened parts of the personality” (p80-81).
What I like about Spiritual Partnership is Zukav’s detailed description of “Spiritual Partnership Guidelines.” Zukav writes that we begin by making a commitment to spiritual growth; we make spiritual growth our highest priority. Then we continually stretch ourselves beyond the limited perspectives of the frightened parts of our personalities. Next we exercise compassion, by seeing ourselves and others as souls who sometimes have frightened parts of our personalities active. Finally, we strive to make all of our interactions conscious and loving (p199-200). These guidelines are described across several chapters in the book and listed conveniently on a summary page, as well as on Zukav’s website . I encourage you to check out the guidelines, as I skimmed over many helpful and important details.
There is much to be learned about life and ourselves when we understand the guidelines, and a much greater life to experience when we live the guidelines and embrace spiritual parternships.
For more information on Gary Zukav’s new book, please view the following video: