Books: two by Gary Zukav

The Dancing Wu Li Masters:  An Overview of the New Physics

Front Cover

Bantam Books, 1979 – Science

Gary Zukav has written “the Bible” for those who are curious about the mind-expanding discoveries of advanced physics, but who have no scientific background.  Like a Wu Li Master who would teach us wonder for the falling petal before speaking of gravity, Zukav writes in beautifully clear language–with no mathematical equations–opening our minds to the exciting new theories that are beginning to embrace the ultimate nature of our universe…Quantum mechanics, relativity, and beyond to the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen effect and Bell’s theorem.

The Seat of the Soul

Front Cover
Createspace Independent Publishing Platform

With lucidity and elegance, Zukav explains that we are evolving from a species that pursues power based upon the perceptions of the five senses — external power — into a species that pursues authentic power — power that is based upon the perceptions and values of the spirit. He shows how the pursuit of external power has produced our survival-of-the-fittest understanding of evolution, generated conflict between lovers, communities, and superpowers, and brought us to the edge of destruction.

(Google Books; recommended by Alex Gambeau)


To quote Mike Zonta, H.W., M., “Translation is ‘magical thinking’  based on self-evident axioms and syllogistic reasoning (which is so say that Translation is not magical thinking at all).”  And to quote Heather Williams, H.W., M., “Translation is the creative process of re-engineering the outdated software of your mind.” Translation  is a 5-step process using words and their meanings and histories to transform the testimony of the senses and uncover  the underlying timeless reality of the Universe.

Sense testimony:

Persons working against each other are working against the Whole.


  1. TRUTH Is All There IS — One indivisible inseparable inviolate UNIVERSAL SINGULARITY, that is whole sound perfect harmonious cooperating concordance, continually expressing absolutely unimpeded in every unitary individuation — which I AM, as Consciousness Beingness wholeheartedly realizing is my own and only truest Identity.
  2. Truth is one voice in agreement with Itself, doing that which is whole, hale, sound, healthy, indeed.
  3. The omnipresent beingness of the universe is I AM I, total principle of law and order formless thinking force.
  4. I am Knowing Able Powerful Being, the only Identity, the only Guidance, the only Touching, the only Universal Integrity presence, the Self Evident individuated whole Truth Consciousness I Am.
  5. To come.

[The Sunday Night Translation Group meets at 7pm Pacific time via Skype. There is also a Sunday morning Translation group which meets at 7am Pacific time via  See Upcoming Events on the BB to join, or start a group of your own.]

Book: “The Web of Life” by Fritjof Capra

Anchor Books, 1996 – Science – 347 pages

During the past twenty-five years, scientists have challenged conventional views of evolution and the organization of living systems and have developed new theories with revolutionary philosophical and social implications. Fritjof Capra has been at the forefront of this revolution. In The Web of Life, Capra offers a brilliant synthesis of such recent scientific breakthroughs as the theory of complexity, Gaia theory, chaos theory, and other explanations of the properties of organisms, social systems, and ecosystems. Capra’s surprising findings stand in stark contrast to accepted paradigms of mechanism and Darwinism and provide an extraordinary new foundation for ecological policies that will allow us to build and sustain communities without diminishing the opportunities for future generations.[from the publisher].

(Google Books)

Translation Adventure — 10/29/17


Translators:  Heather Williams, Alex Gambeau, Brian Wallenstein

Sense Testimony:  Persons are Spiritually Lost

5th Steps:

  • I AM ever present opportunity to experience and BE consciously aware of Spiritual Truth.
  • Truth is the essence/Mind so consciously knows its beingness: unified perfection, peace,bliss, fulfillment, eternal life.
  • I AM I – an energy converter, aware of Boundless Austhetic Good that govern spirit, soul, and life force.

“Harvey Weinstein, and the crisis in masculinity” by Musa Okwonga


October 27, 2017 (

The sculpture was on display at the Abdülmecid Efendi Pavilion, a 19th century mansion that houses the art collection of Turkish businessman Ömer Koç.

Abdülmecid Efendi Köşkü. Photo: KTSK

A small group of protesters said the sculpture by Australian artist Ron Mueck violated their religious freedom and promoted secularism. They pushed a security guard to the floor and tried to destroy the statue before they being escorted from the building.

Ron Mueck’s sculpture of a naked man crouching on the ground holding a cardigan over himself is titled The Man Beneath the Sweater. It was installed within an antique fireplace in the gallery. The protesters probably took the fireplace for a religious setting: either a minbar, where an imam stands during sermons in mosques, or a mihrab, a mosque’s semicircular niche that faces Mecca.

Turkish news source T24 says the protesters were shouting “Is this secularism?”; “This country has come to this because of you!” and “You can’t show this here!”

Bhakti yoga

Swami Vivekananda explains the spiritual meaning of the gopi’s divine love for Krishna, which is:

too holy to be attempted without giving up everything, too sacred to be understood until the soul has become perfectly pure.  Even the Gita, the great philosophy itself, does not compare with that madness, for in the Gita the disciple is taught slowly how to walk towards the goal, but here is the madness of enjoyment, the drunkenness of love, where disciples and teachers and teachings and books . . . everything has been thrown away.  What remains is the madness of love.  It is forgetfulness of everything, and the lover sees nothing in the world except that Krishna, and Krishna alone. 

–Swami Vivekananda, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, vol. III, Mayavati, India:  Advaita Ashrama, 1948, p. 259.

Yogis say that it is easier to calm a wild tiger than it is to quite the mind, which is like a drunken monkey that has been bitten by a scorpion (from “Living Religions” by Mary Pat Fisher).

“Destiny and Desire: Finding Your Purpose” by Rod Stryker

JANUARY 15, 2014   (

Yoga’s supreme objective is to awaken an exalted state of spiritual realization, yet the tradition also recognizes that this state does not exist in absolute isolation from the world and worldly matters. Thus, the science of yoga teaches us how to live and how to shape our lives with a commanding sense of purpose, capacity, and meaning.

Learning to honor the four desires allows us to thrive at every level and leads us to a complete and balanced life.

According to the Vedas, our soul has four distinct desires, which collectively are described in the tradition as purushartha, “for the purpose of the soul.” The four desires—dharma, artha, kama, and moksha—are inherent aspects of our soul or essence; our soul uses them for the purpose of fulfilling its unique potential. All four kinds of desire, including the desire for material prosperity, if pursued mindfully, can be spiritual because they can pave the way for our soul to express itself on earth. Learning to honor the four desires allows us to thrive at every level and leads us to a complete and balanced life.

The concept of desire coming from the soul or essence may seem strange since, by definition, the soul is eternal and changeless. But the Vedas explain that the soul has two aspects: it is complete, whole, and eternal, in a permanent state of oneness with the Absolute, and at the same time, it desires to fully express itself and its divine nature in the world. The Vedic term for “soul” is atman, which means “essence”—the highest principle, or Self. The two distinct aspects of atman arepara and jiva. Para means “supreme, highest, or culmination.” Jiva means “individual or personal.”

The Vedic term for “soul” is atman, which means “essence”—the highest principle, or Self. The two distinct aspects of atman are para and jiva. Para means “supreme, highest, or culmination.” Jiva means “individual or personal.”

The paramatman or higher soul is the infinite and unconditioned essence that is beyond all limitation, eternal and changeless. The Shvetashvatara Upanshad, a sacred text from the seventh century, describes this higher aspect of soul beautifully: “Omnipresent, dwelling in the heart of every living creature…He is the inner Self of all, hidden like a little flame in the heart…. Know Him and all fetters will fall away.” The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 3:16, points to this same aspect of soul: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” Your paramatman is identical to the Divine; there is no separation or distinction. “Aham brahma smi” (I am one with the Absolute), say the Vedas.

Jivatman, on the other hand, is the individual soul. Think of it as your spiritual thumbprint, utterly unique for everyone. It is the part of you that, from the moment you were conceived, determines your uniqueness, your distinct capacities, talents, and challenges, as well as your inclinations and desires. Jivatman is literally where your soul meets your unconscious—the individual aspects of you that make you uniquely who you are.

I first became familiar with the Vedic teaching about the nature of soul many years ago, but it was not until my twin sons were born that I had practical proof of its accuracy, for I saw from the very beginning of their lives how the concept of jivatman applied to them. My boys, Jaden and Theo, were conceived at the same time and gestated in the same womb, where they consumed the same nutrients. They were born only ten minutes apart, yet from the moment they came into the world they have been utterly distinct. Theo, for example, was born with an incredible ear for music. Days after he was born, we noticed that music would completely captivate him. Jaden, on the other hand, showed little response to music; he came into the world with much more tactile awareness. A gentle rub on his back and he would be spellbound. I can also recall him, at just a couple of months old, clenching my shirt and trying to climb upward. A few months later he could work his way up to the top of my head. Ten years later he’s still a relentless climber. Theo has turned out to have a pitch-perfect ear and is now an inspired pianist. Now that they are in the world, their environment will undoubtedly affect their inherent qualities in a variety of ways, but what made them, from the beginning of their lives, who they are and who they will potentially become is their jivatman, their individual souls.

The ancient wisdom of the Vedas teaches that each of us is both universal and unique, that the two aspects of the soul, para and jiva, are distinct but not separate. The nature of the paramatman is that it is identical to Infinite Being. Jiva or the individual soul, on the other hand, comes into the world with a specific purpose, which it is compelled to fulfill. In the same way that there are specific genetic traits in a tulip bulb that will determine its color, the shape of its petals, and the time it will most likely bloom, the jiva of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albert Einstein contained the unique potentialities of their destiny the moment they were conceived.


Your soul, specifically the jiva aspect of your soul, has four desires that it uses to propel you toward your unique destiny. The first and most overriding of the four desires is dharma, the longing for purpose, the drive to be and to become who you are meant to be. Dharma, in simple terms, is the drive to fulfill your potential; it is the inherent drive of every being to thrive. Dharma is also the impulse toward altruism, the inner longing, known or unknown, of every individual to add his or her unique luster to the gem of creation. The term dharma has many meanings, including “law,” “path,” “order,” and “virtue.” Each of these definitions helps to define dharma as the one desire that informs the other three desires. In the yoga tradition, dharma is often referred to as duty. Dharma, in the context of the four desires, is usually interpreted to mean career, life path, or work—but dharma specifically places career and work, as well as the other roles we play in the world, within a larger context of serving the universe of which we are a part.

This larger sense of dharma is at the heart of the soul’s inherent longing to fulfill its individual potential. Arthur Avalon, one of the world’s greatest authorities on tantra, described the drive to fulfill our dharma as “that course of meritorious action by which man fits himself for this world, heaven, and liberation.” In other words, the inherent drive or desire for dharma is to fully realize everything that we are capable of and, in so doing, positively affect the world. According to the tradition, there is nothing in nature that is not compelled by this same imperative.

The reason dharma is the first of the four desires is twofold. One, the Vedic tradition is founded on the principle that, as individuals, our happiness is completely dependent on us fulfilling our own unique version of duty. The second reason is that everyone’s unique dharma determines the scope and specifics of our three other desires.


The desire for artha includes all the means necessary to fulfill our soul’s destiny.

The second desire, artha, is for the means necessary to accomplish our dharma. In the most basic sense, artha refers to material resources, such as money, food, physical well-being, and a roof over our head, without which fulfilling our purpose would be difficult if not impossible. The particulars and the scope of what each of us will need to fulfill our drive for artha will vary from individual to individual, but all of us, even monks, have some material needs. However, artha is not confined to material wealth or abundance. The desire for artha includes all the means necessary to fulfill our soul’s destiny. Mahatma Gandhi’s artha included fasting, meditation and prayer, passive resistance, vegetarianism, even the clothes he wore, for which he spun the yarn himself. All these elements were unique to his version of artha. Compare him to Jackie Robinson, for example, the first African American baseball player to break the color barrier and play in the major leagues. Aside from a salary, food, and a place to sleep, some of his means included boundless will and an extraordinary capacity to endure prejudice (like Gandhi), as well as being a great baseball player.


The third desire, kama, is for pleasure. Kama is often interpreted to mean “sensuality” or “lust,” but the deeper understanding of it that comes from the ancient tradition speaks of kama as the desire for pleasure of all kinds, including closeness and intimacy, beauty, family, art, and friendship, as well as sex. For some people there is a temptation to write this desire off as lowly or sinful, but consider whether any of us would exist if there were no desire for the pleasure of sex.

The truth is that the desire for pleasure is the motivation behind all actions. Anything and everything aspired to and achieved produces a feeling of pleasure.

The truth is that the desire for pleasure is the motivation behind all actions. Anything and everything aspired to and achieved produces a feeling of pleasure. In his book Virtue, Success, Pleasure, and Liberation, esteemed Vedic scholar Alain Daniélou cites two quotes from the Mahabharata that make this crystal clear: “He who does not desire pleasure will not seek to enrich himself. Without desires, neither does a man desire to fulfill his duty,” and “The merchant, the laborer, the gods themselves act only if their actions are linked to some satisfaction. For pleasure, a courageous man will brave the ocean.” Thus, if it were not for kama, few things of value in this world would exist.


The desire for moksha is the longing for lasting peace or to experience the sacred, whether it is found in a church, a temple, a mosque, contemplative solitude, nature, or self-inquiry.

The fourth and final desire, moksha, is the longing for liberation, true freedom. It is the intrinsic desire to realize a state free from all boundaries, including the limitations of the other three desires. This desire has been the driving force behind the world’s spiritual traditions. It is the longing to know the Eternal, that which is beyond all limitations, beyond the province of the five senses and even death. It is the impulse that compels us to seek out prayer, meditation, contemplation, surrender. The desire for moksha is the longing for lasting peace or to experience the sacred, whether it is found in a church, a temple, a mosque, contemplative solitude, nature, or self-inquiry. In practical terms, moksha is the longing to be free, to experience unfettered awareness, to be completely unburdened. It is the aspiration to be free of suffering and realize something beyond temporal pleasure. Fulfilling this desire gives us entry into the rarest and most sublime heights—heaven on earth.


It is critical to understand that learning to honor all four desires is key to achieving both worldly and spiritual fulfillment. While dharma is preeminent in that it shapes the particulars of our other three desires, no one of the four is greater or more important than the rest.

At various stages of life, a particular desire often comes to the forefront as the one that needs to be focused on and fulfilled. During a health crisis, for example, artha—our soul’s innate desire for well-being and health—would very likely become our preeminent desire. Once we regained our health, we could expect our soul to move on and place greater emphasis on fulfilling one of the other three desires. Collectively, the four desires are the compelling force that our soul utilizes to lead us to realize our full potential in becoming who we are meant to be.

Adapted from The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom by Rod Stryker (Delacorte Press, July 2011).

Founder of ParaYoga®, Rod Stryker is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on the ancient traditions of yoga, tantra, and meditation. Rod’s teaching weaves together his depth of understanding, experience, and ability to make the ancient teachings and practices accessible to students of all levels. Rod has trained teachers for over 25 years and leads retreats, workshops, and trainings worldwide. He lives in the mountains of Colorado with his wife and four children.