Gary Zukav–The Inside Scoop

By Katy Koontz

how to create authentic power, quantum physics, Inside Scoop, Unity Magazine, Gary Zukav, editor Katy Koontz

Gary Zukav and the evolution of human consciousness to embrace our authentic power

Gary Zukav certainly took a few zigzags on his way to becoming a best-selling spiritual author. Born outside of Houston and raised mostly in small-town Kansas, Zukav (the subject of this issue’s “Listening in with …”) scored a scholarship to Harvard. After graduating in 1965 with a degree in international relations, he enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam War.

He fought in the infantry before becoming a paratrooper and ultimately a Green Beret first lieutenant, monitoring the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos, rappelling from helicopters, and conducting night patrols behind enemy lines. After two years, Zukav was discharged. He biked and partied his way across Europe for a few more years before moving to San Francisco in 1970. There, in the city’s bohemian North Beach neighborhood, Zukav shared an apartment with Jack Sarfatti, Ph.D., a theoretical physicist.

One day in 1975, Sarfatti invited Zukav to a meeting of about a dozen physicists who gathered weekly at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to share ideas about quantum physics. Zukav had never cared for science, but he became hooked on the philosophical implications of the discussion and asked if he could keep attending.

Not only did the scientists allow Zukav to return, but when he decided to write about what he was learning, they also committed to helping him get it right. His first book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters (William Morrow, 1979), is a layman’s guide to the quantum universe, laced with Eastern mysticism.

Writing this book changed Zukav’s life profoundly. Before that, he reports he was lonely, angry, and emotionally volatile—not to mention a narcissist and sex addict. But as he started to work on the book, he soon found himself “in the zone” for five or six days at a time, consumed with a joyful creativity and strong sense of purpose. The book almost seemed to write itself.

Six months in, he remembers, “I’d begun to discover the book was more comprehensive in its understanding, more intelligent, and a lot funnier than I was.” This was his first encounter with nonphysical guidance—a true awareness from the soul level.

The result? The Dancing Wu Li Masters won the American Book Award for Science in 1980, most major book clubs chose it as their featured selection, and it was translated into a dozen languages—and Zukav went on to write seven more successful books.

Unity Magazine has had some success of its own lately. We’re thrilled to announce that we were three-time winners in the 2021 Folio: Eddie and Ozzie Awards for editorial and design excellence. (For the full details, see “Village News” on page 48.) This is the seventh consecutive year we’ve been finalists in this prestigious publishing competition, and the fourth year in a row we’ve won at least one award.


“The Inside Scoop” provides a bit more background on our current cover subject. Katy Koontz is editor in chief of Unity Magazine. You can contact her at