In his 1989 book “The Seat of the Soul”, author Gary Zucav talks about the world as witnessed by human personalities and that same world as lived through the human soul. He describes these alternate journeys through the same time and space by the same individual as being horizontal (personality) and vertical (soul).
“Each human soul has both guides and Teachers. A guide is not a Teacher. Guides are what might be thought of as experts in a certain field that are called in for consultation. If you are writing a book, for example, or creating a project, or organizing an event, a guide that has the quality of warmth, or creativity, or insight that you wish to incorporate into your work is available to you.
Teachers work on a more personal plane of involvement, so to speak, although they are impersonal energies that we personalize, that we feel a personal relationship with. A nonphysical Teacher brings you ever closer to your soul. It draws your attention to the vertical path, and to the difference between the vertical path and the horizontal path.
The vertical path is the path of awareness. It is the path of consciousness and conscious choice. The person who chooses to advance his or her spiritual growth, to cultivate awareness of his or her higher self, is on a vertical path. The vertical path is the path of clarity. The potential for the creation of clarity and the experience of interacting with your nonphysical Teacher are one and the same.
The horizontal path is the path that satisfies your personality. A businessman or a businesswoman, for example, who devotes his or her life to the accumulation of money is on a horizontal path.No matter how diverse his or her ventures may become, they are essentially identical. If they make money, they please the personality, and if they lose money, they distress the personality, but they do not serve the higher self. They do not serve his or her spiritual growth.
A person that seeks relationships only to gratify his or her own needs, such as his or her own emotional or sexual needs, will find thay each relationship is essentially identical, that the people in his or her life are replaceable, that experiences with the first and experiences with the second are essentially the same. This is the horizontal path. Each new experience in not really new. It is more of the same thing. To experience relationships of substance and depth requires approaching and entering into relationships with consciousness and concern for the other. That is the vertical path.
This does not mean that learning does not occur in all situations, and that when a horizontal path is no longer appropriate to a soul’s learning, that soul will not leave it behind. Sooner or later, each soul will turn toward authentic power. Every situation serves this goal, and every soul will reach it. The vertical path begins with the decision to do that consciously.”