Marti Spiegelman on Consciousness, Awareness and Perception

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Founder of Shaman’s Light,Marti-spiegelman (9) Marti Spiegelman was a pure delight to meet, learn from and listen to on the TEDxBerkeley stage this weekend.

She has inspiring and humble views about the growth of global consciousness and why its so important to bring together complimentary opposites in order to accelerate that consciousness.

We’re at a time when we need to create things to create more consciousness than we’ve ever even imagined in our lifetime.

I loved how she prepared the audience for her 18 minutes of wisdom. Marti asked the audience to FEEL what we are going to talk about and learn rather than THINK about it. FEEL IT she repeated.

On the path to human consciousness and awakening, she referred to the wisdom she has learned from indigenous elders around the world, starting with Mexico and their view of perception. Their philosophy is that the core of our being is perception and the magic of our being is awareness.

Perception is to be aware of everything around us.

“There’s an intelligence that moves those forces, that intelligence is what human beings have only known as consciousness,” says Marti. She asserts that if we’re intelligent and half awake, it will speak us into BEING.

The real question to what happens when conciousness finds you is “now what?” Marti-spiegelman (2)

Her informal and witty style brings you into her dialogue, whether its as an audience partipant watching her from afar or sitting across from her over a cup of tea. Marti is also funny. She says, “I used to think I was like a bug on a hot stove by jumping all around, but now I see that consciousness was forming me so that we could be here today.”

She shared with us some of the seeds of what she learned from indigenous elders she studied with as well as from others on her journey. More humor comes out as she pointed to science as a way to make sense of the world. “In science we have an experience, then we try to prove that we had it,” she reflects.

Consciousness taught her that we could learn about the speed of light, about all the possibilities in life without one piece of data.

In graphic design or art or in my case, photography, we learn how to make information technology and objects visible. In the world of technology, we can make something beautiful through coding or altering the original object. What’s cool in my own personal experience of this is that you code or edit or use a graphics tool and create your own world of beauty, and then someone else can take it, modify it, and add to it.

Then, that piece of beauty you created changes, morphs and becomes a different kind of beauty. In other words, the beauty grows. That’s exactly what happens with nature.

Says Marti, “we are just the portal – consciousness speaks through all of us.” For those of us who have been a recipient or the portal, you KNOW this to be true. I’ve been a portal and in that unique beautiful moment when it happens, nothing is more important than being present with where you are and open. Then, whatever is supposed to happen, whatever is supposed to be ‘said’ just gets said through you without you controlling it. It’s almost as if you don’t have a choice, because a bigger force outside of yourself takes over.

When you are the recipient, which I have also been, it’s an incredibly life-changing experience. If you’ve gone through this, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s no force and no control — you know you’re there for ‘it’ whatever that ‘it’ is (message, moment, miracle, exchange of love) and you just go with it and absorb. There’s an acute awareness when this happens…….the attention is OFF yourself and the other person and ON/IN the creation of beauty, love, peace, harmony and sometimes, the hardest ones: self love and forgiveness.

This my friends is what this magical thing called Global Consciousness is about.

She also addressed consciousness and business, a world she came from and it appeared 80% of the audience (minus the Berkeley students) spend their time in today — “performing”. I chose the word performing because its precisely what life is fixated on when measurement of success is based on performance rather than on ‘gifting to the world’ through business.

Says Marti, “business is nothing more than the center of exchange of value. The only thing that is valuable is that what supports thriving.” The indigeneous elders once said to her, “all that stuff you’ve been learning is a technology. There is a technology to consciousness.”

Here’s the other thing about global consciousness. It’s limitless and once you’ve experienced it, you know that it can keep going or rather flowing….only of course, if we don’t put a plug in that flow. (i.e., fear does that).

What happens to many of us, (it has certainly happened to me) is that we experience the gift of human consciousness because we evolve into it through an unspoken door of trust and then when things feel too joyful (in other words, do I really deserve ALL of this? ahhh, that muddled complicated word deserve which requires its own blog post), we somehow sabotage the door that leads us to more miracles. Yes, miracles…miracles that come from being consciously aware, miracles that come from walking through the door of consciousness and never turning back.

The bottom line is that we all want to be thriving and deep down when we’re living from a place of love, not fear, we all want everything and everyone else to be thriving too. Once fear takes over, survival instict takes over, you know, that lizard brain that Seth Godin talks about in Linchpins, and we remain in the ego state, the one that doesn’t serve anyone including ourselves.

Another principle she talked about was repriocity, which is one expression of human consciousness…..a deeper expression. She uses the example of two magnets to demonstrate how we seek sameness and push away difference.

Welcome to the western world is all I could think when she said the world sameness. I’m not suggesting that sameness doesn’t show up in the East or other parts of the world, but in living in 11 countries, I’m always shocked by how much sameness we support and embrace in the U.S. compared to other societies in the world.

I would go so far as saying that I think we’re killing inspiration, art and creation in humanity because of the growth of sameness, most noticeable in the western world. My mind wandered and spiraled as she said that word because of how many visuals I had of the joy I have experienced over the years whenever diversity showed up, which it did in so many marvelous ways.

I have thought and said this often – how on earth can we create a life full of magic and joy with so much sameness around us? People so often embrace sameness more than they do diversity.

Well done Marti and thanks for throwing that awkward word out there for us to reflect on, perhaps so much so that we can perhaps discard the coward claws of ‘sameness’, the ones that keep us inside a world of reaction rather than creation. When we live our lives from a place of creation and diversity, we can learn, grow and yes, thrive from that which is not the same as ourselves and our understanding of the world.

Indigeneous people are able to move things because they embrace the differences. Imagine that you could sit in awareness and acknowledge in consciousness that this is just this and nothing else and that is just that and nothing else, rather than try to figure out what this and that is supposed to mean. Forget the meaning for a moment and when you do, you’ll find yourself moving into that beautiful state of being.

I remember being on a walk on an island in Fiji many years ago and a quiet man with a very peaceful face emerged from the woods. He asked me before I said a word, “why are you trying to fight with God my child?” By God, I learned that he didn’t mean the God we think of in the west, he meant the greater force in the universe (perhaps embraced by purpose)….the one outside ourselves that we can’t control nor can we always understand.

It was at a time when I was on a seminar not long after my grandfather died and I was trying to make sense of the whys, the pains and the emotional hardships my own family faced for so many years. Still, without me saying a word, he said, “stop trying to figure it out, stop trying to come up with a solution or analyze it. Stop. Just be with whatever is gripping you and strangling your soul. Just be. Don’t control it, just embrace it and be with it.”

Then he was gone. I saw him again two more times before I left and twice more, he left me with words of wisdom as if he saw through me, could read me, perhaps for a moment or two, was me. He was the portal and I was the recipient: human consciousness, love and awareness in action.

Imagine if we could experience that every day? Where would the pain go? Wouldn’t it be cool if we could stop trying to figure out where it would go or what life would be like if that what was familiar even if painful just disippated into air?

Marti ended with an important reminder: “All of the other principles will fall into place if we focus on the first principle: “Be here now, outside the constraints of time.” Thank you for your free flowing “I’m just here and now” presentation, your ongoing seeds of wisdom and commitment to sharing it with the world.

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