Shakti Caterina Maggi - How consciousness becomes human
An interview by Renate McNay
Renate: Welcome to Conscious TV. I am Renate McNay and my guest today is Shakti Caterina Maggi. Welcome
Shakti: Thank you for having me here
Renate: Shakti is from Italy and is currently writing a book. We don’t know yet when it’s going to come out, but it should be very interesting. I think it’s going to be ‘How consciousness became human’ and we’re going to talk about that today. First I’d like to know where does the name Shakti come from
Shakti: It was given to me by my teacher and it’s strange because… He was called Avassar (1.17)
Renate: He was Indian?
Shakti: He was Welsh. He came to Milan for a meeting and I met him there. When he gave me this name… previously I thought it was slightly pretentious for people to change their name… it made sense, it hit me a lot, like a new vibration coming into my system. For many years it’s been important to integrate it. Later on, when I introduce myself to people, I use both my civil name Caterina and my spiritual name because I feel it’s important that there is a sort of connection. Right name for me it’s the same, the majority of my friends call me Shakti, but Caterina is totally fine
Renate: So, Shakti is the mother?
Shakti: Shakti is the energy of the void. It’s the vibration of emptiness becoming the form, it’s the power of creation. It’s the female in itself, it’s the emptiness in its vibration manifesting as everything, one with the emptiness but it is its active side, so that’s the meaning
Renate: The emptiness is Shiva, I guess?
Renate: So, just a little bit of history Shakti. You used to be a journalist in the financial industry writing for Wall Street.
Shakti: Yes, I was writing for an important American company.
Renate: You were also directing a publishing house translating books
Shakti: I was taking care of the publication of … this was many years later… some books that came out about non-duality for a publishing company in Italy.
Renate: At the time you were writing about financial subjects, were you already consciously on a spiritual path?
Shakti: No, when awakening happened in 2003, by that I mean the recognition that I was not what I believed to be. I was not a person in a body confined inside a body mind…
Renate: So how did that happen? I know from your notes that you were going to Satsang
Shakti: Actually, it happened it bit before going to Satsang. At the beginning of 2003, I was still a journalist at that time through various situations in my life, I came to, trying to avoid a sense of separation and suffering, to mediate and include it in my experience, to say thanks to the divine for it. One night I had a kundalini experience, I didn’t know it was called kundalini at that time. I didn’t have any clue about spiritual awakening, anything like that. Basically, I felt that I was the love that I was, that I was looking for. All my body started vibrating and I felt like I was dying. I was convinced I was going to die. It was coming in like waves of energy filling my system and everything disappeared. When I woke up in the morning and I was still alive, I was surprised. At that time, I didn’t have any information about it. It was like I was watching me as a form, from a bigger I, that was previously unknown. It was like watching a living comedy or comic, but it wasn’t stable yet. A few months later I met my teacher at a Satsang in Milan
Renate: So, it was like a kind of universal witness
Shakti: Yes, but what had happened with that experience was not the awakening. It was an energetic experience that prepared, something that happened before… when I met my teacher, he was describing his experiences, I said that’s what happened to me, that is what is happening to me. Three days later awakening happened, and I recognised that Caterina never actually existed, I was just a figment of my own imagination. I was this emptiness that created everything, the entire universe. In this recognition, all the manifestations collapsed back into the emptiness and disappeared consciously. When the world appeared again, the sense of being a person was completely gone, and never came back. Later I discovered this is quite rare because the sense of separation comes and goes. In fact, often in my teaching I shared this with people to stabilise. Lets’ say my experience is different, a bit odd from others. Then fifteen days after what I call true awakening, a steady recognition of being the emptiness through which all the manifestations come from, I dropped my job. It was not possible for me to carry on. The experience with the publishing company came later on when I was already starting to share. They asked me to take care of some books. I thought it was a nice service, so I did it for a while
Renate: I find it interesting because in my understanding everybody has a uniquely designed nervous system which only really allows for a gradual awakening, so how did your body cope with this sudden opening with the energy which must have been coming in? How were you prepared for that?
Shakti: You are absolutely right. I think I was a bit different maybe in the sense that I was always on the verge of this since I was a small child. I remember distinctly around the age 8 or 9 to recognise that thoughts were passing through me and manifestations were connected but at that time there was almost like a little fear about it. I was resting on the level let’s call it super consciousness which seems like you are creating personally what is going on. So, although I was not trained into a spiritual tradition, since I was very small I had these moments of various spiritual happenings - various moments in which I was not present , when I was just a manifestation, like watching a tree that was stroked by the wind , suddenly it was just the wind and the tree and I wasn’t there, or a puppy barking and suddenly I was the barking. I didn’t speak to anybody about this. Intuitively I knew that nobody could understand it and so I wasn’t sharing it with people. It’s true it was sudden but at the same time there was a long preparation since I was very small. What has been very interesting for me was what happened afterwards, after awakening, which is something I speak a lot about with people.
Renate: Can I just make one other remark , that it seems you already came that way into this world, or it happened gradually that your karma stream, if we believe in karma came to an end while you were still in the body. If you are, all of a sudden without identification and no interruption in the experience of who you are
Shakti: My understanding is that the existence of Vasana, the residue of the ego can carry on after awakening, so it’s not that all the karmic debts must be extinct before the recognition the emptiness that is watching and creating the manifestation can occur. So, there is no contradiction. What I can say is if you are colour blind and always see things in a certain way, it’s hard for you to say, for me it’s different. What I gather, the information after awakening… probably I never had a very strong sense of separation since when I was a kid, so this passage from the belief to be a person to the conscious recognition of what I am has not been so abrupt. I’ve always felt the presence of God in my life. God was not something away from me. I felt like I was immersed in the grace of God.
Renate: Italians are normally religious
Shakti: Yes, I grew up in a religious environment. I was not obliged to go the mass or to pray or anything but praying was very easy. I’ve been praying all my life, it’s just that the prayer became a thank you, an Amen, thy will be done.
Renate: I was reading that your prayer was, may thy will be done
Shakti: Yes, I recognised at a certain point that in staying with life, in what the universe was giving me, I could learn something that otherwise I couldn’t learn. So, I recognised that there was a wisdom in life that was way beyond the understanding of the mind. In learning this, I learnt to welcome things as they were and to discover even when they were tough, difficult or bitter, there was something sublime there for me. There was no concept about it, it was very natural for me. I could tell you about various spiritual experiences I had way before awakening but it may not make any sense to even speak about them because they were part of this. Any flower of the garden of God has its own way to blossom, maybe mine was not like the average but nevertheless we are all this emptiness. But you are right, in certain cases it can be very tough. If there is a lot of resistance to feeling… faith and feeling the presence of God helped me, but if you don’t know what is going on you can get very sacred, for instance. This rising of kundalini can happen to any person
Renate: It can be incredibly dramatic, traumatising
Shakti: It can be. I’m thinking as you mention it now of a woman called Suzanne Segal – ‘Collision with the Infinite’. She had a very dramatic experience until she met Jean Klein. I was lucky
Renate: Why do you think that some people have such a difficult time, and some have it easier?
Shakti: I would say that if you feel that there is something in the moment that feels like an external force is coming through your system, you can get scared. Actually, it’s funny because it’s kind of the opposite, energy that is uprising, is your true energy, because kundalini is the shakti moving through the system, of the human system. So, it’s your own true energy that’s coming to free up all the knots of identification in the body but if you are, let’s say afraid of this and you don’t recognise that it is a God given experience, you can fight it. It can then become a trouble, because once this process has been ignited, it cannot be stopped really. It can remain stuck. I also want to say that it’s not necessary for kundalini to rise to recognise where you are
Renate: That’s what I wanted to ask, is it a necessity for awakening?
Shakti: No. Generally, in my understanding the people who really have an awakening experience, they also experience a sort of energetic movement of the kundalini of some sort. Maybe it’s very subtle and they don’t pay a lot of attention to it. What has been striking and interesting for me is the experience of the coming down of the kundalini after arising.
Renate: How long was the gap between that?
Renate: So that’s part of your teaching how consciousness becomes human.
Shakti: I’m interested in that because a lot of people speak about how to reach God, but we are God. We are already this emptiness. We are already the divine not as a person, it’s not that the person is God. The person, the body mind, the manifestation exists in God
Renate: So, when you say emptiness, you say emptiness is the heart
Shakti: No, I say the emptiness is aware of the manifestation that is a vibration in itself. When I say to people go back to the heart, the heart is the bridge between the divine and the manifestation. The human is the bridge. The human form is incredible, it’s a bridge between emptiness and form. So, when you rest in the heart, it’s emptiness consciously contemplating the manifestation. So, the heart in my words is the sublime door between emptiness and form. When you rest in the heart you are consciously contemplating the form. You are consciously meeting life from the emptiness. Everybody knows how to do it. I know people feel I don’t know how to contact my heart, it’s not true. It’s very natural for human beings.
Renate: Well, tell me (laughing). Of course, we experience incredible heartful situations and love but then our mind drags us to somewhere else.
Shakti: When I say the heart, I don’t mean emotions. Everything happens in the heart
Renate: So, how does the true heart feel?
Shakti: Empty, present, brim full, loving, compassionate, mutual, splendidly neutral…
Renate: But, it’s silent
Shakti: Totally silent. It’s what is behind every human being, what is behind every form
Renate: Very moving
Shakti: It is. So, when we are kids, when we are very small, we move from the heart because we’re still natural, spontaneous. Then the conditioning takes this radiance that comes from the heart and bends it under the sense of separation, so you start to feel contracted as if you exist inside a form and as if the world is outside of you. So, you start to learn how to close because it is too painful to feel this contraction but behind those contractions still this beautiful emptiness exists and is you.
Renate: And is difficult to re-find
Shakti: I think we are afraid to meet our self, that’s why it looks difficult
Renate: We are afraid?
Shakti: We are afraid because meeting our self, we know the fences, without that armour of the ego. It means to feel again a vulnerability which is actual the openness of your heart. So, we protect a lot with ideas about spirituality also or any kind of ideas or beliefs. Being a person is a belief, that’s the main one, of course
Renate: Let’s take a situation which is painful, anything. You fall in love and the other person decides they don’t want to…
Shakti: It’s challenging because your heart is open, when you’re recognising yourself in the other person on some level, so you feel oneness. But the object of love seems to float away and then you have a challenge. Can I leave my heart open? Can I remain open? If I can, I will recognise that love is not coming from the object, but the object is the projection of the love I am. This is what was happening to me when I had the experience, I was telling you about, the kundalini tingly all of the cells of the body, the recognition that I am the love that I was looking for. No beloved could be this, the beloved was existing in the love that I am. I recognise this because I thought the beloved one was gone. Love was still here, so I recognised that love was here even though the beloved was not here. So, I through God, I am that love, then all that happened.
Renate: A profound recognition
Shakti: I don’t know, it happened
Renate: So, how from this point do you look at the world which is in so much suffering? It’s sad really what’s happening. How do you keep your heart open? I often experience if I read something or hear something, I just have the feeling, it is me. It’s like I cannot separate myself
Shakti: Well, you have to remember that consciousness through all its forms is still learning. Through certain forms consciousness is awake, through certain forms it’s in the process of awakening, drifting away from a sense of separation, coming to the recognition to be this presence. But in certain forms consciousness is still very is very engaged and grasped in the sense of separation because it’s afraid to meet its pure essence. So, when you live from an open heart you see that the ignorance that is expressed through certain actions is there because there is a lack of understanding, so there is compassion and attachment. Also, the understanding that certain things have to be that way otherwise consciousness couldn’t learn so you start to see the perfection of the movement of life. Not because you don’t want to touch the rawness of it or the violence, life is incredibly innocent. Life gives you everything, grief, loss, disease, you go up and down because life doesn’t know how it should be that its beauty, the beauty of life.
Renate: If you are life, you don’t reflect
Shakti: Life is totally unpredictable in its movement. It’s moving all its form to come to the recognition of what you are and in doing that sometimes polarities of ignorance are coming to the surface of consciousness. They represent themselves as conflicts, as words, as people being violent with one another, things like that. So, if you start to see this from the big picture you understand that sometimes the only way which consciousness through a form can recognise itself is going through tough times. They are not bad in themselves. Does it make sense to you?
Renate: It makes sense. I was just thinking about something I just read that we are on the brink of becoming cyborgs, part human, part machine, which will alter our personalities and identifications. How is awakening and enlightenment then? Why does consciousness make it more and more difficult?
Shakti: I don’t know about trans-humanism, which is what I think you are speaking about, so I don’t want to speak a lot about a subject that I don’t know deeply. What I know is this machine (referring to the body) is already a wonderful and very complex machine that we know very little about. We are consciousness using a vehicle, the body mind that can make consciousness have an experience. Consciousness can be aware of its own creation through this vehicle and at the same time being conscious of itself. In that way it sounds a bit robotic. Changing it? I don’t know, it’s a very complex machine. We know very little about it still, about its ability and complexity. I feel that sometimes in our endeavour to meet our self as emptiness, and to live consciously this beautiful dream we are creating, the dream of life, we are trying to make actions like creating robots mixed with humans that are like an attempt to reach something. It’s control of manifestation, but true control does not come from manipulation. Only a person that is very scared tries to manipulate. True control comes from recognising of being the creator of the dream. From there you see from your own very being everything is created, then you have total control but it’s not a control in the action. It’s control in being. I’m sure the people doing this kind of experiment are also doing it because they are trying to bring some goodness to humanity. I‘m thinking of people that have handicaps , so it can also be inspired by love, but if it’s inspired by control it is because its coming from fear. We can also learn from fear. We can learn… I’m not speaking about biological fear which is of course good for the body otherwise you’d throw yourself under a taxi or something, so it’s good you have biological fear. Psychological fear is not necessary, it’s coming from the idea of separation. We can learn from it. Fear is not an enemy. It can be our best friend.
Renate: Tell me about that
Shakti: You can meet it as an experience and in meeting it, it will be the emptiness meeting the fear. In meeting it and contemplating it, meditating the fear from the emptiness, that’s important to remember. Sitting in the emptiness of your being and being aware of fear arising, you will be consciously transforming the energy. You will discover at the end that it was your own radiance contracting around the centre of you. So, in meditating on it, the contraction gets unravelled to be radiant again, and then it’s felt as joy. Fear is joy contracted around the centre of being.
Renate: Listening to you it all sound so simple (laughing)
Shakti: It is simple
Renate: When you talk about consciousness recognising itself, the thought came, so what’s behind consciousness? There is this name consciousness, but we don’t really know what it is, what’s behind. Where does this idea come from that consciousness wants to wake up to itself, to create this game? That must come prior to consciousness.
Shakti: Well, it depends what you mean by consciousness. When I use the word, I’m aware it’s a word, but what’s behind the word is not something that is describable with a word. That thing that is behind the word is consciousness. Consciousness is what I am. So, I am what is aware of the word consciousness but I’m not the word. What I am, what you are, has no name. When you touch it consciously, when you become aware of you see that everything that has been existing. Has been existing because you wanted to meet yourself consciously. It’s not a story anymore that somebody told you, it’s your own direct experience. So, you are perfectly right, it can be taken as a message that is like a nice story, but when you see it’s not story. I am what I am I’m talking about. It’s not something which is an idea for me. I’ve learnt how to say it in a way that hopefully understandable for people, simple. It’s not something that I know, it’s something that I am, something that you are, something we all are.
Renate: What is your experience now Shakti?
Shakti: In this moment?
Shakti: I am the presence of this moment. I am the scratching of my knee. I am my smile. I am the world in this body. I am the world. I am the nice gentleman who is listening to us behind the screen.
Renate: So, oneness
Renate: Not separation
Shakti: Yes. I am emptiness appearing as everything. They are one. It has been constant for me for many years. It doesn’t mean I haven’t and still am meeting some polarities of contraction, some might still be present. The processing of this is a never-ending meditation. It is the reason why we’re here
Renate: So, what you’re saying is self-reflection disappeared
Shakti: What do you mean by self-reflection?
Renate: We are constantly looking at ourselves, talking to ourselves… I am that and I’m feeling that. It’s like a U-turn, consciousness making a U-turn, all the time looking at itself.
Shakti: It’s interesting I see it in the same way, but the subject is completely different. I would say everything is self-reflection but the self I’m speaking about is not me.
Renate: I understand that. I experienced that….
Shakti: So, when you say self- reflection, for me it is the ‘I’ of everything is constantly reflecting itself in everything that exists. So, there is only self-reflection everywhere. It depends what you mean by self. It’s good you mentioned it because sometimes in everyday language I use the word self, but for me it’s always spelled with a capital ‘S’, because it’s the only self that exists. Other teachers use the word self, meaning the image you’ve built up.
Renate: The ego
Shakti: Yes. The ego…in awakening the ego is invested with this stream of light and is completely transfigured. From the recognition of what you are, you become who you are. It’s the process of individualisation the creation has. So, it’s not just about recognising of being emptiness, it’s also about becoming you as a form. That’s very interesting.
Renate: That’s what I was just launching into. I’m interested because hardly anybody speaks about it so that’s the journey of consciousness becoming human. That’s what we’re here for
Shakti: The point is, if you are emptiness and you are everything why take so much disturbance in becoming a human form?
Renate: Let’s try again. Emptiness is the knowing of who I am
Shakti: Emptiness is the true nature. It has no quality, just emptiness. The recognition of you as emptiness, steady recognition not like a swinging pendulum recognition, steady recognition, is what I call in my language, awakening. It’s not a Sartori, it’s not a moment it is a steady beingness. From this our true spiritual journey can start. That is not a journey done by the apparent individual, it’s a journey done by the emptiness itself. So, consciousness starts to meet all these levels of itself appearing as a form. In doing so, all these polarities, these dualities that are arising in the manifestation are met – good, bad; winner, loser; female, male, all these polarities. It can meet them in itself, transform them and manifest them again in the filter of the sense of separation. The journey of conscious embodiment in which emptiness meets the manifestation consciously and transforms this fear of being separated into the gold and joy of radiance of being
Renate: It’s an alchemical process
Shakti: It’s an alchemical process and the big alchemist is the heart. The lead of fear is transformed into the gold of joy. To do that something must be working as a catalyst and be sacrificed. You are the one that is going to be sacrificed. That’s the best part. The image of you is the one that is going to be sacrificed. So, this fire of the love of God, the seeking of truth that seekers feel, is the fire that is going to be putting in flames the forest of the ego, as it’s written in some scriptures. It’s a beautiful image. The image ego that is going to be sacrificed, in doing that is going to be the catalyst for this transformation
Renate: I think the ego recognises at one point that it can never be true nature and then it surrenders itself
Shakti: It’s not the ego that surrenders, it’s consciousness that believes it’s separated that surrenders the idea to be separated. It’s just a concept that dies but when it’s dying, it feels like you are dying, that’s why it’s sometimes very challenging for people because you feel terrorised, you panic thinking your world is falling apart. All the images you built up to protect yourself are falling apart and you’re scared. But them that fear is not against you, it’s the only way that you can meet you. So, it’s a journey of love as well. Sometimes we open, sometimes we close, that’s the beauty.
Renate: You talked about it earlier as a process when the energy or the light comes into the form
Shakti: Consciously yes. There is only light in the form otherwise the form would not appear. Everything is really light, even science says this. You can recognise the light that is creating everything, and even the light disappears in the beautiful darkness of your being.
Renate: The kundalini is rising up? Bringing the awareness or the transcendence and then that comes back?
Shakti: When this light is recognised and you disappear into the light, this light can shine again conscious of itself, that’s the difference conscious of itself through the form. At that point you will meet contraction, all these knots of false identification that have been built up. It will clear it. The beautiful thing is when this happens, it doesn’t happen for the person, it’s a quantum healing. It’s healing everybody that is connected to that. It is healing whoever came before and had that conditioning, people who come after. So, it’s very beautiful, impersonal this process of embodiment is exquisitely impersonal. It’s not the person that embodies, it’s not down by the apparent individual. It’s really emptiness coming to know the form again at every level. In the clarity, I the opening of the heart, in the hara that is the bridge with the form, genetically. This process goes on endlessly. It includes not just your physical for, the people around you, your country, your planet. You become a conscious sacrifice in a sense, and you know the human. You know the beauty. If you think about it for a moment, it’s a miracle. Something that has no quality whatsoever, doesn’t know any time or space or anything, knows form, wow. Having a body, the vertical of the divine, is incredible.
Renate: As you were talking this image came to me of Jesus dying on the cross. I never understood the meaning of he died for us. Now when you talk about it’s not only you it is everything that is connected, I wonder is that the meaning?
Shakti: I believe so. There is a beautiful representation of the sacred heart of Jesus that is not placed on the left, but in the centre of the chest.
Renate: Yes, it in the middle
Shakti; Yes, because the spiritual heart when it opens, when the kundalini descends here at this level (points to mid chest), it opens the right heart. Ramana Maharshi speaks about it opens in the middle and in the centre of it, is this white glorious golden light. It’s the emptiness meeting the human. It’s a very important centre. This is the meaning of the sacrifice. It’s the cross the vertical of the emptiness, of eternity meeting consciousness as time and space manifestation. At the centre of the cross is the one that is truly human, truly divine and shines. It’s a beautiful symbol
Renate: It’s the doorway
Shakti: Yes, it’s the doorway and its functioning both ways, from the manifestation to emptiness, but also from emptiness to manifestation. If you learn this, you will learn the incredible. We are called to learn that, how to consciously emanate a new world. It’s very important in my opinion
Renate: You said earlier people are waking up and are so hungry for that knowledge of embodiment. When we started Conscious TV that was over 10 years ago, everybody was just talking about transcendence. All of a sudden, a shift happened a couple of years ago and women started to come forward talking about embodiment. Do you think it’s time? Do you think we can save ourselves (laughing)?
Shakti: What I observed maybe 15 years ago when I first recognised this. Saying you were awakened was almost like awkward. People would say “oh really, who do you think you are”? Slowly it became almost fashionable. Everybody is now awakened. They would have a little story and say they are awakened. They write a book and are very eager to say it to the world. I’m joking of course, but it’s absolutely true that it’s something happening on mass and it impersonal. Then what’s next? A lot of people say to me I like this idea that we are one but how do I function in the world? How do I move in the world without the sense of being a separate entity? Will I be able to function? Will I be able to survive, to work? Who is going to take care of me if I’m not the one doing things? Those are questions that are asked, and they are sensible questions. The answer is there was never a you, doing things before you noticed it. It’s about embodying this in your everyday life, to let this emptiness touch you on every level of your being. It’s about becoming vulnerable again open, not being afraid to touch those fragilities, those hidden corners. The one that is going to help you in that is the mother, life. Mother is coming every moment to invite you to meet whatever has not been recognised, she is everything. The divine mother is everything. We are sat here… she is the air we are breathing. We exist in her because she is divine manifestation. Life is going to invite you to meet the places where you are not consciously including something new as you, that is the process of embodiment. So, it’s already happening we don’t have to do it. We can enjoy the show.
Renate: Can we do anything, just watching? (laughing)
Shakti: We are simultaneously the one watching and the one living it, that’s the fun, otherwise it wouldn’t be fun. Just watching… the cool thing is you are part of it, you are it as well.
Renate: Do you feel yourself in the body now?
Shakti: I am but not in the same way I was feeling before. I am in the body but as emptiness consciously meeting the body. When the energy went down from the heart to the hara – I didn’t even know about it, so it was quite a surprise when it happened. I tried to find some reference about it, because my teacher was already dead when it happened. So, I didn’t know a person that could speak about it, so I tried to gain feedback. It was like after 13 years of being this emptiness coming back into the body but as the true self coming back into the body, crossing the density of matter, meeting the density of matter, as me. It’s still happening. It’s interesting.
Renate: It is interesting, where do you go next?
Shakti: I don’t know (laughing)
Renate: You seem to be already such a complete human being (laughing). I remember my teacher saying once, there are only a handful of people on this planet that are fully awake. It sounds like you’re fully awake.
Shakti: It’s probably true. I don’t know, how can I know the difference. I know only what I’m experiencing
Renate: Are you progressing further into something?
Shakti: Yes continuously, there are continuous new discoveries. I think our spiritual journey is endless.
Renate: It is endless
Shakti: I will never say I’m done I’m finished, homework done. What I feel, maybe I shouldn’t even speak about this because this is just an intuition that I’m sharing with you. Maybe what happens is that as the process of integration of awakening goes on, you meet so much the cells of the body that the body is transformed. Maybe
Renate: Into what?
Shakti: I don’t know. It seems that the body is obeying laws, but what happens when the process goes so deep down into matter? I’m thinking about saints…
Renate: Rainbow bodies
Shakti: Yeah, there are many colours, I didn’t want to say colours, you say rainbows, there are so many names, light body. I’m thinking about certain saints in all traditions in both the East and the West, that are in a constant samadhi, like uncorrupted bodies. I have no idea. When it happens, I’ll tell you.
Renate: Great, and we’ll do another interview (laughing)
Shakti: I am very happy with what is happening right now. I don’t need anything different. I don’t know. I see that things are evolving all the time that’s for sure. I don’t want to make the experience more special than what it is. It’s already very special, it’s already very beautiful but definitely my feeling as we’ve said before is that we know very little of the body. I have the intuition that we are capable of great things not yet explored.
Renate: So how do you transmit this profound idea of teaching or experience? How do you transmit that to your students? How do you help them to realise?
Shakti: I see myself in them
Renate: You see yourself in them
Shakti: Firstly, above everything, I see I am them. In that I meditate them in my heart. Also, words are shared, I make them sing and dance, and have some perceptive experience but the main point I think is that I see myself in them. Then they may see that I am them
Renate: Right so that is a direct transmission
Shakti: Also, I speak with people like with you now, but is my message in words? Is my message in words, in the exercises I make people do? No, I wouldn’t say so
Renate: I heard they really fun your workshops
Shakti: Yes, people have fun. I don’t understand why spirituality should be serious. I’m not a very serious person.
Renate: It sounded almost shamanic in certain way, experiential
Shakti: Well it is experiential isn’t it?
Renate: You know what I like, you say there is no spiritual life, there is just life
Shakti: Or we could say your everyday life is your spiritual life. It’s not there is no spiritual life, everything is spiritual, it’s the other way around, everything is spiritual. We are the divine having a human experience, so everything is spiritual. It’s not seen as spiritual sometimes as we are dividing things between spiritual and material
Renate: Yes. I heard you are a fan of artists and you almost became one yourself. I read something, I don’t know where, it may even have been your website. It says, “the more injustice and suffering in a culture the more need there is for truly creative artists”.
Shakti: I said that?
Renate: I don’t know where I read that. When I did some research, this came up.
Shakti: I’m not sure I said this, but I agree (laughing)
Renate: I find that really interesting. How can we tap into our creativity?
Shakti: That’s very important. When you are creative, when you’re not doing things that result in mind you are very open to let the life force express in you, that would be meditation. If you watch a kid making a sandcastle on the shoreline of the ocean or the sea, it’s not doing it because it has to stay there forever. It’s not because then he owns a sandcastle, he knows the sea is going to eat the sandcastle by the end of the day. So, it’s doing it just out of the joy of doing it
Shakti: We are in the country of Oscar Wilde who said many wonderful things, I really like him. He said, “all art is absolutely useless, that’s’ the beauty of it”. So, it’s useless for the mind, for the ego- based mind, but it’s actually an expression of the exquisite quality of the human to create out of its being. When the joy of life passes through the human, any act you do is creative even if you are going shopping or decorating your house or raising a kid. You don’t have to be a great painter or sculptor or whatever, to be creative. Being creative is letting the joy of life pass through you. Life needs … this planet needs creative people.
Renate: I know but Ian has a lot to do with a lot of artists being in the music business. With a lot of them the creativity comes from a real tension in them, a traumatic tension and not out of joy.
Shakti: But from behind the abruptness, breaking through that pain is the force of life, a break-through the conditioning of the trauma. The energy behind is authenticity, the authenticity of pain, the profundity of sadness. That is life force passing through, expressing as humanness
Renate: Would you still say this is still sacred art?
Shakti: Everything is sacred ultimately. I would say when art is made, even if just in that moment and afterwards the artist comes back to feeling separated which is often the case, in that moment the artist is empty of himself, full of the force of life, then he will do a masterpiece. A masterpiece is going to be recognised by everybody even people that are not critics, even people who do not know anything. A true piece of art is recognisable by the man on the street because true art speaks about your true being. It is made in a space of emptiness
Renate: Yes, we forget ourselves
Shakti: Yes, and in that moment when you watch that art you disappear in the beauty and the beauty is the recognition of the balance between the emptiness and form. So, if in that moment the artist is sacrificing himself or herself, is able to let the light of God shine through. We call that beautiful. It doesn’t matter if it’s going through a process of emotional trauma or distress
Renate: I understand that. I saw many years ago a documentary about, I know you were born in Florence, I was visiting the Uffizi Gallery, full of great masters and I saw this documentary. They were talking about this phenomenon which happens in this gallery not to everybody but quite a few people start getting lost…
Shakti: Ah yes, Stendhal Syndrome
Renate: They walk around, they don’t know who they are, where they are. Finally, they sit down, are collected and taken to the mental hospital till they get sober again (laughing)
Shakti: That’s extreme (smiling). I met one of them, a person that happened to. He was in front of the Botticelli paining the ‘The Primavera’, ‘The springtime’. The room in which this painting is, is very wide and there is if I remember well there is a little painting of Leonardo on one side, this big Botticelli painting, one side is the birth of Venus Aphrodite. On the other is the Springtime of Botticelli, and you are bombarded with beauty. If you’re very sensitive but not very steady in the emptiness you get maybe swept away but it’s extreme. Certain people that are extremely sensitive to beauty can be ravished by the beauty of life. It’s a nice way to die isn’t it? (laughing)
Renate: Yes (laughing). Ok, Shakti we have come to an end
Shakti: Yes, thank you, it’s been fun
Renate: It was very nice talking to you. I’m looking forward to your next step
Shakti: Let’s see what happens. I’ll tell you. Nowadays I’m interested in this, how you become you, how you let the individuality blossom
Renate: How to be yourself
Shakti: Yes, that’s so important you know. I think this is something very important for people who are not interested in spirituality, consciously
Shakti: Because everybody wants to be themselves
Renate: Of course
Shakti: But behind that there is spirituality
Renate: Thank you Shakti. Thank you for watching Conscious Tv and I’ll see you again soon
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