Lila here and now

Lila or Leela can be loosely translated as the “divine play”. […] Within non-dualism, Lila is a way of describing all reality, including the cosmos, as the outcome of creative play by the divine absolute (Brahman).

Wikipedia article on lila

Any map, cosmology, and idea about the world reflect what’s here and now.

So what about lila – the play of the divine? Can I find that here and now?

What is lila?

Lila refers to the divine – or reality, existence, the universe – exploring, expressing, and experiencing itself in always new ways through and as all of existence. A thought, a feeling, an insight, a painting, a leaf, the ocean, an ecosystem, this living and evolving planet, the evolution of this universe, and so on, are all lila, the play of existence.

Can I find it here?

When we find ourselves as capacity for the world, we notice that all our experiences happen within and as what we are. And that means that lila, too, is right here.

Said another way, lila is a projection of what’s here onto the rest of existence. We know it from here, and imagine it on all of existence.

It doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It does look like lila happens here in and as us and also in and as existence as a whole.

Ways of understanding lila

We can understand lila in a few different ways.

To ourselves, we are consciousness, and all our experiences happen within and as consciousness, so all seems like consciousness to us. That means it’s easy to imagine all of existence as consciousness, and from there it’s a small step to call it the divine or Spirit. And say that all of existence is the play of the divine, Spirit, Big Mind, Brahman, or whatever similar label we would like to use.

We can also say that lila is the play of existence, life, or the universe, and this is something that can fit just about any worldview. This universe and all we know – including our thoughts, feelings, and experiences – can be seen as the metaphoric play of life, existence, and the universe. It’s all the universe metaphorically exploring itself in all of these ways.

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