Claudio Naranjo

excerpt from the first edition of Harish Joari’s book: “Leela - The game of Self-Knowledge”, (Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc. New York, 1975):

Spiritual traditions and individual explorers of different lands and times have sought to map the states of the inner journey. The cabalistic “tree of life”, the ten bhumis of the Bodhisattva path, the seven valleys of which Farid Uddin Attar speaks in the Conference of the Birds, the succession of a ninefold hell, Purgatory and Paradise as in Dante, St. John of the Cross’s Ascent of Mont Carmel, and many others are instances of such an attempt to spell out one aspect or another of the complex structure of man’s inner world. The pattern of Leela belongs among these.

Harish Joari

excerpt from “Leela - The game of Self-Knowledge, (Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc. New York, 1975):

Just as one drop of water contains all the elements present in the ocean which was its source, so too is human consciousness, a microcosmic manifestation of Universal Consciousness. All that man can ever know already exists as a potential within himself.

To understand the phenomenal world we must become scientists of the self, exploring the organizations of our own consciousness. It is here the game of Leela serves its highest purpose. For it is a map of the self, the playing ground of the One-Become-Many.

In the game of Leela the need is understanding, the knowledge of how and where the player is experiencing at a given moment.

Our state of being is more important than the circumstances around us: change your state of being and you can alter your circumstances.

The Leela game allows you to see your life as an expression of the macrocosm within your microcosm, as the drama of all the cosmic forces until eventually you reach liberation at square number 68, reaching cosmic consciousness, just like a water droplet merges with the deep ocean. Water droplets are part of the ocean and when they realise there is no separation they realise that they are part of the sacred causal ocean called Life, the unity Consciousness.

In the game of Leela we throw a karmic dice and this shows us our level of evolutionary involution within the self as the dice lands on a particular square. So the game teaches us a lot about ourselves and it does eventually teach us that there is unity in diversity…

Graciela Cohen

excerpt from “Lilah, el gran juego - psicologia de los budas”:

I understood, based on the orientation given by Fritz Perls, father of the Gestalt Approach, that searching for completeness means that, together with the choices to realize the world, we put into action the natural tendency of living matter to configure itself , absorbing the miracle of transformation.

In short, Fritz Perls said: The gestalt is as old as the world”. He was referring to the spontaneous wisdom of the living organism that, despite experiencing the feeling of separation, gives us the basis to activate a tendency of human nature to enter into conscious processes that lead us to encounter wholeness.

When in special moments we manage to unite these two searches, we can say that we are integrated.

Along with understanding that we have the ability to complete ourselves and be aware of our perceptions, we know two things: on the one hand that there are large areas of life that remain in darkness and on the other, many of our processes are interrupted, generating multiplicities of unfinished situations with which we coexist.

Thus we find an evident reason for our feeling of dis-ease. Within the Leela-Cosmos for these unaccomplished situations we have the Sanskrit word Karma.

Asking ourselves how we got to this turmoil and finding some answers can help us make our journey as this is precisely the point where we offer the Leela Game as a healing tool, a kind of practice in Buddhist Psychology.

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda:

In a film, the same beam of light reproduces both good and bad characters on the screen; they are only images of shadow and light. Although they appear to be real, in fact they are only real for sight and hearing. The film of the 'cosmic dream' is 'true' not only for these two human senses, but for all five. The universe itself is just a projection of shadows and lights. Everything is produced by God who not only shows a true film for the five human senses, but writes the script, directs, plays all the characters, composes and performs the soundtrack and also provides the audience.
 

Claudio Naranjo

excerpt from Cosas que vengo diciendo, Ed. La Llave, Barcelona, 2015:

We could say that the multidimensional world of our experiences is something like a film that absorbs our attention, as if it were reality, even if it is made up of a single ingredient: the projector’s light. We can commonly see the things that light illuminates, but only through contemplative experience can the mind perceive its own inner light.

Excerpt from “Sanar las mentes para arreglar el mundo - ensayos psico-espirituales”, Penguin Random House grupo editorial, 2019:

Could it be that deep down we are all "called" because it is the human condition of being directed towards something that transcends the merely human?

Excerpt from “Cosas que vengo diciendo” , Ed. La Llave, Barcelona, 2015:

As the meditator finally becomes disinterested in the carousel of his thoughts, his task is to perceive that background of the mind from which the thoughts emerge, and typically finds nothing.

I think an image from physics can be inspiring for this sign change in the experience of emptiness.

David Bohm speculates on an "implied reality", of which the world we perceive is something like a display.

We think of space as empty, but Bohm says that we can also think of it as those crystals whose perfection makes them almost invisible. A glass can be so transparent that we only see certain irregularities on its surface. Just as only these imperfections obstruct the light, making them visible, we can conceive that the universe itself is an irregularity on the surface of space, a space full of energy, despite its apparent emptiness.

Whatever the validity of the aforementioned approach in physics, it seems to me a rich metaphor, potentially inspiring, in reference to that inner space in which the various types of mental phenomena occur a space that is pure subjectivity or cognition, of which nothing can be said, precisely because it transcends the conceptual sphere through which we know both the external and the internal world; and which, nevertheless, is the insubstantial substance (from sub-stare) of the one and the other.

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

excerpt from “It’s up to you”, Shambala Publications, 2006, pag. 12:

When we understand that nothing exists independently, everything that does arise seems more dreamlike and less threatening. Because the nature of everything is emptiness, we can relax and enjoy the show.

Chogyam Trungpa

excerpt from Meditation in Action”, Shambala Publications, 2010:

One must not blame one’s surroundings, one must not blame people, one must not blame external conditions, but without trying to change anything, just step in and try to observe. That is real contemplation on a subject. And when one is able to overcome the romantic and emotional attitude, one discovers truth even in the kitchen sink. So the whole point is not to reject but to make use of that very moment, whatever the situation may be, and accept it, and respect it.

Tarthang Tulku

Excerpt from “Revelaciones de la mente”, Ed. La Llave, Barcellona, 2020:

Yesterday we could have felt as if we were in the infernal realms; maybe today we find ourselves in a happier place. Tomorrow maybe in a different place. The mind enables access to all realms accessible through human experience, from frozen and burning hells to heavenly realms of continual delight.

(…) as the experience comes through the mind, the aroma and the quality of our experience will depend to a great extent on the way in which we use our minds. Identity, labeling, validation, and interpretation make up the mental regime that structures the experience, and this regime is the reason we have problems. The way we observe and relate to this regimen has important implications for all aspects of life.

Excerpt from "Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga - A complete guide to health & wellbeing", Dharma Publishing, 1978

Every action we take, affects the whole universe, just as every wave affects the shore.

Excerpt from “Hidden Mind of Freedom”, Dharma Pub, 1981
"Once we truly understand that our waking experience is dreamlike, we no longer have to treat life as a serious problem".

 

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

excerpt fromEnlightened Courage”, Shambala Publications, 2006:

The outer universe —the earth, stones, mountains, rocks, and cliffs— seems to be permanent and stable, like the city built of concrete. In fact there is nothing solid to it at all; it is nothing but a city of dreams.

Shunriu Suzuki-roshi

excerpt from “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”, Weatherhill, Inc., New York, 1970:

If your mind is related to something outside itself, that mind is a small mind, a limited mind. If your mind is not related to anything else, then there is no dualistic understand- ing in the activity of your mind. You understand activity as just waves of your mind. Big mind experiences everything within itself. Do you understand the difference between the two minds: the mind which includes everything, and the mind which is related to something?

Idries Shah

excerpt fromThe Commanding Self”, The Octagon Press, London, 1994:

Everyone has the compulsive habit of relating everything that comes into his mind with as many other things as the pattern of his thoughts allows. You can interpret what is happening to you in any way you like, or in any way you need.

Among us, the variety and parabolic nature of the impact is so arranged as to address itself to parts of the consciousness which are least conditioned to automatism. You can, however, interpret the phenomenon in accordance with whatever pattern of thought you are dependent upon.

For instance, various schools of psychology will provide you with tailor-made frames of reference through which you can account for the process.

If you need the protection and reassurance of such a system, you will find it in that system.

excerpt from "Seekers After Truth" (London: Octagon Press, 1982), p. 33

The fundamental mistake that most people make is “To think that we are alive, when we have merely fallen asleep in life’s waiting room”.

Sri Prem Baba

I like to look at life and the soul's journey through the metaphor of a game. The game begins at birth and ends with enlightenment, mahasamadhi. You move within a board game that has many houses, each representing a lesson to be integrated. By taking in the learning, you gain access to the next house. Sometimes you need to go back and review some lessons depending on how you react with your thoughts, words and actions. You may also do this review if you have trouble absorbing a teaching. It’s important to know what house you are in, or what lesson life is offering you at that moment. This awareness helps you move more easily through the board game.

Life on Earth can be compared to a board game. It is as if we are moving on a board that has countless houses. Each house represents a certain purification and learning. When we absorb the learning of a particular house, we have the chance to roll the dice again so that we can continue moving along in the game. A house may have one or more rooms; some are simpler, others are more complex. There is the house of relationships, the house of family, sexuality, surrender and the house of purpose. Whatever your point of inner work is at the moment, that is your present house. Where are you? What house are you in?

It is true and absolutely curious that most human beings do not reveal their Divine potential. There are many factors that either favor or disfavour the awakening of this potential. But we can say that the process of development, or the awakening of this potential, is like a journey from the false to the real. From the idea of who we are to what we are. From a dormant state of consciousness, where we dream a dream of lust, of attachment, to an awakened state, a state of presence and willingness.

And by awakening our consciousness we are able to create some space for compassion. In this way, it is naturally possible to regain the confidence that everything is fine. That it’s nothing but a lila, God's game of love being played.

“You learn with ups and downs. When you can observe that you are going up or that you are going down, when you develop an observing center, that's when your ascension begins. The perception of what is happening to you is what promotes ascension. This awareness grows to the point where it goes beyond the veils of Maya so that you can experience reality.”

Stanislav Grof

excerpt from the book “The Cosmic Game: Explorations in the Frontiers of Human Consciousness”:

Other important dimensions of the creative process that are frequently highlighted are the playful character, the joyfulness and cosmic humor of the Creator. These are elements that have been very well described in ancient Hindu texts, which speak of the universe and existence as Leela, or Divine Game. According to this view, creation is an intricate and infinitely complex cosmic work that God, Brahman, creates out of and within himself. He is the author who has conceived the play, as well as its producer, director and also all the actors who play the multitude of roles in it. This great cosmic work of art is represented in many dimensions, on many levels and on unimaginable scales.

It could be possible that only the basic parameters of creation (and individual life) are clearly defined, but that the detailed end result remains unpredictable even to the Divine. This latest model of the cosmic work can be compared to a kaleidoscope or a game of chess. The inventor of the kaleidoscope obviously realized that rotating the tube containing the specially arranged mirrors and coloured glass pieces would produce beautiful changing image patterns. However, he surely could not have foreseen all the specific constellations and combinations that might arise when someone looked through him. Similarly, the inventor of chess could see the general potential of a game played on a board of 64 black and white squares with figures that have defined functions and movements. But it would have been absolutely out of the question to anticipate all the infinite possibilities of the concrete situations to which the game of chess could lead. Naturally, the complexity of creation is infinitely greater than that of kaleidoscope or chess. Although the intelligence of the Absolute Consciousness is immense, it is conceivable that the development of the cosmic work may be beyond its control and can provide real surprises.

This is intimately connected with the question of our own role in the cosmic work. If the universal script were written by the Divine in all its details, it would not leave us as individual actors any possibility of active and creative participation. The best we can do is wake up to the fact that in the past our life has not been authentic because we have not been well informed of the fundamental aspects of existence and of our own nature. However, if some results are unpredictable even for the Divine, various undesirable tendencies may require our help. In that case, we really could become true active players and helpful collaborators of Absolute Consciousness in the divine game.

Eckhart Tolle

excerpt from the book “The power of now”:

Sin (unconsciousness or insanity) is the suffering you unconsciously inflict on yourself and others as long as this illusory sense of self governs what you think, say, and do (…) The ego needs problems, conflict, and "enemies" to strengthen the sense of separateness on which its identity depends.

Excerpt from the book “A new earth”:

To awaken within the dream is our purpose now. When we are awake within the dream, the ego-created earth-drama comes to an end and a more benign and wondrous dream arises.

Fritjof Capra

excerpt from the book “The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism":

The fundamental recurring theme throughout Hindu mythology is the creation of the world through God's sacrifice of himself "sacrifice" in the original sense of "making himself sacred”— by which God becomes the world, which eventually becomes God again. This creative activity of the Divine is called Leela, the game of God, and the world is considered the setting in which the divine game takes place (...) Leela is a rhythmic work that continues in endless cycles, the One becoming many and the many returning to be One

Swami Muktananda

excerpt from the book “Play of Consciousness”:

All the scriptures declare this same principle: The Absolute is Satchidananda —Being, Consciousness and Bliss. The world, which is born from the Absolute, is not different from It. All these appearances —“I”, “you”, “this”— are simply His play. Identity appearing in diversity, diversity appearing in identity — all this is the Lord. This is the true principle. Just as the innumerable drops, foam, bubbles, and waves of the ocean are in no way different from the ocean, so all the names, forms and qualities of the universe are nothing other than Chiti. This world, which is full of Consciousness and is the body of Chiti at play, is no different from you, as the cool touch of water is no different from water.

The universe is the play of its Creator; it is the play of the universal Consciousness.

Walter Evans-Wentz,

excerpt from "Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines" (London: Oxford University Press, 1935), p. 222:

A final step brings the yogi to "the Great Realization" that nothing within the experience of his mind "can be other than unreal like dreams." In this light, "the Universal Creation ... and every phenomenal thing therein" are seen to be "but the content of the Supreme Dream."

Thich Nhat Hanh

excerpt from the bookThe Diamond that Cuts through Illusion”:

A real question already contains the answer. If we ask what gave rise to the Cosmos?, we cannot find an answer, because we have not asked a real question. The question contains in itself the assumption that the Cosmos is due to a single cause, while there is not a single phenomenon that is due to a single cause. Everything is generated by an innumerable series of causes. In a flower we can find the soil, the clouds, the fertilizer, the conscience, the rain, the sun ...

Robert K. Hall

excerpt from the book “Buddha now!”:

Who you are is the awareness of what it is you’re noticing, not the thing itself. You are the awareness of your opinion. You are the awareness of your thoughts. You are the awareness of the feelings inside you (…) Awareness is open and free. Awareness has no opinions, it is no judgmental; it’s totally impersonal. Nothing that has happened to you is personal at all.

Don Juan Matus

said that (quoted by Ramon Ruiz) in the universe there is an immeasurable and indescribable force that shamans call "intent" and that absolutely everything that exists in the cosmos is connected, bound to that force by that connecting link. Therefore, the total interest of shamans is to delineate, understand and use such a bond, especially to cleanse it of the harmful effects of the worries of everyday life. He said that at this level, shamanism could be defined as the process of cleansing our bond with the intent.

Keep in mind the similarity between the Yaqui conception of the Universe expressed by Don Juan, the Eastern cosmovision and quantum physics. In this sense, yoga would be a practice to "cleanse our bond with the intent" and thus obtain Unitive Wisdom.

"Leela" is then the cosmic energy set in motion which, flowing incessantly, generates forms, universes, realities. It is what Fritjof Capra calls the "Cosmic Dance", and in that sense all the "reality" in which we find ourselves immersed is a manifestation, a "game" of Brahman or Energy.

Osho

excerpt from the bookZarathustra: The Laughing Prophet”:

One of the fundamental things that those who are in search of a direction, of a meaning, a path, in search of themselves, must understand is that they will have to become travellers. They cannot remain static, they have to learn to be a process, rather than an event. Man is the only being on Earth, perhaps in the entire Universe, who can become a process, a movement, a growth. He not only grow old but grow to new levels of consciousness, to new states of "realizing", to new spaces of experience.

Richard Alpert (Ram Dass)

I’m certain characteristics, a program that is manifesting by taking a human birth. I’ve taken a birth in a body and that body has a personality and I’m going through a set of experiences which is called living life and these experiences have a certain function: these experiences if used consciously and intentionally by me are vehicles through which I can awaken to who I am in truth.

Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

Sometimes, you go climbing in the mountains. You must have noticed that it is the rough edges of the rocks that enable you to climb. How could you do so if the rocks were smooth? So, why is it that you fail to apply what you know about rock-climbing to this great journey called life that is much more meaningful? Why do you want your life to be smooth, and free of rough edges? In such conditions, you will never reach the top, and more importantly, you will tumble on your way down!

Luckily for you, life is full of rough spots, and it is thanks to them that you are still alive. So, do not complain about obstacles, inconveniences, and enemies: without them, you would have nothing to hold on to in order to climb. People who want an easy, peaceful, opulent life, do not realize that in reality, they are asking for their downfall. Fortunately, heaven does not listen to them, it knows what they need in order to progress.

A.R. Orage

excerpt from "Psychological Exercises" (New York: Samuel Weiser, 1930), p. 92

The truth is that just as in night-dreams the first symptom of waking is to suspect that one is dreaming, the first symptom of waking from the waking state (the second awaking of religion) is the suspicion that our present waking state is dreaming likewise. To be aware that we are only partially awake is the first condition of becoming and making ourselves more fully awake.

Friedrich Nietzsche

excerpt from “The Gay Science”

This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live it again and again countless times, and there will never be anything new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and every unspeakable little and great thing in your life will have to return to you, and all in the same sequence and succession (…). The eternal hourglass of existence is always overturned again —and you with it, speck of dust!”.

G.I. Gurdjieff

excerpt from “P.D. Ouspensky - In search of the miraculous - Fragments of an unknown teaching":

The chief method of self-study is self-observation. Without properly applied self­ observation a man will never understand the connection and the correlation between the various functions of his machine, will never understand how and why on each separate occasion everything in him 'happens.'

E.J. Gold

excerpt from “Practical Work on Self” - Gateways Books & Tapes, 1989:

Maya is often understood to mean that the world is an illusion. We must understand that it is not the world which is an illusion, but our identification with the phenomenal world, maintained by The Three Great Enemies (wandering attention, distractions and seductions).

Pema Gellek

Buddha taught that there are 84.000 different afflictions of mind. This means 84.000 different toxicities of mind that obscure our buddha nature.
Our emotional difficulties may be the tip of the iceberg but they are located where exactly we need to begin in order to remove the layers that obscure our full potential, our buddha nature.
Negative emotions are like portals showing us where to begin our inquiry.

Rumi

Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.

Carlos Castaneda

excerpt from“Tales of power”:

we are luminous beings. We are perceivers. We are an awareness; we are not objects; we have no solidity. We are boundless (…) We, or rather our reason, forget that the description is only a description and thus we entrap the totality of ourselves in a vicious circle from which we rarely emerge in our lifetime.

Max Planck

All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.

William Shakespeare

excerpt from“As you like it”:

All the world is a stage
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.