The Sanskrit word Lila loosely translated means “divine play.”
Play is one of those words we’ve done ourselves the great disservice of oversimplifying. We’ve let it become something we regard as childish, frivolous, un-serious.
Even if we appreciate the potential for enjoyment, it’s still treated as a luxury. It gets juxtaposed with work, which is important and productive. Often play serves only as relief or a distraction from work – assuming, of course, that we can find time. (Meanwhile, back in the real world…)
To me this is a symptom of spiritual imbalance.
I think of the Earth journey as the interplay of two realities: human and spirit. We are asked to consciously and constantly manage the relationship between the two.
In one reality, we have to make sure we can eat and pay the bills, and our time here is finite. At the same time, we are eternal light beings who are connected to each other and the entire Universe.
De-prioritizing (or rejecting) play is an indication that you have lost touch with one of these realities.
You have been consumed with your humanness and will continue to seek only Earth solutions to your struggles.
Over identification with this reality causes us to enter into competition mode. Here we are always striving to, at best, dominate others and our environment, and at worst survive and minimize pain. Even when we “succeed,” the achievement is still rooted in fear.
Let me quickly address two possible questions you might have at this point:
1) This does not mean that work, jobs, or achievements are bad. My point is that they become problematic when they lose the Yin to their Yang. Work can also be play.
2) Yes, we often make play into competition. To me this is a combining of the two realities. It is an adaptation of play; a hybrid.
Not everyone will agree with me here, but the way I see it, pure, authentic play exists for its own sake. It elevates all the participants and even improves the game itself.
That doesn’t mean it has no practical applications or useful outcomes, quite the contrary. But the more it emphasizes winners, losers, scores, champions, etc., the more we are taking it in the human direction – and I say this as a big sports fan.
Play is creative, energizing, and expansive. It allows us to experiment and explore ourselves and the world through a vehicle other than the egoic mind.
And it is a fantastic tool for infusing our human world with spirit.
Play is the interchange of all of the elements of our experience, constantly reimagining themselves in infinite combinations. It is Divinity discovering itself through us and by us.
If your spirit is prompting you to have a conversation about divine play, I encourage you to consider working with me.