Table of Contents

The world, aka Leela

I am the world. In The Secret Alan Watts works on gently sabotaging my preconceptions about what is me and what isn't. He invites me to see myself as a particular manifestation of everything that is: not as lonely isolated individual but as the whole world manifesting itself as me. Just like a wave is not really a thing in itself so much as it's the whole ocean waving. I love his gentle way of puncturing my preconceptions. He's been a key figure in my spiritual path from way back when. I am the world was one of many baffling koans Leela gave me to chew on and struggle with, long before I even knew her name. Another Watts video helped me come to see my own internal authority as the voice of Leela.

My friend. I see the world as Leela. Not because I believe in some invisible female mythic entity (I do not), but because my body, my own internal authority led me to the story of Leela and that story has a very deep ring of truth for me. The story of Leela portrays the world as a game everyone is playing. Like all games it shouldn't be taken too seriously. We aren't really these characters we're portraying. We're just actors who have taken on these roles. The game is to see how well we can play the cards we hold in this particular life. The jackpot is a life of love and self realization. Winning the jackpot is relentlessly hard internal work and it requires an uncountable number of lifetimes. But it's possible. And the world will guide me, but only if I surrender to and love the world as it is. That vision of the world has transformed how the world feels to me. By aligning myself with the world as it is I've made the world my ally, my friend. Everything in my world conspires to help me make progress. This is no easy street; making progress is never comfortable. But it's profoundly satisfying. Life is so rich, so strange, so deep.

Humans created god. It's comically obvious: god is a human creation, created differently in each language and culture to suit the needs of the god creators. The world doesn't need a creator. Why make one up? The world just is. God is a human creation, an abstraction we made up to fill a fearful void: a world that was never created. That makes our thinking run for refuge in an imaginary god. Our thinking fixates on abstractions, looking for comfort, looking for answers. But abstractions are just empty words about words. They offer cold comfort in a world that feels hostile, unfair, and insane. Only the spiritual quest, the ongoing hard work of making progress with love offers real comfort. Only that makes the world make sense.

How I came to love the world. For most of my life I didn't love the world as it is. I wanted it to be different. But if I don't love someone the way they are it's a bad idea for me to be in a relationship with them, right? Maybe she'll mellow out or He's rough but I think can fix him are recipes for disaster, right? Instead of trying to change the world I slowly learned how to surrender to Leela, to the world as it is. Surrendering to Leela changed me, it put me on her side. Which feels the same as the world being on my side. Falling in love with the world as it is made it possible for the world to love me back. Now I love the world just the way it is, which is actually the only way anyone can love anyone or anything. The one I see in front of me is the only one I get. And this is the only world there is to love.