Volume 1/Number 3 Third Quarter 1993

The Lila Paradigm

A New Understanding of Life and Everything

By Charles Berner

Copyright © 1992 by the Eternal Truth Foundation

Reprinted with their permission.

The Sanskrit word "lila" is composed of two roots: "li" meaning "the gods" and "la" meaning "to play or dance". Lila, the gods at play. The Lila paradigm is a way of looking at life and everything from a framework of gods being at play.
In the Lila paradigm, people are not thought of as humans, but as non-physical individuals with a human body. In the same way as an automobile owner has a car and drives it about looking out through the windscreen, a non-physical individual owns a human body and directs it about looking out through the body's eyes (and using its other senses). Like a soul or a god, what you really are is a non-physical individual using a human body through which to act and sense.

When the body dies, one, as a non-physical individual, separates from the dead body. At first one can see the body and the place around the body. Soon, one begins to leave the physical world by passing through a vortex of energy that dissolves into a vortex of space which dissolves in turn into the realm of the Mind, a kind of limbo. In this realm, one experiences both pleasant and unpleasant mental scenes, as in an unending dream. One has a choice to either accept those scenes as they are or to deny them. If one accepts those scenes, they dissolve into a realm of non-physical individuals like oneself. This is heaven. However, if one denies those scenes, one passes back through the vortices of space and energy into this physical world and one is reborn into an unclaimed human body, usually into a baby body just before, during, or just after its birth.

One's mind, which is brought back with one from the realm of the Mind ("limbo"), then interpenetrates the brain of one's newly acquired body. The structural patterns in one's mind help to direct the connecting and reconnecting of the neurons in the body's brain over the next months. This interpenetration and the mind-directed brain structuring give one the feeling that the body is one's own, or even that the body is one's self.

A non-physical individual is not helpless. One can choose, of one's own initiative, whether to know (accept) or not know (deny) each of the other non-physical individuals. Knowing another does not mean being conscious of another's body. It means knowing that that other is a non-physical individual that also makes choices.

There are a large number of us (non-physical individuals), many of whom do not have human bodies on Earth. Most of us are choosing to know (accept) only one or two others as non-physical individuals and are choosing to not know (deny) that the rest have the power of choice. By each of us knowing (accepting) one or two others as non-physical individuals and not knowing (denying) the rest, a network is formed.

A network of non-physical individuals knowing and not knowing each other.

Each letter in the diagram represents a non-physical individual and each arrow represents a choice by the individual from which the arrow originates to know the individual at which the arrow terminates. This diagram has only twenty-six non-physical individuals. Calculations show there are about one-hundred-thirty-eight sextillion (just over 1.38 x 1023) of us.

Even though each non-physical individual only knows, on average, one or two others, each one of those also knows one or two others, and so on; therefore, through knowing other individuals who have knowledge of others, everyone indirectly knows everyone else. According to the Lila paradigm, to indirectly know someone else, which is to know another individual knowing someone else, is to be conscious of that someone else as a physical thing, as a unit of matter. Thus, in addition to knowing one or two others, everyone is also conscious of everyone as units of matter. Collectively these units of matter are the physical world. Units of matter connected by arrows into various patterns (forkings, circuits, etc.) are experienced by everyone as things endowed with energy in space and time, organized into planets, stars, galaxies, and living plants and animals, including human bodies.

We have transfigured each other into what appears to us to be the physical world. We are the gods who play by arbitrarily choosing to not know most others, and in the process we become conscious of them as the world by way of each other. This is the Lila paradigm.

We, as non-physical individuals, were not created; we create matter, time, space, thoughts, and consciousness. We are God in the plural sense (Elohim, in Hebrew).

If one wants to continue playing a game of alternate pleasure and pain, success and failure, one has only to keep the number of others that one is choosing to know directly (to divinely love) to one or two, or three at the most, and one will believe the others to be physical things without the power of choice. However, if one wants to be liberated from the illusion that the physical world is something other than us playing a giant game of peek-a-boo with each other, one should choose to directly know (love) many others, the more the better. One would still experience and be in the world, but one would not be trapped by it. One would know that the world is not the ultimate reality, but that we, as non-physical individuals, are the basis of life and everything. One would be in heaven on Earth; the state of bliss, freedom, and omniscience.

Lila Theory Basics

By Edrid

To the best of my knowledge, these are the core concepts that one will need to know to understand the Lila Theory. Some of them are taken verbatim from Charles Berner's writings. Others I've picked up here and there.

Key Data

The Nature of the Individual:

The Nature of Direct and Indirect Experience, Consciousness, Viewpoint, Matter, Space, and Time.

Imagine a three individual universe, with individuals A, B, and C. In the following discussion, "accepts" means for one to choose to accept that the other has the same capacity to choose as he has.

In this diagram, individual A accepts individual B and individual B accepts individual C, but individual A does notaccept individual C.

According to the Lila Theory, individual A experiences individual C indirectly by virtue of A's connection with B and B's connection with C. This is key.

In this sense, B serves as A's viewpoint from which A is conscious of C. A's indirect experience of C via B is his consciousness of C. This is the Lila definition of consciousness.

In this arrangement, A is identified with B.

A's denial of C's nature (C's capacity to choose) while also being related to C through his connection to B and B's connection to C results in C appearing to A to be an existing thing that does not have the capacity to choose. This is what matter is.

A and B, in a perfect relationship, do not have an attribute of separateness, but A and C do. The difference between A and C (the capacity to choose) is experienced as physical separation, space.

There exists the potential for A to accept C because C in truth does have the capacity to choose. When this occurs there is a "tick of the clock". This is time. The potential for change in relationship is the future.

Lila Workshop Exercises

by Edrid

These exercises were developed by Charles Berner from his meditations and from scripture. Monika Baker (Yogini) wrote them up in the Rainbow Bridge, an early Lila Theory journal. These are just a few of the exercises that have been used in Lila group work. Anyone doing these exercises is encouraged not to give up hastily, but to be persistent. For best results, read each step carefully and do precisely what it says.

The following two exercises should each be done for about 20 minutes:

Noticing From Where You Are Conscious

  1. Sit straight with your eyes open and stare at infinity, as would if you were day dreaming. Just have a blank stare.
  2. Now gradually ignore that your eyes are looking.
  3. Put your attention on the place from which you are conscious. (That place is probably in the center of your head.)
  4. Leave your eyes looking straight ahead and separate your attention from the gaze of your eyes. Try to put your attention on the place from which you are conscious.
  5. No matter what you are conscious of, try to notice from where you are conscious of it.
  6. Try to separate your attention from what you are conscious of.
  7. Keep your eyes steady (un-blinking if possible) and put your attention on that place from which you are conscious. If you fail, try again.

Noticing Where You Are Hearing From

For the next exercise, you need a reverberating sound source. Keep it simple -- a bell would be good, or an Indian musical instrument like a vena or sitar. Start the sound and have it continue with a simple repeating pattern.

  1. Sit with a straight back and with eyes closed, listen to the sound.
  2. Notice the sound with your right ear.
  3. Notice where you are noticing your right ear from.
  4. Try to hear the sound in that place.
  5. If you fail to achieve that, try again.
  6. Try to hear the sound from inside your head.

De-identification Exercise

In this next exercise, have someone read you the following instructions. After you have complied with each instruction, nod or say "OK" to request the next instruction on the list. Go as far down the list as you can. (Many people are not able to comply with the last few instructions.)

  1. Notice another in a body and look at him or her.
  2. Notice that the other is a different one than you.
  3. Notice that it appears that you are separate from the other.
  4. Notice yourself looking at the other.
  5. Notice the point from which you are looking.
  6. Notice that there appears to be no separation between you and the point from which you are looking.
  7. Notice that there is a difference between you and the point from which you are looking.
  8. Get the idea that this point is another.

My Experience with the Lila Theory

By Edrid

In September of 1988 I went to Australia to visit Charles Berner. I was curious to see what effect years of Sahaj Yog had on him. Everyone in the community seemed to be very excited about the Lila Theory. I was curious and asked a lot of questions. Yogi and Yogini were especially helpful. We had long discussions and they loaded me down with lots of written material to take back to the States. When I returned I read the material over and over with a kind of fascination. Later I subscribed to the Lila journal, the Rainbow Bridge, which provided a wealth of new information.

I was so open to the theory I went into some sort of obsessive preoccupation with it for about six months, thinking of almost nothing else. During that time I struggled with many different issues that came up in my mind and I practically drove myself nuts. I had taken a sabbatical from work so I had plenty of free time. I read about 25 books on quantum physics and cosmology since the Lila theory deals a lot with physics. I even set up a computer mail link with Mahesha (Doug Seeley) in Australia so my friends and I could get Lila-related questions answered. I attended Lila workshops held by Skanda, Yogi and Yogini, and Doug Seeley and later with Maharishi (Jack Wexler) here in California and I ran a few of my own shortly thereafter.

Then one day I sort of freaked out and threw it all away. I couldn't stand the "mentalness" of it all. I vowed not to think about it or anything else ever again.

After a few weeks, though, I noticed that the Lila perspective had become a part of me and I was understanding a lot about life through it. I began to see the Lila principles echoed and reflected on many different levels, like some sort of magic vision. In addition, I noticed I was in a remarkably different relationship to others, much more willing to accept them just as they are.

During this time I found that not many people wanted to work with the theory. A number of people said they didn't want to deal with physics, science, or "mental" things, and I expect some of this came from how badly these subjects are handled in our public schools. Also, these people were focused on other kinds of issues. In the last year or so, the quantum physics aspect of the Lila Theory has been presented less and less. Now the emphasis seems to be on its being a metaphysical basis for a broad understanding of Life and its practice includes rehabilitating one's capacity to make choices and one's accepting others' choices. For some, living the Lila Theory is the same as the practice of Natural Meditation (Sahaj Yoga).

The Lila Theory, as it stands now, may not be completely "right". It is new, so new that it is still undergoing some pretty basic changes as it unfolds. And it is still incomplete. There are big gaps, at least for me, and I think it will be a long time before these gaps are filled. I'm told Charles remarked that he thought people would be working on it for a hundred years! At this point I'm not trying to "believe" it because it is still changing, and it's really embarrassing to believe in what someone says and then have them change it.

I have noticed that part of what the Lila Theory does is transmit to students a kind of contemplative process that Charles Berner does in his practice. It is both a meditation technique and a theory of Life. In order to understand Lila, you have to change the way you think. If you don't, it is just an intellectual exercise.

What sets the Lila Paradigm apart from many other metaphysical systems is its congruency with current scientific thought. By just selecting a number for how many individuals exist in the universe and analyzing the evolution of the natural and spontaneous patterns of relationship using a standard statistical analysis tool (called "directed graph theory") they say that they obtain many of the fundamental physical values that have been measured by scientists, and to a very high degree of accuracy.

In addition, many confusing things in science can be explained by the Lila Theory. What things? Let me end this little essay with a quote from "A New Paradigm For Science", written by Charles Berner and John Lucas:

What can be explained by the Lila Theory: what creation and illusion are; what a quantum is; what matter, time, space, energy, and mass are; what the mechanism of (Big Bang) inflation is; what a graviton is; what fermions and bosons are; what spin, charge and 'color' are; what the process of particle decay is; what electrons, quarks and the various bosons are; what a field is; what order and entropy are; what the strong, electro-weak, and gravitational forces are; what motion and electromagnetic radiation are; what quantum inter-connectedness is; how solving the observer problem completes the quantum theory; what the mechanism is that organizes the cosmos quickly into stars, galaxies, groups of galaxies etc.; what biological life is and the mechanism by which it is organized; how, in principle, all physical constants, energies and masses can be calculated; why Newton's Laws of Motion are the way they are; what the connective concepts AND, OR, and PLUS are; why the rules of logic, mathematics, and semantics are what they are; what direct knowingness, consciousness, comparing, thinking, psychological identification, memory, personality, and mind are; who and what we are, and what the purpose of life and the universe is. The Lila Paradigm also provides the basis for understanding mythology, theology, mysticism, and even political science! Perhaps the most important contribution the new paradigm makes is that personal growth and individual fulfillment are recognized as central to life. The process of the restoration of the natural condition of individual entities is growth -- leading to fulfillment.

Choice, Will, Transformation and the Enlightenment Intensive

By Satyavati

The value of direct experience is without limits and is important beyond human grasp. It is the direct link to the spiritual essence of the true meaning of life. To know the Truth is to understand fulfillment in its most complete sense. The Enlightenment Intensive has given this opportunity to tens of thousands of people and will continue to do so for years and years. However, direct experience in itself is not enough to transform life outside the Intensive. People often find their lives after the intensive easily getting out of synchronization with what they have become conscious of during the Intensive. In the last two decades I have been continually perplexed by this dilemma, both as a participant and as a Master. The transformation possible in the Intensive was well documented, but the power of the transformation seemed short-lived.

The alternatives outside of Intensive life are many, but few enable the person to transform. Usually in an attempt to rectify this lack of basic change people begin to use their will to try to get in harmony with their spiritual experiences they had during the Intensive by complying with a higher standard of living, a code of ethics based, to some lesser or greater extent, on truth. However, the will is actually an act of suppression of the way things are rather than a transformation of one's state of being. When you use your will to obtain a higher state of relationship you are temporarily suspending what is stopping you from actually being in a higher state of relationship. This denial works for a while but eventually something has to give. Somewhere there will be a swing into the opposite, a 'letting go', or a 'giving up' or 'resignation'. The will goes out of control. This opposite is also temporary, as the desire for permanent Truth surfaces and we want to do the right thing, be the right way, so we pull ourselves together and use our will again. This endless cycle affords little chance of actually improving. Transformation becomes a very slow and arduous process.

For years I have wanted to bring the transformation process out of the Intensive and into life. In my work with the Lila theory, Sahaj Yoga and Mind Clearing, I became aware that the primary act that enables one in the Enlightenment Technique (or any growth technique for that matter) to directly experience the Truth is the conscious choice to be open to or accept the Truth of what is. The listening partner and the communication aspect of the technique work to support, inspire and guide the participant back into contemplation, but it is the contemplation and willingness to be open that allows for the direct experience. The Enlightenment Technique is not primarily a willful technique, but rather one based upon acceptance and surrender to the Truth. The key word here is conscious or chosen acceptance.

Life is made up of the combination of us all choosing to accept or deny each other. The one choice we have is to accept or deny that which is. In fact we are making choices all of the time to accept or deny. The difficulty lies in becoming conscious of the choices we are making involuntarily, and bringing those choices into the conscious realm, or the free choice realm. The situations we find ourselves in and the problems related to them in life, whether they are in relationships, work, parenting, finances, or spirituality, are created by our unconscious denials. These are not random problematic situations completely beyond our control, where we are fated to live out our days, but rather wholly dependent on our choosing to deny. By becoming conscious of your choices you increase your capacity to gain access to your own choice point and begin to take responsibility in your relationships to others. In other words, others and life circumstances do not cause you to deny. You choose that. The development of the choice point enables the transformation process to extend beyond the Intensive and into life.

The Choice, Will and Transformation workshops that I give are similar to the Enlightenment Intensive, but involve transformation in your individual life situations. The primary technique used sheds light on the choices one is already making. The choices are brought into the conscious realm and thus the individual is enabled to act out of free choice. This powerful technique and format is providing surprising results in creating an opportunity to transform one's life into a state beyond suppression and chaos to a life where actual fulfillment is possible.

Satya has been leading Enlightenment Intensives in Europe, Canada, Australia and the US for over 16 years. She is Co-director of the Dyad School of Enlightenment in the US and Australia. She has studied intensively with Charles Berner for over 22 years as an Enlightenment Master, Mind Clearer and student of Sahaj Yoga.

The Physical Universe, A Personal View

By Bill Savoie, Huntsville AL, April 14, 1993.

Just what is this stuff? Have you ever wondered? What is the nature of our experience? If you have a good handle on your mind, and can keep it from flipping you off, and you have some idea of how you use and 'need' a body, then you can approach the Physical Universe. I find it fascinating, a kind of opening the hood and looking at the engine.

Don't be surprised if you don't agree, or understand what I have found. In fact, in my opinion, the more you know about your physical universe, the more unique your view becomes. What would make me most happy, is for you to read my view, and write your own, and publish it here in 'Self and Other'. Until we have at least 300 well-documented systems of understanding the physical universe, we will continue to think there is a 'best' one. Diversity is not a mistake, but a root fundamental truth.

Now that I have rationalized my outlandish experience, I now offer, humbly as a God can, my knowledge.

1) Individual Existence is Binary. People have two basic ways of being (i.e., existing). They can be connected to others, or they can be in a state of freedom and un-reachable by others. This process does not require memory or even thoughts, or anything even approaching consciousness. This two state process is the bedrock of all life; one can make it no simpler. It is important that we start by stripping out all the complexity, so that we can bring in complexity, layer by layer, and see it build into an onion. At this level of simplicity, we don't even need a physical universe, that mistake is 'yet' to be made!

When I first experienced this, the physical universe just 'winked out', it went from three dimensions, to two dimensions, to a thin black horizontal line, and then the line collapsed, all this took place within just a few seconds. For about a half second, there was no physical universe, and then it all came back and I popped back into my body. Needless to say it was quite an experience. I tingled all over for about 40 minutes. It happened on the second day of an Intensive while working on 'What is Life?'

For me there are several profound repercussions of experiencing life without a need for a physical universe. Up until this experience, I always thought that once things got better between me and others I would experience a telepathic connection I could depend on. I use to think their isolation was a misunderstanding between us. Now I see freedom to be just as important as contact. These two states share equally in importance. From these two states, I can derive everything else! Computers use two states, and so do we! More about this later. For now let's concentrate on the very basics.

2) The individual is autonomous. The decision to be in contact with others or be in freedom is arbitrary. Later, after thoughts are generated, the individual may seem to lose this capacity and become dependent on others, but initially you are autonomous. Even though you think you are dependent, when the chips are down, you are still autonomous.

2.1) Communication is by choice. Each person can choose to break off the relationship at any time. There is no real way to force others to listen. If communication takes place at all, it is only with both people deciding to make it happen.

3) Creation of Thought: Unfortunately, people soon discover that they cannot be in contact without another person's 'help' since the other person can choose to be un-reachable, in a state of freedom. This 'pain' of wanting to be in relationship and not being connected creates 'objects'. These 'objects' are thoughts. Thoughts are not initially shared. Thoughts are the first layer of the onion. They are like shadows of connections with others.

3.1) Meaning of Thoughts: Thoughts have their meaning by the context under which they are created. The first thought is something like 'I want contact', the context of which attempts to negate the other's choice to be in a state of freedom. The second thought is something like 'I want contact now' which has the context of isolated persistence thereby creating time.

4) Creation of Time: The creation of thought starts the 'time' process. 'Time' is a recognition of sequential action. Note below: each letter is a quantum of time, but only after 'C' is it noticed:

A. Person One wants to be in contact with person Two and person Two also wants contact. No objects are created

B. Person One wants freedom (does not want contact) and person Two also wants freedom. No objects are created.

C. Person One wants contact, but person Two wants freedom. Person One chooses to deny person Two's choice and at least one object quantum is created. The act of denial of the other's choice creates an instant that person One experiences, but person Two does not. This denial is the creation of person One, and creates an un-experienced, un-communicated extra time quantum.

D. Person One is now experiencing time, no matter what person Two does. Only person One can accept person Two's choice, and drop the object and be free of time. Person Two can learn about the 'time' experience from person One, although it is not a direct experience of person Two.

4.1) Time is not a shared experience: Since time is the creation of each person as a result of being in a state of isolation and not wanting to be in isolation, it is not shared between two people. On a practical level, each of us can pass the time quickly or slowly depending on our circumstances as determined by us.

Now if you look back at what I have said, I have told you what all this stuff is, and I have told you how long it will last! Remember, each of us is required to make our own discoveries to be fully alive. I will tell you what I can, but use it with a big grain of salt, and don't let anyone fool you, even me.

Flying Dream

By Osha Reader, from a dream May 12, 1993

Not long ago a friend told me her daughter had asked, "Mommy, why didn't God make us fly?" In a dream last night, I remembered that S/he had, and I wanted to share it with you.

The secret was more than I could contain. Sitting with three childhood friends on a roof, I turned to them and said, "We can fly!" They looked doubtful. I reached out my arms and took off above the meadow, making great figure eight turns in the air. In bliss, I returned to where they sat, sure to have found my first flying companions. My friend said, "I'm afraid to fly with this body because I might fall and break a bone." I said, "It doesn't matter which body you fly with; it's the same freedom!" They were not ready. I decided to tell more people.

Near the ocean, I found myself in a ballroom full of strangers sitting along the walls playing cards. I moved around the center of the room, my heart pounding as large bouncing steps took me almost up to the high ceiling. I could hardly contain the excitement of what I was about to share. I said, "We can fly!" I soared up to the ceiling, making sweeping turns around the room. Never looking up, they continued with their card games. I was as if invisible. "How incredible, I thought, that so many could ignore this ecstatic possibility!"

I flew through a large doorway into a courtyard and landed beside a couple who were getting out of a sleeping bag. The man began working on a motorcycle. The woman looked at me and said, "I don't know how yet, but I want to try."

We walked out onto some rocks above the ocean and I said, "To fly, you need the intention to do it and the belief that you can." She nodded her understanding. "The energy for it comes from the heart, from love." She gave a little smile and I could see she was with me. I looked far out to the horizon and, stretching my arms toward my destination, took off into the sky, my heart bursting with freedom and joy. My friend was at my side.

On My Spiritual Process

By Dore' DeGray

I am not a great artist, athlete, musician or writer, but the inspiration in my life to live my life to the fullest seems to be "given" to me from a source beyond my ordinary reality. I often receive my breakthroughs and insights not while working and studying, but while in a state of relaxation -- daydreaming, taking a long hot bath, walking on the beach, etc.

I am "given" my inspirations while in a state of expanded awareness and peace. I receive information about what I need to do in my life while meditating, sometimes, over a period of months before it becomes clear. In these moments of clearness, I am in a state of peace and I am connected to my higher self. Often I am holding my daughter in my arms, looking at a beautiful sunset, or even in prayer. I have had moments in my life, particularly in crisis, when I have suddenly become aware of answers and solutions that were invisible to me before. I have experienced times when I acted beyond my ordinary level of wisdom, courage, and strength. I attribute these moments of expanded awareness to my higher self, and to my spiritual guidance.

I don't know what to call these moments of inspiration, other than it is a connection with the universe through my mind. I have a source of spiritual guidance that comes from within. This spiritual guidance is compassionate, gentle, loving, positive, and wise.

This process assists me in freeing my heart and expanding into greater potential while on my journey in this life time. I invite you to lift up your spirit by choosing joy, releasing struggle in your life, and opening your potential for personal power and spiritual transformation.

Attending the 13th Annual Enlightenment Intensive created an intense realization for me. The impact of the Intensive was so intense. The experience was for me, and I was not focused on others. I was aware of everything within me. I was able to accept and understand my breakthroughs. I am an insightful person. This is just the way I am. It is my nature. At the Intensive I was conscious of being in a state of expanded awareness. I received information while meditating that was a turning point in my life. For seven months now I have been driven in a positive direction.

In Beauty, I Walk

by Chantal Hartelius

Every time I walked out among the redwood trees, wrapped in silent fog, I felt a profound spiritual peace. This was Jeff Love's Annual Intensive in the fall of 1991. But after a while of being charmed by "The peace that passeth all understanding," my heart grew restless again. "O.K., now what's next?".

Then one morning, I was working in a dyad with Edrid on the question, "What is Life?" and I sensed a pleasant lighthearted connection with him. Right afterwards I came out for the walking contemplation. The sun had kissed good-bye to the fog and my legs felt like dancing a jig. So I was walking down the road without a care in the world--not even for my question! As I passed Edrid, who was leaning against a car in self absorption, I felt a wave of love and gratitude towards him. After my eyes returned to the road, my mouth opened in awe at what I was seeing, and my mind intoned a silent mantra: "This is BEAUTIFUL! This is BEAUTIFUL!"

Skanda's description of Enlightenment flashed back to me as "stepping into a totally different world." I thought I must have stumbled into Heaven! I don't remember experiencing anything quite like it before. The trees, the people, everything still looked the same as usual, but my mouth remained agape and I kept chanting to myself, "This is beautiful...this is beautiful..."

As I walked under that spell, I noticed that my body felt in perfect balance inside, as if it was made of space instead of matter. I realized it must be this state of energetical harmony that was arousing the perception of awesome beauty outside. Not only did I see Beauty, but I also noticed a total absence of fear as I passed each participant.

But soon I was slowly walking towards a man I knew from a previous Intensive, and who I often fancied to be judging me. As he returned my gaze, a small contraction formed in my stomach while the rest of my body remained fluid and balanced. As we walked away from each other, the contraction of fear was swallowed up again by the feeling of spaciousness.

Then I thought, "Let's see if this experience remains the same in the cool shade, since I am always rebuffed by darkness or cold." But as I stepped into the dampness of the redwoods, I was still witnessing the same quality of transparency, of freedom from tension or effort, in the space that I used to call "my body."

As I reached the end of the road, I felt as I was walking under the nave of a cathedral. My heart reopened to the idea of "God" instead of an impersonal Truth, and an ancient devotion flowed out, mixed with a poignant sadness for not having allowed these tender feelings to surface for such a long time.

"Five minutes 'till the next dyad!" called the monitor. I shed a few tears, hugged a tree, and returned inside to share the Beauty.

Relationship: The Oneness of Two

Letter From A Reader

With this letter I symbolically break a bottle of champagne over the top left hand corner of the first "Self and Other". Fantastic, the radio is playing "Fanfare for the Common Man" by Aaron Copland; it could not be better. Sitting at my kitchen table located in Huntsville Alabama, I am transported to a spiritual universal "here" connected by bliss to all your readers, both now and in the future, a singularity outside of time and space. Knocks me down, I am smothered in Bliss.

Bill Savoie, 3-3-93.

Editor's Column

By Edrid

This issue features the Lila Theory, also called the Lila Paradigm or the Lila Model. We all have a model of life that we work from, either conscious or not. Here is one that is laid out in deep detail, although frankly we can't do it justice in this little newsletter. Charles Berner and some others are writing the books now. I don't know when they will be available.

This is the kind of material that one has to read slowly. If it seems too "intellectual", well, you're not alone in that -- that's the way it is. It is certainly more mental than, say, directly opening your heart to God, but if it sinks in, it goes to the same place, and takes the mind with it. It is a great creation, at least in my estimation.

The Lila Theory presents some new ways of looking at some old truths and explains things in a new way. It is still cooking; it isn't finished yet and will continue to evolve for some time. New workshops and practices will emerge based on its unique perspective. Time will tell...

What makes this newsletter work is you sending in your articles and stories. DO IT! We especially want to see your enlightenment experiences or spiritual experiences that have changed your life. Also, what works for you? What doesn't work? Write it up and send it in.

And all you masters and workshop leaders -- let me know about your plans so I can put them in the next newsletter.