"The undisturbed state of being is bliss; the disturbed state is what appears as the world. In non-duality there is bliss; in duality - experience. What comes and goes is experience with the duality of pain and pleasure. Bliss is not to be known. One is always bliss, but never blissful. Bliss is not an attitude."
-- Sri Nisargadatta --
When finally confronted directly by the Pharisees who demanded to be shown "where" the "kingdom of God" might be found, Jesus (who always couched his public teachings in parables) replied:
"The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."The state of enlightenment, thus seems to be an inner state of consciousness and being and not a system, attitude or way of thinking. "Peace," Kahlil Gibran observed, "is an oasis in the heart that can never be reached by the caravan of thinking." It is thus, incumbent upon the true spiritual seeker to go deeply within him or herself if the blissful state of pure Being is to be found. It is, as Nisargadatta observes, beyond the duality of the world which is created by the small "self" of the ego, and its egoic mode of thinking.
Interestingly, however, when this state of inner Bliss is achieved, it seems to change one's realization of what the world and its outer forms are. Thus, in the Gospel of Thomas (which has been continually used by the Coptic, Syriac and Nestorian, but not the Catholic or Orthodox churches) Jesus' confrontation with the Pharisees is echoed. This time, however, in response to an enquiry from his disciples asking, when the "the kingdom" will come, Jesus answers:
"It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'here it is' or 'there it is.' Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."
["The Nag Hammadi Library," Gospel of Thomas, verses 113-114.]
"If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."It is only by coming to known one's true "Self," rather than the false, smaller "self" of the ego, that one realizes the bliss state of one's pure Being, and one realizes they are an inseparable component of the Ground of Being, or pure Bliss.
"There are no others to help," says Nisagardatta. "A rich man, when he hands over his entire fortune to his family, has not a coin left to give a beggar. So is the wise man (gnani) stripped of all his powers and possessions. Nothing, literally nothing, can be said about him. He cannot help anybody, for he is everybody. He is the poor and also his poverty, the thief and also his thievery. How can he be said to help, when he is not apart? Who thinks of himself as separate from the world, let him help the world."
"The only thing that can help," says Nisargadatta, " is to wake up from the dream."
"The beginningless begins forever," he notes. "In the same way, I give eternally, because I have nothing. To be nothing, to have nothing, to keep nothing for oneself is the greatest gift, the highest generosity."
"The self is all," Nisargadatta points out. "In practice it takes the shape of goodwill, unfailing and universal. You may call it love, all-pervading, all-redeeming. Such love is supremely active - (but) without the sense of doing." Such, it seems, is the state of Bliss.