Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
Being born again means that the soul is awakened after having come on earth, and entering the kingdom of heaven means that this world, the same kingdom in which we are standing just now, turns into heaven as soon as the point of view has changed. Is it not interesting and most wonderful to think that the same earth we walk on is earth to one person and heaven to another? And it is still more interesting to notice that it is we who change it; we change it from earth into heaven, or we change it otherwise. This change comes not by study, nor by anything else, but only by the changing of our point of view.
The difference between a scientist and a mystic is that the former analyzes the things he is interested in, studying them by different methods in order to ascertain as much information about them as he can, the ways in which they can be of any benefit, their uses, and their nature, whereas the mystic, though in a way doing the same, first aims at lighting that light within himself by which he can see in this world of darkness and illusion, instead of using some technical instrument or special scientific process. As it is said, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven', so his first task is to light the candle within.
The Kingdom of Heaven is in the hearts of those who realize God. This is recognized in the East, and great respect and regard is always shown for the holy ones. ... Speaking from a metaphysical point of view, the Kingdom of Heaven may be attained by the way of repentance. If we have offended a friend, and he turns away from us, and we in fullness of heart ask for forgiveness, his heart will melt towards us. If, on the other hand, we close our heart, it becomes frozen. ... When by warmth of heart we can break our limited self, we merge in the One, the unlimited. When our limited kingdom is lost from our sight, we inherit the Kingdom of God.
The basis of mysticism is to be found in that saying of the Bible, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things will be added unto you.' Thus the search of the mystic is for that kingdom, for God, and in that search what does he find? In the search for God he finds himself.
~~~ The kingdom of heaven is in the hearts of those who realize God.