The Kingdom of Heaven is the realm of the very small; it is anything smaller than 1.6 x 10-35 metres, to be precise!
This is ironic because we’re always trying to make everything bigger and bigger, in the belief that this is the way to go. Scaling up is the road to success, or so we think. On a personal scale, we’re always trying to make ourselves bigger – self-aggrandizement is our chief motivation in life, if we were to be honest about it (which understandably we don’t). We’re all competing with each other in order to see who can get to be the biggest name, the most important player. It is this competitive drive that fuels society – competition / self-aggrandizement is the jet fuel that keeps the wheel spinning.
If we’re driven enough then we have a chance of making it to the top. We’ll be big wheels, big wigs, big shots…. We’ll be important members of society – our stature will be enhanced and this we all see as a very good thing, a very great thing. And yet the irony is that to succeed within this game is to succeed in being the furthest removed we ever possibly could be from ‘the Kingdom of Heaven’, which as we have said exists on the very small scale, not the big scale.
Clearly, there’s something not right about this. Clearly, there’s something very wrong here! How can it be a good thing, a great thing, to be as far removed as possible from the Kingdom of Heaven? What kind of logic is this? There is a type of logic here of course and that is backwards logic – it is logic (or ‘sense’) that has been turned on its head. This inversion of good sense is what our society is based on; this upside-down logic is what we worship on a daily basis. Who can deny that this is true? We see the evidence all around us – instead of prizing happiness we prize the approval of others, instead of valuing love we prefer to value that most lonely of positions, which is the fundamentally alienated position of having power over others.
What then is the Kingdom of Heaven, and why is it to be found only in the realm of the very small? We can answer the second question first as it is the easiest one. It might seem strange to say that the Kingdom of Heaven is anything smaller than 1.6 x 10-35 metres but all that we’re saying here is that the Kingdom of Heaven is another way of talking about the Realm of the Immeasurable. 1.6 x 10-35 metres is the Planck Distance, the distance which marks the lower limit of what we can measure. Past the Planck Distance, we can’t measure anything. Past the Planck Distance, there’s nothing to measure. Past the Planck Distance, the concept of ‘measurement’ is quite meaningless…
To say that there is nothing beyond the Planck Distance to measure is not to say that there is nothing there. That’s the number one prejudice of the measuring, calculating mind – to think that if it can’t measure something then it isn’t there (or to think that only when it can measure stuff is that stuff real). In Reality, there are no standards that need to be adhered to, no yardsticks that need to be consulted. In Reality there is nothing to measure and no one to measure it! How can Wholeness measure itself? What is there for it to measure itself against? Measuring means that there are two things, and Reality is only the one thing.
The Kingdom of Heaven is the Realm of the Unconstructed – it is what the Buddha called ‘the Unbecome, Unborn, Unmade, Unformed’ and it is here that he said our salvation lay. We however are exclusively interested in the become, the born, the made and the formed – this is where we think it is all happening, this is where we think the action is at! We’re all about the constructs, the assembled units, but where do we imagine they come from? Is not what they are assembled from, or made up of greater? We can wear various masks, assume various fixed stances, but is not the one who wears the masks, or assumes the stances greater that the mask or the stance?
When Jesus was asked, “What is the Kingdom of Heaven?” he replied (according to Luke 13:19) –
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.
An explanation of this parable that is generally given is that the growth of the mustard seed into a large tree that can give shelter to many is that the growth of the tree refers to the growth of the Church. This is utterly absurd, since looking for salvation through the institution of the Church would be the same as looking for salvation through taking part in society, or through involvement with any organization or group. Freedom is not to be found in this realm, it is not be found within any structure that we have created. Freedom (or salvation) cannot be found though the self either because the self too is only an arbitrary construct without any connection to who we really are.
We don’t understand what the realm of the very small is because we only see the world in terms of our thoughts, which belong to the world of constructed things. We’re not subtle enough in our perceptions to tune into this realm. If we take the trouble to refine our perceptions so that we can tune into the realm of the very small (smaller than the self, smaller than any idea or thought we might have) then we will see this realm grow until it becomes the Whole of Everything. We will then understand the Realm of the Very Small to be Reality itself, the Atman which is ‘bigger than big and smaller than small’, as Jung says.
What we see then – when we have learned to look beyond the obvious – is that we are not solid objects (or composite things) but consciousness itself which is what lies behind everything. Instead of looking beyond the obvious we get captured by it, however – we become prisoners of the obvious. Instead of learning to appreciate the Realm of the Very Small (which is all around us but which we never notice) we waste our intention instead on the world of the measurable, the world of constructs, the world of our ideas, which seems ‘big’ to us because it eats up all our attention, but which actually has no reality at all….
We’re only ever told about the world that doesn’t matter so much. There’s a conspiracy to prevent us knowing that the world that really does matter, the world that we can’t actually do without. We are educated about this construct world; we are pumped full with more and more ‘knowledge’ about it as if this so-called ‘knowledge’ actually means anything, as if it is actually going to help us in some way. We are pumped full of more and more theories and models, concepts and idea, facts and figures but none of this is going to help us appreciate the Realm of the Very Small. It has the opposite effect – it ensures that we remain oblivious to it.
There’s no ‘education’ out there about the one thing that really matters. There’s no technology that can assist us, no experts that can guide us. We are taught from a very early age to look in entirely the wrong direction. Even religion, which should have the role of reminding of where our true well-being lies, acts to deceive us. Instead of looking in the Realm of the Very Small, our attention is directed outwards the Created World, the World of Constructs, the World of the Very Big, which is like looking for the Kingdom of Heaven in the sky. But if the Kingdom of Heaven were in the sky then – as Jesus says in Verse 3 of the Gospel of Thomas – the birds of the air would get there first…
Author: Nick Williams
Nick Williams works and writes in the field of mental health and is particularly interested in non-equilibrium states of consciousness, which are states of mind that cannot be validated by standardized experiments or by reference to any formal theoretical perspective.