How do we enter the inner kingdom? How do we enter the kingdom of heaven? As Bernard points out, the Master was giving us a pointer when he told us that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man (meaning a man obsessed by money) to enter the kingdom of heaven. The Master was referring to entering the inner kingdom as a state of awareness. He was referring to entering the kingdom of heaven right now. He was using the “rich man” as a metaphor for someone who is placing their faith on the outer world. Such a person cannot normally experience the peace and serenity of the heavenly realms.
In order to enter the inner kingdom we need to have a strong desire to do so. If our desires are too heavily focused in money-making then our desire for the inner kingdom is likely to be weak or non-existent. We will be “too busy” to give the kingdom of heaven the attention necessary – except in times of crises when we might suddenly demand for God to step in and save us! We create imbalances in our lives and then plead or demand that God saves us from the results of our thoughts and actions.
If we only trust in earthly things then not much of our inner state will be heavenly in nature. Our inner state will then fluctuate depending purely on how well, or otherwise, our earthly plans are working out. When we “succeed” we will feel elated; when we “fail” we will feel despair. The more we look to God to be our source the more we build a sense of heavenly peace and serenity into daily life, irrespective of events. We are then able to “detach” from worldly events and remain calm and self-assured even when things seem to fall apart around us. We will also remain calm and at ease even when enormousness success is ours, for our inner peace will be more important to us than outward success. Yes outward success will be important; but not so much that it will determine our inner state. The more we can do this the more we have entered the kingdom of heaven in this moment.