Let us, for practical reasons in life, say that Nirvana is not a world beyond but that you break the cycle of rebirth and karma as via the reflection of the reflection you break through the material hyle and gain transcendent knowledge. I have labelled this state of the mind/soul the White Lodge. Bergson (and others) says in order to gain knowledge and familiarity with the world an enormous amount of stuff needs to be reflected and amalgamated (not only the seemingly intellectually important stuff but also the seemingly intellectually unimportant stuff), gradually the turbulent ultradialectics of the reflection over the reflection will (of course remain but also) transcend into a flatness and evenness of the mindfield that becomes pacified – which is then, in its fluorescent white – the Nirvana. Desire will not stop, and as we have already seen via the confessions of such distinguished mystics like Teresa of Avila or Marguerite Porete, the vision of pure white light – if you can ever reach it – is only a temporary one before you fall back into a lower state of consciousness as your mind permanently wanders. Via Zen-meditation you can reach a state where the observation of the wandering of mind becomes the state of the mind, i.e. one of meta-perception, yet also as the Zen masters say, they have not gained a lot via enlightenment. The flatness and the purity of the mindfield is reached via the great fluidity of the mind and the empathic knowledge of things (leading to the internalisation and introjection of them things). You will not refute ideals but you will also not be fooled by them, be neither a dreamer nor a fatalist nor cynic, you will act and think according to the order and the flow of things, that is then (as limited as it is ever possible) mastery over the things and therefore liberation. Nirvana, in the practical sense, is not reaching for a world beyond, but creation of interior and opening of the inner world that becomes realigned with the outer world.
Despite you may have broken the cycle of rebirth and karma and reached completion, you may easily find yourself wandering fragmentedly through the Samsara of the man´s world, as not many people will truly understand you. Sometimes they will of course understand you better than you do and offer glimpses of insight. That is, and will remain, strange, as „strangeness“ is inherent to the world – but it will be, as you have introjected strangeness, also inherent to yourself. People that reside very at the center of the Nirvana will also not be super impressed by it. As Goethe says to Eckermann, founders of religions like Jesus Christ or the Buddha have extroverted their inner richness, i.e. their subjective spirituality and transformed it into (objective) religion (respectively, others like Paulus have done so and likely watered it down). As in such cases, their subjective spirituality, their acquisition of cosmic consciousness, is of objective importance, it may well be that they fall prey to their spirituality and become an instrument of their spirituality/religion (like also many enlightened and rational minds like Newton or Pascal did) (at lower levels of spirituality, or when personality is distorted it may become the other way round and inflate their narcissism). Thou shalt not be fooled by thy spirituality and your messages and become an instrument of it, but remain in control of it, not become instrumentalised by it but make it instrumental for you. That will probably, or apparently, not make you (appear) very enchanted or happy, as is seemingly the case within the religious/spiritual enthusiast. You will be neutral most of the time. Some say the tragic of the truly spiritual/religious man is that he neither truly lives in this world nor the next. That may appear so, but the center of the Nirvana means you perfectly live in both of them worlds – a condition that, due to its essential strangeness, often leads to essential confusion. Essential confusion is the essential state of the true philosopher.
(Iron Maiden sing in Hallowed Be Thy Name that, facing death, you will realise that „life down here is just a strange illusion“. Therefore, what I just said above, advanced as it is nevertheless, may also just be a bizarre illusion, but this is so because as long as you wander through the world and your mind is wandering you have some attachments. Therefore, no need to worry. That´s how subjectivity is constituted. Via some attachments my subjectivity has been constituted in the past and now, in the present, by some others. Apart from that, we´re rather hollow. That´s how the story goes, that´s what is „the flow“, as long as the world concerns you to some degree. At the end of Jim Jarmusch´s Dead Man, as Nobody sends „William Blake“ to his last journey on a boat to the sea, he smiles at him and says: This world will no longer concern you (in German: Von nun an wird dich diese Welt nichts mehr angehen). Dead Man has one of the most epic endings of any film. When I am going to die, I also want to float away like this – and to experience my loss of attachments. That is not a great effort of course when you die. However, see it as a message from the future and a glimpse of insight. The world actually only partially concerns me.)
Liberating oneself from a cycle of rebirths might seem irrelevant to the non-believer. But nirvana is a radical undertaking: it represents a liberation from an endless cycle of rebirth; or liberation from the utterly human, persistent desire for things to be different. There is something useful there for anyone http://ow.ly/VdHt30jVzbi