Emptiness

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by CobblersApprentice, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. While re-reading a little book by D T Suzuki, which involves Mysticism, Meister Eckhart and the world famous cobbler, Saichi, I found the following on "Emptiness" which I found illuminating. Anyway, I will share:-

    A few more remarks about "Emptiness." Relativity is an aspect of Reality and not Reality itself. Relativity is possible somewhere between two or more things, for this is the way that makes one get related to another.

    A similar argument applies to movement. Movement is possible in time; without the concept of time there cannot be a movement of any sort. For a movement means an object going out of itself and becoming something else which is not itself. Without the background of time this becoming is unthinkable.

    Therefore, Buddhist philosophy states that all these concepts, movement and relativity, must have their field of operation, and this field is designated by Buddhist philosophers as Emptiness (śūnyatā).

    When Buddha talks about all things being transient, impermanent, and constantly changing, and therefore teaches that there is nothing in this world which is absolutely dependable and worth clinging to as the ultimate seat of security, he means that we must look somewhere else for things permanent (jō), bliss-imparting (raku), autonomous (ga), and absolutely free from defilements (jō).

    According to the Nirvāna Sūtra (of the Mahāyāna school), these four (jō-raku-ga-jō) are the qualities of Nirvana, and Nirvana is attained when we have knowledge, when the mind is freed from thirst (taṇhā), cravings (āsava), and conditionality (sankhāra).

    While Nirvana is often thought to be a negativistic idea the Mahāyāna followers have quite a different interpretation. For they include autonomy (ga, ātman) as one of its qualities (guna), and autonomy is free will, something dynamic.

    Nirvana is another name for the Emptiness. The term "emptiness" is apt to be misunderstood for various reasons. The hare or rabbit has no horns, the turtle has no hair growing on its back. This is one form of emptiness. The Buddhist śūnyatā does not mean absence.

    A fire has been burning until now and there is no more of it. This is another kind of emptiness. Buddhist śūnyatā does not mean extinction.

    The wall screens the room: on this side there is a table, and on the other side there is nothing, space is unoccupied. Buddhist śūnyatā does not mean vacancy.

    Absence, extinction, and unoccupancy - these are not the Buddhist conception of emptiness. Buddhists' Emptiness is not on the plane of relativity. It is Absolute Emptiness transcending all forms of mutual relationship, of subject and object, birth and death, God and the world, something and nothing, yes and no, affirmation and negation. In Buddhist Emptiness there is no time, no space, no becoming, no-thing-ness; it is what makes all these things possible; it is a zero full of infinite possibilities, it is a void of inexhaustible contents.
     
  2. Just a word on my quotes. They do not necessarily imply endorsement. I am not a very consistent or logical person but I do try to make it plain if I do find the quote "true" - but alas, I'm probably not consistent.

    I simply seek my own clarity of mind. In a certain sense I am always talking to myself....:confused:
     

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