What Is Emptiness Empty Of?
What is emptiness, empty of?
Several spiritual traditions speak of the condition they refer to as empty. This condition is said to be the ultimate condition—meaning that outside of, or beyond it, there is no other. That is, all or any other would be consumed within it. It alone is really real; all, or anything else, is something other than this reality.
Emptiness, by its nature, can not have had a beginning; emptiness is empty of time. Having no beginning, it has no cessation or ending. Nor does emptiness harbor space. The qualities of the apparent relative world—time, space and cause-and-effect—emptiness is completely empty of. No qualities are contained in emptiness. Emptiness is totally and entirely empty.
Anything which can be said to have ‘come out’ of—or manifested from—emptiness is false. Being entirely empty, emptiness does not exist. Having no relationship whatever to existence, neither does it contrarily ‘non’-exist.
We say that we see ‘manifestations’ exist as such. But being manifestations, they are not existent. In other words, what is false, manifestations—however real they may appear to be—are not real. They may appear to live and die within the empty condition, but not anything is born or dies in emptiness.
Put another way, any and all manifestations are empty of reality, or existence in fact. A person says she sees the world: both are unreal. Not anything can ever have been created, or originated, out of emptiness. This includes the person, the world, the universe—all exist only within the dream. Not anything can be born or originated from emptiness.
The fictive dream is self-enclosed: it is the dream of the dreamer, who—being within the dream—is unreal, or not really existent, no less so than the dream itself. Neither the dream nor the dreamer has ever had an origination in reality. Both are merely dependent upon the other.
The dream is full: but it is not a product of emptiness. Emptiness produces no product.
Any questions which one asks about ‘why?’ are asked within the dream. The questioner herself has never existed as a real object. Any answer would be equally within the dream, and thus ultimately false.
For the spiritual seeker, the discovery is that there is no ‘you’; there is no ‘life’; there is no ‘enlightenment’; there is no ‘other’, or better, condition.
The apparent ‘waking up’ in the dream is to recognize it as a dream. The ‘me’ collapses, the world dissolves, the universe disappears.
What remains is emptiness. But it is now empty of the dream—which, in fact, never truly existed. Emptiness is the only condition that has ultimate reality.