Buddhist Misunderstandings (2)

In the last article, we dispelled the myth: Life is suffering, so life is meaningless and hopeless. Today, we will continue Buddhist misunderstanding on Buddhist emptiness.

  • Form is Emptiness; Emptiness is Form
  • The Buddhist emptiness specifically refers to emptiness of inherent existence—a state of pure consciousness. Why is the inherent existence considered as a state of emptiness? The emptiness of inherent existence comes from the fact that nothing is permanent. As a result, nothing possesses a specific and enduring form or identity. The realization of the emptiness of inherent existence is an aspect of the cultivation of the insight that leads to inner mindfulness and wisdom. Meanwhile it is the key to attain the permanent cessation of suffering.

    However, emptiness is claimed by some to be the synonymy of nihilism, which is far from accurate. Nihilism believes that reality is not knowable in that one can’t achieve the meaningfulness in this world, while the Buddhist notion of emptiness admits the knowable nature of the ultimate reality, pointing out that phenomena has a clear-out basis from which we can get useful knowledge about the world.

  • What is Buddhist Emptiness?
  • Buddhist emptiness differs from the physical point of view. In physical level, a cup is empty when it doesn’t contain liquid, solid or other things we use in daily life. While from Buddhist perspective, a cup without practical things inside is not empty, since it does contain air, space, light, radiation, its own substance or other invisible things that we don’t commonly notice in life. We can say that a cup is always full in light of physical view, while in Buddhist philosophy, a cup is always empty, since it doesn’t have inherent existence.

    Buddhism teaches that form is empty, but everything is not empty once combined with other phenomena. When we combine the properties of a cup with its components, shape, function, materials and other aspects, the emptiness of a cup disappear and a cup does exist.

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