08 February 2015

The Void or Emptiness

The Void or Emptiness

What is the Void or Emptiness? in Buddhism it means "empty of a separate self." The word Emptiness or Void should not scare us. To be empty does not mean non-existent. Emptiness is the ground of everything, thanks to it, everything is possible. It is the potentiality of all things.

When we try to use symbols to understand and conceptualize the "void," we straight away realize that it is impossible to do so. However, the 'I' tries all the same to understand it, because after all, it is its Source. There is a Native American saying that goes like this: "Listen, Shariputra, form is emptiness, emptiness is form, form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. The same is true with feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness."

So, we could say that form is the wave and emptiness is the ocean. We could understand through that image. A wave is made of ocean water it does not differ from it, in the same way, 'form' does not differ from emptiness, and emptiness does not differ from form. Therefore, we can understand that the Void or Emptiness interpenetrates everything in creation. 

Let us take another example and consider a circle ... for some it will represent a zero, or nothingness .... and for others it will symbolize wholeness and totality. What is the difference between nothingness, zero and wholeness and totality? The simple difference is that if one image of the circle exists, then the other ones must also exist. The same is true with our feelings, perceptions, mental concepts and consciousness, because these five contain each other.

Therefore the notion of the Void, of existence and non-existence are just created by our minds. Because we know that we are some of the time conscious and some of the time unconscious. Modern science has perceived this truth that not only matter and energy are one, but that matter and space are also one. Therefore Matter, space,  MIND or CONSCIOUSNESS are also one, because MIND or CONSCIOUSNESS is in it. (Mind in the sense of Absolute Being or Absolute Self - Universal Cosmic Soul)

A good point to consider is the comparison between "form" or "mold" which is considered to be  like a wave in the ocean of "emptiness", (which is Absolute Consciousness - the substance of creation), therefore form  like the wave changes forms incessantly (cycles of death and rebirth) and this unpredictability is due to a Cosmic Law which is crucially important because it allows Absolute Consciousness (or the ocean of Emptiness) to dwell in different types and kinds of forms, however, each one of these forms  manifests in the world of duality a corresponding level of awakened Consciousness. 

In other words, we could continue with the example of the ocean and the wave. We have all kinds of waves, and no two are exactly the same, we also have different types of waves some are small, others medium, and some are very large indeed ... each according to their characteristic quality contain more or less water. And so,  in the same way we could say that each "form" according to its quality and characteristic  (according to its inner programming in the psyche) has the potential and possibility to awaken more or less Absolute Consciousness - Cosmic Consciousness, the VOID. Remember ... "in the beginning, the earth (matter) was formless and VOID." Not bad for the ancients huh?

Just a thought ... 

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.

My thanks to Plotinus.