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This is an old revision of Emptiness made by OpenMindSpace on 2013-12-26 22:35:40.


Emptiness (Śūnyatā)

Emptiness is a Buddhist term that is translated into English as emptiness, openness, thusness, etc. Śūnyatā refers to the absence of inherent existence in all phenomena, and it is complementary to the Buddhist concepts of no-self and Dependent origination.

Nihilism and eternalism

See also: MiddleWay Middle Way

A nihilistic interpretation of the concept of voidness (or of mind-only) is not, by any means, a merely hypothetical possibility; it consistently was adopted by Buddhism's opponents, wherever the religion spread, nor have Buddhists themselves been immune to it...
But this is not a correct understanding:

[V]oidness does not mean nothingness, but rather that all things lack intrinsic reality, intrinsic objectivity, intrinsic identity or intrinsic referentiality. Lacking such static essence or substance does not make them not exist —- it makes them thoroughly relative.
Conversely, emptiness as described by Nāgārjuna has been interpreted, notably by Murti in his influential 1955 work, as a Buddhist absolute. This is now regarded as incorrect by many modern scholars and not grounded on textual evidence. The consensus is that Nāgārjuna defended the classical Buddhist emphasis on phenomena. For him, emptiness is explicitly used as a Middle Way between eternalism and nihilism, and that is where its soteriological Power lies. It does not specifically refer to an ultimate, universal, or absolute nature of reality. Holding up emptiness as an absolute or ultimate truth without reference to that which is empty is the last thing either The Buddha or Nāgārjuna would advocate.

Nāgārjuna criticized those who conceptualized emptiness:: The Victorious Ones have announced that emptiness is the relinquishing of all views. Those who are possessed of the view of emptiness are said to be incorrigible.

See Also

TaiChi Metaphysics Buddhism
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