Emptiness : Neither Existence Nor Voidness
- lecture by Yeshe Thaye (Ph.D.)
Dudjom Buddhist Association - 10 July 2003
The focal-point of Buddhism is on the concept of “Emptiness”. Whether one can practice, realize and attain Buddhahood (Enlightenment) will totally have to depend upon the correctness and the degree of one’s understanding of the meaning on “Emptiness”, and whether its understanding is up to the point or not. This most important Buddhist concept of “Emptiness” has been most often misunderstood by the majority of people, and yet this very concept marks itself off as the major difference between Buddhism and all other religions and philosophies in this whole world.
Furthermore, this important phenomenon of “Emptiness” was not created by the Lord Buddha, as it simply reflects the “true reality” of all worldly phenomena. Even if the Lord Buddha did not appear in this world, this phenomenon of “Emptiness” still continues to exists; just like the fact that, even though there might not have scientific proofs from scientists before, the salt element continues to exist in sea water all the time.
Buddhism stresses that all phenomena are the results of “the co-existence of different illusions created by causes and conditions” (or known as the “interdependent origination of co-existence”), and so they are not truly existing in and of themselves. But, at the same time, Buddhism also reminds us that “causes and effects” are truly existing, and that they are perfectly matching each other (i.e. a cause will eventually bear fruit — the effect, with no more and no less), and so this is perfectly true.
Then, how can these two relative concepts of “Existence” and “Voidness” come to co-exist together at the same time as the “true reality” of all phenomena? Here, we will try to use a more modern scientific and innovative way to help analyze the true meaning of this concept on “Emptiness”.