WHAT IS EMPTINESS?
simple words for confusing times
An Everyday Example Of A Book
Let’s suppose that as you’re reading this you’re holding a printed book. The ‘printed book’ (in quotations, in case you’re listening to the book or it’s a digital copy) is the conventional reality of your object of experience. You think of it as, and call it, a ‘printed book’ in case you need to tell someone else about it.
Now, this conventional reality of the printed book also has a subtle version, which is made up of the parts of the book: the pages, the cover, the glue or stitching, the ink printed onto the pages to form the words that you then read… and the book has also become part of your mind. Cool, huh?
What is the Emptiness of the book, its ultimate reality? The Emptiness of the book is that the book does not exist independently, by itself. No matter how hard you look, you will not find a book that is constant, unchanging.
Something appears of in front of you that looks like a book; you call it a book, and others would recognize it as a book, so it functions as a book. But the book is made of matter that is made of molecules that are made of atoms that are mostly space. Also, when you hand that book to someone, some molecules of the cover ink will stay on your hand.
And the person who takes the book from you also picks up some molecules, maybe of a page as they flip through the book. Now suppose the book passes on to twenty more people, and over time it becomes quite worn because it’s lost so many molecules to so many hands. And those hands have long since been washed…
So where IS the book?
Conventionally, it still exists somewhere, hopefully not in a landfill. Ultimately, it remains as empty before. The main difference is that your mind has moved towards freedom.