Nangwa wrote:The famous sutra quote looks deceptively simple to understand, which is precisely why I not that sure that it is that simple to understand.
Has anyone tried to understand what Norman was trying to say?
How can an object be absent of something it lacks (i.e. Self-nature)?
Emptiness can only be established in terms of categories that are a priori empty.
The Void is objectively and conceptually inexistent except as Form
, as the apparent universe.
But the apparent universe is not existent, except as voidness
; which is void of objectivity (conceptuality).
Therefore, all phenomenal manifestation (all objectivity) is NOT
, as what, where, and how we think it is, because it's void (objectively and conceptually). It's not an object of perception.
All objectivity (every perceivable 'thing') is its own absence of itself (what we consider it to be), which is what it is. It is its own absence of itself
as a concept. No object has any nature at all, no emptiness, no quality, no nothing, because they are not existent as what we perceive them to be
”Their true nature is a no-nature, and their no-nature is their true nature; for all dharmas have one mark only, i.e. no mark ... for there are not two natures of dharma, but just one single is the nature of all dharmas. And the true nature of all dharmas is a no-nature, and their no-nature is their true nature. It is thus that all points of possible attachment are abandoned
.” - Prajnaparamita in 8000 lines
The true nature of all dharmas is no-nature
, of EVERY idea about ”reality”, about anything at all. ”Reality” has one mark only, i.e. no mark - no quality, no emptiness, no nothing. ”Reality” is not an object of perception, there is nothing there, it's a ”category of analysis
” (Red Pine).
The emptiness that exists as being the emptiness of objects, as their quality, or true nature, or whatever - is NOT
such, because emptiness IS
The Form that exists as being empty of itself, as a quality, as its true nature, or whatever - is NOT
such, because Form IS
The declaration that objects are void or empty has got nothing to do with the objects themselves, they were never there to be emptied in the first place.
Here's Red Pine's definition of Form:
”The word rupa does not actually refer to a concrete object but to the appearance of an object. Form is like a mask that cannot be removed without revealing its own illusory identity. Such a mask might be worn by a table or a sunset or a number or a coin (the rupee), or a universe. Whether such things are real is not relevant (...) Thus, form is not an objective category but a subjective one extrapolated from a person's own experience and beyond which it has little, if any, meaning (...) Emptiness can only be established in terms of categories that are a priori empty. Whatever we might consider emptiness to be, is identical to whatever conceptual category we might dream up, in this case the skandha of form. The existence of form is not denied, nor its non-existence. It exists as a category of analysis.