Alright, then. I don't understand Emptiness. I don't even know what I don't know so this will be a little rambling. Sorry.
I understand cause and effect. I understand that a table is really a collection of items (leg, paint, top, empty space around it, and so forth) that is merely labeled "table" in dependence on its parts. I understand that the leg, paint, top, empty space, and so forth are merely labeled in dependence on their parts all the way down to subtle atoms where infinite recursion happens where the atom can be split into several atoms forever.
However, if a "person" "hits" "me" with a "pipe" it'll hurt just as much as if a person hits me with a pipe. Or will it? If everything is already empty then how would recognizing it change anything? And why is the fact that things doesn't have a self so important? It still functions, it just didn't cause itself to arise.
Don't be so hard on yourself. Especially in the beginning these things often seem counter-intuitive and difficult to understand.
In fact, they often can not be understood by the mind alone, because mere words are inadequate to express such concepts.
You need to experience them more directly...and you need to learn how to do that by experiencing the reality.
But one error commenly made is that "emptiness" means there is a thing called "nothing" there.
Consider this riddle...
Nothing is a thing (it has a definition.... so it has Form or existance).
Therefore the thing called "empiness" contains the thing called "Nothing" or no thing.....if so, then...
where is this thing called "Nothing" held.....
and if Emptiness was truely empty how could it hold "Nothingmess" in it and still be "Emptiness".
(O.K. I'm playing games with words to confuse you out of your pre-conceptions...hoping you will understand then that your words and pre-conceptions are merely mistaken illustions).
But as I said before...you can't understand these things by words alone.
But then you post this brilllant qoute:
That which arose from conditions is unborn; It has no arising by virtue of intrinsic existence. Since it depends on other conditions it is empty.”
-Gungthang Tempai DromeThat which arose from conditions is unborn;
(it is empty, emptiness) It has no arising by virtue of intrinsic existence.
(It is without inherent self-referring existance...it arises from it's relationship to other things...whether you wish to call that "dependent arising " or "dependent origination")Since it depends on other conditions it is empty.”
(THat is precisely what is meant by "emptiness".)
Hope that doesn't confuse you too much.