Form is emptiness

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Dinsdale
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:37 pm

2600htz wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:39 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:13 pm
2600htz wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:11 pm
Hello

Empty of what? Air? Hindrances? Self?

Regards
Empty of independent existence.
What does independent existence mean?.

Regards.
Existing independently. :tongue:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Sherab
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by Sherab » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:44 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:13 pm
2600htz wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:11 pm
Hello

Empty of what? Air? Hindrances? Self?

Regards
Empty of independent existence.
If all dhammas are empty of independent existence, it would mean that when a dhamma has all its links to other dhammas severed, that dhamma is annihilated. This in turn would mean that regarding the twelve links of dependent arising, when you break all the twelve links, you will be annihilated.

ShanYin
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by ShanYin » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:28 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:37 pm
2600htz wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:39 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:13 pm


Empty of independent existence.
What does independent existence mean?.

Regards.
Existing independently. :tongue:
Are Theravadins taking a psychological/spiritual approach and ignoring this teaching?

Dinsdale
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:31 am

ShanYin wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:28 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:37 pm
2600htz wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:39 pm


What does independent existence mean?.

Regards.
Existing independently. :tongue:
Are Theravadins taking a psychological/spiritual approach and ignoring this teaching?
Sunyata is a Mahayana development, and rather different in scope to teachings on anatta/sunnata in the Pali suttas.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

ShanYin
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by ShanYin » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:41 am

I feel like whatever is bothering me and causing me suffering is my lack of spiritual realization. Of course my feelings are alot like the hinderances. Anxiety, remourse, restlessness, sense desire and illwill ect. Well those are what I am experiencing. Well I am certainly getting answers to my questions.

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Antaradhana
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by Antaradhana » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:35 pm

ShanYin wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:51 pm
Does the phrase 'form is emptiness' have any place in Theravada? I believe it's from the heart sutra which is a Mahayana suttra.

Is emptiness different in different schools? Which one focuses more on emptiness?
The emptiness in the sutas of the Pali Canon is an emptiness from oneself / one’s own, the termination of the appropriation of something. For example:
https://suttacentral.net/sn22.33/en/bodhi
https://suttacentral.net/sn22.95/en/bodhi
Or stanza 170 from the Dhammapada, thus calling for a look at the world: "One who looks upon the world as a bubble and a mirage, him the King of Death sees not".

Some commentators of the sutra of the Heart, comment on it in a similar way, and some deduce the identity of samsara and nirvana, which already contradicts the texts of the early schools.
Does any Theravadin here believe that the Mahayana Suttras are the words of the Buddha?
Unlikely.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

chownah
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by chownah » Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:11 am

Perhaps it is a matter of english:
If you say "form is emptiness", form and emptiness are both nouns. Usually the opinion is that nouns are things and two things are either the same or they are different. If form and emptiness are the same thing then why have two terms?.....why not just say "emptiness" where every you say "form".....like instead of saying "when the eye and forms and eye consciousness arise together there is contact" you would say "when the eye and emptiness and eye consciousness arise together there is contact".

On the other hand if you say "form is empty" then form is a noun and empty is an adjective which describes a characteristic of form.......I think this makes more sense (or at least from the usual theravada perspective I think it does).

And....to be more specific.....I think the suttas indicate that "form is empty of self" which I think is a very good indication of how theravada gives importance to the idea of things being empty.

chownah

Dinsdale
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:30 am

chownah wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:11 am
Perhaps it is a matter of english:
If you say "form is emptiness", form and emptiness are both nouns. Usually the opinion is that nouns are things and two things are either the same or they are different. If form and emptiness are the same thing then why have two terms?.....why not just say "emptiness" where every you say "form".....like instead of saying "when the eye and forms and eye consciousness arise together there is contact" you would say "when the eye and emptiness and eye consciousness arise together there is contact".

On the other hand if you say "form is empty" then form is a noun and empty is an adjective which describes a characteristic of form.......I think this makes more sense (or at least from the usual theravada perspective I think it does).

And....to be more specific.....I think the suttas indicate that "form is empty of self" which I think is a very good indication of how theravada gives importance to the idea of things being empty.

chownah
Yes, "emptiness" is more like an adjective than a noun, so "form is empty" conveys it better. Or you could say
"the nature of form is emptiness".
Buddha save me from new-agers!

chownah
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by chownah » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:05 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:30 am
chownah wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:11 am
Perhaps it is a matter of english:
If you say "form is emptiness", form and emptiness are both nouns. Usually the opinion is that nouns are things and two things are either the same or they are different. If form and emptiness are the same thing then why have two terms?.....why not just say "emptiness" where every you say "form".....like instead of saying "when the eye and forms and eye consciousness arise together there is contact" you would say "when the eye and emptiness and eye consciousness arise together there is contact".

On the other hand if you say "form is empty" then form is a noun and empty is an adjective which describes a characteristic of form.......I think this makes more sense (or at least from the usual theravada perspective I think it does).

And....to be more specific.....I think the suttas indicate that "form is empty of self" which I think is a very good indication of how theravada gives importance to the idea of things being empty.

chownah
Yes, "emptiness" is more like an adjective than a noun, so "form is empty" conveys it better. Or you could say
"the nature of form is emptiness".
Actually, "emptiness" is exactly a noun in english.....the word to use as an adjective is "empty"....like happy is an adjective while happiness is a noun and foolish is an adjective while foolishness is a noun.

I don't think I would say "the nature of form is emptiness" as I think there is more to be said about the nature of form......but I can accept this statement as being a major indication and perhaps the most important idea about the nature of form....
chownah

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retrofuturist
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:08 am

Greetings,
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:30 am
Yes, "emptiness" is more like an adjective than a noun, so "form is empty" conveys it better.
Semantics aside, I think the Phena Sutta would agree with you...
Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick — this has been taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. However you observe them, appropriately examine them, they're empty, void to whoever sees them appropriately.
Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

Dinsdale
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:08 am
Greetings,
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:30 am
Yes, "emptiness" is more like an adjective than a noun, so "form is empty" conveys it better.
Semantics aside, I think the Phena Sutta would agree with you...
Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick — this has been taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. However you observe them, appropriately examine them, they're empty, void to whoever sees them appropriately.
Metta,
Paul. :)
The Phena Sutta passage has a very similar feel to the first part of the Heart Sutra, which describes the emptiness of the aggregates.
Last edited by Dinsdale on Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

chownah
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by chownah » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:18 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:08 am
Greetings,
Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:30 am
Yes, "emptiness" is more like an adjective than a noun, so "form is empty" conveys it better.
Semantics aside, I think the Phena Sutta would agree with you...
Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick — this has been taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. However you observe them, appropriately examine them, they're empty, void to whoever sees them appropriately.
Metta,
Paul. :)
INdeed, and I think that SN 35.85 Suñña Sutta: Empty (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html) explains further that:
Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "It is said that the world is empty, the world is empty, lord. In what respect is it said that the world is empty?"

"Insofar as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus it is said, Ananda, that the world is empty. And what is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self? The eye is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Forms... Eye-consciousness... Eye-contact is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self.

"The ear is empty...

"The nose is empty...

"The tongue is empty...

"The body is empty...

"The intellect is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Ideas... Intellect-consciousness... Intellect-contact is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self. Thus it is said that the world is empty."
chownah

chownah
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by chownah » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:20 am

ShanYin wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:41 am
I feel like whatever is bothering me and causing me suffering is my lack of spiritual realization. Of course my feelings are alot like the hinderances. Anxiety, remourse, restlessness, sense desire and illwill ect. Well those are what I am experiencing. Well I am certainly getting answers to my questions.
Hope things are going better for you.

Can you find the exact place where you read it that "form is emptiness" and post that reference here? Could it be that you have not remembered it accurately and what it actualy being said is "form is empty"?
chownah

Dinsdale
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:46 am

chownah wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:20 am
ShanYin wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:41 am
I feel like whatever is bothering me and causing me suffering is my lack of spiritual realization. Of course my feelings are alot like the hinderances. Anxiety, remourse, restlessness, sense desire and illwill ect. Well those are what I am experiencing. Well I am certainly getting answers to my questions.
Hope things are going better for you.

Can you find the exact place where you read it that "form is emptiness" and post that reference here? Could it be that you have not remembered it accurately and what it actualy being said is "form is empty"?
chownah
I think it's from the Heart Sutra, and refers to sunyata.

You might find it helpful to read the whole thread.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

atipattoh
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Re: Form is emptiness

Post by atipattoh » Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:02 am

The text says "色是空,空是色", not "色是空,空是色". The problem with Chinese interpreter is, it is interpreted as 色是空空是色.
Therefore, it should not be directly understood as "form is emptiness".

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