Q356. Why is it said that everything is empty?

A. Everything is said to be empty because nothing by itself has its own nature. What, for example, do you think the nature of gold is? We can say its colour is yellow, it is heavier, softer and more valuable than other metal, and it doesn’t rust.

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Why is it yellow? Does it say itself that it is yellow? No, it is yellow because we label it as yellow and say it is yellow. In the same way, it is heavier, softer and more valuable than other sorts of metal only because we think so. But in fact, it is neither heavier nor lighter than other kinds of metal unless we compare it with other sorts of metal and then label it as ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’. Whether it is heavier than other kinds of metal or not depends on our view and not actually on its own nature. In summary, gold does not have its own nature unless it is labelled by us. Gold itself is not gold unless we label it as gold. Therefore, it is said that everything is empty, and all things are from the same root, our mind.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathawa

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