The Misconception of Emptiness:
Lessons from the Diamond Sutra
The Buddhist philosophy of emptiness is simple to understand, yet anyone, even great masters such a Subhuti, can get caught up in the intellectualization of emptiness and miss the true meaning of the Buddha’s message. This paper aims to clarify this philosophy of emptiness, as presented in the Diamond Sutra. It will address the ideas and misconceptions that we bring into our everyday lives by misunderstanding this philosophy. It will also examine our use of language and the pre-conceived notions attached to language and how these pre-conceived notions will never actually describe or fully encompass the thing or idea in question. The discussion will also cover how we allow these concepts to dominate our lives and cloud our understanding of reality. In addition we will discuss what happens, on a scientific level, when we perceive or interact with reality; highlighting how modern physics are in consensus with the Buddha when he said that “with our thoughts we create the world” (Byrom 21) This involves the common misconception of separate existence, as well as how we have been trapped by the language that we invented in order to make our lives more convenient.
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