Emptiness

发布日期:2017-01-09   字体大小:   

Buddhism’s fundamental theological proposition of “emptiness” is a summary of the process in which the world changes. However, to be specific, “emptiness” connotes annihilation at the end of the said process. According to Buddhism, any existence in the universe owes its origination to a union of primary causes and secondary conditions. Therefore any origination owes its occurrence to a previous origination, and an origination is bound to metamorphose in the end into a component that goes to engender a new origination. It is innate in the very nature of any existence in the universe to be capable of performing the four functions of genesis, abiding, dissolution, and lapse into emptiness. Birth presupposes death, and origination presupposes annihilation. According to Buddhism, emptiness is the top quintessential attribute of any being in the universe. But the outward appearance or the physical exterior of a being, so Buddhism emphasizes, is absolutely not of nothingness. Take a human being for example; his or her coming into being is due to, according to Buddhism, a union formed of both the maha-bhuta (the four gross elements) and the five skandhas. (Science of the modern world chooses to name such elements as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and what not as the constituents of a human body.) After the said union is established, a human becomes a being who proceeds to grow up until he or she, after having overgrown the stage of dotage, dies. So a human being is incessantly experiencing changes when he or she is alive. The lapse of every second witnesses changes taking place in a living human being who is, therefore, no longer himself or herself in one thousandth of one second because of the incessant changes in his or her being. It is in this sense that Buddhism asserts that the life of a human being is a void because you can never find or identify the “self” in his or her life. That is why Buddhism would exhort the laity to refrain from becoming obsessed with anything, because to involve oneself in an obsession is to invite “affliction”. On the other hand Buddhism strongly advises against pessimism arising from the awareness that human life is of emptiness. Obsession with life’s emptiness is, in its extreme form, a monomania. It is true that no obsession but brings affliction. So does obsession with the awareness that life is a void. To overcome such afflictions calls for the transcendental wisdom. It is Buddhism that can provides the transcendental wisdom. To carefully study Buddhist teachings on Sila, Samadhi, and Prajna is the only proper way to reclaim ourselves from the quagmire of afflictions spawned by various obsessions.From My Heart My Buddha