Like a Rainbow -Emptiness



It can be very confusing when we first start learning about the Buddhist concept of "emptiness."  It's hard to imagine that nothing has solid existence in the way that we normally see it.  Some jump to nihilism and assume that the term means nothing exists at all and is only in our minds.  That is not what Buddhism teaches.  Some argue that emptiness isn't describing what reality is at all, it is only saying what reality isn't.  Reality is the way you see and experience things.

Another way of looking at the world, a skillful means, is to see things much like a rainbow.  When you see a rainbow you are very plainly seeing an arch of colors in the sky.  If you were to take off towards the rainbow you would never reach it or be able to touch or feel it.  It doesn't exist in that respect.  Light rays are refracted through water droplets to give the appearance that we call a rainbow.  The rainbow exists in our minds.

Quantum physics implies that elementary particles have no firm properties or existence until viewed by consciousness.  Electrons exist as fields of possibility until viewed or observed and are empty of an independent or inherent existence.  Many Buddhist teachers teach the same.  Objects are empty, not to say that their is nothing out there, just that they do not exist independent of mind.

Do we paint the universe with our minds?  Does your view determine the world that you live in?


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