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Emptiness is Inconceivable and Indescribable

"The Victorious Ones have announced that emptiness is the relinquishing of all views. Those who are possessed of the view of emptiness are said to be incorrigible." — Nagarjuna, Mūlamadhyamakakārikā

"The Victorious Ones" refers to Buddha's disciples.

"Emptiness" is shunyata, the middle way between eternalism and nihilism.

"Relinquishing of all views" is to let go of conceiving of all the different views of reality.

"Those" refer to Buddhists, and anyone who has heard with the heartmind of Buddha's teachings (the Four Noble Truths and Dependent Origination).

"Possessed of the view of emptiness" means clinging to any concept of emptiness, be it nihilism or eternalism and any variation of these two extremes.

Thus, emptiness is inconceivable and indescribable.

For the absolute truth of emptiness is that it is empty of conception and description.

As for eternalism and nihilism, belief in either would lead to delusions about immortality and fear of death.

For immortality is empty of impermanence, and the fear of death is empty of the will to live.

This is why emptiness as the absolute truth and that which is empty are associated with each other.

For further explanation, click on the tags included with this article.

Two Extremes of Non-Buddhist Thought:

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