Form is emptiness, emptiness is form

This fits my direct experience.

To me, it’s as if the world is a dream. It happens within and as consciousness. It happens within and as the consciousness I am.

Just like a dream is without substance and solidity, the world to me seems without substance and solidity. It’s empty of substance and solidity.

Similarly, I find that what I am allows any content of experience. I am fundamentally empty of being anything, which allows the experience of everything.

Said another way:

The consciousness I am is empty. It’s fundamentally empty of form which means it can take on any and all forms. And it’s empty in the way night dreams are empty, without inherent substance.

And the consciousness I am is form, in that it takes on the forms of experience that’s here.

The quote “form is emptiness and emptiness is form” is a direct reflection of what I notice.

WHAT I MORE FUNDAMENTALLY AM

At one level, I am a human being in the world. That’s not wrong and it’s an assumption that works pretty well.

And in my own first-person experience, I find that I more fundamentally am something else.

I find I am capacity for the world. I am capacity for anything within my field of experience.

I am what the world, to me, happens within and as.

This also matches what I find logically.

If I “have” consciousness, it means that I have to BE consciousness. And if I have an experience it has to happen within consciousness. To me, the world happens within and as the consciousness I am.

Waking life, night dreams, and any state and experience happens within and as the consciousness I am.

FORM IS EMPTINESS, EMPTINESS IS FORM

Here, the statement reflects a direct and immediate noticing.

As consciousness, I am empty. I am inherently empty of anything. I am free to allow any and all experiences to come and go. It’s my nature. It’s inevitable.

As consciousness, I am also what forms itself into any and all experience. The consciousness I am forms itself into my experience of the world, as it appears here and now.

As consciousness, I am capacity (emptiness) and I am the field of experience (form) as it is here and now.

So form is emptiness. And emptiness is form.

HOW IT CAN APPEAR IF WE IDENTIFY AS AN OBJECT

This is how it always and already is.

So why does it sometimes appear differently?

When the oneness we are takes itself as (most fundamentally) an object in the world, then it seems that we are an object in a world full of objects.

And from here, the statement – form is emptiness and emptiness is form – doesn’t make much sense.

It seems abstract. Philosophical. Puzzling. A paradox. Nonsensical.

And when the oneness we are notices itself, the statement is just a direct reporting of what we notice.

WAYS OF GETTING IT

The oneness we are can “get” this in different ways.

We can see it. We can get it more viscerally.

Our metaphorical “center of gravity” can be mostly in separation consciousness or shift into oneness. (This is what we viscerally take ourselves to be.)

We can get it more or less thoroughly. We may get it in a general and “global” way, and we can also get it when it comes to specific states and content of experience, and especially that which our personality habitually doesn’t like.

MY EXPERIENCE

In my mid-teens, there was a oneness shift that happened “out of the blue” and this (form=emptiness) was something I directly noticed. I had no familiarity with Buddhism or spirituality in general, so when I tried to write about it in my journal, I used different words.

All, without exception, is God. Even a sense of being this human self is God, locally and temporarily, creating that experience for itself.

All is God, all is God’s consciousness. All is consciousness.

And if I had known about the empty/form language, I would perhaps have written:

Consciousness is inherently empty, and this emptiness allows it to take any and all forms.

And all the forms of consciousness, all experiences and the whole world, is inherently empty.

It’s all form and emptiness, just like a night dream.

It took several years before I found anyone who seemed to have had the same shift that turned everything upside-down and inside-out. The first time was reading a book of sermons by Meister Eckhart at the main library in Oslo.

Some while after that, in my late teens or early twenties, I got into Buddhism and heard this elegant reporting of direct noticing: form is emptiness and emptiness is form.


INITIAL NOTES

  • form is emptiness, emptiness is form
  • can seem abstract, inexplicable if take oneself most fundamentally as an object 
  • Is very obvious and a clear and direct noticing when find what we really are
    • We are consciousness and the world to us happens within and as the consciousness we are 
    • So is empty, like consciousness is, like a dream, can take any form
    • And is form, takes the form of any and all experience 
  • Degrees off getting it
    • Can see it generally, or have a can sense of it
    • Our center of gravity can shift into it 
    • Can get it more or less thoroughly, with more and more areas of life and experiences (more and more of what’s in the field of experience) 
  • For me, was exciting to see this classic buddhist statement the first time, here is someone who got it, who realized the same as what seemed so obvious to me 

This can seem abstract and inexplicable if we take ourselves to be an object. (If  the oneness we are takes itself to most fundamentally be something within its own field of experience.) 

And it’s obvious and clear and a direct noticing when we recognize what we really are. (When the oneness we are recognizes itself.) 

What we are 

We are consciousness, and the world to us happens within and as the consciousness we are. 

The consciousness we are takes the form of any and all content of experience. 

What we are is empty, like consciousness is, like a dream. Can take any form. 

And what we are is form, takes the form of any and all experience. 

Said another way: The world, to us, happens within and as the consciousness we are. It’s empty, in the sense that consciousness is empty, like a dream is empty. And the inherent emptiness of consciousness can take any form, any content of experience. 

Degrees of getting it 

There are degrees of getting it. 

We can see it generally and in a “global” sense. Or we can get it more viscerally. 

Our metaphorical “center of gravity” can shift into it more and more. 

We can get it more or less thoroughly. We can recognize more and more of our field of experience as it, including that which our personality doesn’t like, and including traumas and our reaction to traumas. 

Form is always emptiness, and emptiness is always form. We just need to notice. We just need to find ourselves as what we always are. 

In my case 

Following the oneness shift in my teens, this was obvious, although I used different words to try to express it. (Only in writing, I never talked about it with anyone and still rarely do.) 

All is God. God is consciousness. God takes any and all forms. God is emptiness that allows it to take any and all forms. God is all forms. 

For several years, I didn’t find anyone who seemed to have gotten this. And when I finally found this quote in Buddhism, I thought: Here is someone who got it, and expressed it in a very simple and direct way. Here is someone who got what seems so obvious. 

Here is a brief note from Big Mind: 

I am emptiness. I am no-thing that can take the form of everything. I take the form of any and all experience. 

I am form. I am what makes up anything and everything in the field of experience. 

Form is emptiness emptiness is form 

In my mid-teens, there was a oneness shift that happened “out of the blue”, and this was something I directly noticed. I had no familiarity with Buddhism or spirituality in general, so when I tried to write about it in my journal, I used different words.

All, without exception, is God. Even a sense of being this human self is God, locally and temporarily, creating that experience for itself.

All is God, all is God’s consciousness. All is consciousness.

God is what allows anything to be. God is all of it.

God is the emptiness allowing it all, and God is all of it.

This fits my direct experience.

To me, it’s as if the world is a dream. It happens within and as consciousness. It happens within and as the consciousness I am.

So it’s empty, in the way consciousness is empty.

And it’s form, in that it takes different forms.

It’s a direct reflection of what I notice.

The world is dreamlike as if it has no substance. And I also notice that the no-thing I am allows all things. In these ways, form is empty. It’s empty of substance or solidity. It’s not a thing so it can allow (the experience of) all things.

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