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.
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. Read More