form is empty´. These words of the Buddha are not a philosophy.
It is not some sort of postmodern credo avant la lettre, meant to show that
there is no meaning, no value or purpose in life; that in the end there
is only a mere nothing as life is concerned. The sunyata, the Emptiness, which is at
the center of the Buddhistic doctrine, is often not
understood. It is not a pessimistic or fatalistic doctrine, coined by a
depressed mind prone to heavy drinking and on the verge of suicide. No,
it is the total and deep experience of a very healthy consciousness.
For sunyata is one of the
deepest realizations of meditative consciousness. It is what we all
experience when we close our eyes and study the interiority of life.
By closing our eyes we begin to see that life and consciousness consist
of different layers. The first layer is already visible when our eyes
are open. It consists of solid matter. This is the grossest form life
exhibits. We can touch, smell, hear and see it. It is shallow, because
it is what it is. It needs no interpretation, but only confirmation. We
all agree about a rock. A rock is a rock.
But when we close our eyes we enter a different world, a world of more
subtle forms. The second layer we encounter, after the first layer of
the grossest forms of tangible and visible objects, are our thoughts,
as we see them passing across the screen of our mind. These thoughts
constitute a midway passage, a kind of limbo region, between the
material and the immaterial, material, because of their close
connection with the workings of the brain, and immaterial because they
transcend the material plain: they open up into a world of wider
connections and point to something more than just material things. They
are the tokens we use to describe the far more interesting world of
mind and rationality. Because this world is transcended to the material
world, it can do more than material things can. Thoughts can plan,
organize, deduce to, infer from etc. the material world. Because of its
being transcendent it can act upon the material world.