Emptiness and the Middle Way

Dependent arising is intimately related with "emptiness" and the Middle Way. Let's uncover these connections.

"What we think of as phenomena are always just a vague approximation of what's really going on. We live in a nature of infinite contingencies. Things are 'empty' of being one particular way or another. They have a quality of being elusive and yet are vividly experienced."

Emptiness Metaphors

According to Nagarjuna and other Buddhist thinkers, the world of phenomenal forms is not substantial. Everything that appears to us is like:

  • a dream
  • an illusion
  • a city of gandharvas (a magical, mirage-like city)
  • an echo
  • a rainbow.

Note that this is not the same as denying the existence of all forms outright.

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