This article continues where the previous article left off.
We start our analysis of Emptiness with an object and focus on how things appear to definitely exist, somehow independently. For example a meal of beans on buttered toast, there seems to be a definite qualities of the meal, as though the meal existed by it’s own accord. On analysis of the “beans” we might find it difficult to pinpoint the “bean-ness” or thing that made a bean a “bean”.
We could reflect that a bean functions as a “bean” and does “bean” things. But when we search for the “bean” of the bean, we are just attaching a name or concept on to something that behaves or functions in a specific way. It becomes just a useful abstraction that is merely labelled.
Things like beans behave and function in conventional ways, but on ultimate analysis we will find that there is nothing definitely or independently there. This helps to overcome the idea of ‘eternalism’, as though things will last forever!! The conventional appearances serve their purpose, but we will understand that they are like an illusion conjured by a magician.
Having reflected on Dependent Arising and Emptiness we could conclude that things appear to definitely exist, somehow independently. Based on Dependent Arising we could conclude that things exist conventionally, but in an ever-moving sea of change. Based on Emptiness we could conclude that things lack their definite appearance.