Three keys to personal liberation that Shakespeare didn't get.


3. The Power of 'Not To Be'.

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An ink brush painting giving expression to ‘shunyata’, or emptiness. Painted by Mumon Yamada Roshi, former head of a Rinzai sect of Zen and an accomplished calligrapher.


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Another ink brush painting illustrating ‘shunyata’, or emptiness.


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Illustration in the ‘New Scientist’ magazine for an article on Nothingness.



Here we come to the essence of the process of liberation and indeed, the nature of existence itself. As the author points out in chapter 22, the core of human consciousness and heart of the universe find common ground in shunyata, emptiness, or nothingness.
Efforts by the intellect in the form of philosophy, psychology and theology to explain the nature of our reality are simply ways to avoid facing the nothingness that surrounds us and permeates our being.
It is no accident that the concept of zero, expressed through the symbol ‘0’, originated in India with the teachings of Buddha and Mahavira. Both men used it to measure vast, almost uncountable aeons of time and also to point to the intrinsic ‘emptiness’ of human consciousness.
The zero came late to Europe and even then was opposed for a hundred years by the religious and political establishment.
Why the fear? Because at the zero point intellect dies, mind ceases to function, faith disappears, and the Zen experience of ‘No Mind’ is all that remains.