Brahman is an ultimate reality that is beyond notions of existence and non-existence, because Brahman is deemed as a transcendental, unchanging and independent ultimate reality that cannot be accessed with concepts. It is attributeless pure consciousness.
Emptiness means that everything including Brahman is a mere imputation free of any true existence or reality that can be pinned down, and that being so, no existence or non-existence can be established. There is no 'Brahman' that can be pinned down as an ultimate reality apart from or within appearances, it is just a convention denoting an empty flow of luminosity-appearances, just as no "wind-ness" can be pinned down apart from blowing or a "river" apart from flowing.
Emptiness does not mean no appearance, i.e. no chariot does not deny the appearance of the chariot. Likewise, no Brahman, no Consciousness, etc. does not deny awareness/knowing, luminosity or appearances, but rejects awareness as an ultimate ground or ultimate reality.
i.e. Alex Weith:
Just for the sake of clarification, I would like to make it clear that I never said that "these luminous self-perceiving phenomena which are craving-free and nondual are the Ultimate", if there could still be any ambiguity about that.
On the contrary, I said that what I used to take for an eternal, empty, uncreated, nondual, primordial awareness, source and substance of all things, turned out to be nothing more than the luminous nature of phenomena, themselves empty and ungraspable, somehow crystallized in a very subtle witnessing position. The whole topic of this thread is the deconstruction of this Primordial Awareness, One Mind, Cognizing Emptiness, Self, Atman, Luminous Mind, Tathagatgabha, or whatever we may call it,
As shocking as it may seem, the Buddha was very clear to say that this pure impersonal objectless nondual awareness (that Vedantists called Atma in Sanskrit, Atta in Pali) is still the aggregate of consciousness and that consciousness, as pure and luminous as it can be, does not stand beyond the aggregates.
"Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not my self.'" (Anatta-lakkhana Sutta).
Last edited by xabir
on Tue May 22, 2012 5:53 pm, edited 6 times in total.