God And Emptiness

We have only two basic questions when it comes to merging with what is ultimately real. The first is: “Who am I?” The second is: “What is?” or “What is ultimately real?”

One kind of spiritual seeker prefers “Who?” to “What?”; the other “What?” to “Who?” Both questions, being necessary, terminate in the same placeless place.

Consider first calling the ultimate “God” or “the divine.” What the divine brings to the more artistic seeker are the affective, energetic, and vitalistic dimensions of the Whole. Those included to “interiority” and “subjectivity” incline their speech toward “God,” “the divine,” “the True Self,” “Absolute Subjectivity,” “Boundless Love,” and so on.

Now the other route. Those asking the “What?” question are using the objective to push beyond the objective. These seekers speak of “It,” “This,” “That,” “Such.” They also say, “Reality,” “the Source,” the One,” “Emptiness,” “Formlessness,” “Boundlessness,” “Openness” as well as “The Uncaused, Unconditioned, Unmanifest, Unborn,” and so on.

Where the objective points to what is beyond the world, the subjective points to what is beyond the little mind, the person, or the ego-self. Where the objective path tends to attract those of a jnani sort, the subjective path draws closely to itself bhakti, or devotional, seekers.

In the end, of course, we need both the light of direct seeing (jnani) and the love of boundless, creative energy (bhakti). We need Buddhism’s emptiness and Christianity’s love of all so that personal consciousness, now a vessel for the Source/God, can be imbued fully with affect, energy, and gnosis.