We’ve been tweeting this link to a PDF eBook Work with Void-free mind by Buddhadasa and thought you would like to read it too.
Previously we spoke of emptiness metaphorically as a special kind of power or force that can look in any direction. We spoke of a certain hermit with fiery eyes. Whatever direction he looked, with his fiery eyes popping out, everything would be burnt to a crisp so that direction was completely cleared. I’d like to use this as a metaphor for understanding emptiness.
The language of legend and myth always has hidden meanings. There’s a certain trick, or purpose, of important scriptures, such as the Ramayana, which shows that people in those days had a rather exalted imagination in their ability to consider and ponder things quite different from the ordinary. Here for us, it’s many times more different from the ordinary. The power of a fire that can incinerate everything in all directions can never compare with the power of emptiness. What this means is that it’s empty in a much greater or profound way. Because fire is an ordinary material thing that burns up only material stuff, creating merely material vacancy. It can’t burn anything mental or spiritual.
Here we’re speaking of matters relating to consciousness, so something able to incinerate or destroy everything must include mental matters. This power is the emptiness that is void of all feelings and thoughts of “me” and “mine,” of ego, which are mental phenomenon. That hermit’s special power can be used to harm others through selfishness. To harm others for one’s own benefit is fundamentally selfish. In our case, as we aspire to unselfishness, to destroying all selfishness, we don’t seek any particular benefits from anyone. This distinction is of tremendous importance.
Extract from Work with Void-free mind by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.
Read the full article here, this will open a PDF file.
You can read more Buddhadasa Bhikkhu teachings here.