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Enlightenment

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The most fundamental truth in all of Buddhism is that of the emptiness of all things. Enlightenment is the realization of this truth. Oh, but if only the depths of this reality were as easy to understand as to define!
If the truth of emptiness (sunyata) were as easy to grasp as that of, say, 2+2=4, we wouldn’t need to speak in terms of enlightenment, or awakening (bodhi). It would be obvious to all but the least educated amongst us. But since the deepest understanding of emptiness is more akin to an understanding of Einstein’s theory of general relativity than simple arithmetic, we give it a special name. Just as we have a special name, of a sort, for those who understand relativity. Namely, genius!



Indeed, some can speak intelligently about certain aspects of general relativity. Far fewer, though – even after a century of commentary, experimentation, study, and reflection – have grasped its intricacies. So groundbreakingly monumental was Einstein’s theory that when Sir Arthur Stanle…