emptiness

See emptily.

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also called  Nothingness, or Void,  

      in mysticism and religion, a state of “pure consciousness” in which the mind has been emptied of all particular objects and images; also, the undifferentiated reality (a world without distinctions and multiplicity) or quality of reality that the emptied mind reflects or manifests. The concept, with a subjective or objective reference (sometimes the two are identified), has figured prominently in mystical thought in many historical periods and parts of the world. The emptying of the mind and the attainment of an undifferentiated unity is a theme that runs through mystical literature from the Upaniṣads (ancient Indian meditative treatises) to medieval and modern Western mystical works. The concepts of hsü (xu) (q.v.) in Taoism, sunyata (q.v.) in Mahāyāna Buddhism, and the En Sof in Jewish mysticism are pertinent examples of “emptiness,” or “holy Nothing,” doctrines. Buddhism, with its basic religious ultimate of Nirvāṇa (nirvana) (q.v.), as well as its development of the sunyata doctrine, has probably articulated emptiness more fully than any other religious tradition; it has also affected some modern Western considerations of the concept. A good deal of 19th–20th century Western imaginative literature has been concerned with emptiness, as has a certain type of Existentialist philosophy and some forms of the Death of God movement. The particular meanings of “emptiness” vary with the particular context and the religious or cultural tradition in which it is used.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

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  • Emptiness — as a human condition of generalized boredom, social alienation and apathy. Feelings of emptiness often accompany dysthymia, [Downs, A. The Half Empty Heart: A supportive guide to breaking free from chronic discontent. (2004)] depression,… …   Wikipedia

  • Emptiness — Emp ti*ness, n. [From {Empty}.] 1. The state of being empty; absence of contents; void space; vacuum; as, the emptiness of a vessel; emptiness of the stomach. [1913 Webster] 2. Want of solidity or substance; unsatisfactoriness; inability to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • emptiness — index insufficiency Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • emptiness — 1530s, from EMPTY (Cf. empty) + NESS (Cf. ness) …   Etymology dictionary

  • emptiness — [n] void, bareness blank, blankness, chasm, depletedness, desertedness, desolation, destitution, exhaustion, gap, hollowness, inanition, vacancy, vacuity, vacuum, waste; concepts 720,733 Ant. capacity, fill, fullness …   New thesaurus

  • emptiness — [[t]e̱mptinəs[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT A feeling of emptiness is an unhappy or frightening feeling that nothing is worthwhile, especially when you are very tired or have just experienced something upsetting. The result later in life may be feelings of… …   English dictionary

  • emptiness — emp|ti|ness [ˈemptinıs] n [U] 1.) a feeling of great sadness and loneliness ▪ She felt an emptiness in her heart when he left. 2.) when there is nothing or nobody in a place emptiness of ▪ the silence and emptiness of the desert …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • emptiness — noun (U) 1 a feeling of great unhappiness and loneliness: She felt an emptiness in her heart when he left. 2 the state of having nothing in an area or space (+ of): the silence and emptiness of the desert …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • emptiness — emp|ti|ness [ emptinəs ] noun uncount 1. ) an empty space or state: the vast emptiness of space 2. ) a feeling of having no emotion, interest, or purpose …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • emptiness — noun she had filled an emptiness in his life Syn: void, vacuum, empty space, vacuity, gap, vacancy, hole, lack …   Thesaurus of popular words

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