How do you listen to a statement like this?

Continuing the discussion from Absolutely free of fear:

Thought is entirely empty.

How does one listen to this statement? How does one respond to it? And, if there is a response, what is the exact and precise nature of the response? Where is it actually coming from?

Can we look at this a little bit?

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My reaction is to wonder what message the speaker is trying to convey?
So I would ask them what they mean.

Whilst waiting for a response I would analyse the statement : Which appears to mean that thought is not full of stuff, like truth, ideas, fallacies, memory, knowledge, fear etc.

And would come to a tentative conclusion of what the statement implies : thought exists on its own merits, or thought is made purely of thought, or thought does not exist - all of which seem wrong.

My kneejerk reponse, which is due to my conditioning reacting to my conditioning, is that we can also state the opposite: Thought is full of conditioning. Thought is the universe expressing itself through me.

There is no speaker to explain it. There is no entity to elaborate upon the statement and describe the finer details. There is only this statement: thought is entirely empty. Can we forget altogether the speaker – which also means to forget the listener, as the two are inter-twined – and listen only to the statement? Is it a true statement? Is it a statement based on fact? And, if it is based on fact, is it a statement that is as close to the fact as it is possible to be?

How close is close? Does it have to be closer than every contradictory statement? eg. “Thought is full of fear”
Words are based on thought. Thus the impossibilty of stating exactly what is.

My best response is to say : I don’t know.

What is meant by empty in this context? Impotent? Hollow? Lacking substance? Representational?

As with any challenge that is not life-threatening, academically.

There is nothing in it, not a thing. Even the word ‘fear’ - there is nothing in it. Is it possible to be close or adjacent to nothing, to perceive the fact of nothingness, to have a relationship with it? Or there is only that fact. All the rest of the business is the manufacture of non-facts.

Yes. That seems to be the difference between theoretical understanding and seeing or insight. The fact alone. Not I seing it, I staying with it, I facing it. Not I wanting to put an end to it, to put an end to myself.
Not thought seeing it and soon wanting to put an end to it, to put an end to itself.

Logically we have to go with: No. All our talk of emptiness/wholeness is obviously made up by memory.

It is made up of the memory of incompleteness, which is neither empty nor whole. This memory triggers a desire for the resolution of the sense of incompleteness, which can only be presented through ideation, whether it is the idea of emptiness or the idea of wholeness. But - here is the point - the memory itself is also pure ideation. There is actually no substance to it at all. It is the memory of a dead thing. So when we say thought is entirely empty we mean also that thought is entirely empty of life, devoid of life. Would you accept this?

Memory is thought, I get that. Therefore also empty (if we agree with the initial idea)

I can agree that thought is devoid of life in the same way that the CO2 or nail clippings that I produce are devoid of life. (Though they all sustain life - are part of the life cycle)

But do you also see that this very agreement may itself be already dead? And if I am handing you an idea, a concept, a theory, no matter how close to the truth it may be, that too is already dead. Yet we go along with all this very happily, don’t we?

I see. But isn’t that what communication based on words is all about?

Do Cheetahs dream of teleportation?
(In order to catch more food)

Is there a problem with using dead tools? like language, or hammers.
(some would say that if you look closely at the dead, empty tool, you can see all of life, all of the universe)

Do we need to communicate? Do I know something you don’t know? Or do you know something I don’t know? Then communication makes perfect sense. But otherwise, why? When we are sharing a question, there is surely something else taking place that is nothing to do with communication at all. That is, we are involved in a question for which there is no dead answer.

Have you ever considered joining the online dialogue group? They meet every Wednesday and/or Saturday.

I did consider it - and I now have joined the Saturday group (though I can only stay for 45 minutes for my first session this saturday) - Hopefully, someone can explain finally to my liking how it works.
Would you care to try explaining again in a couple of sentences? For example, If someone asks a question : eg. do cheetahs dream of teleportation? or, Is thought entirely empty? what exactly is suposed to happen? We all just listen to the question and then what ideally?

There is no ‘ideally’ - there is only whatever happens, happens. Would you have a question? Some of us do, some of us don’t - it doesn’t matter. But each time is a fresh start, so anyone can speak first. We usually sit quietly for a few minutes, but that too doesn’t matter.

Once our question is clear, it usually answers itself.

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Sounds like the Quakers: The Religious Society of Friends.

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Too much enforced silence plays tricks on the mind. It is best to keep such things to a minimum.

Enforced silence is conflict and noise - any enforced silence is merely confusion - I say this as someone who regularly sits down quietly doing nothing

This means you are communicating something which you already know. The truth may be very different. It is like me communicating to you what I know about online dialogues, which is based on my limited experience. What is silence? There are a dozen dead answers to such a question. The dead answers come from our experience. Is there a living answer to the question? This demands a certain kind of energy, which may only be possible when a few of us are committed to exploring a question in a totally new way, in a way which has no urgency outside of the desire for its answer. An idea, a conclusion, a theory, a guess, a wish or a hope - none of these are answers.

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So I hope it is becoming clear that thought has no answers to our deepest and most fundamental questions. It is empty of answers. It is an impotent source of energy. For trivial questions thought has many quick and accurate answers, but it cannot answer any question of a psychological nature without muddying the waters of the very thing it is examining. Therefore, when it interferes in these kinds of questions, thought’s only effect is to bring about not only the perpetuation of the original problem but also the proliferation of a lot of other problems too. If we really want an answer to the many problems caused by our psychological activity, we have to look somewhere else.

Our greatest psychological problem is the question of fear, for which thought has an awful lot of crooked answers. But when we question fear, which includes the question of suffering and pain, isn’t there a direct answer when we no longer look to thought for a resolution?