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Chapter 34: Not to Be: the Greatest Ecstasy

I have seen you in discourse for many years, and you appear to be more full of emptiness as time passes. I know this does not make sense, but is it possible that you are more empty?

Shunyo, it is exactly the meaning of your name. Shunyo means emptiness, with a special meaning. The English word emptiness does not have that meaning. The English word has a negative connotation: it simply means empty of something. “Shunyo,” the Sanskrit equivalent of emptiness, has a double meaning: it means empty of something and full of something.

For example, this room is full of people. When you all are gone, it can be said, “This room is empty now” - that is a negative meaning. It can also be said, “Now the room is more full of space.” People were taking the space; now they are gone, the room is spacious. When people were here, there was less emptiness. Now that the people are gone there is more emptiness. “The room is full of emptiness” - this is the positive side of the word. And the positive side is of tremendous significance, because everything in existence comes out of emptiness. Certainly that emptiness cannot be simply empty.

If you cut a seed with a knife you will not find the leaves and the flowers and the fragrance. But given the right soil the flowers will come, the foliage will come, the fragrance will come - from where? We cannot find it in the seed; as far as we can see, the seed is empty. But certainly the seed is full of something which is invisible to us. It is full of all the possibilities that are going to happen: the foliage, the leaves, the greenery, the flowers, the colors, the fragrance - all is there.

One name has become very important for those who are in search of the miraculous. Strangely enough, the name comes from the Soviet Union. There is a photographer - his whole life he has been developing sensitive plates, sensitive lenses. They are so sensitive that they can catch something of the future, because the future cannot be just absent; it may be invisible, but in some way it has to be present. The next moment that is coming cannot come out of a negative emptiness. It can come only out of a fullness, which looks empty to us because we are not so sensitive that we can see the invisible.

And he has succeeded; he has developed a photography called “Kirlian”; his name is Kirlian. He takes a picture of a bud, a rosebud, and the picture appears as a fully blossomed flower. He has pictured, caught the future. And when the bud becomes a flower after a few days, it is amazing that it is exactly a true copy of the picture that was taken by Kirlian before the flower was ever in existence. Certainly the flower was in existence, it was just not available to us. We were not so sensitive, our eyes were not so penetrating, our insight was not so far-reaching.

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