Emptiness is a Paradox
Shunyata is a key concept in Buddhist philosophy, more specifically in the ontology of Mahayana Buddhism, “Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.” This is the paradox of the concept. Emptiness is nonexistence but not nothingness.
Also, it is not non-reality. Emptiness means that an object, animate or inanimate, does not have its own existence independently. It has its meaning and existence only when all the elements or components it is made of come into play and we can understand and impute its existence clearly. The Buddhist concept of emptiness is often taken as nihilism. Nihilism as a concept means that reality is unknown and unknowable, and that nothing exists.
Plato held the view that there is an ideal essence in everything that we have around us, whether animate or inanimate. The Dalai Lama says that shunyata is the absence of an absolute essence or independent existence. If a thing exists, it is because of several other factors. One might as well ask: is it possible to have a partless phenomenon? According to the Madhyamika school of thought, there can be no phenomenon without constituents. Every phenomenon in the universe has to have parts or constituents to come into being. The Dalai Lama says, “As your insight into the ultimate nature is deepened and enhanced, you will develop a perception of reality from which you will perceive phenomena and events as sort of illusory. And that mode of perceiving reality will permeate all your interactions with reality.”