‘Sunn’ – Is it nothing or everything?

Identity 13 (2):26-29 (2013)
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Several religious philosophies such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Sikhism, although differ in many details, yet they all emphasize the basic unity of the universe. They point out that all phenomena in the world are the manifestation of an ultimate reality. The reality is seen as the essence of the universe, underlying, and unifying the multitude of things and events we observe. The Hindus call it 'Brahman', the Buddhists 'Tathata' (Suchness), the Taoists 'Tao' and the Sikhs 'Sunn'. The highest aim for the followers of these religious philosophies is to become aware of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things, to transcend the notion of an isolated individual self and to identify themselves with the ultimate reality. The emergence of this awareness - known as 'enlightenment'- is not only an intellectual act but is an experience which involves the whole person and is religious in its ultimate nature. In modern physics, quantum theory has abolished the notion of fundamentally separated objects and has introduced the concept of the participator to replace that of the observer. It has even found it necessary to include the human consciousness in its description of the world. In atomic physics, also, the universal interwovenness always includes the human observer and his or her consciousness. In the Eastern view, the reality underlying all phenomena is beyond all forms and defies all description and specification. It is therefore often said to be formless, empty, or void. But this emptiness is not to be taken for mere nothingness. It is on the contrary, the essence of all forms and the source of all life.
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