People use the word, “kong (空),” usually without a clear understanding or clean definition.
GUTUL defines “kong (空)” clearly and cleanly in Table 5-6.
As a noun, “kong (空)” denotes
(1) “emptiness” which is “space being in itself” or the nature of space, is a shorthand for Chang Kong (常空), and is also “nothingness or Chang Wu (常无),” and
(2) “being empty” which is “being impermanent” or “changing” and is “substance being in itself” or the nature of substance, is also “something-ness or Chang You (常有),” and since it is really not “emptiness,” it is also referred to as “not emptiness” or “Bu Kong (不空)” – which, more precisely, should be called “Fei Chang Kong (非常空).”
1. Ruo you suo Bu Kong, he kuang you suo Kong (若有所不空，何况有所空):
As long as there is Bu Kong (substance being in itself),
there has to be Kong (space being in itself).
2. Kong zhong wu se (空中无色):
There is no Se (referring to Se Yun) in “emptiness or Chang Kong (常空).”
3. Kong bu yi Se (空不异色):
Kong (being empty or substance being in itself) is no different from Se (referring to Se Yun).
4. Kong ji shi Se (空即是色):
Kong (being empty or substance being in itself) is Se (referring to Se Yun).
As an adjective, “kong (空)” denotes “empty” and is used to describe all that is not “permanent, independent or inherent.”
1. Wu Yun jie kong (五蕴皆空):
“Five Yun” is all empty.
2. Se bu yi kong (色不异空):
Se (referring to Se Yun) is no different from “being empty.”
3. Se ji shi kong (色即是空):
Se (referring to Se Yun) is empty.
As a verb, “kong (空)” denotes “to empty out” or “to rid of.”
Zhu fa kong xiang (诸法空相):
All Fa’s (xxx being in itself) are to rid of all Xiang’s (our consciousness of xxx being as itself).