Thus I have heard. Once, Athena met Aerope in the royal palace of Mycenae. Aerope asked Athena a question.
Aerope: What is the greatest error of esoteric idealism?
Athena: The greatest error of esoteric idealism occurs when the idealists assume that because emptiness and form are categories that reality is ideal in nature. The idealists wrongly assume that the category of emptiness is an existent universal called consciousness, that is, they confuse non-conceptual awareness with a universal and they wrongly assume that the category of form is an existent universal that they confuse with matter. But a universal is nothing; a universal is a breath of air. Non-conceptual awareness is not a universal or a universal mind but is a particular being, namely an activity of the human brain. Matter must exist as a particular material being, not a universal. Every material being be it a human brain, a rock, etc. is a particular being. Non-conceptual awareness is an activity, a function of that human brain. The categories of emptiness and form describe properties of material beings. Emptiness is nothingness and is the ground of material being. Form is being. Thus emptiness is a category which in psychology is non-conceptual awareness, in ontology is the vacuum and in linguistics exists as the spoken phonemes or written letters of the word apart from any relations with other words that give words relative meaning. Form is a category which in psychology is the human brain, in ontology is the points of energy and atoms that exist as manifestations of the vacuum and in linguistics is the word as it exists as a sign which has meaning because it exists in relation to other words. Hence the esoteric idealists' error is a category error in which the universal or category is mistakenly taken as the identity of the entity which in reality is a particular.
When Athena had finished preaching this Sutra Aerope was jubilant. Aerope accepted Athena's teaching and began to follow it with great veneration.
In Memoriam: Bob Hale (1945-2017)
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