You Need a Hole in Your Head

William B. Turner
2 min readJan 29, 2023
Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion

Mine’s in the back. Yours may show up elsewhere. Everyone is different.

We can conceive of ultimate consciousness by using the metaphor of being in a room, knowing that the entire universe lies outside of the room. The only way to perceive the universe is through a window in a wall of the room.

Consciousness is the window. It is essential to all perception and knowledge.

This metaphor suggests an entity, you, in the room looking out through the window. But the Buddha tells us that our sense of ourselves is a profound misrecognition. There’s no there there.

Using my personal theory that, after the Buddha died, his body decayed as bodies will do, and that his consciousness, or whatever else you want to call it, the characteristic that made him who he was, apart from his body, dissipated entirely into space, we can infer that we are really just space.

Buddhists use the term, “emptiness,” in two ways. It can mean the absence of a persistent selfhood in all conditioned phenomena, meaning us and everything else. Nothing has an essence that defines it and gives it an enduring identity.

Emptiness is also a characteristic of ultimate conciousness, insofar as we can posit any characteristicd of what defies description.

We know, empirically, that space is not really empty. Between you and the far wall of the room lies this stuff we call “air,” which consists of various chemical elements that are just inviible to the naked eye and do not react with other common elements.

But it looks empty.

If you imagine yourself, or “yourself,” as standing in a room looking out a window, then apply the idea of not self, you can blow a whole in your head that will give you access to ultimate consciousness.

Try it. You’ll like it. Ultimate consciousness is an experience of indescribable beauty and peace, beyond any you have ever known.

It’s a huge step toward awakening.

Also, of course, keep up your consistent meditation practice.

I hope to start a Buddhist Vihara as a site where people can visit for meditation courses and long retreats. You may help by donating here. My thanks to everyone who has already donated.

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