What does void—the frequently occurring word in the sutras—connote?

Neither about emptiness nor about nothingness, the word void—sunya

in Sanskrit, kong in Chinese transliteration—in the sutras connotes but

nonexistence of self-nature. For there in Buddhism is one formula-like

principle: cause + condition = effect. Cause pertains to primary

determinant and condition to accessory agent, life itself inclusive.

All things only come to be when multiple conditions harmonize, like a

seed—as quintessential cause—needing soil, light, fresh air, water,

fertilizing, time, and the right season to grow into a sapling, to flower,

and to fruit. All things that come to be with multiple conditions

harmonizing carry a functioning principle:

‘Arising when conditions assemble;

Annihilation when conditions scatter.’

Inherently, nothing is by nature dominating or unchanging; nor is

there ever any such thing as independence or permanence. For life

is about birth, aging, sickness, and death, and all insentient objects

about formation, abidance, deterioration, and nonexistence. Void,

thus perceived in the worldly truth, is the final product from all extents

of time.