The 'mind' is words and images. We are not separate from words and images, but we are separate from what they mean. The meaning we habitually crave is an arbitrary conditioned one which casts a seeming veil over the true nature, devoid of meaning, of these words and images. The assigned meaning is simply conditioning and constitutes a 'culture'. Upon the apprehension that there is noumenon 'in' all of us prior to this cultural conditioning (noumenon also known as the Cognizing Emptiness) the meaning of the conditioned stances and assumptions of which the culture is made is seen for what it is, and loses its sting. It still continues to appear, but is known to be an empty shell appearing on the One Reality (Cognizing Emptiness) which is our true nature and identity.
Emptiness is the most remarkable Nothing. You can pour shit into it forever and it will never fill up. You can receive treasures from it forever and it will never empty out. It is not the slightest bit disturbed by anything you try to do to it, or ask of it, or think or feel about it. For those things arise out of it and subside back into it. Annihilation doesn't disturb it even a fraction. For nothing exists, or doesn't exist. The word 'exist' is a concept that doesn't capture anything and can't be pinned down regarding meaning.
Meaning is merely an experience passing through that which creates and destroys it. The concepts of existence and nonexistence are part of the infinite potential of Emptiness. They do not point to anything actual, but are mere empty appearances.
In advaita circles it's popular to say, by way of being impressively radical, 'You don't exist.' But this is not true. It's like 'You exist,' which is equally untrue. 'You don't exist' is merely an antidote, and when it has had its effect it is no longer needed. Both are words, labels, only.
Similarly, the antidote 'You are not the mind' is administered, because we are misled by the meaning of thoughts. The factual 'essence' or reality of thoughts is not their meaning, which is a social convention and which distracts us from their actual nature; their actual nature is not separate from That, which we are.
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