Inquiring Minds Want to Know! So be it!
There is no time when you have experienced anything outside of your consciousness. All experience only occurs in consciousness.
Closing your eyes for a moment, just experience the conscious content of consciousness. Is there anything in your consciousness that is made of a substance other than consciousness itself? If you perceive a tree for instance, all you experience regarding the tree occurs in consciousness. No wood, no leaves, no bark appear in consciousness; only perceptual images do. This is true also of all experience.
It’s true for people too. We only ever experience mental images and the sensory stimulations caused by people but never more than that. The world we experience only exists in our minds or consciousness. In other words our experiences are always only representative of something we never know directly or outside of our own consciousness.
Seeing this clearly we can notice two facts about experience:
All phenomena appearing in the mind or consciousness have no substance other than consciousness and consciousness has no solidity or substance. We could say the appearances in consciousness are empty of substantive or inherent existence. Or we could say the appearances occurring in mind are just “empty”. They have no endurance; not even for a second, yet they appear; like daydreams.
All of our suffering, anxiety, sense of self and frustration also only exist in consciousness, yet without any substance other than consciousness itself. Seeing the empty nature of consciousness itself, it only follows that we notice its contents to be equally empty; like empty daydreams.
When the mind realizes all phenomena only ever exist in consciousness and that both consciousness and its contents are all equally empty; we can say that the mind “has realized the empty nature of all experience”. Nothing is left out of this all inclusive wisdom or prajna insight.
Seeing there is nothing of substance to grasp, grasping ceases. Seeing there is no one to grasp anything, grasping never arises. The same for avoidance and resistance. Hence hope and fear have lost their footing. Only peace and deep relaxation endure in such an undefined openness.
This is the liberation the Buddha and Nagarjuna spoke about.