Quote Originally Posted by daverupa View Post
The term "emptiness" is trouble, because it leads into these weird realms of thought. The vast majority of cases in the Suttas involve the phrase "empty of", and the only things "empty of" anything are the aggregates; in other words, experiencing is the stuff being talked about. Experience is empty of permanence, empty of satisfactoriness.

It has nothing to do with ideas that "the world out there isn’t real," nor "that things that seem substantial are in some sense devoid of content." Emptiness isn't a fact about reality, it's a description of experience.
Absolutely agree with this. I think at the time of the Buddha other sects taught that external matter had an essence or substance - or didn't. They were effectively establishing an external ontology. Buddha always rejected metaphysical positions 'fetter of views' etc.

I think that there's a subtle yet critical leap between saying things 'appear illusory' and saying things 'are illusions'. Or not-self versus no-self.

For many people those two positions amount to the same thing, which causes no end of bother.

This quote sums it up:
Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick — this has been taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. However you observe them, appropriately examine them, they're empty, void to whoever sees them appropriately.