Some spiritual traditions, such as Buddhism, describe the essence of being as emptiness. It is true that when we enter our natural state of union with the divine, our minds become still, and we experience complete peace. This is often described as "going into silence", and this silence means much more than just the absence of sound and mental chatter: it is complete stillness, a one-ness with the divine and a one-ness with the universe.
However, those of us who have experienced such "emptiness" or "silence" know that this peace and stillness brings with it a blissful feeling of absolute contentment: we are bathed in a golden light of love energy, and we radiate this golden energy from ourselves. We then know that, in our essence as spiritual beings, we are the embodiment of love and golden light. We feel anything but empty!
It is not unreasonable to describe the experience of stillness and peace as emptiness - it does feel like that, as all the clutter and confusion of material life disappears and becomes utterly insignificant and irrelevant.
However, most unenlightened people see emptiness as a bad thing, something to be avoided. We look for abundance in life. We crave experience. We want our lives to be full, not empty. When we are unenlightened, the concept of emptiness is a black void, the very thought of which fills us with fear. Enlightenment turns that cold black void into a warm golden glow of love, peace, contentment, and bliss. Rather than feeling lost, lonely, confused, and useless, we feel powerful and joyful and at one with all other beings and with all of creation.
So I see enlightenment as an experience of fullness, not an experience of emptiness. When we experience the true reality of spiritual being, we are blissful, we are love-full, we are powerful, we are full of golden light, we are fully content. As we approach this awareness of our true nature, our minds become silent, and the all the manifestations of material world fade away: we then know that the material world is an illusion, and that we are not our physical incarnations.
Our essential form, as spiritual beings, can be described as a conscious point of light. This point is often described as infinitesimal, meaning that it has no physical size - in physical terms this point is nothing. This point is the form of the divine, and is represented in numerology as the number zero, and in Tarot as The Fool, the innocent. Zero and nothing and emptiness are clearly very similar concepts, if not identical.
However this nothing radiates golden light, which does exist physically, albeit at a very subtle level of matter - too subtle for the crude instruments of science to measure. This nothing is conscious, indeed it is consciousness. This nothing is the seed, the essence, of life itself. This nothing is the source of creation. This nothing is everything! And here, we are closing in on the truth. If we consider yin and yang: yin is sparse and yang is dense. Yin tends towards emptiness and nothingness. Yang tends towards fullness and everything-ness. At their extremes, yin becomes yang and yang becomes yin. Extreme emptiness and extreme fullness become one and the same. We cannot have fullness without emptiness and we cannot have emptiness without fullness.
To experience the feeling of fullness, which is our natural eternal essential state of being, we must first embrace emptiness, and transcend the complex illusions of the physical. We must go beyond. We must empty our minds of the clutter that we cling to. We must travel into the void. But as we embrace absolute emptiness, we encounter absolute fullness. We then understand that the emptiness is a lack of material manifestation, while the fullness is an abundance of spiritual potential.
Once we have felt the fullness of our divine essence, our eternal existence, life without end, we no longer fear the empty void.
In very simple terms, buddhists and others who embrace emptiness are focusing on the empty half of the glass of the universe, while those of us who embrace the light of fullness are focusing on the full half. The glass is half full, and it is also half empty. We are both right. Take your pick!
There are many paths up the mountain, and so long as we are all aiming for the mountain top, which is realization of our true nature, and becoming the embodiment of that true nature, then we are all heading in the right direction. Bon voyage