non-self and emptiness?

Anyone here could help differentiate between non-self and emptiness?

golden lion

A beautiful simile:
"Fa-tsang's Treatise on the Golden Lion is, evidently, one of my favourites. I read it first in Buddhism: Introducing the Buddhist Experience, by Donald W. Mitchell, pp 216-218. It discusses the idea of the co-arising of the world using the gold of a statue as a simile for emptiness (li) and the lion taken as a whole form to represent phenomena (shih).

The gold has no self-nature. The arising of the lion is due only to dependence, so it is called dependent arising. The lion is empty [not self-sustaining]; there is only the gold. Also, emptiness, having no self-nature, manifests itself through form. This means that since the gold takes in the totality of the lion, apart from the gold there is no lion to be found. This means that when we see the lion coming into existence, we are seeing only the gold coming in to existence as form. There is nothing apart from the gold."

found online.


Generally, emptiness refers to the emptiness of all objects of experience and is the illusory nature of phenomena. However, non-self refers to the non-existence of a determinate self. So non-self can be described as a subset of emptiness.


Non-self: also called "corelessness".
Emptiness: Roland Rech, French Zen master disciple of Japanese Master Deshimaru, says that emptiness is like a bottle empty of content.
Tibetan master Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche says that emptiness is a concept expedient to defuse attachment.