Nothing isn 't real…but nothing is empty. In order to prove that some “X” exists essentially, one would need to not refer to some other “non-X.” When one finds the true identity of some “X,” then one understands the ultimate nature/reality of that thing. If this true identity of some “X” is proved to be exhaustive, and essence-less, then “X” has no ultimate nature or essence. This “X” is empty of essence, which is the true definition of emptiness.
Using Nāgārjuna’s analysis of Desire and the one who Desires, a more exact logic can be made of Happiness and the Happy Mind (Katsura and Siderits 65).
If the one who is happy existed prior to and without happiness, then desire would be dependent on that; there being the one who pursues happiness, happiness would then exist.
This first statement touches on the difference, as well as the similarity, between a state and a subject. For two things to exist and come to be at the same time, if dependent on one another, is completely ludicrous. Something that is ultimately real would come into being by itself, without and interdependence upon anything other than