When, through understanding, we realize that what we long for can never be found in an object, substance, activity, relationship or state, our longing loses its direction, flows back to its source, and is revealed as the love for which we were in search.

Why is there Ignorance?

What I fail to understand is WHY we have the 'I-thought' or the concept of self?


I started ‘seeking for the truth’ to what we are about two years ago, as I felt we are more than what conventional religion says and ideas of the self are. I have been trying to practice meditation and do some reading about spirituality, self-realization, etc, with the result that I understand the concept of open awareness, consciousness, etc, without actually coming to an experiential realization. What I fail to understand is
why we have the ‘I-thought’ or the concept of self. Are our brains programmed that way, or is it conditioning? I mean to say, what makes my awareness be the idea of ‘me’ and not someone else, i.e, why is is stuck to my body, feelings, thoughts, emotions if its actually an open awareness? Suppose a baby is without human interaction but somehow manages to grow up, would he/she still have a ‘me’ concept? If so, where would that come from?

Thanks, Chandi


Dear Chandi,

Why is there ignorance (the ‘I’ thought)?

The question cannot by definition be satisfactorily answered for this reason:

The question ‘Why’ presupposes the very duality that upon further investigation is found to be non-existent.

So the question ‘Why’ could be reformulated as, ‘Why is there non-existent ignorance?’ It is a meaningless question in light of the reality of our experience.

Let me be more specific:

The question ‘Why’ presupposes at least two things, a cause and an effect. Ignorance (or the ‘I’ thought) is considered in this question to be the effect of a cause that precedes it.

However, on deeply investigating the nature of experience we find that there are not two things or, we could provisionally say, there is only one ‘thing.’ (Please understand that the word ‘thing’ is not meant to indicate the reality of anything objective.)

There is nothing other than this ‘one thing,’ which we could call Presence, which could cause or be caused by, anything other than itself.

There is only Presence.

This is why in India they do not refer to ‘ignorance’ but rather the ‘illusion of ignorance.’

With love,