Hi Francis, “The”I" first chooses ignorance and as a result creates ignorant thoughts and feelings." Francis Lucille. In Q/A 68 under the 3rd question: is it the “I” that thinks these thoughts, and why do they tend to be negative? Answer: It is the “I” that thinks these thoughts, for there is only one thinker and only one doer. However they are distorted by ignorance. The “I” first chooses ignorance and as a result creates ignorant thoughts and feelings. They are negative because they arise out of frustration. Ignorance is the most basic of all frustrations: it frustrates us from what we are. In your answer above, this sentence (The “I” first chooses ignorance and as a result creates ignorant thoughts and feelings.) caught my attention and a question arose in me asking, how can it be that the I first choose ignorance before it is ignorant? If the I is not ignorant (Advaita) it seems that it would not choose ignorance. I the realize that perhaps we are caught in words and so I attempt to resolve it this way: If I was to answer my own question I would separate the I from AM and say that “I” is the bridge between objects and AM (IS) is Consciousness, undivided all knowing(Advaita). Describing it in this way the “I” is the bridge that has the (seemingly) freedom of choice to dissolve itself into AM, Advaita or shrink away from Consciousness, Advaita. However this answer still does not answer another question. Why was ignorance created (or chosen) to begin with? In other words, why a pure IAM ( Advaita), a pure presence would choose ignorance (the first time it chose ignorance) in the first place? And why there is an I at all? The answer (the joke is on us) is that there never was (is or will be) an I or a choice. There has never been any choice, there is no i, or I, or bridge, or presence (as this imply someone aware of it), or a chooser, or choices. Perhaps that is why we cannot separate the I from AM for I and AM must be indivisible in order to be Consciousness, Advaita. And that is why all of the above is nothing more than thought creating around and around its own illusions. That is why only the personal experience of the unnameable can answer and dissolve these questions and nothing else. If you find the time would you please comment? Is this view correct? Thank you so much for your clear guidance. With love, Albert
You say “If the I is not ignorant it seems that it would not choose ignorance.” Why not? Your statement comes from the belief that ignorance is bad, a belief which is itself a residue of ignorance. For this “I” nothing is bad, nothing is even neutral as some intellectual interpretations of Advaita would like us to believe, but “all is well and unfolding as it should”, as Robert Adams used to say. All, everything, including ignorance, emanates from the single Source. Your question reminds me of the paradox theologians find themselves in: if God is almighty and all knowing, it created evil, or at least he is aware of it and has the power to stop it. Since there is evil, it follows that God is not loving. Then they do a lot of intellectual tap dancing trying to prove that 2 + 2 = 3 (that God is loving and almighty, but that man is evil). Their problem is that they agree on the statement “there is evil”, to which God could answer: “in your eyes, gentlemen, not in Mine”.
Any distinction between “I” and “am” makes an object, a mentation out of either “I” or “am”, and a mentation doesn’t have the power to create anything, including ignorance, for a thought, a perception gets created and doesn’t create another thought or perception.
When I say that the“I” chooses ignorance, I am simply pointing at the innate freedom of our true nature. This choosing is different from the pseudo choosing of a separate entity devoid of reality, and therefore of real freedom. As it chooses, it creates, and as it creates, it perceives.
Let’s now examine your next question, “Why is there ignorance?” For this question to have any legitimacy, there must really be ignorance. We don’t ask the question “why are there unicorns?’ for unicorns don’t have real existence. Ignorance however doesn’t have a reality of its own. Its only reality is granted by us. So the only answer to this question is”because we love it, love it, love it more than dear life!