Spiritual ignorance is the source of all your problems. You may blame other people for your problems, you may blame weather for your problems, you may blame the movements of planets for your problems, you may blame destiny for your problems, you may even go to the extent of believing that some dogs barking all night are the source of your problems… however, the fact remains: spiritual ignorance is the source of all your problems.
Or you can go deeper and think that your body is the source of your problems. Or else your ego is the source, or the endless flow of nonsensical thoughts in your mind at every moment is the cause of all your problems, etc. You may even consider the innermost accumulated impressions of all your actions as the source of your problems. And why not, even the Supreme Self could be the source of your problems. But the fact remains: spiritual ignorance is the source of all your problems.
Or you may even think in this way: “My present problems are here because I still do not solve them all”. So, you solve them all, but soon you realize that new problems will come to you. In this way, you will have to keep solving problems after problems by using that method. All in all, you do not get rid of the problems once and for all, but simply replace one with another. If solving problems was the solution to problems, why do you keep having them then? Therefore, the fact remains: spiritual ignorance is the source of all your problems.
What is a problem? It is something causing affliction. A fact in itself is not a problem, as most people believe. No, it has to be somehow linked to the particular person experiencing that fact in order for it to become a problem or even the opposite. This is the reason why one fact stands for different things among different people. The same fact could make a person laugh in one country and make another person cry in a different country. So you could think that it is the link to the fact which is the source of your problems. It is not either.
The source of all your problems is deeper than all that, and its name is “spiritual ignorance”. This ignorance is not related to objects, whether they are subtle (e.g. mind) or gross (e.g. physical body, external things). No, it is not related to any object at all. In order to remove ignorance about objects you go to the university, etc. You learn many things there about particular objects such as mind, physical body, buildings, electricity, etc. Anyway, your spiritual ignorance cannot be overcome by this kind of universities. You need a special type of instruction if you want to be successful in removing it.
What is this spiritual ignorance then? It is ignorance about the Self. In simpler terms: It is ignorance about what you are essentially. When you finally realize what you are in essence, all your troubles are gone forever. But if you do not realize that, you will be always in trouble regardless of the state of your body, mind, environment, bank account, social status and so on. This is the first thing you must understand if you want to attain spiritual enlightenment (i.e. real Freedom!).
I will keep talking about spiritual ignorance in my next post.