Ignorance, in Buddhism, is the feeling that we are separate from everything else. That feeling of separation causes us problems because it makes us so big. When we think of ourselves as a piece of the universe, we are tiny. When we are tiny, our problems are tiny. The whole universe supports us, like our body supports an eyelash.
When we separate ourselves from the universe, suddenly, we are all there is. We are on our own. Our problems, whatever they are, become huge. In these fragile, separate bodies, if we take just one misstep, we may cease to exist. Terrifying.
If we identify ourselves with the universe, it doesn’t bother us in the least that our body is expanding. That’s what the universe does. To imagine yourself as the universe, think about how the universe sustains us. We can tell the universe sustains us because we are here. There is a complex social system inserted between us and our sustenance, but the sun grows the food that grows us. We’re connected. We grew in our mother’s tummy. We’re connected. We love. We’re connected. It’s too bad we feel so separate.