The ‘Four’ Ignorances

Traditionally, in Buddhism, we speak of two ignorances, or veils: ignorance of our true nature and the ignorance of maintaining that mistaken view, which is our own doing.

It is obvious that if we have these veils, then so does everyone else. That being the case, there are also external ignorances that influence our own mistaken view: peer pressure can overwhelm our intelligence.

These external ignorances fall into two categories: intentional and unintentional, or conscious and unconscious.

There are those who wilfully pull the wool over our eyes to keep us confused so that they can rule over us. In addition, there are those who, having had the wool pulled over their eyes, maintain this deception unconsciously…well…almost unconsciously, as we all experience guilt and discontent.

We are subject to peer pressure: that is what keeps us in line to conform. Look up the Asch Experiment and the work of Professor Stanley Milgram, who wrote: “It may be that we are puppets — puppets controlled by the strings of society. But at least we are puppets with perception, with awareness. And perhaps our awareness is the first step to our liberation.” We will consent to incorrect ideas through peer pressure, even though we know that what is being suggested is make believe.

Also look up “The Invisible Gorilla” ( – we don’t see what we actually see!

Understanding and realising the nature of mind is simple.
It is awareness of awareness that makes no comment:
it just sees clearly.

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