' When consciousness forgets itself '...

When consciousness forgets itself,
it can make all sorts of mistakes.

The first mistake that it almost always makes is to identify itself with whatever it created, in this case, a human being.

That's like a wave forgetting that it belongs to the ocean. It forgets its source. So instead of being the entire ocean, it suffers under the hideous delusion that it's just a wave on the surface of the ocean. And so it has a very surface experience of itself. Of course, it is still conscious of itself, but it's conscious of something that's incredibly surface and limited.

When all it's identified with is a very small wave, it creates all sorts of confusion because that identity isn't true. Anything that's not true quite naturally leads to suffering, and the only reason there is suffering or conflict is ignorance.

The identity, at its inception, is a very innocent mistake. It starts out incredibly innocent, but like a lot of things that start out innocent, when it gets farther down the line, the consequences don't seem so innocent.

- Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing, p. 39

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