October 20, 2023
Ask Deepak

Why did we choose the illusion of separation?.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.


“I’ve studied your teachings and your explanation of Vedanta using quantum physics and modern spirituality has made nearly flawless sense to me. 

But there are just a few questions I have that I haven’t been able to find the answers to so far through your work, or my research of Indian philosophy. 

I would greatly appreciate your help in answering these. 

I understand we are all on this journey from misunderstanding/ignorance or separation back to the wholeness of our source. 

I understand the soul (jiva/atman) is Brahman. 

I understand that suffering is rampant and what we need to do to escape suffering. 

I’ve traced it back thusly: Suffering comes from identification with ego which comes from losing touch with source which comes from believing the material world is all there is, which comes from separation… So my first question is: How and why did we come to this separation in the first place? 

If Brahman/Source is all, then what is the reasoning for souls? 

What is the purpose of the separation? 

My last questions come from the opposite end of the existence spectrum: After we become liberated from separation back to unity and away from suffering… then what? 

There’s the indication that like viewing the photon going into the event horizon, this state of wholeness and bliss is then just experienced forever, but you’ve said everything comes from nothing and returns to nothing. 

It’s my understanding that everything is cyclical so once everything returns to the nothing, would it not then emerge again? 

Do we finish the journey Home to just come back again to repeat it again? 

I feel these are the most important questions (to me anyway) and would really appreciate some help.”


First let’s clarify your point on suffering, identification, and separation. 

There is no fundamental separation between our core existence and the existence of others or anything else in creation. 

That is the basic reality of unified existence. 

Our individual spark of consciousness has choice or free will in how it perceives itself concerning the world at large. 

When it is fully awake to its true nature, it sees that unity, with everything else, as its dominant reality, and the diversity of experience is understood in the context of that wholeness. 

When individuality is not awake to its essential truth, then it sees itself as separate and isolated from the world around it. 

Seeing the world as “other,” awareness identifies itself with the object of perception. 

This lack of self-awareness is the ignorance of its true self, and that misunderstanding gives rise to the perception of separation, not real separation. 

There’s no purpose to the separation because it’s not an actual separation, it’s a misperception of unity. 

This ignorance and feeling of separation is what causes fear and suffering. 

And so this leads to your real question, why would we use our free will to choose isolated individuality over universality? 

I know of no fully satisfying answer to this, but I will share what I have heard from an enlightened teacher. 

He said it is the need or desire to feel special or unique that is the basis for that initial impetus to misperceive its true nature. 

Another answer that may be related to this is that when our selfhood is in its earliest stages of awakening, its will and awareness are also metaphorically in their infancy. 

Just as a baby has a will and a sense of awareness, it is quite different at that stage of life than the will and awareness she will have as an adult. 

The “mistakes” the baby makes about perception, language, and understanding are not real mistakes, they are the necessary developmental learning stages they need to grow through to eventually become fully functioning adults. 

In this analogy, our “ignorance” of our true self is only the early stages of our growth into fully awakened beings. 

Your last question is whether fully awakened enlightened souls must restart from scratch at the beginning of each cycle of the infinite cycles of creation. 

What Vedanta teaches is that what is gained in self-awareness is never lost, even in the emergence and dissolution of time itself in the endless cycles of creation. 

One is free to participate in creation however one chooses. 



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