Question : Why do I never remember that I am the Self ?
Ramana Maharshi : People speak of memory and oblivion of the fullness of the Self. Oblivion and memory are only thought-forms. They will alternate so long as there are thoughts. But reality lies beyond these. Memory or oblivion must be dependent on something.
That something must be foreign to the Self as well, otherwise there would not be oblivion. That upon which memory and oblivion depend is the idea of the individual self. When one looks for it, this individual `I' is not found because it is not real. Hence this `I' is synonymous with illusion or ignorance (maya, avidya or ajnana]. To know that there never was ignorance is the goal of all the spiritual teachings. Ignorance must be of one who is aware. Awareness is jnana. Jnana is eternal and natural, ajnana is unnatural and unreal.