ignorance ［無明］ ( avidyā; Pali avijjā; mumyō): Also, illusion or darkness. In Buddhism, ignorance about the true nature of existence. Ignorance is the first of the twelve-linked chain of causation, the sequence of causal relationships connecting ignorance with suffering. In the concept of the twelve-linked chain of causation, ignorance is the fundamental cause of delusion, suffering, and transmigration in the realm of delusion and suffering. In the T’ien-t’ai school, ignorance is regarded as that which prevents one from perceiving the Middle Way. Buddhist schools defined various levels of ignorance, teaching that, by cutting off increasingly deeper levels of ignorance, one can gradually gain understanding of the true aspect of existence and finally attain enlightenment. See also forty-two levels of ignorance; fundamental darkness; twelve-linked chain of causation.