for Gautama [the Buddha] felt as though a prison which had confined him for
thousands of lifetimes had broken open. Ignorance had been the jailkeeper.
Because of ignorance, his mind had been obscured, just like the moon and stars
hidden by the storm clouds. Clouded by endless waves of deluded thoughts, the
mind had falsely divided reality into subject and object, self and others,
existence and non-existence, birth and death, and from these discriminations
arose wrong views—the prisons of feelings, craving, grasping, and
becoming. The suffering of birth, old age, sickness, and death only made the
prison walls thicker. The only thing to do was to seize the jailkeeper and see
his true face. The jailkeeper was ignorance. . . . Once the jailkeeper was gone,
the jail would disappear and never be rebuilt again.