One of the major problems we have is that while in ego, we're in a state of confusion. And that means we've lost sight of what is true and real. This then leads to confusing things which are false with things that are true, and not really knowing what is what. In such a state, it is hard to recognize anything for what it really is.
The problem is that not recognizing stuff makes it harder to identify if you are doing something wrong or need to take action to correct it. In denial, it's hard to even realize for example that you are upset, afraid, guilty, angry, harboring grievances, judging someone else. We might be doing all these things but simply not recognize them as these things. It's like we have swapped around all the labels. This can even make you choose suffering and death by mistake, thinking they are salvation.
Years ago I was harboring a lot of anger and yet at the same time was so in denial of this that, even sitting on top of a volcano about to burst, I would have told you I was not angry at all. Similarly I was in states of tremendous fear and anxiety and yet was so "used to it", to blinded by it, that I did not think I was afraid. I simply could not recognize it for what it was, and thought it was just normal or something else. And when you get used to living with something you think can never be undone you just assume it's a permanent truth.
When I judge, I do not always recognize that it is judgement. I do stuff that I think does not seem like judgement, but it is. I may be having a grievance about something but may not actually think to myself, this is a grievance, and it doesn't seem to be what you might categorize as a grievance. Fear can take on many forms and turn into anger, and you might not even realize you are afraid because you feel angry, yet behind the anger there is fear.
It's hard to correct things when you don't even really discern what it is you are doing. You might not even think you have a problem at all. You might be convinced that someone else is the one who is wrong. I mean, regardless of the fact that you may be projecting blame, you might literally not even realize that you are doing something. You can be unconscious of the fact that you are attacking yourself and totally believe that other people are out to get you.
So it all really boils down to a simple lack of recognition, of clear discernment. Being able to tell, this thing is this, and that thing is that. That God's truth is actually true, and that ego's truth is actually false. Trying to "sort out" which is which is almost our entire effort in waking up. If we could simply "learn" to be clear about what stuff is, what we are doing, what effects it is producing, and making awakened decisions about what we want, we would not produce "un-asked for" consequences, undesired suffering, or buy into make-believe problems.
We may be asked to see Christ in our brothers, but how can we do that when we have absolutely no clue what Christ is, how to be it, or how to perceive like Him? We might be asked to forgive, but then we barely can even grasp what forgiveness is or how it's supposed to work. We are digging around in the dark trying to find our way to the light, when all the while the light is what we need to find our way.
Really we're just a bit confused. We're having some trouble remembering what is true and real about ourselves, others and the world around us. We're mistaken. And we do not even recognize that we are mistaken. Which can result in just staying asleep in a confused state believing you're totally normal. But once we do recognize we're mistaken we can learn to accept what now becomes an obvious fact. We have an aha moment, a eureka. What seems confusing becomes clear to you. And once you recognize the truth, you are enlightened.
"Forgive them father for they know not what they do."
"Enlightenment is but a recognition and not a change at all."