Essentially, the Buddha taught us that what animates this psychophysical body of ours is absolute and undying as compared with the animated (the five skandhas consisting of material shape, feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness) which is subject to death.
The animative is unconditioned; the animated is conditioned which means it is forever changing, suffering and lacking âtman (the animative-unconditioned).
Ignorance or avidya means that we cannot distinguish between the purely animative and the animated (by analogy we can’t tell the water from the waves). In this state we cling to the animated believing it to be animative. We are inverted. By this inversion we are dragged along from one confused existence to another.
The cessation of conditioned existence and what it implies can only come about by seeing the unconditioned.