Both Shankara and Ramana Maharshi blame identification with the body as ignorance, which the first says results in no hope of liberation and the second says is the root cause of all trouble. What they say is unquestionably so. But what else can happen in the beginning except this identification? It is the first kind of identity anyone knows. His error is that he stays at this point and makes no attempt to inquire further. If he did--in a prolonged, sustained, and continued effort--he would eventually find the truth: knowledge would replace ignorance.
Source: The Notebooks of Paul Brunton