Konchog1 wrote:What is direct perception exactly?
Direct perception would be a pure perception free from all obscuration and elaboration (this includes conceptual thought).
Where does this definition come from? Specifically, that direct perception is free from all obscuration?
It maybe answers a question that the original question raised for me (and save my teacher from my question below).
The short version of the question I had was: since perception seems to already indicate a bare apprehension of the object, what does the addition of "direct" to the term "direct perception" add?
My confusion is explained in detail below
Perception is defined by Dignaga as “that which is free from conceptualization (kalpanā). However, perceptions although free from conceptualization are not necessarily reliable sources of knowledge (pramāna|tshad ma). Dharmakirti defines a pramāna as an awareness that is unmistaken (avisamvādi) and reveals a new object (ajñātārthaprakāśa). While Gelugpas, for various reasons some previously discussed in this thread, define pramāna simply as an incontrovertible knower. Either way it refers not only to reliable perceptions but includes also reliable conceptions namely inferences.
Anyways, when the term "direct perception" is used it gets a bit confusing for me with regards to what the addition meaning the term "direct" might add. It might be tempting then to think of that qualifying "perception" with "direct" then specifies that we are talking about only those perceptions which are reliable sources of knowledge.
This might have worked in India in 500 c.e., however, when Gelugpas talk about reliable sources of knowledge the term "direct" has a very specific meaning. For them "direct" means that the mind realizes it main object through the force of experience without directly depending on a logical reasoning. Maybe surprisingly, it includes not only perceptions but also, memory, and the second moment of realization after an inferential reasoning. It seems to me then incorrect then to equate a direct source of knowledge མངོན་སུམ་གྱི་ཚད་མ with the term "direct perception" since perceptions are necessarily non-conceptual and as explained direct sources of knowledge can be conceptual.
When people say "direct perception" then it seems they probably don't mean realized by a direct perception or more correctly as a direct source of knowledge མངོན་སུམ་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ but realized directly མངོན་སུམ་དུ་རྟོགས་པ. Since, "realize by direct source of knowledge" is to realize without directly relying on logical reasoning but through the force of experience and includes conceptual minds, while "to realize directly" is to realize the object vividly without the mediation of a general image. However, if this is the case it seems that by definition perceptions realize things directly and that then to say "direct perception" seems to me redundant.