They are not conditioned by externals. They are self-arising appearances. But they are indeed not true experiences. If you have this mind of a true appearance, then you are grasping at appearances as real and you cannot attain liberation. These, appearances would be the cause of a samsaric birth. Just like the three fundamentals of rigpa are emptiness, clarity and bliss; but if you grasp these appearances as real, you will have formed the cause for a samsaric birth.padma norbu wrote:Well, that's weird because then you would be saying the experience with the lights in thogyal are not really true experiences, wouldn't you?
At some level, these "lights" are not light. They are appearances with a basis in the physical body. Like when you press on your eyes, you see lights. You have to recognize these "lights" are not external to you. And, you have to remain in the rigpa basis that is empty, nonarising, mere appearance.padma norbu wrote:After all, aren't the essences of the elements the lights which we can experience and know firsthand in order to get a grasp on this kind of thing and validate it through our own experiential awareness? Or does this experience not exactly clarify the elemental nature of material reality... in which case I am wondering what knowledge one would gain from such an experience.
These lights are useful to a practitioner of dharma for the following reason. Though they are not truly real, they are unconditioned. Meaning, they are pure. Working with pure appearances, according to Mahayana is only possible for an 8th Bhumi bodhisattva or higher. So a method of working with pure appearances is like entering a time warp and crossing eons of time to arrive at a very high level of practice. Hence the translation of Thogal as "directly crossing," or "crossing over."