So you are really proposing a kind of hierarchy of possible states, from sleep to presence to awakening.
Yes. Actually, it starts with voluntary attention, which establishes a separation in sleep between the machine and something not of the machine. This separation is very important. Voluntary attention, which we might call mindfulness, already introduces a restless quality to the sleep state. The machine still operates on automatic but it is observed.
If the attention is impartial, meaning not directed by the head brain, that is another step, which is only a hair’s breadth from presence, the source of voluntary, impartial attention. Presence completes the process of dis-identification with something added…a sense of existing as something unidentifiable, ineffable, unboundaried, another kind of ‘I’.
In presence, movement into voluntary states of invocation becomes possible, but these states are easily interrupted by the momentum of sleep in the machine. Nonetheless, these transitory engagements weaken the conditioning of the machine over time.
Finally, we come to the awakened state. The machine is sufficiently energized by voluntary efforts of attention and presence that the heart awakens, providing the additional energy and assistance required to unite all the provinces of human nature into one kingdom, subject to one ‘I’. The awakened human is now a human being, occupying its intended place at the nexus between higher and lower, where matter becomes spirit and spirit becomes matter. This is where the Work begins.
Now, I have made this seem a logical progression because our simple minds like to operate in this way. But the relationship between these states is often non-sequential and may involve help from unusual sources. The steps are a dance which covers the same ground in many different ways. Do not assume you can accomplish this path through your own efforts. Great humility is required. You will likely need a motive outside of your own enhancement.
Perhaps I will regret this simplification which could encourage you to look ahead and fantasize about your status. However, Vajrayana teachers I have known occasionally introduced their students to the ‘view’ as they called it, and they did not seem to regret it.
To Be Continued…