Let me first establish our own private definitions:
When I speak of “states” this will indicate a generally permanent internal position, such as an ordinary man’s state of sleep, which is constructively permanent and unchanging throughout his lifetime.
The state of Awakening is one which a man has acquired on his own understanding and cannot simply be taken away from him by the ordinary flow of life. But, to refer to another place somewhere between the two, I will label it not a “state,” but a “condition,” which is not permanent and stable in the way I described the first two states.
In the many imagination-based pseudo-systems, you will find no mention of this nebulous middle ground, they will only speak of two extremes: of somehow, immediately going from one’s present state into the glorious final one…the ole’ immediate-salvation and instant-Christianity-dream.
This is all fine-for-the-mind and easy for the would-be leaders of such imaginary endeavors. It always remains an either/or situation wherein the followers, finding in themselves no immediate, miraculous change, can simply be told that they obviously aren’t faithfully following the rules of the system, not reading the designated books continually, not donating sufficient monies, or abiding by the exotic, impotent regulations of the sect.
Of course, upon hearing this, the would-be followers should instantly experience sufficient, subjective guilt to hold them fast to the illusionary rules of their imaginary game. They may then mentally be satisfied to continue, having their mind assure them that they will reach the ultimate, promised state anytime they choose to faithfully follow all of the rules and conditions. Hence, they stay just as they are, while dreaming otherwise.
It is partially for this reason that I want you to consider this middle-ground which I am not calling a true state, but a condition that is promoted and produced by one’s own objective efforts. The middle-ground is the necessary basis for shaking oneself from sleep, and ultimately being able to hold fast until the condition becomes your natural state.