Regarding “tainted” samsaric identity, the thought came up again that it seems to be kind of schizophrenic:
During non-lucid dreamtime and during waking experiences, we have such a close association to our habitual identities that we mistake them for something real and permanent. One’s own (mistakenly) “true” self, one’s identity body - regardless of intellectual understanding of concepts of emptiness and such - seems to be experientially our ego. As one saying goes “The shirt is closer to the body than the jacket.” Experientially, the ego identites are closer to us than the intellectual understanding of their empty nature. Our identites seem so hard-wired embodied that we do not question their nature anymore.
By meditation practice, this “shirt” may slowly disintegrate and a new identity body may be discovered, which is not another dualistic identity but the raw and pure experience of being.
Meditators seem to “travel” back and forth between these modes of embodied “identities” and may realize this “schizophrenic” situation. There seems to be a strong correlation between how steadily and long (over the years) one spends one’s time in meditation (i.e. “identity-lessness”) and how daytime identification with habitual identities decreases over time.
I kind of like the analogy of a frequency modulated radio station signal playing music.
For radio transmission over the air waves, the music information is being modulated on a carrier wave.
On a radio, we tune in onto a carrier frequency and what we hear is not the carrier frequency but the modulated frequencies on the carrier wave.
In certain meditation in my understanding, we change our focus away from the “music” (of the mind) to the carrier frequency (non-directed awareness/rigpa) and just rest there in our own true nature. There’s nothing to do, just to be.
So, the “tainted” experiences seem to come from a mind which focuses outwardly on the “music” (of the mind) and reacts to its habitual patterns to the “music”. I think that is kind of what is happening when dreaming lucidly: we work with the “music” (dynamic expression of the mind). When our lucid vantage point is clear enough, then this seems to equate to vipashyana meditation. If our lucid vantage point is conventional, then we perhaps just notice the emotional turbulences “caused by” the visions of the dream but deal with them conventionally.
In the ocean, a wave may buoy a swimmer up and down, whereas a surfer may catch the same wave and rides it steadily to the shore.