This understanding itself is a consciousness, whereas primordial wisdom is not.

Lopon Tenzin Namdak, in oral commentary, further enriches the point:

New understanding arises on the basis of scripture and so on, but self-arisen primordial wisdom does not newly arise. This [new] understanding itself is a consciousness, whereas primordial wisdom is not. It [new understanding] is like a shepherd, keeping track of sheep and bringing them together. So long as there is the possibility of one sheep wandering off, the shepherd has to be ready to take action, but when they are safely fenced in, he can relax. His watching over them is like using mindfulness (dran pa) and investigation (shes bzhin); these faculties, however, only watch the sheep; they are not in play when the shepherd is relaxed, and they do not themselves cognize [the sheep in the corral], the abiding condition (gnas lugs).”

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