Is spiritual practice really worthwhile? Is it really possible to eliminate from within ourselves the forces that give rise to suffering? As is said, “The ultimate nature of mind is clear light.” Consciousness has many levels, and although the coarser levels are affected by the defiling forces, the most subtle level remains free of gross negativities. In the Vajrayana this subtle level of consciousness is called the mind of clear light.
The delusions and emotional afflictions as well as the dualistic mind of right and wrong, love and hatred, etc., are associated only with the coarse levels of consciousness. At the moment, we are totally absorbed in the interplay of these coarse states, so we must begin our practice by working within them. This means consciously encouraging love over hate, patience in place of anger, emotional freedom rather than attachment, kindness over violence, and so forth. Doing this brings immediate peace and calm to the mind, thus making higher meditation possible.
Then, because grasping at a self and at phenomena as being truly existent is the cause of all the vast range of distorted states of mind, one cultivates the wisdom that eliminates this ego-grasping. To overcome ego-grasping is to overcome the entire host of mental distortions.
From The Path to Enlightenment, pages 39-40.