Astus wrote:Working with rigpa means what?
It means being in the state of Rigpa.
The view that appearances are only illusory phenomena, "the play of the nature of mind".
This is not enough. There are two sides to the experience of Rigpa from the Thogel point of view. The sapiential side (shes-cha) is incomplete and it's that of Trekchö (which is limited by 7 or 10 types of inferiorities compared to Thögel). Then there is the visionary side (snang-cha) which is what Thögel works with. In the perspective of the practice of Thögel, Rigpa remains conceptual at the level of Trekchö because its dynamism has not be "activated".
Doesn't Vajrayana in general have the same understanding that deities are to be viewed as mental appearances without substance, and the understanding of the twofold emptiness?
Yes, but the process of practice is totally different. With the two stages you do something with your mind , you visualize. With Thögel you don't visualize, you contemplate the arising of the dynamism of your natural state. These are two different things.
Doesn't thogal include instructions about how to induce such visions, using postures and other techniques?
Yes it does but you don't find them in vajrayana (not even in Kalacakra).
Dzogchen may have its own form of explanation that is different from anuttarayogatantra,
It is. Anuttarayogatantras are not practiced within the experience of Rigpa. This is crucial.
but that doesn't mean that they don't follow the same process of the build up of a vision and then the vision's dissolution.
You don't understand the differences between visualizations and visions. The first are caused by the mind and are a working of the mind. The visions of Rigpa which arise come from the natural arising of the wisdom wind. They are natural visions not visualizations imagined by the mind.
That's why I said it is like creation and completion.
If you knew how Thogel works and how it is practiced, you would clearly see how it has nothing to do at all with creation and completion (even with Kalacakra).