Do you believe in rebirth? I trust we have probably met before. Obviously, I disagree Dmytro has shown anything convincingly & conclusively.
I can only recommend to study the mind. Buddha taught with feeling as a condition, craving (defilement) arises. Have you ever experienced craving, directly, without any pleasure? If so, craving & defilement are very disturbing states of mind. But when human beings engage in pleasure, the feelings of pleasure "cover" the craving.
Drug addiction is an example easy to understand. The pleasure, the high, is enjoyable. The craving symptons, of the addiction, are intolerable. But human beings engage in pleasures because, when doing so, they can only feel the pleasure but not the craving. In summary, where there is pleasure (in one not fully enlightened) there is also underlying craving.
The Buddha taught:
With contact as a requisite condition, there arises what is felt either as pleasure, pain, or neither pleasure nor pain. If, when touched by a feeling of pleasure, one relishes it, welcomes it, or remains fastened to it, then one's passion-obsession (underlying tendency) gets obsessed.
If, when touched by a feeling of pain, one sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats one's breast, becomes distraught, then one's resistance-obsession (underlying tendency) gets obsessed.
If, when touched by a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, one does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, passing away, allure, drawback, or escape from that feeling, then one's ignorance-obsession (underlying tendency) gets obsessed.
Where there is feeling, there is underlying tendencies (anusaya). Therefore, when rapture & happiness are calmed (step 8), it is only natural there may remain underlying defilements, just as a drug addict experiences craving symptoms when their pleasure high passes away.
This answers your question about rapture happening before the mind. And when any underlying defilements cease, this answers your question about how the mind becomes glad (step 10), concentrated (step 11) and liberated (step 12).
And how does a monk remain focused on the mind in & of itself? There is the case where a monk, when the mind has passion, discerns that the mind has passion. When the mind is without passion, he discerns that the mind is without passion. When the mind has aversion, he discerns that the mind has aversion. When the mind is without aversion, he discerns that the mind is without aversion. When the mind has delusion, he discerns that the mind has delusion. When the mind is without delusion, he discerns that the mind is without delusion.
"When the mind is constricted, he discerns that the mind is constricted. When the mind is scattered, he discerns that the mind is scattered. When the mind is enlarged, he discerns that the mind is enlarged. When the mind is not enlarged, he discerns that the mind is not enlarged. When the mind is surpassed, he discerns that the mind is surpassed. When the mind is unsurpassed, he discerns that the mind is unsurpassed. When the mind is concentrated, he discerns that the mind is concentrated. When the mind is not concentrated, he discerns that the mind is not concentrated. When the mind is released, he discerns that the mind is released. When the mind is not released, he discerns that the mind is not released.
Cittasanto wrote:and can you provide a reference to show the Saññas are only consecutive steps?
I already did. Please re-read them. Anicca sanna (perception of impermanence) gives rise to dukkha sanna, then anatta sanna, then dispassion (viraga) sanna, etc. Without the perception of anicca, dukkha & anatta, how can dispassion and patinissagga (relinquishment) occur?
The fundamental lawfulness of Dhamma is established in cause & effect. Consecutive steps naturally follows this natural lawfulness. Please keep in mind the instruction the 5th arahant disciple Assaji provided to Upatissa (Sariputta).
In response, the Elder Assaji uttered this stanza:
"Of all those things that from a cause arise,
Tathagata the cause thereof has told;
And how they cease to be, that too he tells,
This is the doctrine of the Great Recluse."