Thanks for answering, BrokenBones.
I appologize if I mess up the quotation.
"I'm saying they are developing concentrations that may have rapture & bliss but are totally devoid of awareness... no will of your own... ambulance jhana if you like. The Buddha abandoned such concemtrations... developed the 8 fold path and the resulting jhanas and enlightenment."
I'm often irritated by such strong statements, still it helps me to clear my own understanding. And yes, I'm wondering abut this stuff a lot. I try to check if various interpretations of Dhamma work and what they bring. I could imagine some obsessed hard jhana practicioner becaming a piti junkie. Ignoring preliminary sattipathana practice and turning into something that they call "one eyed monster" in zen. A samadhi obsessed fellow, who ignores daily phenomenas, his duties and his burdens. And lacks insight, panna. Perhaps it's my trap, I dunno.
In that sense I find jhana debates beneficial, and I'm gratefull for different points of view. But the "ambulance jhana", as taught by A. Brahm - which I find a very inspiring teacher, btw - is not devoid of awarness. First of all, you still got jhana factors present. When you experience strong piti, sukha, and ekkagata working together, thats a lot of stuff happening. It's rather an "expanded consciousness" feel. And if there was no awarness, how could one say, that the samadhi, or jhana, happend? I don't think that A. Brahm teaches that.
I don't want to sound like a pompous jhana claimer, but i 've experienced some glimpses of jhana factors, especially during retreats. In my case, ekkagata contained of nimitta, too. It was like a pure mind, free from hindrances and kilesa. Senses were irrelevant then. Awarness was present and the result was a lot of metta and a feeling of ease, lasting for hours, or even days.
So I can't agree with you, that the "hard jhana" model cuts out awarness. Thats a misinterpretation. As about lack of "the will of your own", the purpose of jhana meditiation is overcaming hindrances and letting go, which shall bring insight. "Lack of will" can be a realization of anatta. I don't think samadhi happens becouse of our will effort, which usually means even more tanha, more craving. And I feel that in Samsara it's more likely to be possesed by too much will and craving, than too much piti.
Good lack with your practice, anyway.