Am I to assume that pressuring the arms and body is the same as tightening or stiffening them? Do I pressure my arms by squeezing them tighter? Also, we learned early on to tighten the grip of index and pinky fingers on our left hand when drawing the club back. Does this in anyway conflict with adding additional pressure? Are they one and the same?
I believe what you are describing one and the same. It is just a matter of degrees, i.e. levels 2 through 9. At level 9 you should almost be locked out, meaning very difficult to move, whereas level 2 is almost soft. I would recommend paying close attention to what a 5/6 feels like compared to a 2 and compared to a 9. You will want to feel more pressure coming out of the strike as compared to what you are feeling prior to the strike.