Realization is the scientist's 'AHA!' moment, and it's the clarity of the mystic and the self realization of the guru, and so it's highly relevant to any search for the truth of anything. We're all familiar with the scenario of trying to remember something, and then giving up, and suddenly realizing what we wanted to know, and it's the exact same function for all realizations, so everybody has already experienced this, but what's actually going on?
It's difficult because mind wants a map to get from it's thought processes to that realization, but that would be another thought process, and it's clearly not. The trying to remember is the thought process and the realization only happens when the process stops, so how to talk about something that happens in the absence of a thought process?
What we know is that all thinking processes take time, and that realizations are instantaneous precisely because they are NOT thinking processes in time. We also know that, in this example, the realization followed a lot of trying to remember, and this is extremely common. It's almost as though the thinking process leads to the realization that only happens when the thinking process stops.
I say it's not about the thinking as such, but rather a focus of attention formed by the thinking, which just naturally includes thoughts. Whether one is trying to remember something, or solve a scientific problem, or is intensely curious about some existential question, there is a focus of attention on the issue. The attention is important, but ironically the thinking that normally accompanies this attention blocks the realization. You may not remember where you left your car keys until you stop thinking and start noticing, and to compound the matter, you may not notice the point at which that happened.
So what's the difference between thinking and noticing? Thinking is a constriction of attention. There's literally a sensation of tension and constriction as the field of view is narrowed down to a singular point, like looking through a telescope and constricting the field of view. This narrow focus of attention is on the knowledge in memory, as though it's a complex filing system, and yet even the contents of memory are not accessed by searching through files. Thinking isn't actually a memory retrieval process, it's a patterning process.
The contents of memory are actually accessed in the same way as the most woo woo of realizations; by relaxing the constriction of attention and simply noticing. So while we're rooting around in a filing cabinet for the answers, the answers are actually lying around the room in plain sight and we don't notice. Noticing is the result of relaxing the constriction of attention on the mental process, and allowing it to expand so that we can see what's actually already here.
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