Flavor: Breakthrough III: Rest.

(The four posts in this series describe the steps in a breakthrough.)

1. What’s going on mathematically?

I’ve just pushed myself to the limit, getting myself very stuck and staying there for a while. I decide to take a break.

2. What is the emotional and logistical context?

I’m confused and somewhat irritated, that things haven’t been working out. I’ve probably just packed up my math and am walking or biking somewhere. I’m not engaging any new stimulus – not talking, or doing other work. Although I might eat something.

3. What thoughts are there?

Almost no math thoughts, not even echoes. I’ve sealed them off. I’m probably thinking about what’s next on my schedule.

4. What quality of awareness?

Still pretty spaced out, but not quite stunned and sublime, because of the low-level trauma and lack of resolution. But quickly my mind is refreshed, like I’ve opened the windows to let in some fresh air. As I re-engage the world, I have that always-new feeling, like when you take a slow, deep inhale.

5. What emotions?

My frustration goes away as quickly as any physical aches that have developed; as soon as I stretch my legs and get fresh air, I start to feel really good.

6. What does it resolve to, after how much time?

I usually allow myself to be distracted by some other engagements, e.g. socializing or being active. Sometimes I get hit with a breakthrough.

7. How frequent is this flavor?

After every time I stick with stuckness. So, 1 -3 times a week.

8. What are good/bad ways to change or follow it up?

The best thing to do seems to just relax and rest. Giving some buffer time before engaging with people or other activities seems to increase the chance of a breakthrough (see Breakthrough IV post).



I think of Thomas Edison again, and his legendary napping regiment.

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