One of the most important aspects of developing mental capabilities is observation, developing constant perception. To perceive, not just to see, as Sherlock Holmes would say it.
He (SH) stated that a good practitioner of the detective science should have three highly developed areas (or capabilities):
2. Analytic capability (deduction)
3. Fund of knowledge
Now, I think these principles should apply to me too. With some additions.
Firstly, perception. It’s imperative to use all the senses, not just sight. And it’s really neccessary to have control over the senses. Imagine when you are studying an object. You hold it in your hands, perceive it, and really focus on it. THAT is what you (that is, me) should be doing the whole time with your surroundings. And with all senses. I have been trying to do that for a while now and my experience is that it’s hard. It’s really hard. My mind just wanders to something else. I loose focus. And I have found that I can’t both think with concentration about something and at the same time concentrate on my surroundings. Multitasking kind of fails here because I’m trying to give 100% of my concentration at two separate actions. But I’ve found a rule that gives good results: trying to follow CHANGES in the environment and human interactions. So, at times such as meeting a friend or bumping into a stranger or walking into a bar, one should really focus and stop thinking in a concentrated manner, and in any case, stop daydreaming.
The Bene Gesserit explain their mental state like this: image there is a scale, and on one side there is unconsciousness, in the middle is consciousness and on the far other end there is – hyperconsciousness.
This is what I’m looking to achieve.
Granted, the process of perception is connected highly to the process of analysis/deduction/thinking and one cannot go without the other. But it’s neccessary to know how big a portion will one of the two take. If you are lying in your bed, at home, and there is a certain problem you are trying to solve, then the numbers are certainly not going to be in favour of perception. But if you were to walk outside, or meet a friend, then the powers of concentrated, problem-solving thinking diminish a little and give way to perception. One immerses oneself into reality.