in a flash of absolute clarity

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eli7

Senior Member
Persian (Farsi)
I was listening to a tape, which I couldn't recognize all the sentences because the speaker was speaking so fast. But I recognised this one: It happened very quickly, in a flash of absolute clarity.
The speaker was talking about something which happened in the past, something like loving someone.
I know "in a flash" means very fast and immediately, but
What does "in a flash of absolute clarity" mean?
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    This phrase is usually used when someone suddenly sees, in their own mind, the solution to a problem or a puzzle or maybe has a sudden realisation of what is really happening. They see the answer very clearly, there is no doubt left in their mind.

    "The 12th century mathematician, Muhammad Ibn Musa-al-Kharazmi, spent many years thinking of an easy way of multiplying two large numbers. One day, as he was drinking tea, it came to him in a flash of absolute clarity: he saw that every number could be expressed as a power of ten. Muhammad Ibn Musa-al-Kharazmi had invented the Logarithm Table!"

    Your example is somewhat vague; there are other possible meanings. The above is probably the most likely.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I agree with Paul.

    Maybe also: in an extremely lucid moment = a flash of absolute clarity
     

    eli7

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    Thank you Paul, but I think the meaning of the expression, in the example you provided, doesn't fit in my sentence.
    I could recognize that the speaker was talking about a past memory of wanting someone, and this wanting happened very quickly, in a flash of absolute clarity, and it made a perfect sense."
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    eli7,

    I think the examples given also fit your meaning: a recollection of a feeling where suddenly he or she recognized the desire and felt that it was true and real. The secular meaning of epiphany is often used to describe this flash of insight.
     
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