Question: Does Realization mean that afterwards one's attention is to the Self, while the surface level of the mind which is required to run the body keeps going on momentum and is not part of the Realized One's consciousness?
Once you Realize the Self means the mind has become one with the Self and is totally contented there, that is what is Self Realization. After this, even if the consciousness is coming in touch with the brain to deal with the worldly things - like a Guru tries to teach - but that should never lose the Self-Consciousness. It does not get involved with cravings, does not become attached to this world or Universe with its own imaginations. It does not go into any cravings or imaginations. It does not picturize or visualize anything. It simply comes up and it goes back, just like the car coming out of the garage and will go back to the garage. So at no time shall the owner lose the control of the garage. The garage will belong to the owner always. In the same way, the Realized Soul shall not lose the consciousness of the Self, whether it is coming to the imagination level or not.
To put it in the words of Ramana Maharishi, "Even if a Yogi is gossiping a lot, He is the Ever Silent One." While He is gossiping also He is actually in the consciousness of the Self. His actual consciousness is totally Silent and He is in the Self. For an ordinary person, when the mind becomes active and is working, it goes into further imaginations and imaginations and imaginations, but for a Realized Soul this imagination does not occur. It simply performs the limited duties of the world and is one with the Self again. That is all that happens.
Question: In a way you could say it is like an apparent thing, it's not at all like a normal human being, it's just an apparent activity that's happening?
Definitely. That is why, when a Yogi is eating, He is not actually eating. When He is watching, He is not actually watching. When He is gossiping, He is not actually gossiping. Whatever He appears to be doing, He is not doing anything.
That is why in the Vedas it says you should not go very close to a Yogi because you are likely to misunderstand a Yogi to be an ordinary man, because His behaviour will appear to be like an ordinary person. And you should not go too far from a Yogi also, because a Yogi is always absorbed in the Self, you are likely to get neglected. So you should adopt a middle path to have reverence to the Guru. That is how the Vedas also explain and advise. This is what happens, even if a Yogi is doing something, He is not actually doing it, He does not imagine that He is doing it. It is like you write on a piece of paper and it instantly gets erased. The mind does not absorb any imprints at all.