Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sherlock's Rose, Part 3

When I began this study into Holmes’ rose, I intended this section to look at two sides of human thought, logic and intuition; reason and feeling.  I have since broadened my understanding and no longer wish to deal purely in binaries.  While human thought does not fit neatly into discrete categories, general avenues of thoughts can be traced.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that these two sides (logic and feeling) do indeed exist.  Permit me to give you an extreme example.

The humorist Jeanne Robinson discusses her relationship with her husband who she calls “Left-brain”.  One of her stories replicated itself in my own family history, so for copyright reasons, I will tell my own story.  I call him BIL, because he married my sister.  Once when the family got together, my sister wanted a treat from a local frozen custard restaurant.  She asked the rest of us if we wanted anything.  I asked for a butterscotch milkshake and my mother asked for a chocolate malt.  My sister texted the orders to BIL who later returned with the goodies.  As he began unloading the bag, I became dismayed when he presented me with two butterscotch milkshakes.  My mother received her malt intact, but my sister grew perplexed when she uncovered three chocolate turtles.  Suddenly, recognition dawned on my sister.  She has numbered the orders and BIL understood it as quantities.

I am definitely a left-brain. I live in a world of abstract thought and logic.  Literalism gives me safety and I have struggled to understand language of a figurative nature.  You would not believe how difficult I used to find poetry.  It might as well have been written in Farsi.  I lack an immediate understanding of feeling and expression.  I take refuge in text and its perceived exactness.

People think differently.  Repeatedly, we suffer the consequences of a failure to communicate between thought processes.  Sometimes with humorous gaffes, sometimes with horrific calamity.  Every person begins communicating by using projection.  We assume that everyone thinks the same way that we do.  Without correction, we will persist in this mistaken belief.  We hear others using words with our own definitions rather than attempting to understand someone else’s usage.

Sociologically, this provides fertile ground for the next crop of doctoral dissertations.  Apologetically, this shakes all cookie-cutter approaches to defending the truth of scripture.  We cannot assume everyone hears one presentation the same way.  Part of our apologetics must adapt to a subjective reality.  Nevertheless, this fracture of human communication does not pose as great a threat as at first sight.

Left-brain or right-brain, human thought and reason does not follow one course.  The logician feel, and the feeler thinks.  This makes Sherlock’s Rose so fascinating.  It provokes us to the unexpected consideration of a being of pure logic considering the evidence of feeling.  How does or ought the intuition of beauty influence our thought and belief?  Is there such a place for intuition in belief?  Of all people, it is the poster child of logic, Holmes himself, who argues that feeling and not logic alone proves a loving Providence.

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