The Limits of Logic
"What is laid down, ordered, factual is never enough
to embrace the whole truth: life always spills over the rim of every
- Boris Pasternak
"Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit."
- Antoine de Saint-Exup
"A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand
bleed that uses it."
- Rabindranath Tagore
When I was growing up, I was a big Star Trek fan. My
favorite Star Trek character was Mr. Spock, known for his logic prowess.
Spock would often say things like:
I loved Spock! I adored him, and wished to possess the
brilliant clarity of his mind. I loved the way he could see through the
emotional confusion of others, and wished to emulate his ability to cut
through to the essence of an issue.
"On my planet, to rest is to rest, -to cease
To me, it is quite illogical to run up and down on green grass,
energy, instead of saving it."
- Mr. Spock, 'Shore Leave'
I studied physics, and then business... always pursuing the
logical ways to analyze this world. I was fine with this view of logic's
supremacy... up until the time that I noticed reality shifting.
One memorable pivotal experience happened to me when I was
searching for my friends in San Francisco one day. We'd made arrangements
to meet for lunch, but I caught a train twenty minutes late and just missed
them. They took off without me, as I discovered when I arrived at our
meeting point. I first followed every logical lead... asking for any
messages that might have been left for me, and asking what restaurants
people typically go to. I then visited several restaurants (finding no
messages were left for me), and realized I was wasting my time.
I gave up on logic at this point, and chose to let go of my feelings of
sadness and frustration and worry... feeling instead an energized sense of
love and joy. What happened next seemed perfectly normal to me at the
time, but astonished me later (when I returned to my "logical" frame of
mind)... I simply followed my feet to where my friends were. I crossed the
street, saw a sign for "Faz", asked the first passer-by if that was a
restaurant (it was), and how to get there (there was a hidden elevator to
get to it)... and walked right up to my astonished friends.
This is just one of a multitude of such experiences in my
life where I've given up on logic, and found myself the better for it. I
still love logic, but now realize that there are deeper ways of knowing.
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Copyright @ 2001 by Cynthia Sue Larson, All