Do you think much about logic? There are probably folks who do but I suspect they constitute a very small minority. Even for the logic obsessed few, they probably limit their syllogism consumption to only a few a day for fear of overdosing. They fully appreciate Rabindranath Tagore’s warning, “A mind all logic is like a knife all blade.” No, I don’t think Tagore’s point for the knife all blade had anything to do with being sharp through and through, as appealing as that may be. I suspect he was more aligning with the “mind all logic” is not a great thing camp. We need a handle, a place to grab and hold. – Save that thought. We’ll need it in a bit.
Along with logic being something we can overdo, it is also something we can pursue too far. According to Samuel Butler, “If you follow reason far enough it always leads to conclusions that are contrary to reason.” I think his point may have better been made by suggesting pursuing logic too far can lead to the counter–intuitive; but I am quoting Samuel Butler here and who am I to nit pick? Logical thinking, unlike most regular thinking, is highly linear. It proceeds according to its own …, well, its own logic. Sure, logicians would tell us to go back and examine our premises if we trust our reasoning and still doubt the validity of our conclusions; but Butler had a point. We really can over–think things at times. We sometimes do well to just go with the flow. – Another thought to hold onto for a bit.
Most of us also tend to behave as if all questions have answers, all problems have solutions, and we can always figure things out if we are clever enough, smart enough, and persistent enough. The idea is anything less than full success reflects badly on us and means we just aren’t up to it. It’s sort of like when Oscar Levant observed, “She has the answer to everything and the solution to nothing.” Not having a solution has to be someone’s fault or we often behave as if that were true. Let’s accept as our premise, it isn’t necessarily that way. Sometimes logic and reason, brain power and being sharp, as desirable as they are, just don’t cut it. Things are as they are; what happens is what happens; and what will be really is what will be. A certain amount of chaos is merely a part of life and living.
I think we have established our premise. We need a handle to hold onto as we go with the flow through the chaos of our lives. Anything else is illogical, nay unreasonable.
Always pause to think things through.
That’s the logical thing to do.
But when logic fails and you just don’t know,
Hang on and go with the flow.