If our brain has no space to admit new facts that disturb our logic, we shall stop thinking in an original pattern or be unable to perceive novelty.
Sometimes I believe that one of the reasons for which things do not occur according to our thoughts is because our train of thinking follows mistaken patterns. Besides, it is already an error to suppose that things will happen according to what we think! Thinking is a process more disconnected from reality than we usually believe. To think may perhaps be our attempt to “guess” at reality. That is subject to very serious and dangerous error. Especially when we become very self sufficient in our inner processes and stop to confront them with factual reality.
While correlating facts, they may present an absolutely logical sequence. When one says that a young man became a homosexual because he began to reject women for having had an extremely authoritative and dominant mother and a passive and submissive father whom he did not admire, it represents a beautiful explanation that agrees with the logic of our psychological thought process. But it is necessary to verify if it is true! The fact that it is a beautiful and logical explanation does not guarantee that it is a fact. There are many homosexuals who did not have this type of mother – or father. On the other hand, many heterosexuals had very castrating mothers. Therefore, it is dangerous to reach a conclusion simply based on the inner coherence of thoughts, without taking real facts into account.
Intelligent individuals have a tendency, from infancy on, to develop and to sophisticate logical thinking and to seek coherence between their thoughts. They become fascinated by this jigsaw-puzzle, this game of storing, organizing and correlating ideas and facts. It is a praiseworthy attitude and sharpens their intelligence and critical sense immensely. The terrible thing is that they position themselves in face of new facts with the following attitude: this is true because it agrees with the logical data stored in my brain; that is false or a lie because it does not match the logical data amassed in my brain. This is more serious than one might think, because these people are enticed to reject every new fact that does not measure up to the already catalogued ones. What is the result of that? Their reasoning system closes up. From that point on there is no longer any possibility for important new improvements. Such an individual, while sometimes still very young, has already become old because he is intractable to novelty.
To be young in spirit means to keep an open mind. And that is equal to be eager in paying attention to things that are not logical; that is, to facts that are not in agreement with what we already know. A personal experience definitively imprinted my life and my way of thinking. I was approximately 18 years of age, and, during my holidays in a watering resort, witnessed some experiments with telepathy that perplexed and confused me. However, I had no doubts that the phenomenon really existed. Returning to São Paulo, I discussed it with my father. He was a great doctor, very learned and respected by all those who knew him. I told him: “Telepathy really exists.” He gave me a severe look and said: “That is no such thing.” I replied: “It does for a fact. I witnessed it and took every precaution to verify that it was not a trick.” He replied in a very categorical and definitive manner: “That is not so; it is obvious that telepathy does not exist.” Meaning that what did not fit into his logical system could not exist! To him, logic was more important than reality; if reality did not combine with his thoughts about life, to hell with reality.
My father was a man of an extraordinary intelligence. You cannot imagine how I feel aggrieved to verify that this manner of using the brain renders the entire mental effort repetitive and unproductive. Negation of reality and the lack of space for new facts that contradict our convictions transform us into individuals who are incapable of creative thought and unfit to apprehend the novelties that others are creating. Yes, because each new idea or new project derives from a “logical absurdity”. We approach the new when we dare to think in opposition to established thought or official logic. Galileo perceived that the Earth was not the center of the Universe because he dared to think in an original manner. It is also true that not every original and illogical thought is creative or useful. But reality presents the possibility for the final test. Truth is confirmed by facts and not by our thoughts.
Translated by: Norma Blum