In Part 1, I covered the levels of thinking as a nested analog to Matryoshka dolls, arguing that the freest thought is the most unlimited–in other words, that which doesn’t deny or abrogate the spiritual realm outside oneself. Thinking in a way that is not constrained by self-limitation, consideration not just of the artificial and natural but of the supernatural, truly is the height of open-mindedness. Refusing it, denying higher authority outside humanity, restricts thought merely to the tangible and visible, and as such, is a form of closed-mindedness.
Ultimately, those who bind themselves within any of the dolls’ shells are enslaved, not free. That applies to all of us! We all are enslaved to our human limits of thought. But the smaller the doll we choose to inhabit, the less free and the more restrained we become, the smaller the intellectual prison cell with which we have sentenced ourselves, the stricter the self-tightened shackles bind us.
Don’t get me wrong: I love logic and reason! “Science, logic and reason” (with a dollop of imagination selectively mined out of necessity) are the ideal modes of thought when applied as tools to solve scientific and logical problems! Yet only closed-minded fools, deniers utterly bereft of evidence for their null claims, attempt to apply natural standards to the supernatural, or illogically demand tangible evidence for that which transcends the tangible. How shallow, self-limiting, and truly, contrary to logic and reason!
Another important caveat: it also is possible for those in the outer realms to lose or ignore the inner ones, thereby becoming intellectually hollow. We see that capacity exercised commonly in those who are very spiritual but ignorant of math and science, or in the scientist or engineer with extremely underdeveloped social (emotional) skills.
Nonetheless, logic and reason alone are nothing more than chains of bondage–dark dungeons, really–when considering matters outside that shell. Ignoring or denying the outer realms, we even may get comfortable, smugly self-delusional in the idea that we’ve gone as far as necessary, that this stop alone will suffice.
None of us are purely free thinkers because of our human limitations–distraction, diversion, hubris, finite IQ, irrationality (a.k.a. emotion), and vulnerability to anti-intellectual influences. Still, we are freest in thought when we don’t enclose ourselves within any of the inner dolls–when we use our innate (or God-given, for some of us) free will to wander the fullest possible realms of learning and exploration. Learning doesn’t involve merely facts, concepts, logic and reason, but also, ideas past the here and now, beyond the tangible.
Consider love. I’ve posed to rigid adherents of “science, logic and reason” the following simple challenge. Do you love someone? Who? [We’ll assume the challenge is directed at a man married to “Annie”, for the sake of argument.] Now…prove you love Annie!
Naturally, after considerable hemming, hawing, stammering, hand-waving, sidestepping, avoidance tactics, diversionary straw men, complaints about the validity of the challenge, and attempts to escape onto tangents such as biological benefits of love (which still don’t prove love), one thing becomes crystal-clear. He can’t meet this challenge. He loves Annie, but cannot prove it. He is trapped, ensnared in a “logic” cage of his own construction, imprisoned, enslaved.
This is because anything that comes up as “evidence” (physical or verbal affection, performing good deeds and favors, benevolence, sex, and giving of material objects, service or time) can have many causes and motivations–including platonic, selfish and/or unloving ones–even sociopathy. None of them are unique to love, nor do they prove love.
With a big-enough combination of financial power and cold lack of scruples, a man could hire a live-in woman for some amount of time to perform for him every act of every sort that is associated with love–to service all carnal desires behind closed doors, and to put on for the world every outward appearance that she is madly head-over-polished-toenails in love with him. In fairness, a woman similarly could get a dude to service her in outwardly “loving” ways. Either still would be mere pretension–a well-acted and protracted escort/maid service of sorts–but certainly not love!
Love isn’t subject to arbitrary logical “rules” regarding fallacies. It cannot be calculated with arithmetic, nor placed in a beaker and weighed, nor derived and solved as partial differential equations. Love sometimes is passed off as a chemical reaction in the brain. This is an article of faith (not science), for one cannot document on paper the specific organic-chemistry reaction uniquely yielding love. Show me the unique solution to the biochemical love equation? Don’t try; you cannot.
Love transcends the tangible, physical and mathematical, and defies evidence-based reasoning in unambiguously establishing its existence to the exclusion of other motivations for behavior. As such, love cannot be proved, and the challenge cannot be met! “Science, logic and reason” therefore fail, and fail with miserable and dismal wretchedness, at explaining tangibly the most advanced and wondrous aspect of the human experience.
Those who espouse the supremacy of logic, yet profess any sort of love, face a dilemma they often criticize in the religious–coexistence of the rational and irrational in the same person. How can a religious scientist believe in and love and serve a God he can’t prove to you and me? Well, dear reader…the same way the atheist can be scientific and logical, yet still have love for anther human that he can’t prove to you and me. The difference, as I see it, is that the love for God is directed at the perfect and omniscient–the one ultimately and most truly deserving of worship (the highest form of love).
After all of this, it is readily apparent that the most free thinker does not enslave himself within science, logic and reason, nor within emotion or imagination, nor within only spiritual space. Instead, the freest thinker delves into the abstract, the spiritual, the eternal, the mental processes that journey beyond tangible evidence, while not losing sight of any of the inner ones–engaging in a lifelong exploration of the entire intellectual spectrum.
I don’t hate the spiritually handicapped. I feel pity and empathy instead; for I once was blissfully ignorant that way, jailed in the same state of self-inflicted spiritual infanthood and underdevelopment. Those who tried but gave up prematurely have experienced spiritual atrophy, with much the same net result. When spiritually handicapped, much like physical or mental handicaps, one is missing an essential capacity or capability. The good news is that, unlike a missing limb or a blind eye, we can grow or regrow the spirit, boost our spiritual IQ–but not without struggle, and only if we’re open-minded, free thinkers about it.
This is because the truest level of free thought involves logical intellect, emotional intellect, and spiritual intellect, none to the exclusion of the others, each in its distinct place, but also, each to the others’ enrichment. This is the essence of the most vast thinkers, the truest manifestation of free thought!