The Attic of Our Mind
For a satsangi, a spiritual “message” – for instance, the need to keep our minds uncluttered – can sometimes be found in the most unexpected places.
The following passage is from The Science of Deduction, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The great detective Sherlock Holmes is surprised at the unenthusiastic response of a man to information which he (Holmes) had felt was important.
“You appear to be astonished”, his informant said. … “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.”
“To forget it!” exclaimed Holmes in disbelief.
“You see,” replied the man, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it.
“Now, the skilful man is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work and of these he has a large assortment, all in the most perfect order.
“It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it, there comes a time when, for every addition of knowledge, you forget something that you knew before.
“It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”