(Continued from page 11) Holmes and Zenout preordained notions, we can see things as they are. As Holmes says in The Hound of The Baskervilles, "I
presume nothing," and when we presume nothing we can see anything. One of Holmes most famous statements about the process of deduction is, of course, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." And often the truth is obvious - if we will just see it.
In a Sherlock Holmes story which is not from the Canon, Holmes and Watson go camping. After a good meal alongside the fire, they crawl in their tent and go to sleep. Hours later, Holmes wakes up. He nudges Watson and says, "Watson, look up. Tell me what you see." Watson replies, "I see millions of stars."" Holmes asks, "And what, Watson, does that tell you?" As always, Watson knows he is being tested. He thinks, then says, "Combined with my knowledge of astrophysics, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies, and potentially billions of planets. I deduce that the moon has nearly set and therefore it is half past three. As it is clear, I deduce we are likely to have a sunny day tomorrow." Smugly, Watson relaxes in his sleeping bag.
Holmes says, "But my dear Watson, you miss the point - someone has stolen our tent!"
Rev. Stephen Kendrick, a parish minister in Hartford, CT and author of, Holy Clues: The Gospel According to Sherlock Holmes, says, "We are so used to thinking of religious revelation coming into the world by thunder and lightning,
miracles and blinding visions that we easily forget that spiritual truth is right here, right before us.
It is just too obvious for us to notice."
On the surface, Doyle paints Holmes as a skeptic, logical and scientific, with no belief in the supernatural and little
interest in religion. But a careful reader finds clues - In The Sign of Four, Watson remarks on Holmes holding forth with brilliance on a variety of subjects, including "the Buddhism of Ceylon". In The Veiled Lodger, Watson describes Holmes "sitting upon the floor like some strange Buddha, with crossed legs." And after Holmes returns from his three year sabbatical, after all thought he perished in his fall over Reichenbach Falls with Professor Moriarty, Holmes tells Watson that he spent two of those years traveling in Tibet. And in The Naval Treaty, Holmes leans against a windowsill and remarks, "What a lovely thing a rose is!" He goes on to tell Watson, "There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion. It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the
goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers."
The clues are all there - if you pay attention!