of Life Lessons
Let us now take up the attribute of reasoning.
We seldom think of our reasoning abilities but take too much for granted;
however, tonight we hope to make plain to you some very interesting facts that
will open the door to a great deal of thinking along this line.
we divide reasoning into simple forms we find that we reason DEDUCTIVELY and
INDUCTIVELY. Life, or rather
self-living, is constituted by, or embraced by the intentional or unintentional
combination of these two elementary principles known as the two processes of
reasoning, either in balance or with the one predominantly displayed over the
we may say that self-living is the third point of the triangle.
These two fundamental forms are the basis of all our reasoning, and the
triangle simply expressed is: DEDUCTIVE or structural reasoning is the function
of the knowing mind; INDUCTIVE or genetic reasoning is the development of the
cognition; self-living or the functional reasoning of mind is the part which
knowledge expresses and plays in individual life.
subject of reasoning would be very dry and uninteresting as a study were it not
for the fact that so much of our work depends upon the strange reasoning done by
the subjective mind. In fact, as you
will find later on, most of the remarkable occurrences of a psychic or occult
nature come from the distinctive reasoning of the subjective mind.
in general is the analytical thinking we do.
Our conscious reasoning is done by the objective mind, while, on the
other hand, some of our most important reasoning is done in the subjective mind.
The two are clearly defined.
we analyze a statement or thought we use our ability to reason.
If I asked you what qualities or colors compose the color green, you
would hold the color green before your eyes mentally and examine it.
this analysis, your reasoning would tell you that, since green has both blue and
yellow in it, it must be composed of both blue and yellow.
Such reasoning is analytical.
examines the idea or thought from every angle; it separates the idea into
various parts or qualities and tries to find the cause. This reasoning leads
back to the idea, the thoughts, the actions, the very principles which preceded
the idea with which we started.
if I placed before you here on the table a very fancy cake, which had the
appearance of a birthday or wedding cake, and asked each of you to step up
before the cake and permit your reasoning abilities to influence your actions
and thinking, there would be two things, one of which you would do.
you would try to eat the cake, or you would study and examine it.
Now the cause of your action would be found in the reasoning you did.
Therefore, we will stop and examine the two methods.
who would examine the cake would reason inductively:
they would note the finish of the cake first and try to reason out the recipe
for making and methods for finishing with the filling and icing.
All materials used would be studied and from each step would the mind
travel, till the one doing such reasoning would see the cake in its first
stages, in its ingredients and parts. By
such a process of reasoning, from effect to cause a person could tell how the
cake was made. Some can look at a
prettily trimmed hat or gown and by reasoning backward tell just how the hat or
gown was made.
when called in to fathom the mystery of a crime, look upon the result -- the
finished deed -- and by reasoning backward are able to tell just how the crime
was committed; when and by whom. They go backward, step by step, to the cause,
and thus have a picture of every step that leads up to the crime.
these examples are forms of INDUCTIVE REASONING, so please write in your
Reasoning is progressing from results to cause, step by step, logically."
those who would come up here and see the fancy cake and immediately proceed to
eat it would reason deductively.
Their reasoning would be as follows:
"That is a fine cake; cakes are good to eat: this one was made to
eat: it was made with great care so that it is especially good and palatable; I
like cake and I can enjoy it by eating it; therefore, I will eat this
can easily perceive that such reasoning is the reverse of the first form.
This reasoning is done from the result forward to its ultimate end,
instead of backward to the cause. It embraces no question, no analysis, no
examination, but is a mere chain of subsequent actions, each a logical result of
the former. This is DEDUCTIVE
is the kind of reasoning which a criminal may use in committing a crime.
The criminal may walk into the room and see a man counting his money.
He would reason somewhat as follows:
"I need money. There is plenty of it.
I need some or all of that, so I will take it.
The man counting it is protecting it.
Therefore I will get rid of the man and take the money.
To get rid of the man I will kill him.
To kill him I will shoot him. To
shoot him I will use my revolver. I
will use my revolver to shoot him in the back.
He will drop to the floor. He
will be unconscious. He will die.
I will take the money and run. I
will get out of the window through which I came.
I will have the money. Persons
will hear the shot and come into the house.
I will be gone with the money. They
will find the body. . ."
this way the criminal would plan every move until the time came to reason
differently. He would reason
deductively: how the persons would search for him, how the police would be
called in, how his fingerprints would be examined, and so forth.
Consequently he would endeavor to do those things which would defeat
their reasoning. This form of
reasoning, reasoning deductively, is best defined in this way.
So please write this in your notebook:
"Deductive Reasoning consists of logical steps forward from the
primary idea to its ultimate conclusion."
these are very simple definitions and definitions which our advanced students of
psychology might qualify; but they will suffice to make plain to you what we
mean by deductive and inductive reasoning.
we reason over anything we wish to say or do, we reason both deductively and
inductively. If we wish to take a
journey to a distant city, let us say, we might reason first in a deductive
manner. We would figure out what our
first move should be -- the amount of fare or cost of the trip, the time it
should take to get there, the inconvenience of the journey, the place we should
eventually reach, whom we would see there, what we would do, what would be the
expense while there, when we should return, and all other little incidents of
other words, we would make the trip mentally from start to finish, from the
going to the return. This is
following out the idea to its conclusion, deductively.
But if we should stop to say to ourselves:
"Why should I go there?" Then
we would begin inductive reasoning. We
would reason backward to the cause of our taking the journey.
let me explain what all this has to do with our work. If we reasoned deductively
always, we would make many mistakes, but at the same time we would accomplish a
great many things both good and bad. If
we reasoned deductively only, all our acts would be like starting a railroad
engine moving forward on its track without an engineer.
It would follow the track regardless of all obstacles and keep going to
the end of the track. Signals along
the way would mean nothing to the engine since its sole aim would be to keep
going on the one track to the end. It
would not stop and examine signals to see whether it should take a branch track
or not, for that would require inductive reasoning.
if we reasoned inductively exclusively, we would remain inactive in the constant
process of analysis, reasoning backward to the causes and questioning the causes
in turn till we were lost in the fine threads of dim memory with hardly a
recollection of the original effect which started the whole process.
God and nature have given us the ability to reason by all methods as a
protection in order that we may progress or go forward, and by means of our
analysis of every act make no mistakes. Yes, God and nature have given us the
ability to reason in order that we may make no mistakes. But it is evident that
mistakes are made and each can ask the other, "Why?" -- Yes, WHY do we
make these mistakes when we have such reasoning abilities?
And if our reason is valid, what must be the relation of the knowing
consciousness to the object or experience known?
and scientists have concluded from observation that logic is either valid or
invalid, and they have tried to find and state the definite standard to which
thinking must conform in order that it may be valid; but are they not taking the
effect, as usual, of the things or results caused, as their premise, instead of
going back to the effect, in fact back of the cause, and reaching or arriving at
an understanding of the principles of the causes themselves which produce the
effects the principles of God and nature -- in order that they may the more
nearly approach the pure form of thought? It
is too easy to begin with the created instead of the pure principles of
creation, which have been neglected and lost to most of us through the past
ages, because of our attempted separation from the Cosmic Mind and the
development of our selfish purposes.
reasoning based upon the two fundamental reasonings mentioned, is the form of
general reason employed by most of us. It
is based upon a premise, a statement, and a conclusion. This form of reasoning
is found in the axiom expressed in the exact science of mathematics, that two
things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.
Thus it is seen that it is difficult to go astray in the conclusions,
provided our premise is based on the truth and our statement is exact. However,
we are all a little careless in the acceptance of our premise, and with such a
beginning it is little wonder that we arrive at so few valid conclusions.
For instance, the form of syllogistic reasoning is expressed in the
sink in water. This thing is a
stone. This thing sinks in
simple this reasoning seems and how true, to all appearances.
But supposing this thing we were using was a piece of porous pumice
stone; it is a piece of stone, but when it is placed in water we find that it
floats. What is wrong?
It is our premise that stones sink in water.
We might go a little further and show conditions where few stones would
sink with any great speed in water. For
instance, if the water is frozen we may call it ice, but it is still of the
chemical composition of water and though stones, heavier than water, or rather
heavier than ice, would sink in it, this motion would be so small as to be
almost negligible. We have said, "stones heavier than water and heavier
than ice," and herein we begin to see that we accepted as a premise an
assumption based upon several observations but hardly based upon any laws.
Our premises are usually plain assumptions and hardly based upon facts at
all, or more often probably related to facts only dimly.
We must get back to the principles, laws, and proportions of all
manifestations in order to perceive and explain the exact premise of truth.
we see that the weakness or strength of
deductive reasoning is in the premise. In
the process there will be no mistake. The weakness or strength of
inductive reasoning is in the process.
formal system of logic which has changed but slightly with the centuries, was
first introduced by the great philosopher, Aristotle.
He said that ideas or conclusions were higher forms of thought in
comparison to the sense perceptions of experiences from which they arose.
In other words, he meant that an idea or conclusion is a complete form
and arises from the combination of two lesser impressions or thoughts.
lesser thoughts may be complete by themselves, but in comparison to the thought,
idea or conclusion which arises from them they are incomplete.
For instance, a syllogism is composed of three propositions.
The first two propositions are called premises, and the third coming from
the first two is the conclusion.
premises are major and minor, and they have a common middle term.
This common middle term forms the basis for a conclusion and after
furnishing the logical connection between the other two, disappears.
"No finite being is exempt from error;
All Men are finite beings;
Therefore no man is exempt from error."
The major premise we see is that no finite being is exempt from error. The minor premise is that men are finite beings. We have here two thoughts. What is the middle term or connection? It is that finite beings can err. What is the new idea, thought or conclusion that arises from that middle term? It is that since man is finite, and finite things err, so then does man. All logical and formal reasoning is done according to this method. You should practice this remarkable system.