Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sherlock and Spiritualism

It's a long known fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was an ardent proponent of spiritualism and was vehemently vocal of its effectiveness even during its decant state in the 1920s. In fact despite this bringing much deplore and ignominy over him, he continued to give lectures and write articles and books on its efficacy. The buck doesn't stop here. Sir Doyle was involved in the realms of the paranormal for more than 3-4 decades and the elements of paranormal paraphernalia and rituals had a profound impact on him. In fact some historicity suggests that Sir Doyle has even acted in the capacity of being a paranormal investigator and has even attended a seance. Sir Doyle was impressed with the domain of mesmerism and hypnotism as well. A surfeit of resources is available online, primarily at pertinent websites like

This article is intended to draw some kind of connection between Sherlock and Watson's mannerism, gravitas and methods and trace them to any paranormal connections like a supposed premonition. While any of Sir's creations don't even hint towards that possibility, heresy and heterodoxy were pivotal of Holmes' strategies and approach. The very concept of being annoyingly assiduous, as much in Holmes as in Christie's Poirot, was the apogee of a typical detective's visage. So, was it possible for Sherlock's method to be derived from reminiscing elements of occult?

Any direct correlation is a really distant possibility and Sherlock couldn't have drawn its semblance from a real man's chronicles. However, the way Sherlock was able to witness what didn't meet the eye, could be a trait attributed to the supposed use of a foresight, much beyond that prevalent in human capacity. While a simple churning of all the available facts in mind's own bounds was like a chore for Holmes and could have been for any meticulous man, Sherlock seemed to relive any crime scene like it took place right in front of him. It was as if the dead spoke to him!

While this may insinuate a denigration of Holmes' cognitive abilities, what this alludes is very different. It is believed that Sir Doyle was so indulged in writing the timeless masterpieces that he actually enacted as Holmes and actually separated himself from the depraved criminals who committed the crime. He repudiated their existence and used to usher his words while enacting as Holmes alongwith an irking Watson at the back of the head. So what if Sir Doyle, making a perfect crime scene, fastidiously separated himself from itself and then used Sherlock as a vehicle to transmit himself to the same as a stranger? Then, it was more a matter of connecting to each and every intricacy. 

Sherlock's trance in his memory castle was Doyle's connection to a world that transcends the usual mental borders. It seemed as if the deceased and their reminiscent screamed their story aloud but only to Doyle and then to Holmes. With due fairness to Holmes' abilities, Doyle was actually plunged in that external world, searching for answers from those who are dead, and portrayed the same as coming to Holmes from the coffers of his own mind. The same later transformed as the grey cells of Poirot. It was that belief and notion of Doyle of communicating with the spirits through his seances that transformed to Holmes's communication through a tacit allegory. This does nothing to Holmes' everlasting repute and Sir's long lost legend, but it surely provides one plausible explanation for one the world's most inexplicable crime solving modus operandi. 

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