I knew that seclusion and solitude were very necessary for my friend in those hours of intense mental concentration during which he weighed every particle of evidence, constructed alternative theories, balanced one against the other, and made up his mind as to which points were essential and which immaterial.
In Maria Konnikova’s Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, she writes of Holmes’s pursuit of solitude:
A hunter knows when to quiet his mind. If he allows himself to always take in everything that is there for the taking, his senses will become overwhelmed. They will lose their sharpness. They will lose their ability to focus on the important signs and to filter out the less so. For that kind of vigilance, moments of solitude are essential.
If you need to focus or simply calm your senses, consider sitting quietly for a while and just thinking. Or, perhaps, reading a little something by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
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