The HyperTexts

Albert Einstein Poems, Quotes and Epigrams

Einstein the Romantic Poet on Relativity, Love, Compassion, Entanglement, God, Religion, Science, Physics, Metaphysics, Determinism, Israel, Judaism, Palestine, etc.

compiled by Michael R. Burch, an editor and publisher of Holocaust and Nakba poetry

The following are epigrams and other quotations and sayings of Albert Einstein. Some of them fall into the category of modern proverbs. I believe Einstein was a romantic poet in a number of his epigrams, and so I have created small "Einstein poems" below by combining epigrams of his on related topics. I hope you like the resulting poetry of Einstein as much as I enjoyed putting the poems together. Following the poems, there is an important article about his views on Israel and Palestine. Although it's not common knowledge today, Einstein was offered the presidency of the modern state of Israel soon after its creation, so it's interesting to hear what he thought about the best possible relationship between Jews and Palestinians. Anyone who's concerned about the volatile situation in the Middle East (and who isn't?) should read and consider what Einstein had to say on the subject. And now, ta-da!, without further delay, here is one of the greatest minds of all time, captured in the man's own inimitable words . . .

Einstein on Relativity (and the "physics" of Love)

Sit next to a pretty girl for an hour,
it seems like a minute.
Sit on a red-hot stove for a minute,
it seems like an hour.
That's relativity!

Oh, it should be possible
to explain the laws of physics
to a barmaid! . . .
but how could she ever,
in a million years,
explain love to an Einstein?

And how on earth are you ever going to explain,
in terms of chemistry and physics,
so important a biological phenomenon as first love?
All these primary impulses,
not easily described in words,
are the springboards of man's actions . . .
and any man who can drive safely
while kissing a pretty girl
is simply not giving the kiss
the attention it deserves!

Einstein on Loneliness

It gives me great pleasure, indeed,
to see the stubbornness
of an incorrigible nonconformist
so warmly acclaimed . . .
and yet it seems strange
to be known so universally
and yet be so lonely.

Einstein on Solitude

Solitude is painful
when one is young,
but delightful
when one is more mature.
I live in that solitude
which was painful in youth,
but seems delicious now,
in the years of my maturity.

Einstein on Math

Not everything that counts can be counted,
and not everything that can be counted counts.
(And sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.)

Einstein on Religion

Science without religion is lame,
religion without science is blind,
and whoever undertakes to establish himself
as the judge of Truth and Knowledge
is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

Einstein on Palestine

compiled and edited by Michael R. Burch

What would Albert Einstein have said about the modern state of Israel, and its treatment of Palestinians? Was he a Zionist, and if so, in what way?

Einstein said, "Oppressive nationalism must be conquered." He also called nationalism the "infantile sickness" of the human race. But what about the Jewish state of Israel, which has created a system of apartheid designed to deny non-Jews the most basic of human rights, such as the right to buy land, the right to due process in fair courts, and the right to marry and raise children without government interference? Israel's government has gone as far as forcing Palestinian mothers to either leave their native land, or be separated from their own children. Why are Palestinian mothers and their children being forced to walk this new Trail of Tears? How can a modern democracy continue to insist that Jewish babies are born with infinitely superior rights to other babies?

Einstein opposed both nationalism and racism, saying: "I have conceived of Judaism as a community of tradition. Both friend and foe, on the other hand, have often asserted that the Jews represent a race; that their characteristic behavior is the result of innate qualities transmitted by heredity from one generation to the next ... The Jews, however, are beyond doubt a mixed race, just as are all other groups of our civilization. Sincere anthropologists are agreed on this point; assertions to the contrary all belong to the field of political propaganda and must be rated accordingly."

Einstein was right because geneticists tell us that all human DNA is virtually identical. There isn't a "Jewish" race or a "Palestinian" race, really. We are all members of the same species and our differences are primarily traditional (i.e., cultural), not racial. Politicians, religious figures and demagogues often use cultural differences to convince us to oppose each other, and even to go to war, but if we examined our bloodlines closely enough, we'd find that we're all "mongrels" of the same species. So why fight wars over differences that are less even than skin deep?

Einstein was also aware that widespread anti-Semitism on the part of Arabs was not a historical fact, and that friction between Jews and Arabs was due largely to legitimate fears and grievances on the part of Arabs who faced a host of problems due to the migration of large numbers of Jews to Palestine (many of them with the obvious intention of taking over). Einstein said, "There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people. Despite the great wrong that has been done to us [the Holocaust], we must strive for a just and lasting compromise with the Arab people ... Let us recall that in former times no people lived in greater friendship with us than the ancestors of these Arabs."

What the early Zionists did, in effect, was use European racism against Jews to excuse Jewish racism against Palestinians. This was simply wrong. Historically the Arabs had treated the Jews far better than European Christians had. Until Jews began arriving in large numbers with the stated intention of taking over, Jews and Arabs had lived together in peace. Why then were Arabs singled out for oppression by Jews?

Einstein lamented the failure of the Jews to reach a just understanding with the Arabs, and criticized their reliance on their influence with powerful Englishmen like Winston Churchill. (Churchill sympathized strongly with Zionism and had much to do with the transfer of political power to the Jewish minority in the early 1920's.) In a letter to a friend, Einstein said: "I also think that during these last years an understanding between us and the Arabs which could have led to a bi-national administration was no longer possible. Earlier, however—actually, since 1918—we neglected the Arabs and trusted in the Englishmen over and over again." But to be fair to the Englishmen, they often did much—though never all—of what the more ardent Zionists demanded, to the anguish of the Palestinian majority, who were denied the right to self-determination. It would have been impossible for Englishmen to make one side happy without bitterly disappointing the other. But if true democracy had been enacted, the Arab majority could have prevented what eventually happened in 1948: the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian farmers and their families, the majority of whom were not combatants and had every right to return to their land once the fighting was over. For someone like Einstein, who believed in the equality of human beings, and for everyone who abhors racism and believes in equal human rights, a Jewish state in Palestine presents a real dilemma. The Palestinians are, and have always been, the majority. Only by keeping millions of Palestinians in refugee camps can the Jews claim to constitute the "majority."

Einstein denied any superior rights for Jews, calling for "complete equality" for Palestinian Arabs as the "most important aspect" of Jewish policy: "The most important aspect of our policy must be our ever-present, manifest desire to institute complete equality for the Arab citizens living in our midst ... The attitude we adopt toward the Arab minority will provide the real test of our moral standards as a people."Only cooperation with Arabs, led by "educated, spiritually alert" Jewish workers, he wrote, "can create a dignified and safe life." What saddens me is less the fact that the Jews are not smart enough to understand this, but rather, that they are not just smart enough to want it."

On the question of the partitioning of Palestine in order to create a Jewish state, he said: "I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the ideas of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain, especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state. We are no longer the Jews of the Maccabee period. A return to a nation in the political sense of the word would be equivalent to turning away from the spiritualization of our community which we owe to the genius of our prophets."

He also said, "A just solution of this problem and one worthy of both nations is an end no less important and no less worthy of our efforts than the promotion of the work of construction itself [i.e., than the creation of a Jewish state in Israel]."

Furthermore, he said, "... it is for us to solve the problem of living side by side with our brother the Arab in an open, generous, and worthy manner."

Einstein obviously believed the first priority of Zionism should be a just agreement with the Arabs. He was not alone in this opinion, as other Jewish leaders and intellectuals, including Fromm, Buber, Magnes, Hugo Bergmann, Ruppin and Calvaresci spoke along the same lines. Norman Bentwich said, "That conviction was expressed emphatically by Albert Einstein when I visited him in his cottage during my stay in Berlin in 1930. He would not remain associated, he said, with the Zionist movement unless it tried to make peace with the Arabs in deed as well as in word. The Jews should form committees with the Arab peasants and workers, and not try to negotiate only with the leaders."

Einstein did not think the partitioning of Palestine was a good idea, writing to an unidentified Mr. Brainin in the US: ""[I have a] long-held ... conviction ... that for Palestine the only fair and suitable form of government is a bi-national arrangement. However, the management would have to be substantially taken over by the United Nations for the foreseeable future, because the political life of Palestine is thoroughly muddled and, therefore, the land is not ripe for political independence."

Einstein became more and more disillusioned with the lip service Zionists paid to justice, while descending into racism and nationalism, saying, "... [the Zionist] movement [must] avoid the danger of degenerating into a blind nationalism. In my opinion, we must endeavor above all that psychological understanding and an honorable will towards cooperation take the place of resentment towards the Arabs. The overcoming of this difficulty will, in my opinion, be the touchstone that our community has a right to existence in the higher sense. I must unfortunately openly acknowledge that the attitude of our [Zionist] officialdom, as well as the majority of public expressions in this connection, appear to me to leave much to be desired."

Einstein also feared the growing military mentality he saw among Jews: "It is quite true that our situation has once again become perilous and that we lack all power to check the danger. But when I look at Russia and America, I cannot help wondering whether we would behave more sensibly if we were as powerful as they are." Today Israel reportedly has the fourth most powerful military on the planet, despite its tiny area and small population compared to those of the superpowers America, Russia and China. How did tiny Israel become so incredibly powerful? Because American taxpayers have contributed hundreds of billions of dollars in financial aid and advanced weapons to a nation that increasingly seems to have a police state mentality. Now that military power is being used to occupy the West Bank and allow robber barons to take the ever-dwindling land of Palestinian farm families.

Einstein also recognized that Zionists were provoking the Arabs to "acts of hostility" (such tactics have been freely admitted by Israeli military leaders like Moshe Dayan, who admitted trying to lure Syrians to attack Israelis in border skirmishes). Einstein said, "We need to pay greater attention to our relations with the Arabs. By cultivating these carefully we shall be able in future to prevent things from becoming so dangerously strained that people can take advantage of them to provoke acts of hostility. This goal is perfectly within our reach, because our work of construction has been, and must continue to be, carried out in such a manner as to serve the real interests of the Arab population also."

Einstein clearly saw a just peace with Arabs as vital, saying, "When appraising the achievement, however, let us not lose sight of the cause to be served by this achievement: rescue of our endangered brethren, dispersed in many lands, by uniting them in Israel; creation of a community which conforms as closely as possible to the ethical ideals of our people as they have been formed in the course of a long history. One of these ideals is peace, based on understanding and self-restraint, and not on violence. If we are imbued with this ideal, our joy becomes somewhat mingled with sadness, because our relations with the Arabs are far from this ideal at the present time. It may well be that we would have reached this idea, had we been permitted to work out, undisturbed by others, our relations with our neighbors, for we want peace and we realize that our future development depends on peace." How very different his words sound, than those of Israeli leaders like Ariel Sharon and Binyamin Netanyahu!

As one of his biographers, Ronald Clark, pointed out, "Along with these feelings which tended to qualify Einstein's enthusiasm for Zionism there was the essentially pacifist nature of his approach to the problems of the world. Even when it came to Zionism, a subject as emotionally close to his heart as anything ever was, he could never look on his opponents, in this case Arabs, as the deep-eyed villains which the sentiments of the case demanded. He was all for the policy of live and let live."

In the end, Einstein foresaw the problem of European-style ultra-nationalism leading to similar woes for the Jews. In his testimony of January 1946 before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, he said: "The State idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with narrow-mindedness and economic obstacles. I believe that it is bad. I have always been against it [i.e., against a Jewish political state rather than a Jewish homeland]." He went further to deride the concept of a Jewish commonwealth as an "imitation of Europe, the end of which was brought about by nationalism."

Once the true nature of the fledgling Jewish state became evident, a number of prominent Jewish voices of conscience rose to the occasion and sent an Open Letter to The New York Times. Einstein, Sidney Hook, Hannah Arendt and Seymour Milman were among the signers of this letter, which appeared in the Times on December 4, 1948.

The letter said:

Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our time is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the 'Freedom Party' ... a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy, and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist right-wing chauvinist organization in Palestine.

The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who opposed fascism throughout the world, if currently informed as to Mr. Begin's political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents ... A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin ... this incident exemplified the character and actions of the Freedom Party. Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultra-nationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other fascist parties, they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions.

The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine, bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike) and misrepresentation are means, and a 'Leader State' is the goal.

In the light of the foregoing consideration, it is imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country. It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin's efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel of support to Begin. The undersigned therefore take the means publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party, and of urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism." [pp. 352-353]

A scanned image of this Open Letter to The New York Times is available at this link.

The Official Einstein Archive contains the draft of an address Einstein prepared for a dinner for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1950. Zionists seem to have drafted an earlier version of the text, which contained "eulogistic expressions" about Israel. The original draft stated: "The people of America will welcome this great orchestra because it is sent to us in a spirit of gratitude for the part we have played in helping to establish a democratic state of Israel. Israel's contribution to the beauty of living, like all artistic creations, will help not only Israel, but the entire Middle East." Einstein crossed out parts of the original draft, including the reference to Israel as "a democratic state," and stated his consistent view that "The meaning of Israel lay always and still lies in the spiritual values which it creates and embodies. The new state should only be seen as a means to serve these ends efficiently, not as an end in itself or even as an instrument of political ambitions." The document is dated almost two years after the State of Israel was founded. It seems Einstein did not consider Israel to be a "democratic state" and did not see the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine being a "help" to the "entire Middle East." Einstein had a different dream than the dream of political Zionists. His early support for a Jewish presence in Palestine clearly did not extend to Jews seizing control of the region and subduing or displacing Palestinians. While some commentators seem to see Einstein as either an ardent political Zionist, or a man who vacillated on the subject of a Jewish state, to me he seems remarkably consistent. His dream was always of a form of Judaism that lived up to the visions of Hebrew prophets who called for chesed [mercy, compassion, lovingkindness] and social justice. As he saw the nature of the Jewish state that emerged, he distanced himself from the racism, nationalism and militarism which soon became its watchwords. Einstein turned down the presidency of Israel when it was offered to him, and he continued to voice his fears "for the soul of Israel." A few months before his death, he remembered his "great hopes that Israel might be better than other nations," only to conclude that "it is no better."

The Hebrew prophets called for compassion and social justice. Einstein considered this message of the prophets to be the living, beating heart of Judaism, saying: "The Zionist goal gives us an actual opportunity to put into practice, through a viable solution of the Jewish-Arab problem, those principles of tolerance and justice that we owe primarily to our prophets. I am convinced that the living transmission of those principles is the most important thing in Judaism." He also said: "To be a Jew, after all, means first of all, to acknowledge and follow in practice those fundamentals in humaneness laid down in the Bible: fundamentals without which no sound and happy community of men can exist."

Was Einstein a prophet himself? Just before he died on April 18, 1955, Einstein signed what became known as The Einstein-Russell Manifesto. In it, the theoretical physicist and the philosopher-mathematician Bertrand Russell went beyond vague moral arguments for pacifism. Instead they posed political choices: "There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge, and wisdom. Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new Paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death."

Was Einstein a Zionist? Yes, because he shared the dream of a Jewish homeland: a community where Jews would be safe and live together in peace. But he was not a political Zionist who demanded a Jewish state bristling with weapons. Einstein was an idealist who heeded the call of the Hebrew prophets for compassion and justice. Just before he died, he sounded like one of those prophets himself, saying that the difference between Paradise and Sheol [the grave, destruction, death] is a matter of choice, of human desire and will. We can choose to see all men as equals, respect their rights as we wish them to respect our own, and live in peace, or we can call ourselves the Chosen Few, trample the rights of others, and go down to Sheol: to death, to destruction. The world is, to a large degree, what we choose to make of it. We can subdue and tame wild beasts, making the savage wolf man's best friend, the loving and loyal dog ... but what will we do about ourselves? Will we ever use our hearts and brains simultaneously, to our own best advantage? Michael R. Burch

Einstein on the Great Mysteries, and Mystery Itself

There are two ways to live your life—
one is as though nothing is a miracle,
the other is as though everything is a miracle.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious:
it is the source of all true art and all science.
He to whom this emotion is a stranger,
who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe,
is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

Einstein on Morality (and false Morality)

As far as I'm concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue:
Morality is of the highest importance—but for us, not for God.
And nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land
than passing laws which cannot be enforced.
It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this county is closely related to this.

Einstein's Uncommon Sense

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

Einstein on Character and the dangers of Nationalism and a Rank-and-File Mentality

Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds
because anger dwells only in the bosom of fools
and weakness of attitude soon becomes weakness of character.
Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity (and I'm not sure about the former);
furthermore, we can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
The world is a dangerous place: not just because of the people who are evil,
but also because of the good people who don't do anything about it.
He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt:
he has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.

Einstein on Politics

An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.

Einstein on War and Peace

Heroism on command,
senseless violence,
and all the loathsome nonsense
that goes by the name of patriotism:
how passionately I hate them!

Perfection of means
and confusion of ends
seem to characterize our age
and it has become appallingly obvious
that our technology
has exceeded our humanity,
that technological progress
is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal,
and that the attempt to combine wisdom and power
has only rarely been successful
and then only for a short while.

It is my conviction
that killing under the cloak of war
is nothing but an act of murder.
(I do not know what weapons
World War III will be fought with,
but World War IV will be fought
with sticks and stones.)

Oh, how I wish that somewhere
there existed an island
for those who are wise
and of goodwill! . . .

In such a place even I
would be an ardent patriot,
for I am not only a pacifist,
but a militant pacifist.
I am willing to fight for peace,
for nothing will end war
unless the people themselves
refuse to go to war.

Our task must be to free ourselves
by widening our circle of compassion
to embrace all living creatures
and the whole of nature and its beauty.
And peace cannot be kept by force;
it can only be achieved by understanding.

Einstein on the need for Individuality

Few are those
who see
with their own eyes,
and feel
with their own hearts,
and think
with their own minds;
and he who can no longer pause
to wonder
and stand rapt in awe,
is as good as dead;
his eyes are closed.

Einstein's Advice to Scientists, Technologists, Technicians and Scholars

Concern for man and his fate
must always form the chief interest
of all technical endeavors.
Never forget this
in the midst of your diagrams
and equations.

Einstein on Mathematics

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax
(everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler)
and anyway, I don't believe in mathematics
because as far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain,
while as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
So please don't worry about your difficulties in Mathematics: I can assure you that mine are still greater!
(And please keep in mind that the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits
and that anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new).

Einstein on Imagination, Creativity, Knowledge and Information

Imagination is everything.
It is the preview of life's coming attractions.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Information is not knowledge
and yet knowledge is still limited,
for knowledge of what is
does not open the door directly to what should be.
Yes, logic may get you from A to B,
but Imagination will take you everywhere.
Imagination encircles the world.
Imagination is everything.

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination,
and to raise new questions, new possibilities,
to regard old problems from new angles,
requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.
Thus, the true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.
(And the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources!)

Einstein on Education, Thinking and Understanding

I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion.
Now I think and think for months and years.
Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false.
The hundredth time I am right.
But I never think of the future
that comes soon enough.

Learn from yesterday,
live for today,
hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is never
to stop questioning.
Never lose a holy curiosity.

It is a miracle that curiosity
survives formal education
and yet it is the supreme art
of the teacher to awaken joy
in creative expression
and knowledge.

Still, it sometimes seems
that "education" is what remains
after one has forgotten
everything he learned in school,
and the only thing that interferes
with my learning is my education.

But always remember that all that is valuable in human society
depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual!

Einstein on Science and Nature

Most people say that it is the intellect
which makes a great scientist.
They are wrong: it is character
and the whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.

Science is a wonderful thing if one doesn't have to earn one's living at it,
although the process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.
Still, look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

Einstein on Truth

To punish me for my contempt for authority,
fate made me an authority myself!
Now, if you are out to describe the truth,
leave elegance to the tailor . . .
and yet
if you can't explain it simply,
you don't understand it.
Still, if we knew what it was we were doing,
it wouldn't be called "research,"
would it?

Einstein on Life, Time, Aging and the Future

I never think of the future (it comes soon enough!)
and the tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.
The life of the individual has meaning only insofar
as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful.
Life is sacred, that is to say, it is the supreme value,
to which all other values are subordinate
and human beings can attain a worthy and harmonious life
only if they are able to rid themselves, within the limits of human nature,
of the striving for the wish fulfillment of material kinds.
The goal is to raise the spiritual values of society.

Einstein on God and Human Beings

I want to know God's thoughts;
the rest are details.
God does not play dice with the universe.
God is subtle, but not malicious;
clever, but not dishonest.
God does not care about our mathematical difficulties.
He integrates empirically.

A human being is a part of a whole, called by us "universe,"
a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings
as something separated from the rest ...
a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us,
restricting us to our personal desires
and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison
by widening our circle of compassion
to embrace all living creatures
and the whole of nature in its beauty.

So let every man be respected
but no man idolized.

I believe that a simple
and unassuming
manner of life
is best for everyone
best both for the body
and the mind.

Before God
we are all equally wise
and equally foolish.
That deep emotional conviction
of the presence
of a superior reasoning power,
which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe,
forms my idea of God.
But I cannot imagine a God
who rewards and punishes
the objects of his creation
and is thus but a reflection
of human frailty.

Do I believe in immortality?
No, and one life is more than enough for me!

Einstein on Curiosity

The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity,
of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.
It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.
Never lose a holy curiosity.

People do not grow old no matter how long we live.
We never cease to stand like curious children
before the great Mystery into which we were born.

Einstein on Reality and Illusion

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion
and the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility
and the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.

Einstein on Religion and Determinism

Everything is determined by forces over which we have no control.
It is determined for the insect as well as for the star.
Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust—we all dance to a mysterious tune,
intoned from a distance by an invisible piper.
I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research
and my religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit
who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds.
Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind
and whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge
is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

Einstein on Einstein

If my theory of relativity is proven correct,
Germany will claim me as a German
and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world.

Should my theory prove untrue,
France will say that I am a German
and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.

(And if only I could remember the names of all these particles I'd be a botanist!)

Related Pages

If you're interested in such things, you may be interested in these other Mysterious Ways pages:

A Direct Experience with Universal Love
Two Tales of the Night Sky
Michael, Wonderful and Glorious
The Poisonous Tomato

Mysterious Ways Index

The HyperTexts

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