“The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.
To make this a living force and bring it to clear consciousness is perhaps the foremost task of education.
The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action.” -Albert Einstein
Where to now?
In the end, we all must find our own way. Without a moral compass, we are lost.
“While religion prescribes brotherly love in the relations among the individuals and groups, the actual spectacle more resembles a battlefield than an orchestra.” -Albert Einstein
The spectacle is on full display in political rallies where the speaker is thought to be “full of the holy spirit” and yet people come away full of hate and suspicion. It is practiced in pulpits that preach that only one particular political ideology is sanctioned by God and all others are abhorrent. It turns the highest aspirations of the truly faithful and thoughtful into a farce, rejecting any real notion of God and instead pandering to fear and division.
It is religion as the oppressor, nothing more than a weapon.
“We still do not know one-thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us” -Albert Einstein
And, nonetheless, we delight in the eternal mystery with joyful curiosity and a determination to unravel the revelation as best we possibly can.
Einstein’s vision of the world and the universe encompasses the boundary of human imagination. The point where the science of the empirical world intersects with the faith in the spiritual dimension that lies beyond our limited perception. However limited, Einstein stretched that boundary, for which we are eternally grateful. We stand on the shoulders of giants.
Albert Einstein takes a break The Albert Einstein blog will continue the first week of March. In the meantime, in the spirit of Einstein, let’s all stretch.
“To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself” -Albert Einstein
By rejecting the status quo and revolutionizing physics with his rebellious notions of space and time, Einstein eventually became the scientific establishment – the authority that younger physicists rebelled against through a “quantum” leap of thought and imagination.
But it was upon the former rebel’s shoulders that these young turks stood in their rebellion – just as it was for Einstein himself two decades before.
And so it is that human history progresses: through a cycle of rebellion and revolution, of one sort or another, against established authority, thus becoming the new authority from which, one day, new revolution foments.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
Albert Einstein’s curiosity was his “religion”. He believed that the path toward God was found through a passionate and unending curiosity about the universe and our place in it. No miracle was necessary to see God, for in the very structure of the cosmos was the soul of God.
“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.” -Albert Einstein
“I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.”
It took years for Einstein to formulate his theories of special and general relativity. As he himself said, it was through “no special talent” that he unlocked these insights into how the universe works, but due to his “passionate curiosity”. Einstein thus found the will and inspiration to persevere, transforming physics and how we look at our world.
Now, I’m no Einstein, and you’re no Einstein, but what could you or I create if we had the same perseverance and “passionate curiosity” as he?