April 22, 2012 by Bill
He was a true mystic who valued intuition and imagination above logic. I quote: “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy, imagination, has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing knowledge.”
“To experience the Mystery is the cradle of true art and true science. He who can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead.”
“I am truly a ‘lone traveler’ and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends or my family. I have never lost a sense of distance and the need for solitude.”
Einstein was totally a Bohemian free thinker and free spirit who laughed at the moral prejudices, opinions and judgments of the “masses.” He said many times in different ways that he did not look outside of himself to anyone else, or any institution, as an “authority.” He said clearly and confidently, “I am my own authority.”
As the recent subject matter of my Sunday Symposium, it was his penetrating and brilliant views on organized religion that created much interest and confirmation.
Einstein was completely convinced that the vast majority of problems in the world, and especially with individuals, was caused by belief in a “personal” God. An anthropomorphic God who was a “divine window peeker” or a “celestial bellhop” or even a “cosmic hit man.”
He wrote: “Teachers of religion must have the stature and integrity to give up the archaic and superstitious concept of a ‘personal’ God, a concept that has brought fear and done monumental harm to individuals.” The idea of a personal God is so very naive.
I am a deeply religious non-believer. This is a new kind of religion. I believe in a “cosmic” religion that has no creeds, doctrines, dogma or churches. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a sense of humility. I believe only in Mystery.
His Nobel Prize was NOT for the THEORY OF RELATIVITY, as believed by the general public. As brilliant as that was, it was his THEORY OF PHOTOELECTRICITY that won the Nobel Prize.
How does that theory influence your life? The following list of items using that theory will help you. Microwave ovens… TV sets… radios… calculators… auto dashboard indicators. At the doctors: fluoroscopy… image intensifiers… X rays. At the grocery store: checkout counter laser scanner… fluorescent lights. On your computer: screens… printers and indicator lights. The military, of course, practically lives off Einstein’s theories.
A few personal notes about this rare and unique individual: He loved his pipes and cigars, and like Carl Jung, had almost a sensuous relationship with his pipes. One time while sailing, his pipe fell in about 3 feet of water and Einstein went down under water again and again to find it. He did. He adored ice cream had all he wanted, free, sent to him monthly by major companies. He hated new clothes and hated socks. He almost never wore socks and wore clothes until holes showed up in them. He was totally “child like” (not “childish”), child like in living with daily wonder… surprise… spontaneity… amazement… play… a free expression of emotions. He had few close friends; the only one really was Bohr, another Nobel prize physicist, almost as brilliant as Einstein. He told Bohr one day that: “your idea is not crazy enough.”
Needless to say, I had to do two sessions on this monumental man for my Symposium, and still could not really do him justice.
You might enjoy The Private Albert Einstein by Peter A. Bucky, a long time acquaintance who knew him well. What Einstein had to say apart from physics, was truly, equally brilliant.