Did Albert Einstein say this?

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Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby SarathW » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:50 pm

I found the follwing statement in the net and it seems that statement from Albert Einstein.

“ 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 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 whole of nature in its beauty.”

to me this is almost like Buddha's word!
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:01 am

You need to be careful about any quote attributed to Albert Einstein, particularly in relation to spirituality and Buddhism. A few years ago when as a mod at e-sangha, I contacted the Albert Einstein archives in Israel to check the authenticity of a quote attributed to him about Buddhism being a cosmic religion. Back on e-sangha, we had that particular quote on our first page. As it turned out, the quote was not authentic and the archivist told me that there were a large number of things attributed to Einstein that he never said nor wrote, or were created by combining de-contextualized statements from different talks or papers he wrote. Some people crave the referred authority of someone like Einstein so much to back up their own views or beliefs that they will do just about anything to do it.
My advice, Sarath, until the quote can be authenticated and read in context, treat it with a grain or two of salt.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:09 am

Greetings,

"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine." — Abraham Lincoln

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby SarathW » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:14 am

:clap:
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:15 am

A human being is a part of the 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. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

~Letter of 1950, as quoted in The New York Times (29 March 1972) and The New York Post (28 November 1972).

However, The New Quotable Einstein by Alice Calaprice (Princeton University Press, 2005: ISBN 0691120749), p. 206, has a different and presumably more accurate version of this letter, which she dates to February 12, 1950 and describes as "a letter to a distraught father who had lost his young son and had asked Einstein for some comforting words":

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish it but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.

source

---

As a puthujjana, Einstein's understanding of which sorts of peace of mind are attainable is going to be limited...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby SDC » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:17 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine." — Abraham Lincoln

Metta,
Retro. :)


HA!
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby James the Giant » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:21 am

SarathW wrote:I found the follwing statement in the net and it seems that statement from Albert Einstein.

“ 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 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 whole of nature in its beauty.”

to me this is almost like Buddha's word!

I looked it up for you, and yes it's Einstein's words, from a letter he wrote to someone regarding death.
But the part beginning "This delusion..." is from another work, totally unrelated to the first part. They have been stuck together for some reason here.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby Digity » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:54 am

Doesn't sound like some Albert Einstien said.

I personally don't like reading quotes on the net...too much misinformation.

http://www.fakebuddhaquotes.com/
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby detrop » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:37 pm

SarathW wrote:I found the follwing statement in the net and it seems that statement from Albert Einstein.

“ 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 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 whole of nature in its beauty.”

to me this is almost like Buddha's word!


Hello,

to me it sounds like the opposite of the Buddha's word. ;)

As I see it, not the "universe" but the human being is the whole and whatever "universe" may be "out there" - it is bound to be revealed by the senses of that human being in order to be become what that human being knows as "the universe". There is no "whole" outside the individuum. It's the individuum's mind that unifies the fragments of it's sense-experience into a "whole" or "world". Apart from that, no "universe" is to be found, no "whole" to be or become "one" with.

But perhaps I just misunderstood what you said. :shrug:

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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby Kare » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:09 pm

If I want to know something about the relativity theory, I'll check what Albert Einstein said about it (and hope I'll understand a little of it). If I want to know something about Buddhism, I'll check other sources.
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:49 am

Hi Detrop
Thank you for reminding it:


In the Rohitassa Sutta, The Buddha states:


"In this very one-fathom-long body, along with its perceptions and thoughts, do I proclaim the world, the origin of the world, the cessation of the world, and the path leading to the cessation of the world''
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby SarathW » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:23 am

Hi Kare
Did Einstein said:
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." :)

I see your point though, Buddha worn against, who see things as a whole instead of ever changing aggregates. In that basis scientist will never find a solution to Theory of all (Unifying theory)
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby BuddhaDave » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:13 am

from Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium, published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941. http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm

"It would not be difficult to come to an agreement as to what we understand by science. Science is the century-old endeavor to bring together by means of systematic thought the perceptible phenomena of this world into as thoroughgoing an association as possible. To put it boldly, it is the attempt at the posterior reconstruction of existence by the process of conceptualization. But when asking myself what religion is I cannot think of the answer so easily. And even after finding an answer which may satisfy me at this particular moment, I still remain convinced that I can never under any circumstances bring together, even to a slight extent, the thoughts of all those who have given this question serious consideration.

At first, then, instead of asking what religion is I should prefer to ask what characterizes the aspirations of a person who gives me the impression of being religious: a person who is religiously enlightened appears to me to be one who has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings, and aspirations to which he clings because of their superpersonalvalue. It seems to me that what is important is the force of this superpersonal content and the depth of the conviction concerning its overpowering meaningfulness, regardless of whether any attempt is made to unite this content with a divine Being, for otherwise it would not be possible to count Buddha and Spinoza as religious personalities. Accordingly, a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance and loftiness of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation. They exist with the same necessity and matter-of-factness as he himself. In this sense religion is the age-old endeavor of mankind to become clearly and completely conscious of these values and goals and constantly to strengthen and extend their effect. If one conceives of religion and science according to these definitions then a conflict between them appears impossible. For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts. According to this interpretation the well-known conflicts between religion and science in the past must all be ascribed to a misapprehension of the situation which has been described.

For example, a conflict arises when a religious community insists on the absolute truthfulness of all statements recorded in the Bible. This means an intervention on the part of religion into the sphere of science; this is where the struggle of the Church against the doctrines of Galileo and Darwin belongs. On the other hand, representatives of science have often made an attempt to arrive at fundamental judgments with respect to values and ends on the basis of scientific method, and in this way have set themselves in opposition to religion. These conflicts have all sprung from fatal errors.

Now, even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Though I have asserted above that in truth a legitimate conflict between religion and science cannot exist, I must nevertheless qualify this assertion once again on an essential point, with reference to the actual content of historical religions. This qualification has to do with the concept of God. During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man's own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favor by means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes.

Nobody, certainly, will deny that the idea of the existence of an omnipotent, just, and omnibeneficent personal God is able to accord man solace, help, and guidance; also, by virtue of its simplicity it is accessible to the most undeveloped mind. But, on the other hand, there are decisive weaknesses attached to this idea in itself, which have been painfully felt since the beginning of history. That is, if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?

The main source of the present-day conflicts between the spheres of religion and of science lies in this concept of a personal God. It is the aim of science to establish general rules which determine the reciprocal connection of objects and events in time and space. For these rules, or laws of nature, absolutely general validity is required--not proven. It is mainly a program, and faith in the possibility of its accomplishment in principle is only founded on partial successes. But hardly anyone could be found who would deny these partial successes and ascribe them to human self-deception. The fact that on the basis of such laws we are able to predict the temporal behavior of phenomena in certain domains with great precision and certainty is deeply embedded in the consciousness of the modern man, even though he may have grasped very little of the contents of those laws. He need only consider that planetary courses within the solar system may be calculated in advance with great exactitude on the basis of a limited number of simple laws. In a similar way, though not with the same precision, it is possible to calculate in advance the mode of operation of an electric motor, a transmission system, or of a wireless apparatus, even when dealing with a novel development.

To be sure, when the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large, scientific method in most cases fails us. One need only think of the weather, in which case prediction even for a few days ahead is impossible. Nevertheless no one doubts that we are confronted with a causal connection whose causal components are in the main known to us. Occurrences in this domain are beyond the reach of exact prediction because of the variety of factors in operation, not because of any lack of order in nature.

We have penetrated far less deeply into the regularities obtaining within the realm of living things, but deeply enough nevertheless to sense at least the rule of fixed necessity. One need only think of the systematic order in heredity, and in the effect of poisons, as for instance alcohol, on the behavior of organic beings. What is still lacking here is a grasp of connections of profound generality, but not a knowledge of order in itself.

The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural events. To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot.

But I am persuaded that such behavior on the part of the representatives of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal. For a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests. In their labors they will have to avail themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself. This is, to be sure, a more difficult but an incomparably more worthy task. (This thought is convincingly presented in Herbert Samuel's book, Belief and Action.) After religious teachers accomplish the refining process indicated they will surely recognize with joy that true religion has been ennobled and made more profound by scientific knowledge.

If it is one of the goals of religion to liberate mankind as far as possible from the bondage of egocentric cravings, desires, and fears, scientific reasoning can aid religion in yet another sense. Although it is true that it is the goal of science to discover rules which permit the association and foretelling of facts, this is not its only aim. It also seeks to reduce the connections discovered to the smallest possible number of mutually independent conceptual elements. It is in this striving after the rational unification of the manifold that it encounters its greatest successes, even though it is precisely this attempt which causes it to run the greatest risk of falling a prey to illusions. But whoever has undergone the intense experience of successful advances made in this domain is moved by profound reverence for the rationality made manifest in existence. By way of the understanding he achieves a far-reaching emancipation from the shackles of personal hopes and desires, and thereby attains that humble attitude of mind toward the grandeur of reason incarnate in existence, and which, in its profoundest depths, is inaccessible to man. This attitude, however, appears to me to be religious, in the highest sense of the word. And so it seems to me that science not only purifies the religious impulse of the dross of its anthropomorphism but also contributes to a religious spiritualization of our understanding of life.

The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge. In this sense I believe that the priest must become a teacher if he wishes to do justice to his lofty educational mission."
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Re: Did Albert Einstein say this?

Postby SarathW » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:13 pm

Hi Dave
Great article thanks. :)
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