During the last century, and part of the one before, it was widely held that there was an unreconcilable conflict between knowledge and belief.
It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.
The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.
To me the worst thing seems to be a school principally to work with methods of fear, force and artificial authority. Such treatment destroys the sound sentiments, the sincerity and the self-confidence of pupils and produces a subservient subject.
We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know.
The difference between what the most and the least learned people know is inexpressibly trivial in relation to that which is unknown.
Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes – goodwill among men and peace on earth.
The led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their own leader.
The problems that exist in this world can not be solved by the level of thinking that created them.
If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.
It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.
I believe that we don’t need to worry about what happens after this life, as long as we do our duty here-to love and to serve.
Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.
Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do – but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.
Music has no effect on research work, but both are born of the same source and complement each other through the satisfaction they bestow
It’s not that I’m so smart,
I find it difficult to believe that I belong to such an idiotic, rotten species – the species that actually boasts of its freedom of will, heroism on command, senseless violence, and all of the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism.
The pioneers of a warless world are the young men (and women) who refuse military service.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
We must begin to inculcate our children against militarism by educating them in the spirit of pacifism. Our schoolbooks glorify war and conceal it’s horror. I would teach peace rather than war.
He who cherishes the value of cultures cannot fail to be a pacifist.
“There’s been a quantum leap technologically in our age, but unless there’s another quantum leap in human relations, unless we learn to live in a new way towards one another, there will be a catastrophe.”
“Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem to characterize our age. If we desire sincerely and passionately the safety, the welfare and the free development of the talents of all men, we shall not be in want of the means to approach such a state.”
Politics is more difficult than physics.
Experts are just trained dogs.
The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For 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 country is closely connected with this.
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 favour by means of magic and prayer.
For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions, and the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything chosenabout them.
Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.
The physicist’s greatest tool is his wastebasket.
I believe my theory of relativity to be true. But it will only be proved for certain in 1981, when I am dead.
If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.
I have deep faith that the principle of the universe will be beautiful and simple
I know little about nature and hardly anything about men.
But in physics I soon learned to scent out the paths that led to the depths, and to disregard everything else, all the many things that clutter up the mind, and divert it from the essential. The hitch in this was, of course, the fact that one had to cram all this stuff into one’s mind for the examination, whether one liked it or not.
Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science.
It is the theory which decides what we can observe
How can he possibly be humble? He hasn’t done anything yet.
Desire for approval and recognition is a healthy motive, but the desire to be acknowledged as better, stronger, or more intelligent than a fellow being or fellow scholar easily leads to an excessively egoistic psychological adjustment, which may become injurious for the individual and for the community.
I love to travel, but hate to arrive.
Feeling and longing are the motive forces behind all human endeavor and human creations.
A model should be as simple as it can be but no simpler
It is the theory that decides what can be observed.
The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion.
A person experiences life as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness.
If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances.
New frameworks are like climbing a mountain – the larger view encompasses rather than rejects the more restricted view.
Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.
It would be better if you begin to teach others only after you yourself have learned something.
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.
I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls.
I came- though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents – to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve.
Our schoolbooks glorify war and conceal its horrors. They indoctrinate children with hatred. I would teach peace rather than war, love rather than hate.
Intelligence makes clear to us the interrelationship of means and ends. But mere thinking cannot give us a sense of the ultimate and fundamental ends. To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to form in the social life of man.
I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation.
One must not attempt to justify them, but rather to sense their nature simply and clearly.
I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure characters is the only thing that can produce fine ideas and noble deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and always tempts its owners irresistibly to abuse it
Any power must be an enemy of mankind which enslaves the individual by power and by force, whether it arises under the Fascist or the Communist flag. All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded to the individual.
We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility.
The daily struggle does not arise from a purpose or a program, but from an immediate need.
I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralisation of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?
If they want to see me, here I am. If they want to see my clothes, open my closet and show them my suits.
You teach me baseball and I’ll teach you relativity…No we must not. You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball.
In my experience, the best creative work is never done when one is unhappy.
If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord on the strength of a resolution taken once and for all. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.
I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer’s words: ‘Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,’ accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper.
I agree with your remark about loving your enemy as far as actions are concerned. But for me the cognitive basis is the trust in an unrestricted causality. ‘I cannot hate him, because he must do what he does.’ That means for me more Spinoza than the prophets.
Human beings, in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free agents but are as causally bound as the stars in their motion.
My internal and external life depend so much on the work of others that I must make an extreme effort to give as much as I receive.
My scientific work is motivated by an irresistible longing to understand the secrets of nature and by no other feeling. My love for justice and striving to contribute towards the improvement of human conditions are quite independent from my scientific interests.
The longing to behold this pre-established harmony [of phenomena and theoretical principles] is the source of the inexhaustible patience and perseverance with which Planck has devoted himself … The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind is akin to that of the religious worshiper or the lover; the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart.
Why does this magnificent applied science which saves work and makes life easier bring us so little happiness? … The simple answer runs: ‘Because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it.’
For the most part, I do the thing which my own nature prompts me to do. It is embarrassing to earn so much respect and love for it.
The consequence was a positively fanatic [orgy of] freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression
This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future.
I believe, indeed, that overemphasis on the purely intellectual attitude, often directed solely to the practical and factual, in our education, has led directly to the impairment of ethical values.
I believe in standardizing automobiles, not human beings.
It is not by sitting still at a grand distance and calling the human race larvae that men are to be helped.
America is today the hope of all honorable men who respect the rights of their fellow men and who believe in the principle of freedom and justice.
I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.
Thus I came…to a deep religiosity, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of 12. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached a conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true….Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this experience…an attitude which has never left me.
It’s not that life has been easy, perfect or exactly as expected. I just choose to be happy and grateful no matter how it all turns out. If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.
Try first to be a man of value; success will follow.
War cannot be humanized. It can only be abolished.
In my opinion there is no other salvation for civilization and even for the human race than the creation of a world government with security on the basis of law. As long as there are sovereign states with their separate armaments and armament secrets, new world wars cannot be avoided.
The conflict that exists today is no more than an old-style struggle for power, once again presented to mankind in semireligious trappings. The difference is that, this time, the development of atomic power has imbued the struggle with a ghostly character; for both parties know and admit that, should the quarrel deteriorate into actual war, mankind is doomed.
One has a feeling that one has a kind of home in this timeless community of human beings that strive for truth. … I have always believed that Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God the small group scattered all through time of intellectually and ethically valuable people.
If I would follow your advice and Jesus could perceive it, he, as a Jewish teacher, surely would not approve of such behavior.
I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful.” He further added: “No man can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life…Theseus and other heroes of his type lack the authentic vitality of Jesus.
The distinctions separating the social classes are false; in the last analysis they rest on force.
Concern for man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors, concern for the great unsolved problems of the organization of labor and the distribution of goods-in order that the creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.
Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow – perhaps it all will.
A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires will sooner or later always lead to bitter disappointment.
Curiosity is a delicate little plant that, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom.
If someone feels that he has never made a mistake in his life, it only means that he has never tried anything new in his life.
In the middle of difficulties lie opportunities.
Most teachers waste their time by asking question which are intended to discover what a pupil does not know whereas the true art of questioning has for its purpose to discover what pupils knows or is capable of knowing.
The sole function of education…[is] to open the way to thinking and knowing, and the school, as the outstanding organ for the people’s education, must serve that end exclusively.
Non-comprehenders are often distressed. Not you, though-because with good humor you’re blessed. After all, your thoughts went like this, I dare say: It was none but the Lord who made us that way.
How vile and despicable war seems to me! I would rather be hacked to pieces than take part in such an abominable business.
The bitter and the sweet come from the outside, the hard from within, from one’s own efforts.
The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. It is the source of all true art and science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.
Conscious man, to be sure, has at all times been keenly aware that life is an adventure, that life must, forever, be wrested from death.
Never lose a holy curiosity. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives.
The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.
The emotional state that leads to achievements resembles that of a worshiper or the lover.
We all try to escape pain and death, while we seek what is pleasant.
The opinion prevailed among advanced minds that it was time that belief should be replaced increasingly by knowledge; belief that did not itself rest on knowledge was superstition, and as such had to be opposed.
The world needs heroes and it’s better they be harmless men like me than villains like Hitler
After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved science and art tend to coalesce in aesthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well.
Have the courage to take your own thoughts seriously, for they will shape you.
Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed.
To stimulate creativity one must develop childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition.
Why is it I always get my best ideas while shaving?
The only rational way of educating is to be an example. If one can’t help it, a warning example.
Without “ethical culture”, there is no salvation for humanity.
Mathematics deals exclusively with the relations of concepts to each other without consideration of their relation to experience.
The only justification for our concepts and systems of concepts is that they serve to represent the complex of our experiences; beyond this they have not legitimacy.
If one studies too zealously, one easily loses his pants.
Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source.
I believe that whatever we do or live for has its causality; it is good, however, that we cannot see through to it.
Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of Nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being.
I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.
The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously.
I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?
What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos.
.. free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind. There is no room in this for the divinization of a nation, of a class, let alone of an individual. Are we not all children of one father, as it is said in religious language?
If one holds these high principles clearly before one’s eyes, and compares them with the life and spirit of our times, then it appears glaringly that civilized mankind finds itself at present in grave danger. In the totalitarian states it is the rulers themselves who strive actually to destroy that spirit of humanity. In less threatened parts it is nationalism and intolerance, as well as the oppression of the individuals by economic means, which threaten to choke these most precious traditions.
But if the longing for the achievement of the goal is powerfully alive within us, then shall we not lack the strength to find the means for reaching the goal and for translating it into deeds.
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.
As to science, we may well define it for our purpose as “methodical thinking directed toward finding regulative connections between our sensual experiences”.
While it is true that science, to the extent of its grasp of causative connections, may reach important conclusions as to the compatibility and incompatibility of goals and evaluations, the independent and fundamental definitions regarding goals and values remain beyond science’s reach.
For the moral attitudes of a people that is supported by religion need always aim at preserving and promoting the sanity and vitality of the community and its individuals, since otherwise this community is bound to perish. A people that were to honour falsehood, defamation, fraud, and murder would be unable, indeed, to subsist for very long.
If men as individuals surrender to the call of their elementary instincts, avoiding pain and seeking satisfaction only for their own selves, the result for them all taken together must be a state of insecurity, of fear, and of promiscuous misery.
Although I cannot believe that the individual survives the death of his body, feeble souls harbor such thought through fear or ridiculous egotism.
In art, and in the higher ranges of science, there is a feeling of harmony which underlies all endeavor. There is no true greatness in art or science without that sense of harmony.
In a healthy nation there is a kind of dramatic balance between the will of the people and the government, which prevents its degeneration into tyranny.
Most people go on living their everyday life: half-frightened, half indifferent, they behold the ghostly tragic-comedy that is being performed on the international stage before the eyes and ears of the world.
My deep religiosity […] found an abrupt ending at the age of twelve, through the reading of popular scientific books.
Man usually avoids attributing cleverness to somebody else unless it is an enemy.
The legs are the wheels of creativity.
A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way, but intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.
A country cannot simultaneously prepare and prevent war.
The same thinking that has led you to where you are is not going to lead you to where you want to go.
Everyone has two choices. We’re either full of love… or full of fear.
I live my daydreams in music.
[When asked “Dr. Einstein, why is it that when the mind of man has stretched so far as to discover the structure of the atom we have been unable to devise the political means to keep the atom from destroying us?”] That is simple, my friend. It is because politics is more difficult than physics.
[Misquotation; not by Einstein.] If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker. [Apparently remorseful for his role in the development of the atom bomb.]
What humanity owes to personalities like Buddha, Moses, and Jesus ranks for me higher than all the achievements of the enquiring and constructive mind.
A man has to work so hard so that something of his personality stays alive. A tomcat has it so easy, he has only to spray and his presence is there for years on rainy days.
The value of achievement lies in the achieving.
Those who have an interest in keeping the machinery of war going will stop at nothing to make public opinion subservient to their murderous ends.
If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.
Not until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries – not until then shall we, with a certain degree of justification, be able to speak of humankind as civilized.
Most people see what is, and never see what can be.
I like to think the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.
When you examine the lives of the most influential people who have ever walked among us, you discover one thread that winds through them all. They have been aligned first with their spiritual nature and only then with their physical selves.
You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world that objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture. … Even the great initial success of the quantum theory does not make me believe in the fundamental dice-game, although I am well aware that our younger colleagues interpret this as a consequence of senility. No doubt the day will come when we will see whose instinctive attitude was the correct one.
What a deep faith in the rationality of the structure of the world and what a longing to understand even a small glimpse of the reason revealed in the world there must have been in Kepler and Newton to enable them to unravel the mechanism of the heavens in long years of lonely work!
I cannot seriously believe in it [quantum theory] because the theory cannot be reconciled with the idea that physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance [spukhafte Fernwirkungen].
Strange is our situation here on earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose.
Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual’s instinct for self preservation.
The highest principles for our aspirations and judgments are given to us in the Jewish-Christian religious tradition.
To understand the world one must not be worrying about one’s self.
Curiosity has its own reason for existence.
All these constructions and the laws connecting them can be arrived at by the principle of looking for the mathematically simplest concepts and the link between them.
A theory is the more impressive the greater is the simplicity of its premises, the more different are the kinds of things it relates and the more extended the range of its applicability.
Man can find meaning in life only through devoting himself to society.
As long as I have any choice in the matter, I shall live only in a country where civil liberty, tolerance and equality of all citizens before the law prevail.
Man like every other animal is by nature indolent. If nothing spurs him on, then he will hardly think, and will behave from habit like an automaton.
Let every man judge according to his own standards, by what he has himself read, not by what others tell him.
Well, I have considered myself to be very fortunate in that I have been able to do mostly only that which my inner self told me to do… I am also aware that I do receive much criticism from the outside world for what I do and some people actually get angry at me. But this does not really touch me because I feel that these people do not live in he same world as do I.
A tyranny based on … deception and maintained by terror must inevitably perish from the poison it generates within itself.
It’s no accident that capitalism has brought with it progress, not merely in production but also in knowledge. Egoism and competition are, alas, stronger forces than public spirit and sense of duty.
The music of Mozart is of such purity and beauty that one feels he merely found it – that it has always existed as part of the inner beauty of the universe waiting to be revealed.
God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.
I have second thoughts. Maybe God is malicious. Told to Valentine Bargmann.
In the beginning (if there was such a thing), God created Newton’s laws of motion together with the necessary masses and forces. This is all; everything beyond this follows from the development of appropriate mathematical methods by means of deduction.
Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that this is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not bring us any closer to the secrets of the “Old One.” I, at any rate, am convinced that He is not playing at dice.
What I’m really interested in is whether God could have made the world in a different way; that is, whether the necessity of logical simplicity leaves any freedom at all.
The most practical solution is a good theory.
It must be conceded that a theory has an important advantage if its basic concepts and fundamental hypotheses are ‘close to experience,’ and greater confidence in such a theory is certainly justified. There is less danger of going completely astray, particularly since it takes so much less time and effort to disprove such theories by experience. Yet more and more, as the depth of our knowledge increases, we must give up this advantage in our quest for logical simplicity in the foundations of physical theory…
Man has an intense desire for assured knowledge.
Nobody knows how the stand of our knowledge about the atom would be without him. Personally, [Niels] Bohr is one of the amiable colleagues I have met. He utters his opinions like one perpetually groping and never like one who believes himself to be in possession of the truth.
The mind can proceed only so far upon what it knows and can prove. There comes a point where the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap
Anyone who thinks science is trying to make human life easier or more pleasant is utterly mistaken.
Epistemology without contact with science becomes an empty scheme. Science without epistemology is-insofar as it is thinkable at all-primitive and muddled.
Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it. One should earn one’s living by work of which one is sure one is capable. Only when we do not have to be accountable to anybody can we find joy in scientific endeavor.
Science is the attempt to make the chaotic diversity of our sense-experience correspond to a logically uniform system of thought.
The aim of science is, on the one hand, as complete a comprehension as possible of the connection between perceptible experiences in their totality, and, on the other hand, the achievement of this aim by employing a minimum of primary concepts and relations.
What distinguishes the language of science from language as we ordinarily understand the word? … What science strives for is an utmost acuteness and clarity of concepts as regards their mutual relation and their correspondence to sensory data.
A theory can be proved by experiment; but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory.
A theory is the more impressive the greater the simplicity of its premises is, the more different kinds of things it relates, and the more extended is its area of applicability. Therefore the deep impression which classical thermodynamics made upon me. It is the only physical theory of universal content concerning which I am convinced that within the framework of the applicability of its basic concepts, it will never be overthrown.
By an application of the theory of relativity to the taste of readers, today in Germany I am called a German man of science, and in England I am represented as a Swiss Jew. If I come to be regarded as a bete noire the descriptions will be reversed, and I shall become a Swiss Jew for the Germans and a German man of science for the English!
Classical thermodynamics … is the only physical theory of universal content which I am convinced … will never be overthrown.
From a certain temperature on, the molecules ‘condense’ without attractive forces; that is, they accumulate at zero velocity. The theory is pretty, but is there some truth in it.
If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor. On being reproached that his formula of gravitation was longer and more cumbersome than Newton’s.
Scarcely anyone who comprehends this theory can escape its magic.
The theoretical idea … does not arise apart from and independent of experience; nor can it be derived from experience by a purely logical procedure. It is produced by a creative act. Once a theoretical idea has been acquired, one does well to hold fast to it until it leads to an untenable conclusion.
We can invent as many theories we like, and any one of them can be made to fit the facts. But that theory is always preferred which makes the fewest number of assumptions.
It strikes me as unfair, and even in bad taste, to select a few of them for boundless admiration, attributing superhuman powers of mind and character to them. This has been my fate, and the contrast between the popular estimate of my powers and achievements and the reality is simply grotesque.
As for the search for truth, I know from my own painful searching, with its many blind alleys, how hard it is to take a reliable step, be it ever so small, towards the understanding of that which is truly significant.
It is open to every man to choose the direction of his striving; and also every man may draw comfort from Lessing’s fine saying, that the search for truth is more precious than its possession.
How insidious Nature is when one is trying to get at it experimentally.
We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.
How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality?
I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.
I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him.
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 exist as an independent cause of natural events.
From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.
I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one.
For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.
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 minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them.
With all my heart I believe that the world’s present system of sovereign nations can only lead to barbarism, war and inhumanity, and that only world law can assure progress towards a civilized peaceful community.
The family that prays together…is brainwashing their children.
Just because you believe in something does not mean that it is true.
The contemplation of this world beckoned as a liberation (…)The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it.
The more I study science, the more I believe in God.
You accept the historical Jesus?
There lies the weaknesss of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.” (That is, explained the miracles. – ed.) Oddly enough, we must be satisfied to acknowledge the “miracle” without there being any legitimate way for us to approach it . I am forced to add that just to keep you from thinking that -weakened by age-I have fallen prey to the clergy …
e idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive. However, I am also not a “Freethinker” in the usual sense of the word because I find that this is in the main an attitude nourished exclusively by an opposition against naive superstition. My feeling is insofar religious as I am imbued with the consciousness of the insuffiency of the human mind to understand deeply the harmony of the Universe which we try to formulate as “laws of nature.” It is this consciousness and humility I miss in the Freethinker mentality. Sincerely yours, Albert Einstein.
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.
Culture in its higher forms is a delicate plant which depends on a complicated set of conditions and is wont to flourish only in a few places at any given time.
The indifference, callousness and contempt that so many people exhibit toward animals is evil first because it results in great suffering in animals, and second because it results in an incalculably great impoverishment of the human spirit.
Marie Curie is, of all celebrated beings, the only one whom fame has not corrupted.
Whoever is devoid of the capacity to wonder, whoever remains unmoved, whoever cannot contemplate or know the deep shudder of the soul in enchantment, might just as well be dead for he has already closed his eyes upon life.
The more I learn of physics, the more I am drawn to metaphysics.
This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher. The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.
Matter is Energy … Energy is Light … We are all Light Beings
Time and space are not conditions of existence, time and space is a model for thinking
If you do the same thing over and over again you cannot ever expect a different outcome.
The genius is in making the complex simple.
The Devil craps on the big pile
The Bible is a collection of honorable, but primitive legends which are still nevertheless pretty childish.
Your fervent wishes can only find fulfillment if you succeed in attaining love and understanding of men, and animals, and plants, and stars, so that every joy becomes your joy and every pain your pain.
There could be no greater calamity than a permanent discord between us and the Arab people. Despite the great wrong that has been done us, 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.
Princeton is a wonderful little spot. A quaint and ceremonious village of puny demigods on stilts.
The important thing is to never stop questioning. Never lose a holy curiosity.
I refuse to engage in an intellectual battle with an unarmed man.
One lives one’s life under constant tension, until it’s time to go for good
Knowledge and ego are directly related. the less knowledge, the greater the ego
If people would only talk about what they understood, Earth would be a very quiet place.
What you can’t imagine, you can’t discover.
Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason. Aren’t you in awe when you contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure behind reality? And this is the miracle of the human mind-to use its constructions, concepts, and formulas as tools to explain what man sees, feels and touches. Try to comprehend a little more each day. Have holy curiosity.
Compounding is the 8th wonder of the world.
If I had it [life] to do all over again, I’d have been a plumber.
When I’m judging a theory, I ask myself whether, if I were God, I would have arranged the world in such a way.
Nothing causes more consternation in a group of hypocrits than one honest man.
I have become rather like King Midas, except that everything turns not into gold but into a circus.
Thinking like we (always) have is what got us where we are. It is not going to get us where we are going.
Learn from yesterday, live for today…
Persistence is the most powerful force on earth, it can move mountains.
It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing – a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind. Furthermore, the equation E = mc�, in which energy is put equal to mass, multiplied by the square of the velocity of light, showed that very small amounts of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy and vice versa.
Common sense invents and constructs no less than its own field than science does in its domain. It is, however, in the nature of common sense not to be aware of this situation.
[O]nly if every individual strives for truth can humanity attain a happier future; the atavisms in each of us that stand in the way of a friendlier destiny can only thus be rendered ineffective.
However we select from nature a complex [of phenomena] using the criterion of simplicity, in no case will its theoretical treatment turn out to be forever appropriate (sufficient)…. I do not doubt that the day will come when [general relativity], too, will have to yield to another one, for reasons which at present we do not yet surmise. I believe that this process of deepening theory has no limits.
By academic freedom I understand the right to search for truth and to publish and teach what one holds to be true. This right implies also a duty: one must not conceal any part of what on has recognized to be true. It is evident that any restriction on academic freedom acts in such a way as to hamper the dissemination of knowledge among the people and thereby impedes national judgment and action.
Stupidity is a personal achievement which transcends national boundaries.
There is an atmosphere of well-sounding oratory that likes to attach itself to dress clothes. Away with it!
All our thoughts and concepts are called up by sense-experiences and have a meaning only in reference to these sense-experiences. On the other hand, however, they are products of the spontaneous activity of our minds; they are thus in no wise logical consequences of the contents of these sense-experiences. If, therefore, we wish to grasp the essence of a complex of abstract notions we must for the one part investigate the mutual relationships between the concepts and the assertions made about them; for the other, we must investigate how they are related to the experiences.
Each of us visits this Earth involuntarily, and without an invitation. For me, it is enough to wonder at the secrets.
When the Special Theory of Relativity began to germinate in me, I was visited by all sorts of nervous conflicts… I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion.
The state exists for man, not man for the state. The same may be said of science. These are old phrases, coined by people who saw in human individuality the highest human value. I would hesitate to repeat them, were it not for the ever recurring danger that they may be forgotten, especially in these days of organization and stereotypes.
I believe that whoever tries to think things through honestly will soon recognize how unworthy and even fatal is the traditional bias against Negroes. What can the man of good will do to combat this deeply rooted prejudice? He must have the courage to set an example by words and deed, and must watch lest his children become influenced by racial bias.
Human beings are not condemned, because of their biological constitution, to annihilate each other or to be at the mercy of a cruel, self-inflicted fate.
What is inconceivable about the universe is that it is at all conceivable.
The important things are always simple.
The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.
Schools need not preach political doctrine to defend democracy. If they shape men capable of critical thought and trained in social attitudes, that is all that is necessary.
Science has gone a long way toward helping man to free himself from the burden of hard labor; yet, science itself is not a liberator. It creates means, not goals. It is up to men to utilize those means to achieve reasonable goals.
I agree with Schopenhauer that one of the most powerful motives that attracts people to science and art is the longing to escape from everyday life.
I do not believe that a moral philosophy can ever be founded on a scientific basis. … The valuation of life and all its nobler expressions can only come out of the soul’s yearning toward its own destiny. Every attempt to reduce ethics to scientific formulas must fail. Of that I am perfectly convinced.
If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live. This is regarded as probably NOT a quote by Einstein.
When men are engaged in war and conquest, the tools of science become as dangerous as a razor in the hands of a child of three. We must not condemn man because his inventiveness and patient conquest of the forces of nature are being exploited for false and destructive purposes. Rather, we should remember that the fate of mankind hinges entirely upon man’s moral development.
No one must think that Newton’s great creation can be overthrown in any real sense by this [Theory of Relativity] or by any other theory. His clear and wide ideas will for ever retain their significance as the foundation on which our modern conceptions of physics have been built.
One scientific epoch ended and another began with James Clerk Maxwell.
Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do, but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it. Scribbled by Einstein on a letter received during a visit to England (1933) from a man who suggested that gravity meant that as the world rotated people were sometimes upside down, horizontal, or at ‘left angles’ and that perhaps, this disorientation explained why people do foolish things like falling in love.
Each ray of light moves in the coordinate system ‘at rest’ with the definite, constant velocity V independent of whether this ray of light is emitted by a body at rest or a body in motion.
[Ernest Rutherford is]…a second Newton.
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.
When I was a fairly precocious young man I became thoroughly impressed with the futility of the hopes and strivings that chase most men restlessly through life. Moreover, I soon discovered the cruelty of that chase, which in those years was much more carefully covered up by hypocrisy and glittering words than is the case today. By the mere existence of his stomach everyone was condemned to participate in that chase. The stomach might well be satisfied by such participation, but not man insofar as he is a thinking and feeling being.
Don’t do anything that goes against your conscience, even if your country says so.
I don’t need to know everything, I just need to know where to find it, when I need it
A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.
A woman is always Right. But sometimes confused or may be misinformed or rude or stubborn or senseless or unchangeable about her opinions or even down right stupid at times but NEVER wrong… She is always Right…
In scientific thinking are always present elements of poetry. Science and music requires a thought homogeneous.
Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.
Time is relative; its only worth depends upon what we do as it is passing.
You are right in speaking of the moral foundations of science, but you cannot turn around and speak of the scientific foundations of morality.
We should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems, and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have the right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society.
I’m not an atheist. I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books.
We are all very ignorant. What happens is that not all ignore the same things.
Either CS (coordinate system) could be used with equal justification. The two sentences: the sun is at rest and the earth moves, or the sun moves and the earth is at rest, would simply mean two different conventions concerning two different CS
Nothing happens unless something moves.
The laws of gravity cannot be held responcible for people falling in love.
I would teach peace rather than war, love rather than hate.
It is both auspicious and peaceful for people to choose vegetarinism.
Imagination without knowledge may create beautiful things, knowledge without imagination can create only perfect ones.
How many people are trapped in their everyday habits: part numb, part frightened, part indifferent? To have a better life we must keep choosing how we are living.
A problem cannot be solved at the level of consciousness in which it occurs.
I believe that the horrifying deterioration in the ethical conduct of people today stems from the mechanization and dehumanization of our lives. A disastrous by-product of the development of the scientific and technical mentality. We are guilty. Man grows cold faster than the planet he inhabits.
If you’ve never failed, you’ve never tried anything new.
The wing structure of the hornet, in relation to its weight, is not suitable for flight, but he does not know this and flies anyway.
The greatest tragedy of human existence is the illusion of separateness.
Why is it that no one understands me and everybody likes me
If you want different results, do not do the same things.
Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
Something deeply hidden had to be behind things.
The strongest force in the universe is Compound Interest.
He who finds a thought that lets us a little deeper into the eternal mystery of nature has been granted great peace.
What I value in life is quality rather then quantity.
Reason is intuition’s servant.
artificial intellegance is no match for natural stupidity
I prefer to make up my own quotes and attribute them to very smart people, so that I can use them to win arguments
About Newton: Nature to him was an open book, whose letters he could read without effort.
Life is a Mystery, not a problem waiting to be solved.
One always likes to do the things for which one has ability.
Learning is the beginning of wealth. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins. The great breakthrough in your life comes when you realize it that you can learn anything you need to learn to accomplish any goal that you set for yourself. This means there are no limits on what you can be, have or do.
Go out as far as you can go and start from there
When Albert Einstein was asked what he would really like to know about the Universe he replied,’is it friendly?
There’s a genius in all of us.
Mankind invented the atomic bomb, but no mouse would ever construct a mousetrap.
Our task is to widen our circle of compassion to include all living beings and all of nature
Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it.
The value of a man resides in what he gives
No one does anything right in life, until they realize that they are making a mistake
The power of imagination is the ultimate creative power.. no doubt about that. While knowledge defines all we currently know and understand.. imagination points to all we might yet discover and create. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions
Nothing happens until something moves. When something vibrates, the electrons of the entire universe resonate with it. Everything is connected.
Relations between pure and applied mathematicians are based on trust and understanding. Namely, pure mathematicians do not trust applied mathematicians, and applied mathematicians do not understand pure mathematicians.
when u knw ur limits u go byond them
Astrology is a science in itself and contains an illuminating body of knowledge. It taught me many things and I am greatly indebted to it.
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description.
Imagination Is More Powerful Than Knowledge Because Knowledhe Is Limited But Imagination Is Without Boundaries
There is no scientific antidote, only education. You’ve got to change the way people think. I am not interested in disarmament talks between nations . . . What I want to do is to disarm the mind. After that, everything else will automatically follow. The ultimate weapon for such mental disarmament is international education.
Creativity is Inspiration having fun
To have a better life we must keep choosing how we are living.
Each possession I own is but a stone around my neck.
Concepts which have proved useful for ordering things easily assume so great an authority over us, that we forget their terrestrial origin and accept them as unalterable facts. They then become labeled as ‘conceptual necessities,’ etc. The road of scientific progress is frequently blocked for long periods by such errors.
Imagination encircles the world.
The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man.
Many of the things you can count, don’t count. Many of the things you can’t count, really count.
The Bible is a great source of wisdom and consolation and should be read frequently
Not all that counts, can be counted
I wish to do something Great and Wonderful, but I must start by doing the little things like they were Great and Wonderful
There is separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. And, I do not intend to be quiet about it.
Honestly, I cannot understand what people mean when they talk about the freedom of the human will. I have a feeling, for instance, that I will something or other; but what relation this has with freedom I cannot understand at all. I feel that I will to light my pipe and I do it; but how can I connect this up with the idea of freedom? What is behind the act of willing to light the pipe? Another act of willing? Schopenhauer once said: Der Mensch kann was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will (Man can do what he will but he cannot will what he wills).
Never underestimate your own ignorance.
The world we have created is a product of our thinking.
If you want the answer to anything, go sit in Nature for awhile
Keep fighting until the last buzzer sounds.
God is a scientist, not a magician.
The fanatical atheists are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who-in their grudge against traditional religion as the “opium of the masses”-cannot hear the music of the spheres.
When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about.
everyday is an oportunity to make a new happy ending………
The man who regards his own life and that of his fellow-creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.
Creativity is the residue of time wasted.
The pursuit of knowledge is more valuable than its possession.
When I was young I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks.
The last thing to collapse is the surface.
Nuclear power is one hell of a way to boil water
Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.
The best design is the simplest one that works.
I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.
We are part of the whole which we call the universe, but it is an optical delusion of our mind that we think we are separate. This separateness is like a prison for us. Our job is to widen the circle of our compassion so we feel connected with all people and situations.
Men like Henry George [ the pioneer of land value taxation] are rare, unfortunately. One cannot imagine a more beautiful combination of intellectual keenness, artistic form, and fervent love of justice.
You can’t solve your problems by using the same thinking that got you into those problems in the first place.
Remember today, for it is the beginning of always. Today marks the start of a brave new future filled with all your dreams can hold. Think truly to the future and make those dreams come true.
Life is like riding a bicycle. If you want to stay balanced you’ve got to keep moving forward.
Without changing our pattern of thought, we will not be able to solve the problems we created with our current patterns of thought
You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.
The state was made for man, not man for state.
If you want your children to be smart, tell them stories. If you want them to be really smart, tell them more stories. If you want your children to be brilliant, tell them even more stories.
The woman who follows the crowd will usually believe that I said this.
One cannot help but be in awe when [one] contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.
We are boxed in by the boundary conditions of our thinking
If honey bees become extinct, human society will follow in four years.
We can understand almost anything, but we can’t understand how we understand.
Nothing truly valuable can be achieved except by the unselfish cooperation of many individuals.
The most valuable thing a teacher can impart to children is not knowledge and understanding per se but a longing for knowledge and understanding, and an appreciation for intellectual values, whether they be artistic, scientific, or moral. It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. Most teachers waste their time by asking questions that are intended to discover what a pupil does not know, whereas the true art of questioning is to discover what the pupil does know or is capable of knowing.
If we think of the field as being removed, there is no ‘space’ which remains, since space does not have an independent existence.
The single most important decision any of us will ever make is whether or not to believe the universe is friendly.
I am not a positivist. Positivism states that what cannot be observed does not exist. This conception is scientifically indefensible, for it is impossible to make valid affirmations of what people ‘can’ or ‘cannot’ observe. One would have to say ‘only what we observe exists,’ which is obviously false.
Thinking is to man what flying is to birds. Don’t follow the example of a chicken when you could be a lark.
The Universe is a friendly place.
I believe we are here to do good. It is the responsibility of every human being to aspire to do something worthwhile, to make the world a better place than the one we found.
An oligarchy of private capital cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society because under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information.
I regard class differences as contrary to justice and, in the last resort, based on force.
When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second.
The relativity principle in connection with the basic Maxwellian equations demands that the mass should be a direct measure of the energy contained in a body; light transfers mass. With radium there should be a noticeable diminution of mass. The idea is amusing and enticing; but whether the Almighty is laughing at it and is leading me up the garden path – that I cannot know.
In every true searcher of Nature there is a kind of religious reverence, for he finds it impossible to imagine that he is the first to have thought out the exceedingly delicate threads that connect his perceptions
Anyone can be a genius, if they pick just one specific subject and study it diligently just 15 minutes each day.
Common sense consists of those layers of prejudice laid down before the age of 18.
Turkish soldiers are very brave. They love their homeland and they do not hesitate to give their lives for it if necessary.
To put it boldly, it is the attempt at a posterior reconstruction of existence by the process of conceptualization.
I am fascinated by Spinoza’s pantheism, but admire even more his contributions to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and the body as one, not two separate things
Measured objectively, what a man can wrest from Truth by passionate striving is utterly infinitesimal. But the striving frees us from the bonds of the self and makes us comrades of those who are the best and the greatest.
the contemplation of this world beckoned like a liberation
Every day, man is making bigger and better fool-proof things, and every day, nature is making bigger and better fools. So far, I think nature is winning.
Understanding physics is child’s play when compared to understanding child’s play.
Education is what is left after you’ve forgotten everything you’ve learned.
How can any educated person stay away from the Greeks? I have always been far more interested in them than in science.
Not all things worth counting are countable and not all things that count are worth counting.
Imagination is greater than knowledge.
An expert is a person who has few new ideas; a beginner is a person with many.
The tragedy of life is what dies in the hearts and souls of people while they live.
There are two ways of resisting war: the legal way and the revolutionary way. The legal way involves the offer of alternatinve service not as a privilege for a few but as a right for all. The revolutionary view involves an uncompromising resistance, with a view to breaking the power of militarism in time of peace or the resources of the state in time of war.
Generations to come will find it difficult to believe that a man such as Gandhi ever walked the face of this earth.
We [Jews] have no other means of self-defense than our solidarity
The first and most important necessity is the creation of a modus vivendi with the Arab people.
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
Through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man’s discovery of fire. This basic force of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept of narrow nationalisms.
I believe in one thing-that only a life lived for others is a life worth living.
Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the life-long attempt to acquire it.
It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education is a liberal arts college is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.
No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.
Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I assume that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.
When his wife asked him to change clothes to meet the German Ambassador: If they want to see me, here I am. If they want to see my clothes, open my closet and show them my suits.
Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I assure you that mine are greater.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler.
Force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.
I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth – rocks!
Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.
The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful, and then only for a short while.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.
Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.
I do not believe that a moral philosophy can ever be founded on a scientific basis. … The valuation of life and all its nobler expressions can only come out of the soul’s yearning toward its own destiny. Every attempt to reduce ethics to scientific formulas must fail. Of that I am perfectly convinced.
When men are engaged in war and conquest, the tools of science become as dangerous as a razor in the hands of a child of three. We must not condemn man because his inventiveness and patient conquest of the forces of nature are being exploited for false and destructive purposes. Rather, we should remember that the fate of mankind hinges entirely upon man’s moral development.
No one must think that Newton’s great creation can be overthrown in any real sense by this [Theory of Relativity] or by any other theory. His clear and wide ideas will for ever retain their significance as the foundation on which our modern conceptions of physics have been built.
Thinking is to man what flying is to birds. Do’ follow the example of a chicken when you could be a lark.
You cannot prevent and prepare for war at the same time.
There does, in fact, appear to be a plan.
I never allow myself to become discouraged under any circumstances. The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are first, hard work, second, stick-to-ittiveness, third, common sense.
Dr. Einstein: Yes; But this year the answers are different.
One cannot deal with a problem with the same thinking that creates it.
Man, surrounded by facts, permitting himself no surprise, no intuitive flash, no great hypothesis, no risk, is in a locked cell. Ignorance cannot seal the mind and imagination more securely.
The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation.
Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind.
A man’s moral worth is not measured by what his religious beliefs are but rather by what emotional impulses he has received from Nature during his lifetime.
We believe that an informed citizenry will act for life and not for death.
Those who staying with the wrong reward,(eg. stay in comfort zone, etc.), long enough will get problem.
Figuring out how to think about the problem.
There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair. If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. What the individual can do is to give a fine example, and to have the courage to uphold ethical values .. in a society of cynics.
Communities tend to be guided less than individuals by conscience and a sense of responsibility. How much misery does this fact cause mankind! It is the source of wars and every kind of oppression, which fill the earth with pain, sighs and bitterness.
There is no place in this new kind of physics both for the field and matter, for the field is the only reality.
Outer changes always begin with an inner change of attitude.
A thousand things can prove me right and one can prove me wrong.
I feel that you are justified in looking into the future with true assurance, because you have a mode of living in which we find the joy of life and the joy of work harmoniously combined. Added to this is the spirit of ambition which pervades your very being, and seems to make the day’s work like a happy child at play.
But there is another reason for the high repute of mathematics: it is mathematics that offers the exact natural sciences a certain measure of security which, without mathematics, they could not attain.
The series of integers is obviously an invention of the human mind, a self-created tool which simplifies the ordering of certain sensory experiences.
We must not conceal from ourselves that no improvement in the present depressing situation is possible without a severe struggle; for the handful of those who are really determined to do something is minute in comparison with the mass of the lukewarm and the misguided. And those who have an interest in keeping the machinery of war going are a very powerful body; they will stop at nothing to make public opinion subservient to their murderous ends.
Everybody felt his superiority, but nobody felt oppressed by it. Though he had no illusions about people and human affairs, he was full of kindness toward everybody and everything. Never did he give the impression of domineering, always of serving and helping. He was extremely conscientious, without allowing anything to assume undue importance; a subtle humor guarded him, which was reflected in his eyes and in his smile.
The world is not full of evil because of those who do wrong. It is full of evil because of those who do nothing.
E=mc2. Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. The original statement is: If a body gives off the energy L in the form of radiation, its mass diminishes by L/c2. Ist die Tragheit eines Korpers von Seinem Energieghalt Abhangig? 1905
The field is the sole influence of the particle.
If I give you a pfennig, you will be one pfennig richer and I’ll be one pfennig poorer. But if I give you an idea, you will have a new idea, but I shall still have it too.
Economists and workplace consultants regard it as almost unquestioned dogma that people are motivated by rewards, so they don’t feel the need to test this. It has the status more of religious truth than scientific hypothesis. The facts are absolutely clear. There is no question that in virtually all circumstances in which people are doing things in order to get rewards, extrinsic tangible rewards undermine intrinsic motivation.The bonus myth: How paying for results can backfire The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I well know the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual appeared to me always as the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.
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… what is still lacking here is a grasp of the connections of profound generality, but not a knowledge of order itself.
The only thing we can be certain of in this life is that we can be certain of nothing.
Development of Western science is based on two great achievements: the invention of the formal logical system (in Euclidean geometry) by the Greek philosophers, and the discovery of the possibility to find out causal relationships by systematic experiment (during the Renaissance). In my opinion, one has not to be astonished that the Chinese sages have not made these steps. The astonishing thing is that these discoveries were made at all.
To a student: Dear Miss – I have read about sixteen pages of your manuscript . . . I suffered exactly the same treatment at the hands of my teachers who disliked me for my independence and passed over me when they wanted assistants. . . . Keep your manuscript for your sons and daughters, in order that they may derive consolation from it and not give a damn for what their teachers tell them or think of them. . . . There is too much education altogether.
Everything what’s inspiring has been created by one who could work in freedom
When I have one week to solve a seemingly impossible problem, I spend six days defining the problem. Then, the solution becomes obvious.
I recently discussed with an intelligent and well-disposed man the threat of another war, which in my opinion would seriously endanger the existence of mankind, and I remarked that only a supranational organization would offer protection from that danger. Thereupon my visitor, very calmly and coolly, said to me: “Why are you so deeply opposed to the disappearance of the human race?”.
I am not a genius, I am just curious. I ask many questions. and when the answer is simple, then God is answering.
Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
On the left-hand side of the field equation we may add the fundamental tensor guv, multiplied by a universal constant, -?, at present unknown, without destroying the general covariance.
Since I have introduced this term I had always a bad conscience. . . . I cannot help to feel it strongly and I am unable to believe that such an ugly thing should be realized in nature.
Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.
Our defense is not in our armaments, nor in science, nor in going underground. Our defense is in law and order.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Imagination is the language of the soul. Pay attention to your imagination and you will discover all you need to be fulfilled.
Is there not a certain satisfaction in the fact that natural limits are set to the life of the individual, so that at the conclusion it may appear as a work of art?
One picture is worth a thousand words
Do things sound better in your head before you say them, or do you even run them through there first?
Earth is the insane asylum of the universe.
It almost seems to me that man was not born to be a carnivore.
The school has always been the most important means of transferring the wealth of tradition from one generation to the next. This applies today in an even higher degree than in former times, for through modern development of economic life, the family
Education is only a ladder to gather fruit from the tree of knowledge, not the fruit itself
I am not more gifted than anybody else. I am just more curious than the average person and I will not give up a problem until I have found the proper solution.
The truth of a theory is in your mind, not in your eyes.
It is important to foster individuality, for only the individual can produce the new ideas.
The main task of the spirit is to free man from his ego.
The concept of marriage must have been thought up by an unimaginative pig.
It would seem that men always need some idiotic fiction in the name of which they can hate one another. Once it was religion. Now it is the State.
A theory is something nobody believes, except the person who made it. An experiment is something everybody believes, except the person who made it.
Growth comes through analogy; through seeing how things connect, rather than only seeing how they might be different.
Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot
I have tried 99 times and have failed, but on the 100th time came success.
Everything has changed except the way man thinks (when the hydrogen bomb was exploded)
Art is standing with one hand extended into the universe and one hand extended into the world, and letting ourselves be a conduit for passing energy.
To invent something, all you need is imagination and a big pile of junk.
There is no greater satisfaction for a just and well-meaning person than the knowledge that he has devoted his best energies to the service of the good cause.
Do not grow old, no matter how long you live.
Paper is to write things down that we need to remember. Our brains are used to think.
Is it not better for a man to die for a cause in which he believes, such as peace, than to suffer for a cause in which he does not believe, such as war?
A country cannot simultaneously prepare and prevent war. I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. The distinctions separating the social classes are false; in the last analysis they rest on force.
This is a question too difficult for a mathematician. It should be asked of a philosopher”(when asked about completing his income tax form)
I received your letter of June 10th. I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.
I have reached an age where if someone tells me to wear socks, I dont have to
You cannot beat a roulette table unless you steal money from it.
There is no vaccine against stupidity.
The most powerful force in the world is compound interest.
I’m more interested in the future than in the past, because the future is where I intend to live.
The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.
Am I, or the others crazy?
People should be more like animals . . . they should be more intuitive; they should not be too conscious of what they do while they do it.
For an idea which, at first, does not seem absurd, there is no hope.
Future medicine will be the medicine of frequencies.
I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture.
The greatest scientists are artists as well.
The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems that we cannot solve at the same level at which we have created them…. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humankind is to survive.
Nothing happens til something moves.
Condemnation before investigation is the highest form of ignorance.
Out of the clutter find Simplicity
Without the sense of fellowship with men of like mind… life would have seemed to me empty.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. We will not solve the problems of the world from the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. More than anything else, this new century demands new thinking: We must change our materially based analyses of the world around us to include broader, more multidimensional perspectives.
Albert is a very poor student. He is mentally slow, unsociable and is always daydreaming. He is spoiling it for the rest of the class. It would be in the best interests of all if he were removed from school immediately.
I have never belonged wholeheartedly to a country, a state, nor to a circle of friends, nor even to my own family. When I was still a rather precocious young man, I already realized most vividly the futility of the hopes and aspirations that most men pursue throughout their lives. Well-being and happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim. I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a pig.
If I had my life to live over again, I would elect to be a trader of goods rather than a student of science. I think barter is a noble thing.
A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely. That is why I think a photograph can be kind.
Organized people are just too lazy to go looking for what they want.
All that’s different about me is that I still ask the questions most people stopped asking at age five.
Physics is an attempt conceptually to grasp reality as something that is considered to be independent of its being observed. In this sense one speaks of physical reality.
Those people have seen ‘something’. What it is I do not know and I can not care to know.
Mere thinking cannot reveal to us the highest purpose.
I know very well that many scientists consider dowsing as they do astrology, as a type of ancient superstition. According to my conviction this is, unjustified. The dowsing rod is a simple instrument which shows the uncanny reaction of the human nervous system to certain factors which are unknown to us at this time.
Everything has changed, except our way of thinking.
If you want to make your children brilliant, tell them fairy tales. If you want to make them more brilliant, tell them more fairy tales.
Only strong characters can resist the temptation of superficial analysis.
Only a very dull man spells a word the same way twice.
[Asked about a book in which 100 Nazi professors charged him with scientific error.] Were I wrong, one professor would have been quite enough.
It is impossible to get anywhere without sinning against reason.
Toreador pants make your feet look big too
The truth isn’t always a blinding light. Sometimes it’s a deep and dazzling darkness, that illuminates – and burns – just as surely.
I don’t teach my students, I provide the circumstances in which they can learn.
All I want to do is learn to think like God. All the rest is just details.
In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal god.
The same thinking and actions that created our problems cannot be used to solve them.
Cherish the questions, for the answers keep changing.
What we don’t know is much more than what we know.
… on principle, it is quite wrong to try founding a theory on observable magnitudes alone. In reality the very opposite happens. It is the theory which decides what we can observe.
We cannot resolve the problems of the world by unsing the same techniques that have created them.
One should respect an honest person even if he expresses opinions differing from one’s own.
The importance of a problem should not be judged by the number of pages devoted to it.
The thing is, not to stop questioning.
For every action, there is a reaction.
Galileo – the father of modern physics – indeed of modern science.
It may be possible to fight intolerance, stupidity, and fanaticism seperately, but when they come together there is no hope.
Imagination is stronger than knowledge.
Solutions to tough problems should be made as simple as possible – and no simpler.
The place of the expert is on tap not on top.
You cannot prepare for war and peace at the same time.
You imagine that I look back on my life’s work with calm satisfaction. But from nearby it looks quite different. There is not a single concept of which I am convinced that it will stand firm, and I feel uncertain whether I am in general on the right track.
The special theory of relativity owes its origins to Maxwell’s equations of the electromagnetic field.
Nationalism, on my opinion, is nothing more than an idealistic rationalization for militarism and aggression.
Those who believe that politics and religion do not mix, understand neither.
Show me a satisfied man, and I’ll show you a failure.
Your ancestors dragged these black people from their homes by force; and in the white man’s quest for wealth and an easy life they have been ruthlessly suppressed and exploited, degraded into slavery. The modern prejudice against Negroes is the result of the desire to maintain this unworthy condition.
I want to know the thoughts of God. Everything else is just details.
Most mistakes in philosophy and logic occur because the human mind is apt to take the symbol for the reality.
Peace comes through understanding
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses.
I have become an obstinate heretic in the eyes of my colleagues. Momentary success carries more power of conviction than reflections upon principles.
I must seem like an ostrich who forever burries its head in the relativistic sands in order not to face the evil quanta.
Formerly, people thought that if matter disappeared from the universe, space and time would remain. Relativity declares that space and time would disappear with matter.
We cannot despair about mankind knowing that Mozart was a man.
When I think of the most able students I have encountered in my teaching – I mean those who have distinguished themselves not only by skill but by independence of thought – then I must confess that all have had a lively interest in epistemology.
[Freud’s] sense of reality is less clouded by wishful thinking than is the case with other people and [he combines] the qualities of critical judgment, earnestness and responsibility.
Any brief military advantage the USA might gain with nuclear weapons would be offset by political and psychological losses and damage to American prestige. The United States might even touch off a worldwide armaments race.
Empathy is patiently and sincerely seeing the world through the other person’s eyes. It is not learned in school; it is cultivated over a lifetime.
I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin.
You can’t solve problems with the same thinking that caused them.
Loving is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “You are blessed doublee if you are in love” – honeya “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.
Don’t second guess the mistakes you’ve made, others will do that for you. Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.
I’m not a genius. I’m just passionately curious.
Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience. You need experience to gain wisdom.
It is the same with people as it is with riding a bike. Only when moving can one comfortably maintain one’s balance.
There is possibility in every difficulty.
This subject brings me to that vilest offspring of the herd mind – the odious militia. The man who enjoys marching in line and file to the strains of music falls below my contempt; he received his great brain by mistake – the spinal cord would have been amply sufficient. This heroism at command, this senseless violence, this accursed bombast of patriotism – how intensely I despise them! War is low and despicable, and I had rather be smitten to shreds than participate in such doings.
When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that three of his fingers are pointing at himself. Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics; I can assure you that mine are still greater.
I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men of our time.
If one day you have to choose between the world and love, remember this: If you choose the world you”ll be left without love, but if you choose love, with it you will conquer the world
The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we ca’ grasp them. There is a pattern in creation.
Only the [Catholic] Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.
Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it.
A man who is convinced of the truth of his religion is indeed never tolerant. At the least, he is to feel pity for the adherent of another religion but usually it does not stop there. The faithful adherent of a religion will try first of all to convince those that believe in another religion and usually he goes on to hatred if he is not successful. However, hatred then leads to persecution when the might of the majority is behind it.
When I was still a rather precocious young man, I already realized most vividly the futility of the hopes and aspirations that most men pursue throughout their lives.
Knowledge is limited.
The belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science. Since, however, sense perception only gives information of this external world or of “physical reality” indirectly, we can only grasp the latter by speculative means. It follows from this that our notions of physical reality can never be final. We must always be ready to change these notions – that is to say, the axiomatic basis of physics – in order to do justice to perceived facts in the most perfect way.
Balance in large measure is knowing the things that can be changed, putting them in proper perspective, and recognizing the things that will not change.”
Nonsense, seems to sum up everything.
When we first got married, we made a pact. It was this: In our life together, it was decided I would make all of the big decisions and my wife would make all of the little decisions. For fifty years, we have held true to that agreement. I believe that is the reason for the success in our marriage. However, the strange thing is that in fifty years, there hasn’t been one big decision.
People who rely on unsourced webpages are morons
When we first got married, we made a pact. It was this: In our life together, it was decided I would make all of the big decisions and my wife would make all of the little decisions. For fifty years, we have held true to that agreement. I believe that is the reason for the success in our marriage. However, the strange thing is that in fifty years, there hasn’t been one big decision.
When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself.
Most people stop looking when they find the proverbial needle in the haystack. I would continue looking to see if there were other needles.
The point is to develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition and to guide the child over to important fields for society. Such a school demands from the teacher that he be a kind of artist in his province.
I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.
I am strongly drawn to the simple life and am often oppressed by the feeling that I am engrossing an unnecessary amount of the labour of my fellow men. I regard class differences as contrary to justice and, in the last resort, based on force. I also consider that plain living is good for everybody, physically and mentally.
The idle man does not know what it is to enjoy rest.
Since 99.362% of women love mustache rides, it seems only a fool would have a bare upper lip.
I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence – as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.
I learned many years ago never to waste time trying to convince my colleagues.
The human mind has first to construct forms, independently, before we can find them in things.
Art is the expression of the profoundest thoughts in the simplest way.
Don’t be too hard on me. Everyone has to sacrifice at the altar of stupidity from time to time.
If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.
Marvellous, what ideas the young people have these days. But I don’t believe a word of it.
It is a precarious undertaking to say anything reliable about aims and intentions.
Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice, of law, of order -in short, of government.
Hope that justice will be done to those brave men who stood up for their convictions.
I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.
We are here for the sake of others
How was I able to live alone before, my little everything? Without you I lack self-confidence, passion for work, and enjoyment of life-in short, without you, my life is no life. [Written to his wife, Mileva]
Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid: humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.
Life is like a bicycle; keep moving on to maintain balance.
Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgements of all kinds remain necessary.
Dear Habicht, / Such a solemn air of silence has descended between us that I almost feel as if I am committing a sacrilege when I break it now with some inconsequential babble… / What are you up to, you frozen whale, you smoked, dried, canned piece of soul…?
Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.
The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice and the desire for personal independence – these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it.
I was originally supposed to become an engineer but the thought of having to expend my creative energy on things that make practical everyday life even more refined, with a loathsome capital gain as the goal, was unbearable to me.
The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything
The ideas that have lighted my way have been kindness, beauty and truth.
When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, it seems like two minutes; when you sit on a hot stove for two minutes, it seems like two hours. That’s relativity.
Striving for peace and preparing for war are incompatible with each other, and in our time more so than ever.
It is high time the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service.
Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.
One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.
In the midst of difficulty lies opportunity.
Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police.
Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part, and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy.
Only a monomaniac gets anything done.
The horizon of many people is a circle with a radius of zero. They call this their point of view.
All meaningful and lasting change starts first in your imagination and then works its way out. Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.
Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us; our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.
It is little short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not already completely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry…. I believe that one could even deprive a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness if one could force it with a whip to eat continuously whether it were hungry or not…
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. It is a grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.
In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.
Experience alone can decide on truth.
If people are good because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience.
I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know God’s thoughts, the rest are details.
The most important thing is to not stop questioning.
Well-being and happiness never appeared to me as an absolute aim. I am even inclined to compare such moral aims to the ambitions of a pig.
It is not enough that you should understand about applied science in order that your work may increase mans blessings. Concern for the man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors; concern for the great unsolved problems of the organization of labor and the distribution of goods in order that the creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
It is theory that decides what can be observed.
It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.
Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods.
Education is the progressive realization of our ignorance.
According to this conception, the sole function of education was to open the way to thinking and knowing, and the school, as the outstanding organ for the people’s education, must serve that end exclusively.
I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism have brought me to my ideas.
A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectively on sympathy, education, and social relationships; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world; he then tries to some extent to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it.
And the high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule, or to impose himself in any other way.
I can’t believe that God plays dice with the universe.
If one were to take that goal out of out of its religious form and look merely at its purely human side, one might state it perhaps thus: free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind.
God is subtle, but He is not malicious. I cannot believe that God plays dice with the world.
Many times a day I realize how much my own life is built on the labors of my fellowmen, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
In that way imagination and intelligence enter into our existence in the part of servants of the primary instincts.
Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.
The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth.
How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.
Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love.
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.
A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years, but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely. That is why I think a photograph can be kind.
An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.
The only way to escape the personal corruption of praise is to go on working.
Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.
The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill.
The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.
It is my conviction that pure mathematical construction enables us to discover the concepts and the laws connecting them, which gives us the key to the understanding of nature… In a certain sense, therefore, I hold it true that pure thought can grasp reality, as the ancients dreamed.
My religion consists of a humble admiration of the unlimitable superior who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.
What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.
To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.
If we knew what we were doing it wouldn’t be research.
Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary.
When the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large scientific method in most cases fails.
When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seems to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.
If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.
Any power must be an enemy of mankind which enslaves the individual by terror or force, whether it arises under a facets government or communist flag. All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded to the individual.
When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – then it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity!
The pioneers of a warless world are the young men and women who refuse military service.
One need only think of the weather, in which case the prediction even for a few days ahead is impossible.
A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.
A religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt about the significance of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation.
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.
Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men.
Children do’ heed the life experiences of their parents, and nations ignore history. Bad lessons always have to be learned anew.
I have deep faith that the principle of the universe will be beautiful and simple.
Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.
How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought independent of experience, is so admirably adapted to the objects of reality?
The led must not be compelled, they must be able to choose their own leader.
He who finds thought that lets us penetrate even a little deeper into the eternal mystery of nature has been granted great grace. He who, in addition, experiences the recognition, sympathy, and help of the best minds of his times, had been given almost more happiness than one man can bear.
Nature to him was an open book, whose letters he could read without effort.
After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.
Human beings, vegetables, or comic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player.
Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.
There was this huge world out there, independent of us human beings and standing before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partly accessible to our inspection and thought. The contemplation of that world beckoned like a liberation.
Space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind union of the two will preserve an independent reality.
You teach me baseball and I’ll teach you relativity… No we must not. You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball.
I do not at all believe in human freedom in the philosophical sense… Schopenhauer’s saying, “A man can do what he wants, but not will what he wants,” has been a very real inspiration to me since my youth; it has been a continual consolation in the face of life’s hardships, my own and others”, and an unfailing wellspring of tolerance. This realization mercifully mitigates the easily paralyzing sense of responsibility and prevents us from taking ourselves and other people too seriously; it is conducive to a view of life which, in part, gives humour its due.
The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.
It is high time that the ideal of success should be replaced by the ideal of service.
Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.
Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked the earth in flesh and blood.
When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it’s only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.
Quantum mechanics is very impressive. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory yields a lot, but it hardly brings us any closer to the secret of the Old One. In any case I am convinced that He doesn’t play dice.
When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and graviton have no separate existence from matter.
There remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.
There are only two truly infinite things, the universe and stupidity. And I am unsure about the universe.
More and more I come to value charity and love of one’s fellow being above everything else… All our lauded technological progress – our very civilization – is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal.
Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who read too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth. What humanity own to personalities like Buddha, Moses, and Jesus ranks for me higher than all the achievements the inquiring constructive mind.
Do you believe in immortality? No, and one life is enough for me.
I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.
Do you really believe that the moon is’ there when nobody looks?
There are times when one feels liberated from one’s limits and human imperfections. At such moments, we see ourselves there, in a little corner of our little planet, our eyes fixed in wonder on the cold and yet deep beauty of that which is eternal, that which is elusive. Life and death are fused together and there is no evolution, nor destination, there is only BEING.
One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.
When we first got married, we made a pact. It was this: In our life together, it was decided I would make all of the big decisions and my wife would make all of the little decisions. For fifty years, we have held true to that agreement. I believe that is the reason for the success in our marriage. However, the strange thing is that in fifty years, there has’ been one big decision.
Study and, in general, the pursuit of truth and beauty is the sphere in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.” “Study and, in general, the pursuit of truth and beauty is the sphere in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
The cult of individual personalities is always, in my view, unjustified. To be sure, nature distributes her gifts variously among her children. But there are plenty of the well-endowed ones too, thank God, and I am firmly convinced that most of them live quiet, unregarded lives.
Private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information. It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.
All men are ignorant, just in different fields.
Nationalism is the measels of mankind.
Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men – above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.
If I were wrong, wouldn’t one be enough?
The individual who has experienced solitude will not easily become a victim of mass suggestion.
A permanent peace cannot be prepared by threats but only by the honest attempt to create a mutual trust. However strong national armaments may be, they do not create military security for any nation nor do they guarantee the maintenance of peace.
Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.
To get to know a country, you must have direct contact with the earth. It’s futile to gaze at the world through a car window.
If I had known they were going to do this, I would have become a shoemaker.
I see my life in terms of music.
There is nothing known as “Perfect”. Its only those imperfections which we choose not to see!!
The equation for ego is: One over Knowledge.
Life isn’t worth living, unless it is lived for someone else.
The religion of the future will be cosmic religion. It will transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology.
If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith.
Beyond the realms of what we see, into the regions or the unexplored limited only by our imaginations.
Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations. All this is put in your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your children.
If tomorrow were never to come, it would not be worth living today.
It is humankind’s duty to respect all life, not only animals have feelings but even also trees and plants.
Adversity introduces a man to himself.
Science is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country. I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my lifetime.
Out yonder there is this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking
How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will.
Intelligence is not the ability to store information, but to know where to find it.
Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
Capitalism creates a huge community of producers who are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor, and an oligarchy that cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized society….the subjugation is not by force but because the privileged class has long ago established a system of values by which the people were thenceforth, to a large extent unconsciously, guided in their social behavior.
X + Y + Z X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.
Student: Dr. Einstein, Aren’t these the same questions as last year’s [physics] final exam? Dr. Einstein: Yes; But this year the answers are different.
A brave man, whose only fault was being a woman.
There’s something to be said for relatives…it has to be said because it’s unprintable!
The supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a simple datum of experience.
The theory must not contradict empirical facts,
A man’s value to the community primarily depends on how far his feelings, thoughts, and actions are directed towards promoting the good of his fellows.
All conditions and all circumstances in our lives are a result of a certain level of thinking. If we want to change the conditions and circumstances, we have to change the level of thinking that is responsible for it.
Do you believe in miracles? Well, you should. In fact, life itself is a big miracle. There are so many things that are beyond our understanding. There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.
I’m no more intelligent than the next guy. I’m just more curious.
May the conscience and the common sense of the peoples be awakened, so that we may reach a new stage in the life of nations, where people will look back on war as an incomprehensible aberration of their forefathers!
We must be prepared to make the same heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
I am not an atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds.
Why do people speak of great men in terms of nationality? Great Germans, great Englishmen? Goethe always protested against being called a German poet. Great men are simply men and are not to be considered from the point of view of nationality, nor should the environment in which they were brought up be taken into account.
Hail to the man who went through life always helping others, knowing no fear, and to whom aggressiveness and resentment are alien. Such is the stuff of which the great moral leaders are made.
That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.
I love Humanity but I hate humans
Failing isn’t bad when you learn what not to do.
Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.
Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.
The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our thinking. Thus, we are drifting toward catastrophe beyond conception. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.
Student is not a container you have to fill but a torch you have to light up.
One had to cram all this stuff into one’s mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year.
I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.
The leaves and the light are one.
When a blind beetle crawls over the surface of the globe, he doesn’t realize that the track he has covered is curved. I was lucky enough to have spotted it.
When the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large scientific method in most cases fails. One need only think of the weather, in which case the 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.
The greater the doubt, the greater the awakening
The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size
At least once a day, allow yourself the freedom to think and dream for yourself.
The man with the greatest soul will always face the greatest war with the low minded person.
Subtle is the Lord. Malicious, He is not.
Brief is this existence, as a visit in a strange house. The path to be pursued is poorly lit by a flickering consciousness.
Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.
Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.
My sense of god is my sense of wonder about the universe.
More and more I come to value charity and love of one’s fellow being above everything else…All our lauded technological progress-our very civilization-is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal.
For an idea that does not first seem insane, there is no hope.
You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.
The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.
The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.
Einstein was once asked how many feet are in a mile. Einstein’s reply was “I don’t know, why should I fill my brain with facts I can find in two minutes in any standard reference book?
The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.
This is what the painter, the poet, the speculative philosopher, and the natural scientists do, each in his own fashion.
Formal symbolic representation of qualitative entities is doomed to its rightful place of minor significance in a world where flowers and beautiful women abound.
When I study philosophical works I feel I am swallowing something which I don’t have in my mouth.
I never said half the crap people said I did.
God is clever, but not dishonest.
To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty… this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
Considered logically this concept is not identical with the totality of sense impressions referred to; but it is an arbitrary creation of the human (or animal) mind.
Though our conduct seems so very different from that of the higher animals, the primary instincts are much alike in them and in us.
It is best, it seems to me, to separate one’s inner striving from one’s trade as far as possible. It is not good when one’s daily break is tied to God’s special blessing.
Science is the century-old endeavor to bring together by means of systematic thought the perceptible phenomena of this world into as thorough-going an association as possible.
An attempt at visualizing the Fourth Dimension: Take a point, stretch it into a line, curl it into a circle, twist it into a sphere, and punch through the sphere.
I believe that the first step in the setting of a real external world is the formation of the concept of bodily objects and of bodily objects of various kinds.
I have made no secret, either privately or publicly, of any sense of outrage over officially enforced military and war service. I regard it as a duty of conscience to fight against such barbarous enslavement of the individual with every means available.
God casts the die, not the dice.
People will not disarm step by step; they will disarm at one blow or not at all.
Knowledge is dead; the school, however, serves the living.
The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgment should always be placed foremost, not the acquisition of special knowledge.
The most important method of education always has consisted of that in which the pupil was urged to actual performance.
The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is not a problem of physics but of ethics. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.
I am strongly drawn to a frugal life and am often oppressively aware that I am engrossing an undue amount of the labor of my fellow men.
… it is a welcome symptom in an age which is commonly denounced as materialistic, that it makes heroes of men whose goals lie wholly in the intellectual and moral sphere.
Non-cooperation in military matters should be an essential moral principle for all true scientists …
It is characteristic of the military mentality that non-human factors … are held essential, while the human being, his desires and thoughts-in short, the psychological factors-are considered as unimportant and secondary.
There is, however, one other human right which is infrequently mentioned but which seems to be destined to become very important: this is the right, or the duty, of the individual to abstain from cooperating in activities which he considers wrong or pernicious.
It is an outcome of faith that nature-as she is perceptible to our five senses-takes the character of such a well formulated puzzle.
… we will hope that future historians will explain the morbid symptoms of present-day society as the childhood ailments of an aspiring humanity, due entirely to the excessive speed at which civilization was advancing.
There exists a passion for comprehension, just as there exists a passion for music. That passion is rather common in children, but gets lost in most people later on. Without this passion there would be neither mathematics nor natural science.
… 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 superpersonal value.
Every serious scientific worker is painfully conscious of this involuntary relegation to an ever-narrowing sphere of knowledge, which threatens to deprive the investigator of his broad horizon and degrades him to the level of a mechanic.
We scientists, whose tragic destination has been to help in making the methods of annihilation more gruesome and more effective, must consider it our solemn and transcendent duty to do all in our power in preventing these weapons from being used for the brutal purpose for which they were invented.
Is it not a terrible thing to be forced by society to do things which all of us as individuals regard as abominable crimes?
… the desire for truth must take precedence over all other desires.
I believe serious progress (in the abolition of war) can be achieved only when men become organized on an international scale and refuse, as a body, to enter military or war service.
I appeal to all men and women, whether they be eminent or humble, to declare that they will refuse to give any further assistance to war or the preparation of war.
… one does people the best service by giving them some elevating work to do and thus indirectly elevating them.
One ought to be ashamed to make use of the wonders of science embodied in a radio set, the while appreciating them as little as a cow appreciates the botanic marvels in the plants she munches.
The future is an unknown, but a somewhat predictable unknown. To look to the future we must first look back upon the past. That is where the seeds of the future were planted. I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
If one asks the whence derives the authority of fundamental ends, since they cannot be stated and justified merely by reason, one can only answer: they exist in a healthy society as powerful traditions, which act upon the conduct and aspirations and judgments of the individuals; they are there, that is, as something living, without its being necessary to find justification for their existence.
It is my conviction that pure mathematical construction enables us to discover the concepts and the laws connecting them, which gives us the key to the understanding of nature … In a certain sense, therefore, I hold it true that pure thought can grasp reality, as the ancients dreamed.
What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion.
Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world. All knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.
I have yet to meet a single person from our culture, no matter what his or her educational background, IQ, and specific training, who had powerful transpersonal experiences and continues to subscribe to the materialistic monism of Western science.
Do you remember how electrical currents and ‘unseen waves’ were laughed at? The knowledge about man is still in its infancy.
Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
Common sense is that layer of prejudices which we acquire before we are sixteen.
Democracy, taken in its narrower, purely political, sense, suffers from the fact that those in economic and political power possess the means for molding public opinion to serve their own class interests. The democratic form of government in itself does not automatically solve problems; it offers, however, a useful framework for their solution. Everything depends ultimately on the political and moral qualities of the citizenry.
Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder…
Humankind’s desire for peace can be realized only by the creation of a world government.
I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance – but for us, not for God.
An autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion, soon degenerates. For force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels. For this reason I have always been passionately opposed to systems such as we see in Italy and Russia to-day.
Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world; he then tries to some extent to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it. This is what the painter, the poet, the speculative philosopher, and the natural scientists do, each in his own fashion. Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way peace and security which he can not find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience.
What the individual can do is to give a fine example, and to have the courage to uphold ethical values .. in a society of cynics.
Realising the healthy international relations can be created only among populations made up of individuals who themselves are healthy and enjoy a measure a independence, the United Nations elaborated a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on December 10, 1948.
In talking about human rights today, we are referring primarily to the following demands: protection of the individual against arbitrary infringement by other individuals or by the government; the right to work and to adequate earnings from work; freedom of discussion and teaching; adequate participation of the individual in the formation of his government. These human rights are nowadays recognised theoretically, although, by abundant use of formalistic, legal manoeuvres, they are being violated to a much greater extent than even a generation ago.
The Nuremberg Trial of the German war criminals was tacitly based on the recognition of the principle: criminal actions cannot be excused if committed on government orders; conscience supersedes the authority of the law of the state.
War seems to me to be a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business. And yet so high, in spite of everything, is my opinion of the human race that I believe this bogey would have disappeared long ago, had the sound sense of the nations not been systematically corrupted by commercial and political interests acting through the schools and the Press
As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.
The words of language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The physical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images.
Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way peace and security which he can not find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience.
Men should continue to fight, but they should fight for things worth while, not for imaginary geographical lines, racial prejudices and private greed draped in the color’s of patriotism.
Without creative, independently thinking and judging personalities the upward development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual personality without the nourishing soil of the community.
Whatever there is of God and goodness in the universe, it must work itself out and express itself through us. We cannot stand aside and let God do it.
In the middle of adversity there is great opportunity.
Those who manage their way into a crisis are not necessarily the right people to manage their way out of a crisis
If [quantum theory] is correct, it signifies the end of physics as a science.
The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance
At the same time, as social beings, we are moved in the relations with our fellow beings by such feelings as sympathy, pride, hate, need for power, pity, and so on.
All such action would cease if those powerful elemental forces were to cease stirring within us.
They come into being not through demonstration but through revelation, through the medium of powerful personalities.
The most evident difference springs from the important part which is played in man by a relatively strong power of imagination and by the capacity to think, aided as it is by language and other symbolically devices.
It is a very high goal which, with our weak powers, we can reach only very inadequately, but which gives a sure foundation to our aspirations and valuations.
We come now to the question: what is a priori certain or necessary, respectively in geometry (doctrine of space) or its foundations? Formerly we thought everything; nowadays we think nothing. Already the distance-concept is logically arbitrary; there need be no things that correspond to it, even approximately.
The most beautiful experience in the world is the experience of the mysterious.
Joy and amazement of the beauty and grandeur of this world of which man can just form a faint notion…
[Newton wrote to Halley … that he would not give Hooke any credit] That, alas, is vanity. You find it in so many scientists. You know, it has always hurt me to think that Galileo did not acknowledge the work of Kepler.
It is impossible to get out of a problem by using the same kind of thinking that it took to get into it.
If I am right the Germans will say I was a German, and the French will say I was a Jew; If I am wrong the Germans will say I was a Jew and the French will say I was a German.
My success wasn’t so much due to intelligence, but the fact that I stuck with problems longer.
Time flies when you are having fun.
Given the millions of billions of Earth-like planets, life elsewhere in the Universe without a doubt, does exist. In the vastness of the Universe we are not alone.
Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. … [By seeking] logical beauty spiritual formulas are discovered necessary for the deeper penetration into the laws of nature.
The restriction of knowledge to an elite group destroys the spirit of the society and leads to its intellectual impoverishment.
This has been done elegantly by Minkowski; but chalk is cheaper than grey matter, and we will do it as it comes.
What is this frog and mouse battle among the mathematicians?
Raffiniert ist der Herr Gott, aber boshaft ist er nicht. God is subtle, but he is not malicious.
All the fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no closer to answer the question, “What are light quanta?” Of course today every rascal thinks he knows the answer, but he is deluding himself.
Politics is far more complicated than physics.
Only the one who does not question is safe from making a mistake.
If I were to start taking care of my grooming, I would no longer be my own self.
It is not a lack of real affection that scares me away again and again from marriage. Is it a fear of the comfortable life, of nice furniture, of dishonor that I burden myself with, or even the fear of becoming a contented bourgeois.
Strenuous intellectual work and the study of God’s Nature are the angels that will lead me through all the troubles of this life with consolation, strength, and uncompromising rigor.
Enjoying the joys of others and suffering with them-these are the best guides for man.
I believe the most important mission of the state is to protect the individual and make it possible for him to develop into a creative personality.
Just as with the man in the fairy tale who turned whatever he touched into gold, with me everything is turned into newspaper clamor.
Where there is love, there is no imposition.
As an elderly man, I have remained estranged from the society here.
If there is no price to be paid, it is also not of value.
To one bent on age, death will come as a release. I feel this quite strongly now that I have grown old myself and have come to regard death like an old debt, at long last to be discharged.
Man owes his strength in the struggle for existence to the fact that he is a social animal.
The heart says yes, but the mind says no.
I never commit to memory anything that can easily be looked up in a book
As I have said so many times, God doesn’t play dice with the world.
I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship a Swiss, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever.
Relativity is a purely scientific matter and has nothing to do with religion.
A forced faithfulness is a bitter fruit for all concerned.
I can understand your aversion to the use of the term ‘religion’ to describe an emotional and psychological attitude which shows itself most clearly in Spinoza… I have not found a better expression than ‘religious’ for the trust in the rational nature of reality that is, at least to a certain extent, accessible to human reason.
Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down by the mind before you reach eighteen.
My life is a simple thing that would interest no one. It is a known fact that I was born, and that is all that is necessary.
I admit that thoughts influence the body.
It is difficult to say what truth is, but sometimes it is so easy to recognize a falsehood.
The ordinary adult never gives a thought to space-time problems … I, on the contrary, developed so slowly that I did not begin to wonder about space and time until I was an adult. I then delved more deeply into the problem than any other adult or child would have done.
What is essential in the life of a man of my kind is what he thinks and how he thinks, and not what he does or suffers.
The creative principle [of science] resides in mathematics.
The more a country makes military weapons, the more insecure it becomes: if you have weapons, you become a target for attack.
The economists will have to revise their theories of value.
In quitting this strange world he has once again preceded me by a little. That doesn’t mean anything. For those of us who believe in physics, this separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however tenacious.
Marriage is but slavery made to appear civilized.
When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter.
I should very much like to remain in the darkness of not having been analyzed.
For every one billion particles of antimatter there were one billion and one particles of matter. And when the mutual annihilation was complete, one billionth remained – and that’s our present universe.
The ability to portray people in still life and in motion requires the highest measure of intuition and talent.
Innovation is not the product of logical thought, even though the final product is tied to a logical structure.
I have never obtained any ethical values from my scientific work.
Love brings much happiness, much more so than pining for someone brings pain.
What I see in Nature is a grand design that we can understand only imperfectly, one with which a responsible person must look at with humility.
The content of scientific theory itself offers no moral foundation for the personal conduct of life.
All my life I have dealt with objective matters; hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to carry out official functions.
I wouldn’t want to live if I did not have my work. In any case, it’s good that I’m already old and personally don’t have to count on a prolonged future.
I have come to know the mutability of all human relationships and have learned to insulate myself against both heat and cold so that a temperature balance is fairly well assured.
I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive.
Let me tell you what I look like: pale face, long hair, and a tiny start of a paunch. In addition, an awkward gait, and a cigar in the mouth and a pen in pocket or hand.
Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe.
Personally, I experience the greatest degree of pleasure in having contact with works of art. They furnish me with happy feelings of an intensity that I cannot derive from other sources.
Israel is the only place on earth where Jews have the possibility to shape public life according to their own traditional ideals.
Now to the term ‘relativity theory.’ I admit that it is unfortunate, and has given occasion to philosophical misunderstandings.
I cannot accept any concept of God based on the fear of life or the fear of death, or blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him I would be a liar.
Certainly there are things worth believing. I believe in the brotherhood of man and the uniqueness of the individual. But if you ask me to prove what I believe, I can’t. You know them to be true but you could spend a whole lifetime without being able to prove them. The mind can proceed only so far upon what it knows and can prove. There comes a point where the mind takes a leap-call it intuition or what you will-and comes out upon a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap.
I cannot write in English, because of the treacherous spelling. When I am reading, I only hear it and am unable to remember what the written word looks like.
Freedom of teaching and of opinion in book or press is the foundation for the sound and natural development of any people.
We must dedicate our lives to drying up the source of war: ammunition factories.
Politics is a pendulum whose swings between anarchy and tyranny are fueled by perennially rejuvenated illusions.
I would absolutely refuse any direct or indirect war service and would try to persuade my friends to do the same, regardless of the reasons for the cause of a war.
I do not play games. There is not time for it. When I get through with work, I don’t want anything that requires the working of the mind.
He who has never been deceived by a lie does not know the meaning of bliss.
Even the scholars in various lands have been acting as if their brains had been amputated.
I myself should also be dead already, but I am still here.
Every reminiscence is colored by the way things are today, and therefore by a delusive point of view.
The most aggravating thing about the younger generation is that I no longer belong to it.
Mere unbelief in a personal God is no philosophy at all.
The more one chases the quanta, the better they hide themselves.
You must be aware that most men (and also not only a few women) are by nature not monogamous. This nature makes itself even more forceful when tradition and circumstance stand in an individual’s way.
I know what it’s like to see one’s mother go through the agony of death and be unable to help; there is no consolation. We all have to bear such heavy burdens, for they are unalterably linked to life.
The goal of pacifism is possible only though a supranational organization. To stand unconditionally for this cause is the criterion of true pacifism.
When I was young, all I wanted and expected from life was to sit quietly in some corner doing my work without the public paying attention to me. And now see what has become of me.
The trite objects of human efforts-possessions, superficial success, luxury-have always seemed contemptible to me.
There are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe: (1) the world as a unity dependent on humanity; (2) the world as a reality independent of the human factor.
No idea is conceived in our mind independent of our five senses [i.e., no idea is divinely inspired].
At present every coachman and every waiter argues about whether or not the relativity theory is correct.
The solitude and peace of mind are serving me quite well, not the least of which is due to the excellent and truly enjoyable relationship with my cousin; its stability will be guaranteed by the avoidance of marriage.
To obtain an assured favorable response from people, it is better to offer them something for their stomachs instead of their brains.
Arrows of hate have been aimed at me too, but they have never hit me, because somehow they belonged to another world with which I have no connection whatsoever.
In the past it never occurred to me that every casual remark of mine would be snatched up and recorded. Otherwise I would have crept further into my shell.
Those instrumental goods which should serve to maintain the life and health of all human beings should be produced by the least possible labour of all.
I became more and more convinced that even nature could be understood as a relatively simple mathematical structure.
Of all the communities available to us, there is not one I would want to devote myself to except for the society of the true seekers, which has very few living members at any one time.
Berlin is the place to which I am most closely bound by human and scientific ties.
There have already been published by the bucketsful such brazen lies and utter fictions about me that I would long since have gone to my grave if I had allowed myself to pay attention to them.
Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being.
Germany had the misfortune of becoming poisoned, first because of plenty, and then because of want.
Only in mathematics and physics was I, through self-study, far beyond the school curriculum, and also with regard to philosophy as it was taught in the school curriculum.
I have to apologize to you that I am still among the living. There will be a remedy for this, however.
The Press, which is mostly controlled by vested interests, has an excessive influence on public opinion.
Scientific research can reduce superstition by encouraging people to think and view things in terms of cause and effect.
O, Youth: Do you know that yours is not the first generation to yearn for a life full of beauty and freedom?
The most important function of art and science is to Awaken the cosmic religious feeling and keep it alive.
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there’s any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism….
I hate crowds and making speeches. I hate facing cameras and having to answer to a crossfire of questions. Why popular fancy should seize upon me, a scientist, dealing in abstract things and happy if left alone, is a manifestation of mass psychology that is beyond me.
Lasting harmony with a woman (was) an undertaking in which I twice failed rather disgracefully.
A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought.
The discovery of nuclear chain reactions need not bring about the destruction of mankind any more than did the discovery of matches. We only must do everything in our power to safeguard against its abuse. Only a supranational organization, equipped with a sufficiently strong executive power, can protect us.
But could not our situation be compared to one of a menacing epidemic? People are unable to view this situation in its true light, for their eyes are blinded by passion. General fear and anxiety create hatred and aggressiveness. The adaptation to warlike aims and activities has corrupted the mentality of man; as a result, intelligent, objective and humane thinking has hardly any effect and is even suspected and persecuted as unpatriotic.
He who finds though that lets us penetrate even a little deeper into the eternal mystery of nature has been granted great grace. He who, in addition, experiences the recognition, sympathy, and help of the best minds of his times, had been given almost more happiness than one man can bear.
Every thoughtful, well-meaning and conscientious human being should assume in time of peace, the solemn and unconditional obligation not to participate in any war, for any reason or to lend support of any kind, whether direct or indirect.
Force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels.
Nor do I take into account a danger of starting a chain reaction of a scope great enough to destroy part or all of the planet…But it is not necessary to imagine the earth being destroyed like a nova by a stellar explosion to understand vividly the grow ing scope of atomic war and to recognize that unless another war is prevented it is likely to bring destruction on a scale never before held possible, and even now hardly conceived, and that little civilization would survive it.
One does not make wars less likely by formulationg rules of warfare… war cannot be humanized. It can only be eliminated…
Human knowledge and skills alone cannot lead humanity to a happy and dignified life. Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth.
What Artistic and Scientific Experience Have in Common – Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking, and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science. If what is seen and experienced is portrayed in the language of logic, we are engaged in science. If it is communicated through forms whose connections are not accessible to the conscious mind but are recognized intuitively as meaninful, then we are engaged in art. Common to both is the loving devotion to that which transcends personal concerns and volition.
Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.
The years of anxious searching in the dark, with their intense longing, their alternations of confidence and exhaustion and the final emergence into the light – only those who have experienced it can understand it.
Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.
Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.
You are the only person I know who has the same attitude towards physics as I have: belief in the comprehension of reality through something basically simple and unified… It seems hard to sneak a look at God’s cards. But that He plays dice and uses ‘telepathic’ methods… is something that I cannot believe for a single moment.
About God, I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church… As long as I can remember. I have resented mass indoctrination. I cannot prove to you there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws
I think that a particle must have a separate reality independent of the measurements. That is an electron has spin, location and so forth even when it is not being measured. I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it.
I sometimes ask myself how it came about that I was the one to develop the theory of relativity. The reason, I think, is that a normal adult never stops to think about problems of space and time. These are things which he has thought about as a child. Bu t my intellectual development was retarded,as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up.
Be a loner. That gives you time to wonder, to search for the truth. Have holy curiosity. Make your life worth living.
During the last century, and part of the one before, it was widely held that there was an unreconcilable conflict between knowledge and belief. The opinion prevailed amoung advanced minds that it was time that belief should be replaced increasingly by knowledge; belief that did not itself rest on knowledge was superstition, and as such had to be opposed. According to this conception, the sole function of education was to open the way to thinking and knowing, and the school, as the outstanding organ for the people’s education, must serve that end exclusively.
It is a magnificent feeling to recognize the unity of complex phenomena which appear to be things quite apart from the direct visible truth.
The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.
Understanding of our fellow human beings…becomes fruitful only when it is sustained by sympathetic feelings in joy and sorrow.
Unless Americans come to realize that they are not stronger in the world because they have the bomb but weaker because of their vulnerability to atomic attack, they are not likely to conduct their policy at Lake Success [the United Nations] or in their relations with Russia in a spirit that furthers the arrival at an understanding.
The real difficulty, the difficulty which has baffled the sages of all times, is rather this: how can we make our teaching so potent in the motional life of man, that its influence should withstand the pressure of the elemental psychic forces in the individual?
I made one great mistake in my life-when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made but there was some justification-the danger that the Germans would make them.
It may affront the military-minded person to suggest a regime that does not maintain any military secrets.
The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat.
Genius simply cannot be reduced to a set of rules for anyone to follow.
It would be a sad situation if the bag was better than the meat wrapped in it.
This is a time, when there seems to be a particular need for friends of wisdom and truth to join together.
With me every peep becomes a trumpet solo.
There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.
I have lived to prove Thoreau’s contention that a man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.
Opinions about obviousness are to a certain extent a function of time.
Mathematics are well and good but Nature keeps dragging us around by the nose.
One must console oneself with the thought that time has a sieve through which most of these important things run into the ocean of oblivion and what remains after this selection is often still trite and bad.
The next world war will be fought with stones.
In any conflict between humanity and technology, humanity will win.
I have survived two wars, two wives and Hitler.
Never let yourself be seduced by any problem, no matter how difficult.
Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else has ever thought.
I simply imagine it so, then go about to prove it.
Qualities I sought in a scientific theory were naturalness, inner perfection and logical simplicity from an aesthetic approach.
I rarely think in words at all.
Discussion and argument are essential parts of science; the greatest talent is the ability to strip a theory until the simple basic idea emerges with clarity.
My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.
The essentials of being a person of my type lies precisely in what they think and how they think, not in what they do. Your thoughts shape you.
It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem-the most important of all human problems.
All our thinking is of this nature, a free play with concepts.
God has given me a mule-like stubbornness to stick with a difficult problem and the intuitive powers to conceptualize complex hypothetical situations in my mind.
It is quite possible that we can do greater things than Jesus, for what is written in the Bible about him is poetically embellished.
The rest of my life (as a 39 year old) I want to reflect on what life is.
It is also a natural thing for a serious young man that he should form for himself as precise an idea as possible of the goal of his desires.
I do not believe that a man should be restrained in his daily actions by being afraid of punishment after death or that he should do things only because in this way he will be rewarded after he dies. This does not make sense. The proper guidance during the life of a man should be the weight that he puts upon ethics and the amount of consideration that he has for others.
Intuitive powers played a central role in my scientific work, not wild speculation, yet a valued resource when no other approach was available.
I was just more stubborn and more passionate than most about physics.
Ninety nine failed solutions equals a gain of 99 pieces of information.
I cannot then believe in this concept of an anthropomorphic God who has the powers of interfering with these natural laws. As I said before, the most beautiful and most profound religious emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mysticality is the power of all true science.
In a sailboat I become oblivious to everything else in the world.
In my relativity theory I set up a clock at every point in space, but in reality I find it difficult to provide even one clock in my room.
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.
Only six men in the world know about relativity. I am not one of them. When I ask them to explain, they confused me.
Body and soul are not two different things, but only two different ways of perceiving the same thing. Similarly, physics and psychology are only different attempts to link our experiences together by way of systematic thought.
Scientific greatness is less a matter of intelligence than character; if the scientist refuses to compromise or accept incomplete answers and persists in grappling the most basic and difficult questions.
In music I do not look for logic. I am quite intuitive on the whole and know no theories. I never like a work if I cannot intuitively grasp its inner unity (architecture).
Nature conceals her mystery by her essential grandeur.
The beauty of it is that we have to content ourselves with the recognition of the miracle, beyond which there is no legitimate way out.
Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity.
The world as we see it is only the world as we see it. Others may see it differently.
For the most part we humans live with the false impression of security and a feeling of being at home in a seemingly familiar and trustworthily physical and human environment. But when the expected course of everyday life is interrupted, we realize that we are like shipwrecked people trying to keep their balance on a miserable plank in the open sea, having forgotten where they came from and not knowing whether they are drifting. But once we fully accept this, life becomes easier and there is no longer any disappointment.
My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized.
The satisfaction of physical needs is indeed the indispensable pre-condition of a satisfactory existence, but in itself it is not enough. In order to be content, men must also have the possibility of developing their intellectual and artistic powers to whatever extent accords with their personal characteristics and abilities.
All means prove but blunt instruments, if they have not behind them a living spirit.
I always found I was in the best of company, alone.
To act intelligently in human affairs is only possible if an attempt is made to understand the thoughts, motives, and apprehension of one’s opponent so fully that one can see the world through their eyes.
In matters of trust and justice there can be no distinction between big problems and small, for the general principles which determine the conduct of men are indivisible. Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.
The great moral teachers of humanity were in a way artistic geniuses in the art of living.
Earnestly I must exert myself in order to return as much as I have received.
The most superior of scientific goals is to embrace a maximum of experiment with a minimum of hypotheses.
Convictions can best be supported with experience and clear thinking.
When we are working at something, we come down from our high logical horse and sniff around with our nose to the ground. Then we obliterate our traces in order to become more God-like.
Work is the only thing I do to escape the corruption of praise.
What good is a reputation not put to good use.
It is easy to say something new, if all senses one will eschew. But hardly ever is found, that the new is also sound.
Long live impudence. It was my guardian angel in this world.
My only refuge, as a serious young man, from the despair of my financial burden to my family, is that I did everything I could to never permit myself any amusements or diversions except those afforded by my studies.
I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves. This ethical basis I call the ideal of the pigsty.
You think you have troubles with mathematics . . . I assure you mine are still bigger.
While it is true that an inherently free and scrupulous person may be destroyed, such an individual can never be enslaved or used as a blind tool.
But their intervention makes our acts to serve ever less merely the immediate claims of our instincts.
The most important tool of the theoretical physicist is his wastebasket.
Nature hides her secrets because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse.
I know that it is a hopeless undertaking to debate about fundamental value judgements. For instance, if someone approves, as a goal, the extirpation of the human race from the earth, one cannot refute such a viewpoint on rational grounds. But if there is agreement on certain goals and values, one can argue rationally about the means by which these objectives may be obtained.
As I look back over the truly crucial events in my life I realize that they were not planned long in advance. Albert Einstein said, ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.’
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. My awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea 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.
I always have a high regard for the individual and have an insuperable distaste for violence and clubmanship. All these motives made me into a passionate pacifist and anti-militarist. I am against any nationalism, even in the guise of mere patriotism. Privileges based on position and property have always seemed to me unjust and pernicious, as did any exaggerated personality cult.
School failed me, and I failed the school. It bored me. The teachers behaved like Feldwebel (sergeants). I wanted to learn what I wanted to know, but they wanted me to learn for the exam. What I hated most was the competitive system there, and especially sports. Because of this, I wasn’t worth anything, and several times they suggested I leave.
Everything is Energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you can not help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.
So I am living without fats, without meat, without fish, but am feeling quite well this way. It always seems to me that man was not born to be a carnivore.
The years of searching in the dark for a truth that one feels but cannot express, the intense desire and the alternations of confidence and misgiving until one breaks through to clarity and understanding, are known only to him who has experienced them himself.
Consider the concepts referred to in the words ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’, ‘being’, to the elucidation of which innumerable volumes of philosophy have been devoted. We fare no better in our speculations than a fish which should strive to become clear as to what is water.
I am exclusively occupied with the problem of gravitation and hope with the help of a local mathematician friend [Marcel Grossman] to overcome all the difficulties. One thing is certain, however, that never in life have I been quite so tormented. A great respect for mathematics has been instilled within me, the subtler aspects of which, in my stupidity, I regarded until now as pure luxury.
I never thought that others would take my theories so much more seriously than I did.
The mathematician knows some things, no doubt, but not those things one usually wants to get from him.
In conclusion I wish to say that in working at the problem here dealt with I have had the loyal assistance of my friend and colleague M. Besso, and that I am indebted to him for several valuable suggestions.
I never think of the future. It comes soon enough. When visiting the U.S. from Germany for a winter academic stay.
We are slowed down sound and light waves, a walking bundle of frequencies tuned into the cosmos. We are souls dressed up in sacred biochemical garments and our bodies are the instruments through which our souls play their music.
I consider it important, indeed urgently necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status and, also, generally speaking, to secure their influence in the political field.
It is really a puzzle what drives one to take one’s work so devilishly seriously.
Common sense needs constant reappraisal.
My only genius talent is inquisitiveness.
Everyone likes me, yet nobody understands me.
Although I tried to be universal in thought, I am European by instinct and inclination.
If I could remember the names of all these particles, I’d be a botanist.
The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions.
Women marry men hoping they will change. Men marry women hoping they will not.
Real sign of intelligence isn’t knoweldge, it’s imagination
… knowledge must continually be renewed by ceaseless effort, if it is not to be lost. It resembles a statue of marble which stands in the desert and is continually threatened with burial by the shifting sand. The hands of service must ever be at work, in order that the marble continue to lastingly shine in the sun. To these serving hands mine shall also belong.
I believe, indeed, that overemphasis on the purely intellectual attitude, often directed solely to the practical and factual, in our education, has led directly to the impairment of ethical values. I am not thinking so much of the dangers with which technical progress has directly confronted mankind, as of the stifling of mutual human considerations by a ‘matter-of-fact’ habit of thought which has come to lie like a killing frost upon human relations. Without ‘ethical culture’ there is no salvation for humanity.
Everything in life is vibration.
I once thought that if I could ask God one question, I would ask how the universe began, because once I knew that, all the rest is simply equations. But as I got older I became less concerned with how the universe began. Rather, I would want to know why he started the universe. For once I knew that answer, then I would know the purpose of my own life.
If you want to find out anything from the theoretical physicists about the methods they use, I advise you to stick closely to one principle: don’t listen to their words, fix your attention on their deeds. To him who is a discoverer in this field the products of his imagination appear so necessary and natural that he regards them, and would like to have them regarded by others, not as creations of thought but as given realities.
Dostoevsky gives me more than any scientist, more than Gauss.
The sceptic will say, ‘It may well be true that this system of equations is reasonable from a logical standpoint, but this does not prove that it corresponds to nature.’ You are right, dear sceptic. Experience alone can decide on truth.
Don’t wait for miracles, your whole life is a miracle.
It is nothing short of a miracle that modern methods of teaching have not yet entirely strangled that sacred spirit of curiosity and inquiry, for this delicate plant needs freedom no less than stimulation.
Be a voice not an echo.
The American lives even more for his goals, for the future, than the European. Life for him is always becoming, never being.
[There is] a duty in refusing to cooperate in any undertaking that violates the Constitutional rights of the individual. This holds in particular for all inquisitions that are concerned with the private life and the political affiliations of the citizens.
Analytics will never tell you everything you want to know.
Assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong.
Anyone can repeat a technical explanation they read in a text-book or blog post.
True knowledge comes with deep understanding of a topic and its inner workings.
Here’s a Challenge: Study a complicated topic in such detail that anyone interested can nod their head and understand as you explain specific concepts within the topic.
I must try, however, as best I can, although I am very conscious of the fact that our feelings and strivings are often contradictory and obscure and that they cannot be expressed in easy and simple formulas.
I believe in intuition and inspiration…at times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason.
Since I do not forsee that atomic energy is to be a great boon for a long time, I have to say that for the present it is a menace. Perhaps it is well that it should be. It may intimidate the human race into bringing order into its international affairs, which, without the presence of fear, it would not do.
It is my belief that the problem of bringing peace to the world on a supranational basis will be solved only by employing Gandhi’s method on a larger scale.
I don’t believe in mathematics.
One is born into a herd of buffaloes and must be glad if one is not trampled under foot before one’s time.
When the nazis came to power, I looked to the universities that prided themselves upon their intellectual freedom, and they failed me. I looked to the German press, which prided itself on the freedom of the press, and it failed me. Until at last the churches stood alone, and that for which I once had little regard earned my respect.
The more success the quantum theory has, the sillier it looks
A man must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings.
What can the schools do to defend democracy? Should they preach a specific political doctrine? I believe they should not. If they are able to teach young people to have a critical mind and a socially oriented attitude, they will have done all that is necessary.
I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.
Science will stagnate if it is made to serve practical goals.
I have not eaten enough of the tree of knowledge, though in my profession I am obligated to feed on it regularly.
The most precious things in life are not those you get for money.
Good acts are like good poems. One may easily get their drift, but they are not rationally understood.
One must shy away from questionable undertakings, even when they bear a high-sounding name.
It is not so important where one settles down. The best thing is to follow your instincts without too much reflection.
Mysticism is in fact the only criticism people cannot level against my theory.
God gave me the stubbornness of a mule and a fairly keen scent.
I have remained a simple fellow who asks nothing of the world; only my youth is gone – the enchanting youth that forever walks on air.
A scientist is a mimosa when he himself has made a mistake, and a roaring lion when he discovers a mistake of others.
…and knowledge is one of the finest attributes of man – though often it is most loudly voiced by those who strive for it the least.
I am also convinced that one gains the purest joy from spirited things only when they are not tied in with earning one’s livelihood.
It is abhorrent to me when a fine intelligence is paired with an unsavory character.
I have firmly decided to bite the dust with a minimum of medical assistance when my time comes, and up to then to sin to my wicked heart’s content.
Fear or stupidity has always been the basis of most human actions.
In one’s youth every person and every event appear to be unique. With age one becomes much more aware that similar events recur. Later on, one is less often delighted or surprised, but also less disappointed than in earlier years.
It is true that the grasping of truth is not possible without empirical basis. However, the deeper we penetrate and the more extensive and embracing our theories become the less empirical knowledge is needed to determine those theories.
The scientific theorist is not to be envied. For Nature, or more precisely experiment, is an exorable and not very friendly judge of his work. It never says “yes” to a theory. In the most favorable cases it says “Maybe,” and in the great majority of cases simply “No.” If an experiment agrees with a theory it means for the latter “Maybe,” and if it does not agree it means “No.” Probably every theory will some day experience its “No” – most theories, soon after conception.
But nature did not deem it her business to make the discovery of her laws easy for us.
With fame I become more and more stupid, which of course is a very common phenomenon.
Belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science.
I think we have to safeguard ourselves against people who are a menace to others, quite apart from what may have motivated their deeds.
I do not like to state an opinion on a matter unless I know the precise facts.
…behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable.
Truly novel inventions emerge only in one’s youth. Later one becomes ever more experienced, famous-and foolish.
My scientific work is motivated by an irresistible longing to understand the secrets of nature not by other feelings.
The only way to escape the corruptible effect of praise is to go on working.
The aim (of education) must be the training of independently acting and thinking individuals who, however, see in the service to the community their highest life problem.
I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express in words afterwards.
We must recognize what in our accepted tradition is damaging to our fate and dignity-and shape our lives accordingly.
How do I work? I grope.
To my mind, to kill in war is not a whit better than to commit ordinary murder.
My pacifism is not based on any intellectual theory but on a deep antipathy to every form of cruelty and hatred.
Nothing will end war unless the people refuse to go to war.
Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance
Chess holds its master in its own bonds, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom of the very strongest must suffer.
I have always disliked the fierce competitive spirit embodied in that highly intellectual game.
The enormous mental resilience, without which no Chess player can exist, was so much taken up by Chess that he could never free his mind of this game
Nature shows us only the tail of the lion. But there is no doubt in my mind that the lion belongs with it even if he cannot reveal himself to the eye all at once because of his huge dimension.
The wonder of nature does not become smaller because one cannot measure it by the standards of human moral and human aims.
Nature conceals her secrets because she is sublime, not because she is a trickster.
The scientist finds his reward in what Henri Poincare calls the joy of comprehension, and not in the possibility of application to which any discovery may lead.
To be sure, it is not the fruits of scientific research that elevate a man and enrich his nature, but the urge to understand, the intellectual work, creative or receptive.
I do not much believe in education. Each person ought to be his or her own model, however frightful that may be.
I have reached the conviction that the abolition of the death penalty is desirable. Reasons: 1) Irreparability in the event of an error of justice, 2) Detrimental moral influence of the execution procedure on those who, whether directly or indirectly, have to do with the procedure.
Highly developed spirits often encounter resistance from mediocre minds.
To have security against atomic bombs and against the other biological weapons, we have to prevent war, for if we cannot prevent war every nation will use every means that is at their disposal; and in spite of all promises they make, they will do it. At the same time, so long as war is not prevented, all the governments of the nations have to prepare for war, and if you have to prepare for war, then you are in a state where you cannot abolish war.
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of others.
The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction. There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them.
Overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organise peace on this planet
A great thought begins by seeing something differently, with a shift of the mind’s eye.
Compassionate people are geniuses in the art of living, more necessary to the dignity, security, and joy of humanity than the discoverers of knowledge.
The payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.
A human being is part of a whole called by us the universe.
The splitting of the atom has changed everything except for how we think.
People like you and I, though mortal of course like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live.
Of what significance is one’s existence, one is basically unaware. What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life? The bitter and the sweet come from outside. The hard from within, from one’s own efforts. For the most part I do what my own nature drives me to do. It is embarrassing to earn such respect and love for it.
I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet.
Violence sometimes may have cleared away obstructions quickly, but it never has proved itself creative.
This change in the conception of reality is the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton. Refering to James Clerk Maxwell’s contributions to physics.
Problems cannot be solved by thinking within the framework in which the problems were created.
My position concerning God is that of an agnostic.
Relativity teaches us the connection between the different descriptions of one and the same reality.
To the extent math refers to reality, we are not certain to the extent we are certain, math does not refer to reality.
But the creative principle resides in mathematics. In a certain sense, therefore, I hold true that pure thought can grasp reality, as the ancients dreamed.
I advocate world government because I am convinced that there is no other possible way of eliminating the most terrible danger in which man has ever found himself. The objective of avoiding total destruction must have priority over any other objective.
The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of evil.
Out of the multitude of our sense experiences we take, mentally and arbitrarily, certain repeatedly occurring complexes of sense impression (partly in conjunction with sense impressions which are interpreted as signs for sense experiences of others), and we attribute to them a meaning the meaning of the bodily object.
The analogy I like is this imagine being able to see the world but you are deaf, and then suddenly someone gives you the ability to hear things as well – you get an extra dimension of perception,
A religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt about the significance of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation
On the other hand, the concept owes its meaning and its justification exclusively to the totality of the sense impressions which we associate with it.
I am an absolute pacifist…It is an instinctive feeling. It is a feeling that possesses me, because the murder of men is disgusting.
You can never solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created the problem in the first place.
My primary process of perceiving is muscular and visual.
I have never belonged wholeheartedly to country or State, to my circle of friends or even to my own family… Such isolation is sometimes bitter, but I do not regret being cut off from the understanding and sympathy of other men. I lose something by it,to be sure, but I am compensated for it in being rendered independent of the customs, opinions and prejudices of others, and am not tempted to rest my peace of mind upon such shifting foundations.
Where you see difficulty, I see opportunity.
There are few enough people with sufficient independence to see the weaknesses and follies of their contemporaries and remain themselves untouched by them.
The best that Gauss has given us was likewise an exclusive production. If he had not created his geometry of surfaces, which served Riemann as a basis, it is scarcely conceivable that anyone else would have discovered it. I do not hesitate to confess that to a certain extent a similar pleasure may be found by absorbing ourselves in questions of pure geometry.
The most fundamental question we can ever ask ourselves is whether or not the universe we live in is friendly or hostile.
The physicists say that I am a mathematician, and the mathematicians say that I am a physicist. I am a completely isolated man and though everybody knows me, there are very few people who really know me.
No path leads from a knowledge of that which is to that which should be.
It is certainly true that principles cannot be more securely founded than on experience and consciously clear thinking.
Regarding sex education: no secrets!
Hell! there ain’t no rules around here! We are tryin’ to accomplish somep’n!
I was sitting in a chair in the patent office at Bern when all of a sudden a thought occurred to me: “If a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight.” I was startled. This simple thought made a deep impression on me. It impelled me toward a theory of gravitation.
Don’t become a seeker of success. Become a person of value.
The really valuable method of thought to arrive at a logically coherent system is intuition.
The world is not threatened by evil people, but by those who allow evil to take place.
The height of stupidity is most clearly demonstrated by the individual who ridicules something he knows nothing about.
Strange is our situation here upon earth.
The only way to escape the personal corruption of praise is to go on working. One is tempted to stop and listen to it. The only thing is to turn away and go on working. Work. There is nothing else.
Intelligence and genius
Mankind must give up war in the Atomic Era. What is at stake is the life or death of humanity.
That a man can take pleasure in marching in formation to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed.
No one but a theorist believes his theory; everyone puts faith in a laboratory result but the experimenter himself.
Nothing in the world makes people so afraid as the influence of independent-minded people.
It’s very depressing to live in a time where it’s easier to break an atom than a prejudice.
The history of scientific and technical discovery teaches us that the human race is poor in independent and creative imagination. Even when the external and scientific requirements for the birth of an idea have long been there, it generally needs an external stimulus to make it actually happen; man has, so to speak, to stumble right up against the thing before the idea comes.
Conventional words or other signs have to be sought for laboriously only in a second stage, where the associative play already referred to is sufficiently established and can be reproduced at will.
There is, fortunately, a minority composed of those who recognize early in their lives that the most beautiful and satisfying experiences open to humankind are not derived from the outside, but are bound up with the development of the individual’s own feeling, thinking and acting. The genuine artists, investigators and thinkers have always been persons of this kind. However inconspicuously the life of these individuals runs its course, none the less the fruits of their endeavors are the most valuable contributions which one generation can make to its successors.
The stakes are immense, the task colossal, the time is short. But we may hope – we must hope – that man’s own creation, man’s own genius, will not destroy him.
The history of scientific and technical discovery teaches us that the human race is poor in independent and creative imagination.
One should never impose one’s views on a problem; one should rather study it, and in time a solution will reveal itself.
The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.
The creative scientist studies nature with the rapt gaze of the lover, and is guided as often by aesthetics as by rational considerations in guessing how nature works.
No scientist thinks in formulae.
The fact that man produces a concept “I” besides the totality of his mental and emotional experiences or perceptions does not prove that there must be any specific existence behind such a concept. We are succumbing to illusions produced by our self-created language, without reaching a better understanding of anything. Most of so-called philosophy is due to this kind of fallacy.
The thinking it took to get us into this mess is not the same thinking that is going to get us out of it.
A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port, together with some of the surrounding territory.
James Clerk Maxwell’s [work is the] most profound and the most fruitful …
Imagination is the most powerful force in the universe.
Education is not received. It is achieved.
More the knowledge lesser the Ego, lesser the knowledge, more the Ego.
Anti-Semitism is nothing but the antagonistic attitude produced in the non-Jew by the Jewish group. This is a normal social reaction. The Jewish group has thrived on oppression and on the antagonism it has forever met in the world… the root cause is their use of enemies they create in order to keep solidarity…
Long hair minimizes the need for barbers; socks can be done without; one leather jacket solves the coat problem for many years; suspenders are superfluous.
Our lives will be measured by what we do for others
Capitalism has brought with it progress, not merely in production but also in knowledge.
I no longer believed in the known God of the Bible, but rather in the mysterious God expressed in nature.
The discovery of nuclear reactions need not bring about the destruction of mankind any more than the discovery of matches.
God does not play dice [with the universe]. [Ger., Gott wurfelt nicht.]
I am of the opinion that all the finer speculations in the realm of science spring from a deep religious feeling, and that without such feeling they would not be fruitful.
My mind is my laboratory.
What a person thinks on his own without being stimulated by the thoughts and experiences of the other people is even in the best case rather paltry and monotonous.
The one who walks alone, is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.
I like neither new clothes nor new kinds of food.
Numerous are the academic professors, but rare are wise and noble teachers.
Although words exist for the most part for the transmission of ideas, there are some which produce such violent disturbance in our feelings that the role they play in the transmission of ideas is lost in the background.
I want to be cremated so people won’t come to worship at my bones.
Don’t listen to their words, fix your attention on their deeds.
Thought is the organizing factor in man, intersected between the causal primary instincts and the resulting actions.
Know where to find the information and how to use it – That’s the secret of success.
Not until we dare to regard ourselves as a nation, not until we respect ourselves, can we gain the esteem of others, or rather only then will it come of its own accord
One has to realize that the powerful industrial groups concerned in the manufacture of arms are doing their best in all countries to prevent the peaceful settlement of international disputes, and that rulers can achieve this great end only if they are sure of the vigorous support of the majority of their peoples.
Only world law can assure progress towards a civilized peaceful community.
A world government with powers adequate to guarantee security is not a remote ideal for the distant future. It is an urgent necessity if our civilization is to survive.
There is no salvation for civilization, or even the human race, other than the creation of a world government.
I am truly a “lone traveler” and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart.
If you’re not sure why you’re doing something, you can never do enough of it. Imagination is more important than knowledge.
I don’t know what weapons will be used in the Third World War. But I can tell you what they’ll use in the Fourth – rocks!
I have yet to figure out whether it is I am that am crazy, or the world.
The world is so full of possibilities that dogmatism is simply indecent.
Compound interest on debt was the banker’s greatest invention, to capture, and enslave, a productive society.
I live my daydreams in music I see my life in terms of music. I get most joy in life out of music.
Don’t let your brain interfere with your heart.
Thinking is hard work; that’s why so few do it.
Time has no independent existence apart from the order of events by which we measure it.
Women always worry about things that men forget; men always worry about things women remember.
We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life. All that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry.
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.
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 his feelings as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.
Smoke like a chimney, work like a horse, eat without thinking, go for a walk only in really pleasant company.
People are like bicycles. They can keep their balance only as long as they keep moving.
You can move through life seeing nothing as a miracle, or seeing everything as a miracle.
What makes Facebook so great is the fact that you can make up absolutely random quotes and then attribute them to famous people.
It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing.
I would not think that philosophy and reason themselves will be man’s guide in the foreseeable future; however, they will remain the most beautiful sanctuary they have always been for the select few.
The truth of a theory can never be proven, for one never knows if future experience will contradict its conclusions.
The effort to strive for truth has to precede all other efforts.
The true measure of a man is the degree to which he has managed to subjugate his ego.
I get the most joy in life out of music.
The only mistake in life is the lesson not learned.
Philosophers play with the word, like a child with a doll…. It does not mean that everything in life is relative.
The chicken did not cross the road. The road passed beneath the chicken.
Since that deluge of newspaper articles I have been so flooded with questions, invitations, suggestions, that I keep dreaming I am roasting in Hell, and the mailman is the devil eternally yelling at me, showering me with more bundles of letters at my head because I have not answered the old ones.
A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.
Success comes from curiosity, concentration, perseverance and self criticism.
We must learn to see the world anew.
The dog is very smart. He feels sorry for me because I receive so much mail; that’s why he tries to bite the mailman.
If I had 20 days to solve a problem, I would take 19 days to define it
The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill.
Games are the most elevated form of investigation.
There are moments when one feels free from one’s own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable; life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only Being.
Now kids, don’t believe everything you find on the Internet just because it showed up first in your Google search results.
Some men spend a lifetime in an attempt to comprehend the complexities of women. Others pre-occupy themselves with somewhat simpler tasks, such as understanding the theory of relativity!
If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution.
There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity and nuclear power: the will.
Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves – this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts – possessions, outward success, luxury – have always seemed to me contemptible.
I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men of our time.
The true definition of madness is repeating the same action, over and over, hoping for a different result.
I want to know God’s thoughts.
Work is the only thing that gives substance to life.
But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people-first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.
The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.
Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. In general, only individuals of exceptional endowments, and exceptionally high-minded communities, rise to any considerable extent above this level. But there is a third stage of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form: I shall call it cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.
Play is the highest from of research.
The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.
How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.
It would be my greatest sadness to see Zionists (Jews) do to Palestinian Arabs much of what Nazis did to Jews.
Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.
Everybody should be ashamed who uses the wonders of science and engineering without thinking and having mentally realized not more of it than a cow realizes of the botany of the plants which it eats with pleasure.
When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous
Success = 1 part work + 1 part play + 1 part keep your mouth shut
If God has created the world, his primary worry was certainly not to make its understanding easy for us
A successful man is he who receives a great deal from his fellow men, usually incomparably more than corresponds to his service to them. The value of a man, however, should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.
We can’t solve today’s problems with the mentality that created them.
An evening everyone agrees, is a lost evening.
Out of complexity, find simplicity!
Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.
Give back to the world at least what you’ve received.
Innovation is everyones responsibility, not just R&Ds.;
Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.
It takes a different kind of thinking to solve a problem than the kind of thinking which produced the problem.
We cannot get to where we dream of being tomorrow unless we change our thinking today.
It is entirely possible that behind the perception of our senses, worlds are hidden of which we are unaware.
Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development. Feeling and longing are the motive force behind all human endeavor and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present themselves to us.
I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious.
If one day you have to choose between the world and love, remember this: If you choose the world you’ll be left without love, but if you choose love, with it you will conquer the world
Enough for me is the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvelous structure of reality. There is in this neither a will nor a goal, nor a must, but only sheer being.
E=mc2. Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared
We will never be able to solve the problems of tomorrow with the thinking of today
The ancients knew something, which we seem to have forgotten.
There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people’s books and write your own.
If the rabble continues to occupy itself with you, then simply don’t read that hogwash, but rather leave it for the reptile from whom it has been fabricated.
Fraulein Noether was the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began.
But the personality that finally emerges is largely formed by the environment in which a man happens to find himself during his development, by the structure of the society in which he grows up, by the tradition of that society, and by its appraisal of particular types of behavior.
Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life.
It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of Courage-to move in the opposite direction.
If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.
Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.
Fantasie is belangrijker dan kennis, want kennis is begrensd.
Our technology has surpassed our humanity
There are times when one feels liberated from one’s limits and human imperfections. At such moments, we see ourselves there, in a little corner of our little planet, our eyes fixed in wonder on the cold and yet deep beauty of that which is eternal, that which is elusive. Life and death are fused together and there is no evolution, nor destination, there is only BEING.
Knowledge exists in two forms – lifeless, stored in books, and alive, in the consciousness of men. The second form of existence is after all the essential one; the first, indispensable as it may be, occupies only an inferior position.
I was very pleased with your kind letter. Until now I never dreamed of being something like a hero. But since you’ve given me the nomination I feel that I am one.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift.
The leader is one who, out of the clutter, brings simplicity… out of discord, harmony… and out of difficulty, opportunity.
There are two important things for full success in life: 1. Don’t tell everything you know.
Conviction is a good motive, but a bad judge.
The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think
There will come a point in everyone’s life , however, where only intuition can make the leap ahead, without ever knowing precisely how. One can never know why but one must accept intuition as a fact.
The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.
The magic of compounding interest is truly the eighth wonder of the world!
Although I have been prevented by outward circumstances from observing a strictly vegetarian diet, I have long been an adherent to the cause in principle. Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.
I didn’t arrive at my understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe through my rational mind.
One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.
Only the Catholic Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I feel a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty
A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty – it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man.
It is only men who are free, who create the inventions and intellectual works which to us moderns make life worth while.
A large part of our attitude toward things is conditioned by opinions and emotions which we unconsciously absorb as children from our environment. In other words, it is tradition-besides inherited aptitudes and qualities-which makes us what we are. We but rarely reflect how relatively small as compared with the powerfu… See more
Between the difficulties, one hides the opportunity
One reason why mathematics enjoys special esteem,above all other sciences,is that its laws are absolutely certain and indisputable,while those of all other sciences are to some extent debatable and in constant danger of being overthrown by newly discovered facts.
In science, moreover, the work of the individual is so bound up with that of his scientific predecessors and contemporaries that it appears almost as an impersonal product of his generation.
Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb, I would not have lifted a finger.
What lead me more or less directly to the special theory of relativity was the conviction that the electromotive force acting on a body in motion in a magnetic field was nothing else but an electric field.
I said before, the most beautiful and most profound religious emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mysticality is the power of all true science. If there is any such concept as a God, it is a subtle spirit, not an image of a man that so many have fixed in their minds. In essence, my religion consists of a humble admiration for this illimitable superior spirit that reveals itself in the slight details that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds.
I do not believe in race as such. Race is a fraud. All modern people are the conglomeration of so many ethnic mixtures that no pure race remains.
I am happy because I want nothing from anyone. I do not care for money. Decorations, titles or distinctions mean nothing to me. I do not crave praise. The only thing that gives me pleasure, apart from my work, my violin and my sailboat, is the appreciation of my fellow workers.
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.
Life is a great tapestry. The individual is only an insignificant thread in an immense and miraculous pattern.
Never memorise what you can look up in a book.
The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation.
Modern education is competitive, nationalistic and separative. It has trained the child to regard material values as of major importance, to believe that his nation is also of major importance and superior to other nations and peoples. The general level of world information is high but usually biased, influenced by national prejudices, serving to make us citizens of our nation but not of the world.
God reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists.
I like to experience the universe as one harmonious whole. Every cell has life. Matter, too, has life; it is energy solidified. The tree outside is life… The whole of nature is life… The basic laws of the universe are simple, but because our senses are limited, we can’t grasp them. There is a pattern in creation.
From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other.
Thanks to my fortunate idea of introducing the relativity principle into physics, you (and others) now enormously overrate my scientific abilities, to the point where this makes me quite uncomfortable.
It is my inner conviction that the development of science seeks in the main to satisfy the longing for pure knowledge.
Physics is essentially an intuitive and concrete science. Mathematics is only a means for expressing the laws that govern phenomena.
The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see.
Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been.
The thinking that got us to where we are is not the thinking that will get us to where we want to be.
Once you stop learning, you start dying
Only the [Catholic] Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.
The Universe is difficult to comprehend because it is obvious.
Genius abhors consensus because when consensus is reached, thinking stops. Stop nodding your head.
You can’t use an old map to explore a new world.
Time is not at all what it seems. It does not flow in only one direction, and the future exists simultaneously with the past.
I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.
Don’t dream of being a good person, be a human being is valuable and gives value to life.
If you feed your mind as often as you feed your stomach, then you’ll never have to worry about feeding your stomach or a roof over your head or clothes on your back.
Incompetence is the true crisis.
Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn
If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in the silence, and the truth comes to me.
I soon learned how to scent out that which was able to lead to fundamentals and to turn aside everything else, from the multitude of things that clutter up the mind and divert it from the essential.
It has often been said, and certainly not without justification, that the man of science is a poor philosopher.
The conscientious objector is a revoultionary. On deciding to disobey the law he sacrifices his personal interests to the most important cause of working for the betterment of society.
Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.
The more cruel the wrong that men commit against an individual or a people, the deeper their hatred and contempt for their victim.
Each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own.
Even if only 2 percent of those assigned to perform military service should announce their refusal to fight, governments would be powerless, they would not dare send such a large number of people to jail.
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.
I am not a Jew in the sense that I would demand the preservation of the Jewish or any other nationality as an end in itself. Rather, I see Jewish nationality as a fact and I believe that every Jew must draw the consequences from this fact.
I have always loved solitude, a trait which tends to increase with age.
I should much rather see a reasonable agreement with Arabs based upon living together than the creation of a Jewish state.
If the believers of the present-day religions would earnestly try to think and act in the spirit of the founders of these religions then no hostility on the basis of religion would exist among the followers of the different faiths. Even the conflicts and the realm of religion would be exposed as insignificant.
If the workers of this world, men and women, decide not to manufacture and transport ammunition, it would end war for all time. We must do that. Dedicate our lives to drying up the source of war; ammunition factories.
In every true searcher of Nature there is a kind of religious reverence.
In the temple of science are many mansions, and various indeed are they that dwell therein and the motives that have led them thither. Many take to science out of a joyful sense of superior intellectual power; science is their own special sport to which they look for vivid experience and the satisfaction of ambition; many others are to be found in the temple who have offered the products of their brains on this altar for purely utilitarian purposes.
My interest in science was always essentially limited to the study of principles…. That I have published so little is due to this same circumstance, as the great need to grasp principles has caused me to spend most of my time on fruitless pursuits.
My relationship to the Jewish people has become my strongest human bond, ever since I became fully aware of our precarious situation among the nations of the world.
Often in evolutionary processes a species must adapt to new conditions in order to survive. Today the atomic bomb has altered profoundly the nature of the world as we know it, and the human race consequently finds itself in a new habitat to which it must adapt its thinking.
Science has brought forth this danger, but the real problem is in the minds and hearts of men. We will change hearts of other men [only] by changing our own hearts and speaking bravely.
Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.
The armament industry is indeed one of the greatest dangers that beset mankind. It is the hidden evil power.
The desire for guidance, love, and support prompts men to form the social or moral conception of God. This is the God of Providence, who protects, disposes, rewards, and punishes; the God who, according to the limits of the believer’s outlook, loves and cherishes the life of the tribe or of the human race, or even of life itself; the comforter in sorrow and unsatisfied longing; he who preserves the souls of the dead. This is the social or moral conception of God.
The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought.
The Jewish scriptures admirably illustrate the development from the religion of fear to moral religion, a development continued in the New Testament. The religions of all civilized peoples, especially the peoples of the Orient, are primarily moral religions.
The tyranny of the ignoramuses is insurmountable and assured for all time.
There is, however, a somber point in the social outlook of Americans. Their sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to people of white skin…. The more I feel like an American, the more the situation pains me.
Don’t let the measurable drive out the relevant
You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
Every age has its beautiful moments.
The greatest activity of which man is capable: Opening up yet another fragment of the frontier of beauty.
A ship is safe at shore but it’s not built for that.
It is impossible to solve significant problems using the same knowledge that created them.
Everything that exists in your life, does so because of two things: something you did or something you didn’t do.
It is just as important to make knowledge live and keep it alive as to solve specific problems.
Applying the axioms of physical science to human life has something reprehensible to it.
I was supposed to choose apractical profession, but this was simply unbearable to me.
I urge a willingness to reserve a place in rational science for non-rational wonder.
I owe as much of my success to an uncompromising obstinacy as to any original ideas.
Even trivial events demonstrate strong devotion to the Universe and small concern for ego.
Inner freedom is an infrequent gift of nature and a worthy object for the individual.
My sailing system set sail, make it fast, no thoughts of energy or velocity, loll back, let boat drift.
The normal objective of my thought affords no insight into the dark places of human will and feeling.
The great need to grasp principles had caused me to spend most of my time on fruitless persuits.
In the shadow of the atomic bomb it has become even more apparent that all men are, indeed, brothers.
One who scorns the power of intuition will never rise above the ranks of journeyman calculator.
If everybody lived as I do, surely the writing of romance novels would never have come into being.
Despite my being an old gypsy there is a tendency to respectability inherent in old age.
Agreements about what is good or not, are usually not worth much. It is very much like art, is it not an art to lead a good life?
External conditions can, to a certain extent, reduce, but never cancel individual repsonsibility.
One can only continue to expect to be read if one omits everything that is unimportant.
For me a simple message, to think and act with courage, independence and imagination.
Artists and creative workers – people who have accomplished work worthwhile have had a very high sense of the way to do things. They haven’t been contented with mediocrity. They haven’t confined themselves to the beaten tracks; they have never been satisfied to do things just as others do them, but always a little better. Few are those who see with their own eyesand feel with their own hearts.
Even if you have to go through hell – go without hesitation.
Coincidences are God’s way of staying anonymous.
The number of natural hypothesis that can explain any given phenomena is infinite.
I like the Swiss because by and large they are more humane than the other people aming whom I have lived.
As long as there will be a man, there will be wars.
The war is won, but the peace is not.
Even a fool is wise after an event.
The step between genius and insanity is very short.
You believe in a god that plays dice; I believe in law & order.
I make it a rule not to clutter my mind with simple information that I can find in a book in five minutes.
[Mystery] is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
Everyone knew it was impossible, until a fool who didn’t know came along and did it.
On the other hand, although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head. If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualize what goes on in my imagination.
The Prussian Academy of Sciences is a fast-track academic institute that requires a proactive, hands-on-type individual to overthrow the Newtonian conception of the universe. The successful candidate will have an excellent command of mass, energy, space, time and some maths. Bonus paid upon completion of proofs
History is littered with examples of men who would become gods, but only one example of God becoming Man.
Whatever your problems in math are, I assure mine are greater.
If you took half of something and continued to take half of that half and so on, you would never reach an end.
Out yonder there was this huge world…which stands before us like a great eternal riddle.
To see with one’s own eyes, to feel and judge without succumbing to the suggestive power of the fashion of the day, to be able to express what one has seen and felt in a snappy sentence or even in a cunningly wrought word – is that not glorious? Is it not a proper subject for congregation?
The time comes in life when we have read enough. It’s time to stop reading. It’s time to lay down the books and write.
You cannot love a car the way you love a horse. The horse brings out human feelings the way machines cannot do. Things like machines may develop or neglect certain things in people … Machines make our life impersonal and stultify certain elements in us and create an impersonal environment.
Imagination is more valuable than information.
Any government is evil if it carries within it the tendency to deteriorate into Tyranny. The danger of such deterioration is more acute in a country in which the government has authority not only over the armed forces but also over every channel of education and information…
There are six-million shots in the game of pool.
Overemphasis of the competitive system and premature specialization on the ground of immediate usefulness kill the spirit on which all cultural life depends, specialized knowledge included.
Political leaders or governments owe their position partly to force and partly to popular election. They cannot be regarded as representative of best elements, morally or intellectually, in their respective nations.
I know that philosophically a murderer is not responsible for his crime, but I prefer not to take tea with him.
Anybody who really wants to abolish war must resolutely declare himself in favor of his own country’s resigning a portion of sovereignty in place of international institutions.
…Intelligence and character of the masses are incomparably lower than the intelligence and character of the few who produce something valuable for the community.
Unless the cause of peace based on law gathers behind it the force and zeal of a religion, it hardly can hope to succeed.
We must learn the difficult lesson that the future of Mankind will only be tolerable when our course, in world affairs as in others, is based upon justice and law rather than the threat of naked power.
When a man, after long years of searching, chances upon a thought which discloses something of the beauty of this mysterious universe, he should not therefore be personally celebrated. He is already sufficiently paid by his experience of seeking and finding.
While I am a convinced pacifist there are circumstances in which I believe the use of force is appropriate – namely, in the face of an enemy unconditionally bent on destroying me and my people.
Working on the final formulation of technological patents was a veritable blessing for me. It enforced many-sided thinking and also provided important stimuli to physical thought. [Academia] places a young person under a kind of compulsion to produce impressive quantities of scientific publications; a temptation to superficiality.
To be free means to be independent, not to be influenced by what others think and say.
People start their lives at last when they are able to live for something other than themselves.
The most difficult part about understanding something is that we understand it all.
A theory is the more impressive the greater the simplicty of its premises is.
Watch the stars, and from them learn.
Except in mathematics, the shortest distance between point A and point B is seldom a straight line. I don’t believe in mathematics.
Imagination is vastly more important than intelligence.
In two weeks the sheeplike masses of any country can be worked up by the newspapers into such a state of excited fury that men are prepared to put on uniforms and kill and be killed, for the sake of the sordid ends of a few interested parties. Compulsory military service seems to me the most disgraceful symptom of that deficiency in personal dignity from which civilized mankind is suffering today.
A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory.
What I seek to accomplish is simply to serve with my feeble capacity truth and justice, at the risk of pleasing no one.
The harmony of natural law reveals an Intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.
One feels the insignificance of the individual, and it makes one happy.
It seems to me an utterly futile task to prescribe rules and limitations for the conduct of war. War is not a game; hence one cannot wage war by rules as one would in playing games. Our fight must be against war itself. The masses of people can most effectively fight the institution of war by establishing an organization for the absolute refusal of military service.
If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it enough.
Great spirits often meet violent oppisition with mediocre minds.
Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain and gaining new and wider views.
If a theory can not be explained to a child, then the theory is probably worthless.
(Reply on what constitutes scientific proof:)”The question is much too difficult for me.
Mere praise of peace is easy and ineffective. What is needed is acitve participation in the fight against war and everything which leads to it.
Imagination rules the earth
The illusion that we are separate from one another is an optical delusion of our consciousness.
Live life to the fullest. You have to color outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece. Laugh some every day. Keep growing, keep dreaming, keep following your heart. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Insofar as mathematics is true, it does not describe the real world. Insofar as it describes the real world, it is not true.
As soon as science has emerged from its initial stages, theoretical advances are no longer achieved merely by a process of arrangement. Guided by empirical data, the investigator rather develops a system of thought which, in general, is built up logically from a small number of fundamental assumptions, the so-called axioms. We call such a system of thought a theory. The theory finds the justification for its existence in the fact that it correlates a large number of single observations, and it is just here that the ‘truth’ of the theory lies.
Happiness, as a pursuit, is suitable only for pigs.
The stupid are invincible.
What interests me most is whether God could have made the world differently.
Logic can take you from point A to point B. Imagination can take you wherever you want
Check out not to become a man or woman of achievement, but instead seek to become a particular person of price.
When you won’t be able to describe it simply just, you don’t are aware of it well sufficient.
I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life.
If we trace out what we behold and experience through the language of logic, we are doing science; if we show it in forms whose interrelashionships are not accessible to our conscious thought but we are intuitively recognized as meaningful, we are doing art..
Humiliation and mental oppression by ignorant and selfish teachers wreak havoc in the youthful mind that can never be undone and often exert a baleful influence in later life.
Man’s will, sustained by an indominable conviction, is much more powerful than material forces that seem insurmountable.
The solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind.
Warfare cannot be humanized.
Einstein was attending a music salon in Germany before the second world war, with the violinist S. Suzuki. Two Japanese women played a German piece of music and a woman in the audience exclaimed: “How wonderful! It sounds so German!” Einstein responded: “Madam, people are all the same.”
You cannot solve current problems with current thinking. Current problems are the result of current thinking.
There are actually two approaches to reside your daily life. One is as if absolutely nothing is really a miracle. The other is as if every little thing is a wonder
You can’t resolve a dilemma with all the very same mind that made it
While you’re trying to get ahead, remember to get aheart as well. When your only problem IS a nail, all you want is a decent hammer. There are only two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing is a miracle; the other is as though everything is a miracle.
Don’t listen to the person who has the answers; listen to the person who has the questions.
Science is the process of making obviously erroneous ideas less obviously erroneous.
Things you can get access to, you should never memorize.
In the teaching of geography and history a sympathetic understanding (should) be fostered for the characteristics of the different peoples of the world, especially for those who we are in the habit of describing as “primitive.
Betterment of conditions the world over is not essentially dependent on scientific knowledge but on the fulfillment of human traditions and ideals.
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.
Gravity is a response to geometry.
What physics looks for: The simplest possible system of thought which will bind together the observed facts.
One cannot learn so well as by experiencing it oneself.
I hate all the loathsome nonsense that goes with patriotism.
You believe in a God who plays dice, I in complete law and order.
My intellectual development was retarded, as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up.
Newton did not know what happened to the apple, and I can prove this when the next eclipse comes.
Playfullness is the essential feature of productive thought.
No problem is ever solved in the same consciousness thas was used to create it.
The State is made for Mankind, not mankind for the state
Experience is knowledge. All the rest is information.
A problem defined, is a problem half solved.
I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiousity has its own reason for existing.
The trouble with the younger generation is that they don’t stay young for very long.
There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning.
If the bees disappear, man would have only four years of life left.
What use are socks? They only produce holes.
The individual feels the vanity of human desires and aims, and the nobility and marvelous order which are revealed in nature and in the world of thought. He feels the individual destiny as an imprisonment and seeks to experience the totality of existence as a unity full of significance.
If you want to know the future, look at the past.
Failure is only postponed success as long as courage ‘coaches’ ambition.
The Universe is stranger than we imagine!
Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals.
The feeling for what ought and ought not to be grows and dies like a tree, and no fertilizer of any kind will do much good. What the individual can do is give a fine example, and have the courage to firmly uphold ethical convictions in a society of cynics. I have for a long time tried to conduct myself this way, with varying success.
Be kind to people who are different from you.
Live with purpose. Don’t let people or things around you get you down.
I see in Nature a magnificent structure… that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility…
If you can’t explain what you are doing to a nine-year-old, then either you still don’t understand it very well, or it’s not all that worthwile in the first place.
Time is what the clock says.
The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. If we want to change the world we have to change our thinking…no problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.
It has become appallingly clear that our technology has surpassed our humanity. I hope that someday, our humanity might yet surpass our technology.
Manager solves problems, leader prevents them.
If you have never failed, you have never tried anything new.
The right to search for truth implies also a duty.
Creative energy is more critical than learning.
I have no extraordinary ability. I’m simply an inquisitive individual.
Einstein didn’t speak until he was four, leading most of his teachers to believe he was crazy. That is until he whipped out the theory of relativity. BAYUM! Showed you guys.
You might as well not be alive if you’re not in awe of God.
There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if 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 is awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
God Almighty does not throw dice.
It is my fate to be considered an authority, since I spent my youth rebelling against it.
The moon does not simply disappear when we are not looking at it.
Without the sense of fellowship with men of like mind, of preoccupation with the objective, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific research, life would have seemed to me empty.
One must take what nature gives as one finds it.
My opinion about Miller’s experiments is the following. … Should the positive result be confirmed, then the special theory of relativity and with it the general theory of relativity, in its current form, would be invalid. Experimentum summus judex. Only the equivalence of inertia and gravitation would remain, however, they would have to lead to a significantly different theory.
I believe that I have really found the relationship between gravitation and electricity, assuming that the Miller experiments are based on a fundamental error. Otherwise, the whole relativity theory collapses like a house of cards.
It is true that my parents were worried because I began to speak fairly late, so that they even consulted a doctor. I can’t say how old I was – but surely not less than three.
The flag is a symbol of the fact that man is still a herd animal.
Almost all the other fellows do not look from the facts to the theory but from the theory to the facts; they cannot get out of the network of already accepted concepts; instead, comically, they only wriggle about inside.
When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge (Reading this makes me wonder how much sooner man could have walked on the moon…had we listened to a child’s fantasies. It is truly a pity that so many lose their gift of imagination to the steady hum of the status quo.)
The future is of greater interest to me than the past, since that is where I intend to spend the rest of my life.
There is one ray of hope. It seems to me that today the responsible leaders of the several peoples have, in the main, the honest will to abolish war.
The world is an evil place to live in. Not for those who do evil, but for those who sit back and allow evil to occur.
Everything you can imagine, nature has already created.
It would of course be a great step forward if we succeeded in combining the gravitational field and the electromagnetic field into a single structure. Only so could the era in theoretical physics inaugurated by Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell be brought to a satisfactory close.
Money only appeals to selfishness and always tempts its owners irresistibly to abuse it. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus, or Gandhi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie?
The comprehensibility of the world seems to me a wonder or eternal secret. Here lies the sense of wonder which increases even more with the development of our knowledge.
On the big Bang theory: For every one billion particles of antimatter there were one billion and one particles of matter. And when the mutual annihilation was complete, one billionth remained – and that’s our present universe.
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 doctrines of Galileo and Darwin belongs.
Gradually the conviction gained recognition that all knowledge about things is exclusively a working-over of the raw material furnished by the senses. … Galileo and Hume first upheld this principle with full clarity and decisiveness.
Galileo had already made a significant beginning toward a knowledge of the law of motion. He discovered the law of inertia and the law of bodies falling freely in the gravitational field of the earth.
Ever since childhood I have scorned the commonplace limits so often set upon human ambition. Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone; best both for the body and the mind
On the left-hand side of the field equation we may add the fundamental tensor guv, multiplied by a universal constant, -&955;, at present unknown, without destroying the general covariance.
The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
Many a young lady does not realize just how strong her love for a young man is until he fails to pass the approval test with her parents. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear. Of all forms of caution, caution in love is the most fatal. There are only two truly infinite things, the universe and stupidity. And I am unsure about the universe.
Even short words of encouragement is enough to enlighten one’s darkened minds and make things a little bit easier to handle. You might be searching for short motivational quotes, that’s why I’m here to give you a set of the best short inspiring quotes. Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.
The question that drives me hazy is whether it is I or others who is crazy.
Members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population.
Dear Posterity, If you have not become more just, more peaceful, and in general more sensible… then may the Devil take you!
Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here involuntarily and uninvited for a short stay, without knowing the whys and the wherefore. In our daily lives we only feel that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often worried at the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them.
Infinite striving to be the best is man’s duty; It is its own reward. Everything else is in god’s hands. It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
Selection [of UN delegates] by governments cannot give the peoples of the world the feeling of being fairly and proportionately represented. The moral authority of the UN would be considerable enhanced if the delegates were elected directly by the people. Were they responsible to an electorate, they would have much more freedom to follow their consciences.
God doesn’t; shoot crap with the universe.Your innermost thoughts are beliefs that unfold as your universe.
A priori one should expect a chaotic world which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way… The kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation…is wholly different. Even if the axioms of the theory are proposed by man, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world…. That is the “miracle” which is being constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
In living through this great epoch, it is difficult to reconcile oneself to the fact that one belongs to that mad, degenerate species that boasts of its free will. How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will. In such a place even I should be an ardent patriot!
I do know that kind fate allowed me to find a couple of nice ideas after many years of feverish labor.
In my personal experience I have hardly come to know the wretchedness of mankind better than as a result of the general theory of relativity and everything connected to it. But it doesn’t bother me.
My comprehension of God comes from a deeply felt conviction of a superior intelligence that reveals itself in the knowable world.
There are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views
I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today – and even professional – seem to me like someone who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is – in my opinion – the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth.
Live your life… as though everything is a miracle.
So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.
I want to know what God thinks. The rest are details.
Racism is America’s greatest disease, racism is a disease of the white man.
It is intelligent to have a plan, but neurotic to fall in love with it.
It is only to the individual that a soul is given. And the high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule, or to impose himself in any other way.
Matter is spirit reduced to point of visibility.
The greatest knowledge a person can possess is the address of the local library.
“One becomes a deeply religious nonbeliever…”. It is clear from the original that it is definitely not “I”.
[I] must seek in the stars that which was denied [to me] on earth.
Love is not the stupidest thing a man does, but it cannot be blamed on gravity.
Engineering is not only study of 45 subjects but it is moral studies of intellectual life. Make things as simple as possible..but not simpler.
No worthy problem is ever solved within the plane of its original conception.
I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his [sic] creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious ourselves.
There’s no question dolphins are smarter than humans as they play more.
I want to Gods thoughts, the rest are details.
The world we have made is a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far.
Curiosity is its own reason.
I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.
Perfection of means and confusion of ends seems to characterize our age.
The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite objects of human efforts – possessions, outward success, luxury – have always seemed to me contemptible.
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.
At any rate, I am convinced that He [God] does not play dice.
If someone can enjoy marching to music in rank and file, I can feel only contempt for him; he has received his large brain by mistake, a spinal cord would have been enough.
Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices, but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thought in clear form.
If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X + Y + Z, where X is work, Y is play, and Z is keep your mouth shut.
Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust – we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.
Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!
If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies…. It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.
The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them.
Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.
Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That signifies nothing. For us believing physicists the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
A human being is 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.
Hell! there ain’t no rules around here! We are tryin’ to accomplish somep’n!
If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.
I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves – such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine. The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
God does not care about our mathematical difficulties; He integrates empirically.
This is a question too difficult for a mathematician. It should be asked of a philosopher.
The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking… the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.
The pioneers of a warless world are the [youth] who refuse military service.
According to the assumption considered here, in the propagation of a light ray emitted from a point source, the energy is not distributed continuously over ever-increasing volumes of space, but consists of a finite number of energy quanta localized at points of space that move without dividing and can be absorbed or generated only as complete units.
To-day in Germany I am called a German man of science, and in England I am represented as a Swiss Jew. If I come to be regarded as a bete noire, the descriptions will be reversed, and I shall become a Swiss Jew for the Germans and a German man of science for the English!
If my theory of relativity is proven successful, 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.
I find the idea quite intolerable that an electron exposed to radiation should choose of its own free will, not only its moment to jump off, but also its direction. In that case I would rather be a cobbler, or even an employee in a gaming-house, than a physicist.
Quantum mechanics is very worthy of regard. But an inner voice tells me that this is not yet the right track. The theory yields much, but it hardly brings us closer to the Old One’s secrets. I, in any case, am convinced that He does not play dice.
Should we be unable to find a way to honest co-operation and honest pacts with the Arabs, then we shall have learned nothing from our 2,000 years of suffering and will deserve our fate.
We know nothing about it [God and the world] at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. Possibly we shall know a little more than we do now. But the real nature of things, that we shall never know, never.
The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility…. The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle.
[On quantum theory:] It is hard to sneak a look at God’s cards. But that he would choose to play dice with the world… is something I cannot believe for a single moment.
The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything except our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.
Every intellectual who is called before one of the committees ought to refuse to testify…. This kind of inquisition violates the spirit of the Constitution. If enough people are ready to take this grave step they will be successful. If not, then the intellectuals of this country deserve nothing better than the slavery which is intended for them.
It is true that my parents were worried because I began to speak fairly late, so that they even consulted a doctor. I can’t say how old I was- but surely not less than three.
The most important aspect of our [Israel’s] 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.
Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind before you reach eighteen.
Then I would feel sorry for the good Lord. The theory is correct anyway.
When I was young, I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock. So I stopped wearing socks.
Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race.
I have second thoughts. Maybe God is malicious.
The greatest invention of mankind is compound interest.
I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.
It is characteristic of the military mentality that non-human factors… are held essential, while the human being, his desires and thoughts – in short, the psychological factors – are considered as unimportant and secondary.
The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research.
Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population.
The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.
I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly.
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
We shall therefore assume the complete physical equivalence of a gravitational field and a corresponding acceleration of the reference system.
Dear mother! Today a joyful notice. H. A. Lorentz has telegraphed me that the English expeditions have really proven the deflection of light at the sun.
How much do I love that noble man More than I could tell with words I fear though he’ll remain alone With a holy halo of his own.
I am neither a German citizen, nor do I believe in anything that can be described as a Jewish faith. But I am a Jew and glad to belong to the Jewish people, though I do not regard it in any way as chosen.
Subtle is the Lord, but malicious He is not.
I was sitting in a chair in the patent office at Bern when all of sudden a thought occurred to me: If a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight. I was startled. This simple thought made a deep impression on me. It impelled me toward a theory of gravitation.
May they not forget to keep pure the great heritage that puts them ahead of the West: the artistic configuration of life, the simplicity and modesty of personal needs, and the purity and serenity of the Japanese soul.
Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the old one. I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice.
Whether you can observe a thing or not depends on the theory which you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed.
I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.
If A is success in life, then A = x + y + z. Work is x, play is y and z is keeping your mouth shut.
Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.
To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. You cannot subjugate a nation forcibly unless you wipe out every man, woman, and child. Unless you wish to use such drastic measures, you must find a way of settling your disputes without resort to arms.
It is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.
Today, in twelve countries, young men are resisting conscription and refusing military service. They are the pioneers of a warless world.
I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one ?
As an eminent pioneer in the realm of high frequency currents… I congratulate you on the great successes of your life’s work.
It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience.
There is not the slightest indication that will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.
All of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking.
Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem-in my opinion-to characterize our age.
People like you and I, though mortal of course like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live… never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.
Why is it nobody understands me and everybody likes me?
I think that it is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.
Our world faces a crisis as yet unperceived by those possessing power to make great decisions for good or evil. The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparallel catastrophe.
It is easier to denature plutonium than it is to denature the evil spirit of man.
A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels.
The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessary solving of an existing one. One could say it has affected us quantitatively, not qualitatively.
It is a scale of proportions which makes the bad difficult and the good easy.
I agree with your remark about loving your enemy as far as actions are concerned. But for me the cognitive basis is the trust in an unrestricted causality. I cannot hate him, because he must do what he does. That means for me more Spinoza than the prophets.
A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.
Taken on the whole, I would believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit… not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in what we believe is evil.
I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.
I have found no better expression than religious for confidence in the rational nature of reality, insofar as it is accessible to human reason. Whenever this feeling is absent, science degenerates into uninspired empiricism.
One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike-and yet it is the most precious thing we have.
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
The strange thing about growing old is that the intimate identification with the here and now is slowly lost; one feels transposed into infinity, more or less alone, no longer in hope or fear, only observing.
In long intervals I have expressed an opinion on public issues whenever they appeared to me so bad and unfortunate that silence would have made me feel guilty of complicity.
If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances.
Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.
That is simple my friend: because politics is more difficult than physics.
I made one great mistake in my life-when I signed that letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made; but there was some justification-the danger that the Germans would make them!
You see, when a blind beetle crawls over the surface of a globe he doesn’t notice that the track he has covered is curved. I was lucky enough to have spotted it.
No, this trick won’t work. The same trick does not work twice. How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?
The hardest thing in the world to understand is income taxes.
The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in our health, or we suffer in our soul, or we get fat.
I love to travel, but I hate to arrive.
When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.
In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views.
Much later, when I was discussing cosmological problems with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder he ever made in his life.
We often discussed his notions on objective reality. I recall that during one walk Einstein suddenly stopped, turned to me and asked whether I really believed that the moon exists only when I look at it.
Then I would have felt sorry for the dear Lord. The theory is correct.
Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilisation in high boots.
The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind is akin to that of the religious worshiper or the lover; the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart.
How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality? Is human reason, then, without experience, merely by taking thought, able to fathom the properties of real things?
One reason why mathematics enjoys special esteem, above all other sciences, is that its laws are absolutely certain and indisputable, while those of other sciences are to some extent debatable and in constant danger of being overthrown by newly discovered facts.
I refuse to make money out of my science. My laurel is not for sale like so many bales of cotton.
If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music…. I cannot tell if I would have done any creative work of importance in music, but I do know that I get most joy in life out of my violin.
I am a determinist. As such, I do not believe in free will. The Jews believe in free will. They believe that man shapes his own life. I reject that doctrine philosophically. In that respect I am not a Jew.
My own career was undoubtedly determined, not by my own will but by various factors over which I have no control-primarily those mysterious glands in which Nature prepares the very essence of life, our internal secretions.
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
As a child, I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.
Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.
It is quite possible to be both. I look upon myself as a man. Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.
We Jews have been too adaptable. We have been too eager to sacrifice our idiosyncrasies for the sake of social conformity…. Even in modern civilization, the Jew is most happy if he remains a Jew.
I do not think that religion is the most important element. We are held together rather by a body of tradition, handed down from father to son, which the child imbibes with his mother’s milk. The atmosphere of our infancy predetermines our idiosyncrasies and predilections.
I am fascinated by Spinoza’s pantheism, but I admire even more his contribution to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and body as one, and not two separate things.
I do not believe in a God who maliciously or arbitrarily interferes in the personal affairs of mankind. My religion consists of an humble admiration for the vast power which manifests itself in that small part of the universe which our poor, weak minds can grasp!
I have only two rules which I regard as principles of conduct. The first is: Have no rules. The second is: Be independent of the opinion of others.
How can this cosmic religious experience be communicated from man to man, if it cannot lead to a definite conception of God or to a theology? It seems to me that the most important function of art and of science is to arouse and keep alive this feeling in those who are receptive.
My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities.
I gang my own gait and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties I have never lost an obstinate sense of detachment, of the need for solitude – a feeling which increases with the years.
The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the State but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.
The great moral teachers of humanity were, in a way, artistic geniuses in the art of living.
One had to cram all this stuff into one’s mind for examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year.
The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self.
Small is the number of them that see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts
The state is made for man, not man for the state. And in this respect science resembles the state.
Clarity about the aims and problems of socialism is of greatest significance in our age of transition. Since, under present circumstances, free and unhindered discussion of these problems has come under a powerful taboo, I consider the foundation of this magazine to be an important public service.
The highest principles for our aspirations and judgments are given to us in the Jewish-Christian religious tradition. It is a very high goal which, with our weak powers, we can reach only very inadequately, but which gives a sure foundation to our aspirations and valuations.
For scientific endeavor is a natural whole the parts of which mutually support one another in a way which, to be sure, no one can anticipate.
One strength of the communist system of the East is that it has some of the character of a religion and inspires the emotions of a religion. Unless the concept of peace based on law gathers behind it the force and zeal of a religion, it can hardly hope to succeed.
Ethical axioms are founded and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience.
In order to be a perfect member of a flock of sheep, one has to be, foremost, a sheep.
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions that differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
Man usually avoids attributing cleverness to somebody else-unless it is an enemy.
The contrasts and contradictions that can permanently live peacefully side by side in a skull make all the systems of political optimists and pessimists illusory.
Politics is a pendulum whose swings between anarchy and tyranny are fueled by perpetually rejuvenated illusions.
My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance – but for us, not for God.
It seems hard to sneak a look at God’s cards. But that He plays dice and uses telepathic methods… is something that I cannot believe for a single moment.
Study and in general the pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
Philosophy is like a mother who gave birth to and endowed all the other sciences. Therefore, one should not scorn her in her nakedness and poverty, but should hope, rather, that part of her Don Quixote ideal will live on in her children so that they do not sink into philistinism.
What a betrayal of man’s dignity. He uses the highest gift, his mind, only ten percent, and his emotions and instincts ninety percent.
I have faith in the universe, for it is rational. Law underlies each happening. And I have faith in my purpose here on earth. I have faith in my intuition, the language of my conscience, but I have no faith in speculation about Heaven and Hell. I’m concerned with this time-here and now.
I do not need any promise of eternity to be happy. My eternity is now. I have only one interest: to fulfill my purpose here where I am. This purpose is not given me by my parents or my surroundings. It is induced by some unknown factors. These factors make me a part of eternity.
I believe the main task of the spirit is to free man from his ego.
You must warn people not to make the intellect their God. The intellect knows methods but it seldom knows values, and they come from feeling. If one doesn’t play a part in the creative whole, he is not worth being called human. He has betrayed his true purpose.
Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. Look around at how people want to get more out of life than they put in. A man of value will give more than he receives. Be creative, but make sure that what you create is not a curse for mankind.
To take those fools in clerical garb seriously is to show them too much honor.
I want to know how God created this world. I’m not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.
If we have the courage to decide ourselves for peace we will have peace.
The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny, however, is alleviated by their lack of consistency.
I am a determinist. As such, I do not believe in free will…Practically, I am, nevertheless, compelled to act as if freedom of the will existed. If I wish to live in a civilized community, I must act as if man is a responsible being.
It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing – a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind. Furthermore, the equation E = mc&178;, in which energy is put equal to mass, multiplied by the square of the velocity of light, showed that very small amounts of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy and vice versa.
In my experience, the best creative work is never done when one is unhappy.
I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for every one, best for both the body and the mind.
The mere formulation of a problem is far more often essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experiment skill.
Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.
That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.
We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count
I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.
It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.
Knowledge is realizing that the street is one way; wisdom is looking in both directions anyway.
Failure is success in progress
Time does not exist – we invented it
Do you really believe that the moon isn’t there when nobody looks?
Was wirklich zahlt, ist Intuition
The only race I know is the human one.
Intelligent life on other planets? I’m not even sure there is on earth!
The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.
Academic chairs are many, but wise and noble teachers are few; lecture-rooms are numerous and large, but the number of young people who genuinely thirst after truth and justice is small
It is important for the common good to foster individuality: for only the individual can produce the new ideas which the community needs for its continuous improvement and requirements – indeed, to avoid sterility and petrification
In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.
I have made the Bhagwad Gita as the main source of my inspiration and guide for the purpose of scientific investigations and formation of my theories.
Stand still. The trees ahead and bush beside you are not lost.
Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilization in high boots
Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
Concepts that have proven useful in ordering things easily achieve such authority over us that we forget their earthly origins and accept them as unalterable givens.
We are all life trying to live, among other life trying to live.
A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere… Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with joy are goodness, beauty, and truth.
Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
I thought of that while riding my bicycle.
Out of clutter, find simplicity.
Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.
The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking … the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker. (1945)
It is our American habit if we find the foundations of our educational structure unsatisfactory to add another story or wing.
Nothing happens until something moves.
It is better to believe than to disbelieve; in doing you bring everything to the realm of possibility.
Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.
Truth is what stands the test of experience.
Somebody who only reads newspapers and at best books of contemporary authors looks to me like an extremely near-sighted person who scorns eyeglasses. He is completely dependent on the prejudices and fashions of his times, since he never gets to see or hear anything else.
The only sure way to avoid making mistakes is to have no new ideas.
Never memorize something that you can look up.
The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.
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.
I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research.
No, this trick won’t work… How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?
If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
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 feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.
We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library, whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different languages. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend but only dimly suspects.
I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind… to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein (1929)
Black holes are where God divided by zero.
Creativity is intelligence having fun.
If one tries to navigate unknown waters one runs the risk of shipwreck
A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.
If I could do it all again, I’d be a plumber.
Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own – a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.
What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the World.
The human spirit must prevail over technology.
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.
It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception.
When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.
It is very difficult to explain this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it. The individual feels the nothingness of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in Nature and in the world of though. He looks upon individual existence as a sort of prison and wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole.
To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.
I asked myself childish questions and proceeded to answer them.
God did not create evil. Just as darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of God.
Time is an illusion.
Past is dead Future is uncertain; Present is all you have, So eat, drink and live merry.
My pacifism is an instinctive feeling, a feeling that possesses me because the murder of men is disgusting. My attitude is not derived from any intellectual theory but is based on my deepest antipathy to every kind of cruelty and hatred.
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.
The word ‘God’ is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, and religious scripture a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change this.
I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene….No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus.
From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.
Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience.
One of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one’s own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought.
I think that only daring speculation can lead us further and not accumulation of facts.
If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.
A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.
the scientist’s religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is utterly insignificant reflection. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.
What is the meaning of human life, or, for that matter, of the life of any creature? To know the answer to this question means to be religious. You ask: Does it make any sense, then, to pose this question? I answer: The man who regards his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life.
A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.
The health of society thus depends quite as much on the independence of the individuals composing it as on their close political cohesion.
What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice.
You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.
I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.
Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
Life is sacred, that is to say, it is the supreme value, to which all other values are subordinate.
The most important question a person can ask is, “Is the Universe a friendly place?
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.
Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.
Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity I do not understand it myself any more.
A conviction akin to religious feeling of the rationality or intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a high order.
I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.
I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking
As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable.
There is nothing divine about morality, it is a purely human affair.
The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.
It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.
Children don’t heed the life experiences of their parents, and nations ignore history. Bad lessons always have to be learned anew.
Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.
The Revolution introduced me to art, and in turn, art introduced me to the Revolution!
Any society which does not insist upon respect for all life must necessarily decay.
Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.
If I were not a Jew I would be a Quaker.
If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare me 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.
You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.
The only source of knowledge is experience.
Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.
Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.
When the solution is simple, God is answering.
Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.
The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?
There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.
If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.
The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute.
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
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.
It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.
Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.
Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.
If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.
I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.
Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.
The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead.
Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.
That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.
To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.
The only real valuable thing is intuition.
Information is not knowledge.
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.
Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.
The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.
The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.
Before God we are all equally wise – and equally foolish.
Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.
Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them!
The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.
It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.
I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.
There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.
Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age.
A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
As far as I’m concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue.
One strength of the communist system of the East is that it has some of the character of a religion and inspires the emotions of a religion.
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 mind.
The environment is everything that isn’t me.
I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.
Morality is of the highest importance – but for us, not for God.
Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized.
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation and is but a reflection of human frailty.
The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.
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.
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health or we suffer in soul or we get fat.
If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule.
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today’s events.
The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.
Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.
True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.
I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two-thirds of the people of the earth will be killed.
I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.
God does not play dice.
I have just got a new theory of eternity.
Never lose a holy curiosity.
I want to know all Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details.
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.
You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I’ve only ever had one.
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.
The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.
Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.
The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.
An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.
I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil.
We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.
Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.
It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
It was the experience of mystery – even if mixed with fear – that engendered religion.
Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.
Isn’t it strange that I who have written only unpopular books should be such a popular fellow?
The man of science is a poor philosopher.
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.
Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
Love is a better teacher than duty.
Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.
Force always attracts men of low morality.
In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.
There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there.
The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.
We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.
People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.
God always takes the simplest way.
You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.
Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.
We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.
Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves.
There could be no fairer destiny for any physical theory than that it should point the way to a more comprehensive theory in which it lives on as a limiting case.
One may say the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.
Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.
Politics is for the present, but an equation is for eternity.
To the Master’s honor all must turn, each in its track, without a sound, forever tracing Newton’s ground.
True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.
I am a deeply religious nonbeliever – this is a somewhat new kind of religion.
I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world.
The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful and then only for a short while.
You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.
It stands to the everlasting credit of science that by acting on the human mind it has overcome man’s insecurity before himself and before nature.
God may be subtle, but he isn’t plain mean.
Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.
It is only to the individual that a soul is given.
The road to perdition has ever been accompanied by lip service to an ideal.
Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be.
The faster you go, the shorter you are.
All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man’s actions.
Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it.
I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion.
Confusion of goals and perfection of means seems, in my opinion, to characterize our age.
Common sense is what tells us the earth is flat.
It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams.
The only justifiable purpose of political institutions is to ensure the unhindered development of the individual.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
When you trip over love, it is easy to get up. But when you fall in love, it is impossible to stand again.
We know from daily life that we exist for other people first of all, for whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.
The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.
I don’t try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it.
In the matter of physics, the first lessons should contain nothing but what is experimental and interesting to see. A pretty experiment is in itself often more valuable than twenty formulae extracted from our minds.
I’d rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right.
Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as hard duty. Never regard study as duty but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.
If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.
A desk, some pads, a pencil, and a large basket – to hold all of mu mistakes.
I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws.
Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work…
Older men start wars, but younger men fight them.
The individual must not merely wait and criticize, he must defend the cause the best he can. The fate of the world will be such as the world deserves.
All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field.
Striving for social justice is the most valuable thing to do in life.
You never fail until you stop trying.
It is harder to crack prejudice than an atom.
To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious.
The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.
As the area of light expands, so does the perimeter of darkness.
From discord, find Harmony.
My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a ‘lone traveler’ and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude…
I do not at all believe in human freedom in the philosophical sense… Schopenhauer’s saying, ‘A man can do what he wants, but not will what he wants,’ has been a very real inspiration to me since my youth; it has been a continual consolation in the face of life’s hardships, my own and others’, and an unfailing wellspring of tolerance. This realization mercifully mitigates the easily paralyzing sense of responsibility and prevents us from taking ourselves and other people too seriously; it is conducive to a view of life which, in part, gives humour its due.
Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth. (said of Mahatma Gandhi)
We experience ourselves our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of 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.
Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.
If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies…. It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.
Imagination is the highest form of research.
It is this mythical, or rather symbolic, content of the religious traditions which is likely to come into conflict with science. This occurs whenever this religious stock of ideas contains dogmatically fixed statements on subjects which belong in the domain of science.
If there is any religion that could respond to the needs of modern science, it would be Buddhism.
The right to search for the truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be the truth.
Bureaucracy is the death of all sound work.
To dwell on the things that depress or anger us does not help in overcoming them. One must knock them down alone.
As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.
This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor… This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them!
I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas.
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…
We must remember that we do not observe nature as it actually exists, but nature exposed to our methods of perception. The theories determine what we can or cannot observe…Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one.
Today we must abandon competition and secure cooperation. This must be the central fact in all our considerations of international affairs; otherwise we face certain disaster. Past thinking and methods did not prevent world wars. Future thinking must prevent wars…The stakes are immense, the task colossal the time is short. But we may hope- we must hope- that man’s own creation, man’s own genius, will not destroy him.
The scientist is activated by a wonder and awe before the mysterious comprehensibility of the universe which is yet finally beyond his grasp. In its profoundest depths it is inaccessible to man.
A society’s competitive advantage will come not from how well its schools teach the multiplication and periodic tables, but from how well they stimulate imagination and creativity.
I believe in mystery and, frankly, I sometimes face this mystery with great fear. In other words, I think that there are many things in the universe that we cannot perceive or penetrate, and that also we experience some of the most beautiful things in life only in a very primitive form. Only in relation to these mysteries do I consider myself to be a religious man….
Necessity is the mother of all invention.
In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who says there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University, page 214)
The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.
Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, 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 in the distance by an invisible piper.
Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.
I am a stronger follower of Veganism by principle, not just because of moral and aesthetic reasons. I truly believe in a Vegetarian lifestyle and I have faith and hopes in change in human destiny, thanks to the physical effects and benefits of a healthier diet and its influence on the character of the people. It will bring about some benefit and improvement to human society.
So long as there are men, there will be wars.
That little word ‘we’ I mistrust and here’s why: No man of another can say, ‘He is I.’ Behind all agreement lies something amiss All seeming accord cloaks a lurking abyss.
To me it is enough to wonder at the secrets
[Max Planck] was one of the finest people I have ever known… but he really didn’t understand physics, [because] during the eclipse of 1919 he stayed up all night to see if it would confirm the bending of light by the gravitational field. If he had really understood [general relativity], he would have gone to bed the way I did
The state is made for man, not man for the state…. That is to say, the state should be our servant and not we its slaves
One can’t teach a cat not to catch birds
Concern for man himself must always constitute the chief objective of all technological effort
Insofar as we may at all claim that slavery has been abolished today, we owe its abolition to the practical consequences of science
A mathematical equation stands forever
Genius is making complex ideas simple, not making simple ideas complex
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.
I want to know all God’s thoughts.
The only real valuable thing is intuition. The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery
Our separation from each other is an optical illusion.
Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.
The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive.
We must not only learn to tolerate our differences. We must welcome them as the richness and diversity which can lead to true intelligence.
Everyone must become their own person, however frightful that may be.
I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards.
If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.
Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I see it as a reflection of the inner beauty of the universe.
I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share; it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
My feeling is religious insofar as I am imbued with the consciousness of the insufficiency of the human mind to understand more deeply the harmony of the Universe which we try to formulate as “laws of nature”.
Only a life lived for others is a life worth while . I have no special gift. I am only passionately curious . I want to know God’s thoughts… all the rest are details. Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift. It’s not that I’m so smart , it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
I am doing just fine, considering that I have triumphantly survived Nazism and two wives.
The State idea is not according to my heart. I cannot understand why it is needed. It is connected with narrow-minded and economic obstacles. I believe it is bad. I have always been against it.
This must be changed, if only in America’s own interest. The last war has shown that there are no longer any barriers between the continents and that the destinies of all countries are closely interwoven. The people of this country must realize that they have a great responsibility in the sphere of international politics. The part of passive spectator is unworthy of this country and is bound in the end to lead to disaster all round.
It is difficult even to attach a precise meaning to the term “scientific truth.” So different is the meaning of the word “truth” according to whether we are dealing with a fact of experience, a mathematical proposition or a scientific theory. “Religious truth” conveys nothing clear to me at all.
[Kepler] had to realize clearly that logical-mathematical theoretizing, no matter how lucid, could not guarantee truth by itself; that the most beautiful logical theory means nothing in natural science without comparison with the exactest experience. Without this philosophic attitude, his work would not have been possible.
It would be foolish to despise tradition. But with our growing self-consciousness and increasing intelligence we must begin to control tradition and assume a critical attitude toward it, if human relations are ever to change for the better.
Time is just something we invented to make motion seem simple.
Compound interest is the eighth natural wonder of the world and the most powerful thing I have ever encountered.
If what is seen and experienced is portrayed in the language of logic, then it is science. If it is communicated through forms whose connections are not accessible to the conscious mind but are recognized intuitively, then it is art.
Fortunate Newton, happy childhood of science. Nature to him was an open book. He stands before us strong, certain, and alone.
The gravity is the first thing which you don’t think
The idea of a Being who interferes with the sequence of events in the world is absolutely impossible
The world is a dangerous place to live
Why should i remember anything if i can just look it up?
Degeneracy follows every autocratic system of violence, for violence inevitably attracts moral inferiors. Time has proven that illustrious tyrants are succeeded by scoundrels.
That’s my mathematician who examines problems which I put before him and checks their validity. You see, I am not myself a good mathematician.
Were I wrong, one professor would have been enough.
Conceptions without experience are void; experience without conceptions is blind.
Genius is when an idea and the execution of that idea are simultaneous.
It is always delightful when a great and beautiful idea proves to be consonant with reality.
Pablo Casals is a very great artist. What I admire is the firm stand he has taken not only against the oppressors of his countrymen, but also against those opportunists who are always ready to compromise with the Devil. He perceives clearly that the world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.
The ways of creation are wrapt in mystery. We may only marvel, and bow our head.
Please explain the problem to me slowly, as I do not understand things quickly.
Creativity is one of those hypnotic words which are prone to cast a spell upon our understanding and dissolve our thinking into haze.
No matter how we may single out a complex from nature…its theoretical treatment will never prove to be ultimately conclusive… I believe that this process of deepening of theory has no limits.
If I were to start taking care of my grooming, I would no longer be my own self… so the hell with it… I will continue to be unconcerned about it, which surely has the advantage that I’m left in peace by many a fop who would otherwise come to see me.
…the physicist cannot simply surrender to the philosopher the critical contemplation of the theoretical foundations; for, he himself knows best, and feels more surely where the shoe pinches…Physical conceptions are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.
It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which [I] lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the ‘merely personal,’ from an existence which is dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings.
Hitler appeared, a man with limited intellectual abilities and unfit for any useful work, bursting with envy and bitterness against all whom circumstance and nature had favored over him….In his desperate ambition for power he discovered that his speeches, confused and pervaded with hate as they were, received wild acclaim by those whose situation and orientation resembled his own. He picked up this human flotsam on the streets and in the taverns and organized them around himself. This is the way he launched his political career.
The problems of today can only be solved at a higher level of thinking than that which created them
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.
Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character; it becomes lack of power to act with courage proportionate to danger. All this must lead to the destruction of our intellectual life unless the danger summons up strong personalities able to fill the lukewarm and discouraged with new strength and resolution.
For any one who is pervaded with the sense of causal law in all that happens, who accepts in real earnest the assumption of causality, the idea of a Being who interferes with the sequence of events in the world is absolutely impossible. Neither the religion of fear nor the social-moral religion can have any hold on him.
Everyone sits in the prison of his own ideas; he must burst it open, and that in his youth, and so try to test his ideas on reality.
An important advance in the life of a people is the transformation of the religion of fear into the moral religion. But one must avoid the prejudice that regards the religions of primitive peoples as pure fear religions and those of the civilized races as pure moral religions. All are mixed forms, though the moral element predominates in the higher levels of social life. Common to all these types is the anthropomorphic character of the idea of God.
I take it to be true that pure thought can grasp the real, as the ancients had dreamed.
It is our American habit if we find the foundations of our educational structure unsatisfactory to add another story or wing. We find it easier to add a new study or course or kind of school than to recognize existing conditions so as to meet the need. strangled the holy curious of inquiry. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.
The traditional religions worry me. Their long history proves that they have not understood the meaning of the commandment: Thou shalt not kill. If we want to save this world from unimaginable destruction we should concentrate not on the faraway God , but on the heart of the individual.
It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in nature.
I could say analogously that tolerance is the affable appreciation of qualities, views, and actions of other individuals which are foreign to one`s own habits, beliefs, and tastes. Thus being tolerant does not mean being indifferent towards the actions and feelings of others. Understanding and empathy must also be present….
The really good music, whether of the East or of the West, cannot be analyzed.
You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. The very prevention of war requires more faith, courage and resolution than are needed to prepare for war. We must all do our share, that we may be equal to the task of peace.
Anonymity is no excuse for stupidity.
Philosophy is empty if it isn’t based on science. Science discovers, philosophy interprets.
Science can only state what is, not what should be.
I have also considered many scientific plans during my pushing you around in your pram!
Indeed, it is not intellect, but intuition which advances humanity. Intuition tells man his purpose in this life.
My God may not be your idea of God, but one thing I know of my God he makes me a humanitarian. I am a proud Jew because we gave the world the Bible and the story of Joseph.
America is a democracy and has no Hitler, but I am afraid for her future; there are hard times ahead for the American people, troubles will be coming from within and without. America cannot smile away their Negro problem nor Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are cosmic laws.
Make a lot of walks to get healthy and don’t read that much but save yourself some until you’re grown up.
What is significant in one’s own existence one is hardly aware, and it certainly should not bother the other fellow. What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life?
There has been an earth for a little more than a billion years. As for the question of the end of it I advise: Wait and see!
Who would have thought around 1900 that in fifty years time we would know so much more and understand so much less.
But then, after all, we are all alike, for we are all derived from the monkey.
If I had foreseen Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I would have torn up my formula in 1905.
I never failed in mathematics. Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.
The idea of achieving security through national armament is, at the present state of military technique, a disastrous illusion.
On quantum theory I use up more brain grease (rough translation of German idiom) than on relativity.
Since others have explained my theory, I can no longer understand it myself.
Matter is real to my senses, but they aren’t trustworthy. If Galileo or Copernicus had accepted what they saw, they would never have discovered the movement of the earth and planets.
When the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large scientific method in most cases fails. One need only think of the weather, in which case the prediction even for a few days ahead is impossible.
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 feeling 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.
It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike – and yet it is the most precious thing we have.
Dancers are the athletes of God.
I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.
It would be possible to describe everything scientifically, but it would make no sense; it would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.
We sleep 1/3 of our lives away.
If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.
God is subtle but he is not malicious.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.
If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.
If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.
The future is not a gift-it is an achievement.
What counts can’t always be counted; what can be counted doesn’t always count.
There is only one road to human greatness: through the school of hard knocks.
I now see the necessity of a beginning.
Weak people revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent People Ignore.
You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.
If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t know enough about it.