Sean is a teacher who is writing about his spiritual adventures to help other people find balance and self-respect.
One of the reasons I decided to become a physicist was Dr Albert Einstein! This enormous personality has influenced my life very positively, since he helped me find the way to turn my calling for the Physics, from a hobby into a profession, and that has clearly determined my happiness and the kind of man I have become. I consider him as a teacher because I have learned a lot not only from the positive aspects of his character but also from the negative ones!
For a long time now, I was thinking how nice it would have been had met him and have a conversation with him, an opportunity to ask him a few things I have in my mind. How valuable would be an interview with the greatest star of Physics! Then one night he appeared in a dream and told me:
"Dear friend and colleague, all the questions you would like to ask me have already been answered by me, so you can have your interview. Use your imagination; remember that it is more important than knowledge. Good luck"
And so it happened! I searched, and I found the answers to my questions. Hence this interview has been done with questions that have been asked in the present and answered in the past! Classic Einstein that is!
I hope you enjoy it.
Sean: People think you are one of the greatest geniuses this world has ever known. What do you think about this?
Einstein: 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.
Sean: So you say that everyone has the skills to become a genius if he or she finds which skills they are and trains them?
Einstein: Education is not the learning of facts; it’s rather the training of the mind to think. Information is not knowledge. Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
Sean: And how can we achieve understanding?
Einstein: The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
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.
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
Sean: If I understand right, you say that we have to open our eyes and wonder, ask ourselves and try to understand. And we must put the Heart in the equation, that is, Knowledge also comes through the imagination?
Einstein: 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.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
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.
Sean: The study is, therefore, our duty to learn and understand these laws of the Universe, but for what purpose?
Einstein: Never regard your study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn the liberating beauty of the intellect for your own personal joy and for the profit of the community to which your later work will belong.
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 achievement.
Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is the character.
Sean: Character! Right, so the scientist should have some ideals. What were yours?
Einstein: 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.
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.
Love brings much happiness, much more than pining brings pain. I firmly believe that love is a better teacher than a sense of duty – at least for me.
Sean: Hmm! Truth, Goodness, Beauty and Love! They are not some of the most popular ideals in the world of sciences; I would dare to say.
Einstein: What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
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 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.
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.
Sean: Give more than you receive! This is a noble way to live your life. In fact, I believe that this phrase hides the secret to a happy life. That's why I would consider it supreme to apply to the way scientists are encountering life. But, unfortunately, doesn't competition prevail in this area, the need for success and recognition?
Einstein: The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule.
Sean: Many will say that such a way of life can lead someone to isolation since he will accept condemnation and mockery.
Einstein: 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.
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 best way to cheer yourself is to cheer somebody else up.
Sean: I can understand that faith in these principles of Truth, Love and Goodness changed your life. They changed the way you see the world, and all these while you were living in a dangerous world that could lead you to the other side. The fear you experienced would be a good excuse for a different attitude in life. So what kept you on this side?
Einstein: 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.
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.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
Sean: Change of Consciousness! What role can religion play in it?
Einstein: All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.
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.
Sean: Do you believe there is a Great Plan in the Universe?
Einstein: 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.
Sean: What is your advice for new scientists?
Einstein: Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.
If you've never done anything wrong, it's probably because you have never tried anything new.
Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; from discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
When the solution is simple, God is answering. Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.
Sean: Do you believe that the solution to the problems of humanity will come through technology?
Einstein: It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.
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.
Sean: Indeed! So, would you like to say something last to close this very constructive debate?
Einstein: Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
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.
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
Sean: Thank you very much, my dear Teacher, that you were with us and offered us your Spirit's Light, and I hope... not to meet you soon!
© 2018 Ioannis Arvanitis