Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Photo: Yousuf Karsh, 1948

Albert Einstein Universe Quote

One of the most poignant exchanges, in Einstein's role as a philosopher came
when he was 70 and living in Princeton [1949]. An ordained rabbi had written
explaining that he had sought in vain to comfort his 19-year old daughter
over the death of her sister, "a sinless, beautiful 16-year old child."

Einstein wrote in reply:

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us 'Universe,' a part
limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings
as something separated from the rest— a kind of optical delusion of his
consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us
to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle
of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in
its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving
for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation
for inner security.”

                            — Peter Y. Chou, Albert Einstein & the Wisdom Mudra (1980)                                          Quote from The New York Times, March 29, 1972

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (6-21-2006)