The Enlightened Genius - Einstein - Part 1

Links to
Einstein series

Einstein home in Princeton
Einstein's home
in Princeton

Einstein Cross
Einstein Cross
Gravitational Lens G2237+0305
Four images of a very distant quasar which has been multiple-imaged by a relatively nearby galaxy. This is due to gravitational lensing, an effect predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity. Light from a very distant source can be bent, or “lensed,” around an intervening object of great mass, like a galaxy. Source: Einstein's 100th Anniversary Free Lessons (Online in 2006).

Einstein playing the violin, something he loved to do. Einstein's mother introduced him to the violin at the age of 6 in an attempt to counteract his academic failures. Einstein eventually became an accomplished amateur violinist, taking particular pleasure in performing Mozart and discussing the parallels between music and mathematics. His son, Hans Albert, recalled that “whenever he felt that he had come to the end of the road or into a difficult situation in his work, he would take refuge in music, and that would usually resolve all the difficulties.”

Einstein said what goes up, comes down. Everything we send out, comes back to us.
Albert Einstein.It's hard to believe that Einstein died more than 50 years ago and scientists are still debating and discovering that he knew more than they know today. When one stops to think about the fact that he was born March 14, 1879, in Germany and died at the age of 76 on April 18, 1955, in Princeton, New Jersey, it is clear that he lived in a sort of self-made time machine of his own—in the future. Just think about all that has taken place in science in that last 51 years since his death, and how almost everything is based on his brilliant discoveries.

Perhaps you are wondering why I start this series on Immortals with Einstein on a site about Yoga. This is a reminder that Yoga is the first category that is being launched on this site. There will be many more. It also seems appropriate to me because he was one of those rare people who understood the secrets of the universe in the same way as indigenous Shamans and Yoga gurus have for thousands of years. He just knew how to turn it into a proven science for the western mind.

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Einstein has been one of my favorite characters throughout my life. When I was about 10 years old, I watched film footage of the atomic bomb on The Ed Sullivan Show. I remember being dismayed by what I saw, and then they talked about Einstein and other scientists. I was going through my mother's books and found several that had quotes and poems by Einstein. After I read them, I believed I understood the secrets of life in a deeper way. I wondered how such a man could have been involved in any way with the atomic bomb. Then I read something he wrote:

“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.“

I knew that he was not responsible for what others did with his knowledge. I also understood why—as he got older—his eyes began to have a sadness that was penetrating (obvious in the image of TIME's cover, provided in one of the Web sites in Part 4 of this series). He looks like he's saying: “What is the matter with you humans?” I copied two of his quotes in my diary right away and tried to live by them as much as possible: “Imagination is more important than knowledge” and “The only real valuable thing is intuition.”

I asked my mother about him: “He is one of the greatest immortals of all time. His genius will live on forever.” I didn't fully understand the word immortal at that point. We had a game we played with new or difficult words—"Look it Up." So I did.

The Dictionary of English Synonyms and Synonymous Expressions by Richard Soule (1937) has been my favorite for as long as I can remember. It's a poet's dream book. Some of the synonyms for immortal—undying, ever-living, imperishable, incorruptible, indestructible, eternal, everlasting, endless, perpetual, ceaseless, abiding, lasting through all time or as long as the world endures, and in Funk & Wagnall's Standard College Dictionary (1913): the gods of classical mythology. How a word can change definition with time...

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This is why I call this section Immortals. Everyone included is someone who is no longer with us in body, but who will endure forever in our minds and hearts. It is also the history of what I have spent my life reading and studying.

Einstein certainly seemed like a mythological god to me when I was a young child. He had a way with words. Perhaps it was because English was not his language that his words were so direct and simple. Einstein admitted that he preferred to think in pictures rather than words. That went over big with me as a child.

When I lived in Princeton, I often passed the quaint little house on Mercer (shown above right) where Einstein lived while working at The Institute for Advanced Study (where we used to love to go snowshoeing in the Institute Woods). His work there was all about the unification of the laws of physics (he called it the Unified Field Theory). It took 15 years after his death (April 18, 1955 in Princeton) before someone else began to understand more about his work—which resulted in the String Theory coming to light in 1970.

When one thinks of how much more Einstein might have given us if he had lived another 20 years—it boggles the mind. There are hundreds of books on amazon.com with his name in the title. When I went to Google and typed Einstein—there were 45,500,000 Web sites! If he only knew how immortal he became, but then perhaps he does know. According to him, anything is possible.

In describing his discoveries, he said, “When the 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.” To me, this is the best quote from Einstein to explain his genius. You only need to experience the curvature of the earth and space once—to be changed forever. It is the experience of enlightenment when you become fully conscious of your body sideways, upside down, and every which way on this earth, in this space. I believe that Einstein lived this way permanently, and this is why he wrote this:

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