Essays In Science Albert Einstein

Accordingly, a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance and loftiness of those superpersonal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation.

They exist with the same necessity and matter-of-factness as he himself.

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.

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.

It seems to me that what is important is the force of this superpersonal content and the depth of the conviction concerning its overpowering meaningfulness, regardless of whether any attempt is made to unite this content with a divine Being, for otherwise it would not be possible to count Buddha and Spinoza as religious personalities.

He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the resta 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 us.

From original French, Un homme heureux est trop content du prsent pour trop se soucier de l'avenir.

In 'Document 22, Matura Examination (B) French: My Future Plans', The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein: The Early Years, 1879-1902 (1987), Vol. A human being is part of the whole, called by us Universe; a part limited in time and space.


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