I have no special talent.
I am only passionately curious.
A page of quotes from, and about, Albert Einstein on creativity, curiosity and consciousness.
The ‘beginner’s mind’ of a child shapes the mind of humanity –
As a child, Einstein had asked himself what the world would look like if he could travel astride a speeding light beam, and he also wondered how the wave would appear if he could dismount and travel beside it at the same velocity.
– Leonard Shlain, Art and Physics
By 1905 Einstein had acquired the mathematical skills to explore his question, and the special theory of relativity was published. The way we think about the world changed forever. And, because “observations about reality are observer-dependent”, the world itself changed as well.
In working out the interrelationships among space, time, energy, and mass, Einstein peered behind the multifaceted mask of illusion that hides the true unity of the universe.
– Leonard Shlain, Art and Physics
The separate self is an optical delusion in Consciousness.
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.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
Where the world ceases to be the stage for personal hopes and desires, where we, as free beings, behold it in wonder, to question and to contemplate, there we enter the realm of art and science. 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 interrelationships are not accessible to our conscious thought but are intuitively recognized as meaningful, we are doing art. Common to both is the devotion to something beyond the personal, removed from the arbitrary.
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead;
his eyes are closed.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.
Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
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.
True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.
The purpose of all true art and science is to reveal the Creator’s design.
The greatest formal talent is worthless if it does not serve
a creativity which is capable of shaping a cosmos.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle,
requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
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 most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the sower of all true art and science… To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself to us as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling is at the centre of all true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the ranks of devoutly religious men.
Einstein’s son, speaking about his father:
… he had a character more like that of an artist than of a scientist as we usually think of them. For instance, the highest praise for a good theory or a good piece of work was not that it was correct nor that it was exact but that it was beautiful.
– Hans Albert Einstein
All quotes by Albert Einstein, unless otherwise noted.