Einstein, on the Meaning of Life.

Via on Jan 18, 2013

Einstein: the mindful life isn’t about Perfection, but about caring enough to strive.

“A classic, beautiful quote that I will never stop sharing.”

The below is about interdependence. About compassion. But it could be read by vegan one way, an environmentalist another. Any which way, it’s beautifully, succinctly put—a lighthouse pointing us to true contentment, and away from neverending insecurity and hunger. ~ ed.

einstein

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate 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.

~ Albert Einstein

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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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7 Responses to “Einstein, on the Meaning of Life.”

  1. Robin Turner says:

    That probably isn't exactly what he said, but close enough – see http://robinturner.dreamwidth.org/397618.html

  2. betterlife42 says:

    I would like to disagree with Mr. Einstein.

    "A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate 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."

    Can the universe exist without observation?

    If information has no where to be received, does it exist?

    If the universe were to exist on it's own, does it receive it's own information?

    If the universe exists on it's own, it receives information, is it aware?

    Does it take awareness to receive information?

    The universe is self aware and we are intrinsically connected to it.

    I believe what we can experience is far more than this "optical delusion of his consciousness."

    As far as we can tell this "optical delusion of his consciousness" is everything that exists, which true. What we experience is everything we can know to be true. Everything outside of that, we don't know. If the universe exists outside of our awareness of it, we'd have to find another information reflection point. Another place it's received. Where else can it go aside from where we are looking at it?

    The rest of the quote is just feel good psychology.

    The point is… This is what we know, we can feel good, or we can feel bad.

    I say, let's feel good, because we can.

    Is there a better point to life than to enjoy it?

    If there is, let me know. I'd love to hear about it.

    • JohnH says:

      Ouch! Your words make my head hurt and my heart ache. The "universe" is beyond our human conception… an "optical delusion." I would agree with Einstein. It is best to just be humane and compassionate and just strive to be a good person for the limited time we have in this consciousness. Yes, there is a better point to live than enjoying it, it is to share your joy with others and help clear the way for others to be joyful.

    • Thomas TG says:

      Dude you just don't get it
      obviously over your head

  3. Jozef says:

    "The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine." — Abraham Lincoln

  4. Chris says:

    I understand what Mr. Einstein said. To clarify, in my opinion. Let's go back in time to the caveman. Imagine what he saw what he knew very little, but what do we know ?. We would have a difficult time if we were back in time. So this time, we live in now. We must live one day at a time. Enjoy the moment of now. Be in the moment to all of God's beauty. Life is short, no day is promised to us. it is a blessing to have. I don't need money ,fame , tons of cars a big house to be happy . For my happiness is on the unseen, my heart is for the eternity. look at the life all around you. An near you to it's microorganisms.

    If we speak of the purpose and goal of an action we mean simply the question: which kind of desire should we fulfill by the action or its consequences or which undesired consequences should be prevented? We can, of course, also speak in a clear way of the goal of an action from the standpoint of a community to which the individual belongs. In such cases the goal of the action has also to do at least indirectly with fulfillment of desires of the individuals which constitute a society.

    If you ask for the purpose or goal of society as a whole or of an individual taken as a whole the question loses its meaning. This is, of course, even more so if you ask the purpose or meaning of nature in general. For in those cases it seems quite arbitrary if not unreasonable to assume somebody whose desires are connected with the happenings.

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