GOD AND EINSTEIN How did Einstein respond to those who used him as a bolster in their atheism or agnosticism? What did he think of the concept of a Creator? How did he picture the universe and the quantum? Whom did he admire and look to for inspiration? How did he view women and sex? The Greatest Mind In Our History And His Feelings About God And More In my research I used a number of sources, including more than eight writers contemporary with Einstein and dozens of others, as well as the latest biographer Walter Isaacson, author of the new best seller: EINSTEIN: His Life and Universe.
A curious story arose this week, I was in the midst of an argument on the telephone with a colleague who fancies himself an atheist, primarily in my opinion because he thinks it fashionable for a mathematician to be so. He is not an atheist when he is ill or in trouble, however. I was in the process of finishing the book when he called and we began our discussion in which he questioned me about Einstein's views concerning the existence of God. I told him it included much new information gleaned from letters only released in 2006 and he began to question me about Einstein's beliefs and then insisted that I was misinterpreting what the book was saying, or that the author was "reading in" his own beliefs. As the discussion grew into an argument, I told him to prance on up to the third floor of the institution at which I taught and he still did, and either borrow the book or run over to Borders or Barnes and Noble, just a few blocks from the college and buy the damned thing and then he could argue with the author instead of me, when, at the moment I was going to hang up, my wife, hearing me raise my voice and parts of the argument called out, "Isaacson is being interviewed on Extension 720, right now!" Since I was once a guest on that very show, I was familiar with the format, and told my colleague to go listen and call in with his own questions, we hung up and in less than five minutes the interviewer asked the big question which answer was to bring my colleague such grief and disappointment. I then went into another room and listened to the interview with Isaacson, and he probably went to a bar to drink off the loss of yet another argument.
A few days later he asked me how I was so precise in my apparent prediction of Jerry Fallwell's fate just two days before his death. I told him it was not me but an unconscious prompting: (see The Evils Which Brought Thunderously And Exponentially More Evil) Here on OpEdNews.com. I also told him that despite my displeasure with Fallwell and his apparent ministry of supporting men of hatred, covetousness, and violence toward those of other faiths, I was praying for him today.
In connection with Einstein's life, below are a series of questions concerning his religious beliefs, and his answers, many of have taken on a life of their own, and some of which are now as famous as the man of who uttered the answers to them. Einstein was born in 1879; he was two years older than my grandfather. The interview below took place in 1929, so let us settle the God/Atheism question first.
In an interview with George Sylvester Vierick, a poet (of colorfully erotic content), who spent his career interviewing the rich and famous, Vierick asked Einstein point-blank about his beliefs: Vierick asked if he was to any extent influenced by Christianity: "As a child I received instruction in the Bible and Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene." So, you accept the historical existence of Jesus? "Unquestionably! No one can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life." Vierick then asked; do you believe in God? "I'm not an atheist." Einstein then went on to compare the mysteries of the universe and life to a huge library into which a little child is admitted. It is filled with many books, in many languages. The boy knew that someone had written those books, but does not know how, nor does he understand the languages in which they were written, but the boy dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of them but does not know what the order is, either. He wrapped up his short speech to Vierick with, "That, is seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws." Vierick went on to produce a number of God related questions: Is this a Jewish concept of God? To which Einstein answered that he was a determinist and does not believe in free will, but the Jews do, so in that respect he was not a Jew. Vierick wanted to know if his was Spinoza's God? Einstein admitted that he was fascinated by Spinoza's pantheism and contribution to top modern thought, because Spinoza was the first to deal with body and soul as a Gestalt, rather than separate things. Vierick than asked ho Einstein got his ideas, to which Einstein freely said that he was enough of an artist to draw freely on his imagination. And that he felt that imagination was more important than knowledge. "Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Einstein did admit however that he did not believe in immortality: "No, and one life is enough for me." He further said, about his work, "When I am judging a theory, I ask myself, whether if I were God, I would have arranged the world in such a way," further, "God who reveals Himself in the harmony of all that exists." Einstein, like all men of intellect, despised dogma. He stated complacently, "A spirit is manifested in the laws of the universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort."
He also thought, as do most people of conscience and empathy, that those who called for war were barbarians and something less than human. He most likely, would have rejected the Bushites as inhumane and inhuman.
In his discussion with Niels Bohr, Einstein frustrated the great physicist because Einstein refused to acknowledge the Quantum as chaotic, hence his famous answer to Bohr's insistence on it's chaotic randomness and that Einstein's recognition of that was a necessary imprimatur of that theory, "God would not shoot dice with the Universe," to which Bohr at first struck dumb by the retort added one of his own, "Einstein, stop telling God what to do!" Einstein was thoroughly glued to causality When Einstein was struggling with the problem of Newton's assertions of Absolute Time, but which both he and Einstein were befuddled because evidence could not, as yet, be demonstrated by observation. Einstein in an effort to expiate his frustration blurted out, "The Deity endures forever and is everywhere present, and by existing always and everywhere, He constitutes duration and space." When Karl Jung was equally disturbed by the seeming psychic presence of his struggles with his theory of synchronicity, he asked Einstein His opinion, were the seeming other worldly apparitions and seeming significant phenomenon of his patients coincidence as most scientists thought, or truly something from beyond. He was especially fascinated by the prophetic nature of some of the phenomenon which others blew off as mere chance. Einstein, in a somewhat different setting gave a similar answer to that which he rendered Bohr, "It is just God's way of letting us know we are not alone." When Princeton's Theoretical Physicist, John Wheeler went to see Einstein to discuss the newest quantum theory, the sum-over-histories approach, obtained with his then student, Richard Feynman, Einstein allowed Wheeler uninterrupted for more than twenty minutes to explain his ideas, and then dreamily said, "I still cannot believe that the Good Lord plays dice." However, when Wheeler seemed distraught that the great man was not in his camp, Einstein added, slowly and methodically, "Of course, I could be wrong and then he paused and added, "But I think I have earned the right to make my mistakes." Einstein later said to a companion, "I do not think I will live to find out who is correct." When, at times an elegant structure of formula arose from their work, Einstein would exclaim, "This is so simple, God could not have passed it up." Einstein rebuffed dogma, some of the stories of the Bible as propaganda serving the purposes of the state to ingratiate the masses to sacrifice their lives. He denied immortality and personal contact with or by God with Creatures, but insisted that his ideas came by, "The Creator allowing him to sometimes read the mind of God." I found that interesting because in my Book still mired in editing, "The Quest For Gnosis," in a chapter written several years ago, titled, The Mind Of God, in answer to a question by a student, on how I could be so accurate in predictions, I said, "Because from time to time I am allowed to enter the Mind of God, by the Creator, Himself." Once Einstein said to a friend, "There are people who say that there is no God, but what really makes me angry is that they quote me for support of such views." He frequently referred to God as "The Old One" or "The Good Lord," but he continued off and on to deny that God became ensnared in human problems. His view of God was a kindly, elegant, and distant Creator who had little personal contact with them. He was aloof and cool to men and prayer. My own opinion of that part of his belief is that Einstein's own nature of coolness and even coldness to those who loved him, his need to disassociate himself with anyone who demanded more of him than he was willing to give, his seeming icy rejection of lovers, and at times his wife and children, was the result of his gift, his need for dreaming and his need therefore to have his mind free of worries about human conditions. Although he fought, spoke and wrote against the Nazi's and other tyrants, his words and actions were, except in certain situations, always from a distance covered by an icy and difficult road for anyone to traverse to engage him face to face. Einstein's interest in women was primarily sexual, and after he mixed sexuality and intellectuality in his first marriage/romance, he often separated the intellectual from the sexual. One of the few instances where Einstein allowed God to be interested in the personal lives of His Creatures was in his comment to Karl Jung concerning psychic phenomenon occurring in the lives of Jung's patients, especially premonitions which Jung tracked and found to be unerringly true, which I mentioned earlier, "It is just God's way of letting us know we are not alone." Though this comment might seem incongruous with Einstein's other view of God as cool and distant, it was precisely Einstein's own appearances and disappearances to his wife and later after divorce to his children, which just when their relationship seemed strained to the extreme Einstein would reappear into their lives. He was a prophet, sent by God to nudge men into understanding the texture and science of His great living works of art, just as He sent Michelagnello. to show How angels would paint and sculpt, had He allowed them freer access to Planet Earth. Einstein, like his artist conterpart, Michelagnello, needed, at times to be self contained as do other prophets, but who also needed occasional female companionship, but who also like others with a mission, driven by the unknown, the opposite sex, were merely a tool for relaxation, mental and sexual, recreation.
This is not unusual for those driven to a lifelong goal by skills and gifts they do not quite comprehend. It is the very thing about which according to Talmud, a haggard looking Zipporah's plaintiff complaint to a friend who inquired after her disheveled appearance, Zipporah cited Moses lack of interest in her sexually since he came down from the mountain face aglow with the fire of God, caused her to let herslf go. He was afire with his singular mission and anything else was merely a diversion, and in her case, one from which he excused himself, at least temporarily.