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Albert Einstein Quotes Selection




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“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.”

–”The World As I See It,” originally published in FORUM AND CENTURY, 1931.

“Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become
a man of value.”

–Life magazine. May 2, 1955.

“Small is the number that see with their own eyes
and feel with their own hearts.”

–Albert Einstein.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world.”

–Albert Einstein.

“The more success the quantum theory has, the sillier it looks”

–from a letter to Zangger, May 20, 1912.

“A man must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings.”

–from an interview in the New York Times, September 1952.

“Curiosity is a delicate little plant which, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom”

–Autobiographical Notes. 1949.

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge in the field of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

–contribution to a publication commemorating the eightieth birthday of German rabbi and theologian Leo Baeck, 1953.

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations. I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know if I am.

–G.S. Viereck interview, October 26, 1929, reprinted in “Glimpses of the Great” (1930).

“A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell
too much on the future.”

–CPAE, Vol 1., Doc 22, 1896.

“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity; of life; of the marvelous structure of reality…”

–from the Personal Memoir of William Miller, 1955.

“The most important endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity for life”

–Einstein, a Portrait, p. 102.

“The monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind”

–Speech “Civilization and Science,” at Royal Albert Hall, London, 1933.

“Science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion…The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”

–SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY, AND RELIGION: A SYMPOSIUM, 1941.

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.”

–letter to Morris Raphael Cohen, professor emeritus of philosophy at the College of the City of New York, defending the controversial appointment of Bertrand Russell to a teaching position, March 19, 1940.

“What can the schools do to defend democracy? Should they preach a specific political doctrine? I believe they should not. If they are able to teach young people to have a critical mind and a socially oriented attitude, they will have done all that is necessary.”

–message to the New Jersey Education Association, Atlantic City, 1939.

“It would be better if you begin to teach others only after you yourself have learned something.”

–quote from Einstein Archive 25-044, 1928.

“Taken on the whole, I would believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit…not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in what we believe is evil.”

–United Nations radio interview recorded in Einstein’s study, Princeton, New Jersey, 1950.

“Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common.”

–address to a group of children, 1934.

“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity”

–quote from Out of My Later Years, p. 13.

“I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.”

–quote from Einstein Archive 60-587, 1950.

“Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us; our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.”

–letter to Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh-Onne’s widow, February 25, 1926; Einstein Archive 14-389.

“It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”

–1921, on Thomas Edison’s opinion that a college education is useless; quoted in Frank, Einstein: His Life and Times, p. 185.

“Science will stagnate if it is made to serve practical goals.”

–Quoted in Nathan and Norden, Einstein on Peace, p. 402.

“After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.”

–Remark made in 1923; recalled by Archibald Henderson, Durham Morning Herald, August 21, 1955; Einstein Archive 33-257.

“I have not eaten enough of the tree of knowledge, though in my profession I am obligated to feed on it regularly.”

–Albert Einstein

“The most precious things in life are not those you get for money.”

–Ladies Home Journal. December 1946.

“Good acts are like good poems. One may easily get their drift, but they are not rationally understood.”

–quote to Maurice Solovine, April 9, 1947.

“One must shy away from questionable undertakings, even when they bear a high-sounding name.”

–quote to Maurice Solovine, spring 1923.

“It is not so important where one settles down. The best things is to follow your instincts without too much reflection.”

–quote to Max Born, March 3, 1920.

“I believe that a simple and unassuming life is good for everybody, physically and mentally.”

–quote from “The World as I See It” (1930), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 8.

“Mysticism is in fact the only criticism people cannot level against my theory.”

–quote from R.W. Clark., Einstein “The Life and Times” 268.

“…The ideals which have guided my way, and time after time have given me the energy to face life, have been kindness, beauty, and truth.”

–quote from “The World as I See It” (1930). Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 9.

“All of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking.”

–quote from “Physics and Reality” (1936), reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 290.

“God gave me the stubbornness of a mule and a fairly keen scent.”

–quote from G.J. Whitrow, Einstein: The Man and His Achievement, 91.

“When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”

–quote from Journal of Exothermic Science and Technology (JEST, Vol. 1, No. 9; 1938).

“I have remained a simple fellow who asks nothing of the world; only my youth is gone – the enchanting youth that forever walks on air.”

–quote to Anna Meyer-Schmid, May 12, 1909.

“A scientist is a mimosa when he himself has made a mistake, and a roaring lion when he discovers a mistake of others.”

–quote from Ehlers, Liebes Hertz!, 45.

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by how he has attained liberation from the self.”

–quote from Einstein Archive 60-492, 1932.

“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 separated 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.”

–quoted in H. Eves Mathematical Circles Adieu (Boston 1977).

“The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful…”

–quoted in Ehlers, Liebes Hertz!, 162.

“One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.”

–quote to Walter Daellenbach, May 31, 1915.

“I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part, and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy.”

–Albert Einstin (quoted by Philipp Frank in “Einstein’s Philosophy of Science,” Reviews of Modern Physics, Vol 21, No. 3 July 1949.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

–quote to The New York Times, June 20, 1932.

“Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do-but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.”

–quote to Fred Wall, 1933.

“Work is the only thing that gives substance to life.”

–quote to son Hans Albert, January 4, 1937.

“Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

–To Margot Einstein, after his sister’s Maja’s death, 1951; quote by Hanna Loewy in A&E Television Einstein Biography, VPI International, 1991.

“The search for truth and knowledge is one of the finest attributes of man – though often it is most loudly voiced by those who strive for it the least.”

–quote from The Goal of Human Existence, April 11, 1943. [AEA 28-587]

“I am also convinced that one gains the purest joy from spirited things only when they are not tied in with earning one’s livelihood.”

–quote to L. Manners, March 19, 1954. [AEA 60-401]

“Why is it that nobody understands me, yet everybody likes me.”

–quote from New York Times, March 12, 1944

“It is abhorrent to me when a fine intelligence is paired
with an unsavory character.”

–quote to Jacob Laub, May 19, 1909 [AEA 15-480]

“True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.”

–quote to Ernst Bloch, November 15, 1950 [AEA 34-332]

“I have firmly decided to bite the dust with a minimum of medical assistance when my time comes, and up to then to sin to my wicked heart’s content.”

–Letter to Elsa Einstein, August 11, 1913; CPAE, Vol. 5, Doc. 466

“Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us; our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.”

–Letter to Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh-Onne’s widow, February 25, 1926; [AEA 14-389]

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One Response to “Albert Einstein Quotes Selection”

  1. January 26th, 2009 at 5:27 pm #lisa mills

    This is a really good place to find a lot of the things I was looking for.Keep up the good work!

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