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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Einstein on Buddhism

Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spritual; and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. -Albert Einstein

If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. -Albert Einstein

A human being is part of the whole, called by us '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 affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compasion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
-Albert Einstein

Here's another quote from Einstein that I love. It is my signature at the bottom of my emails:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. -Albert Einstein

-Peace to us all-

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35 comments:

isaiah said...

Very wise words, cutting edge stuff for the times. And all from the lips of a German, Jewish scientist!

Anything is possible!

kathy said...

Thats why Albert is an Einstein! these are great quotes! Thanks for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I have been looking for the references for the quotes you list and it looks increasingly as though he never said or wrote them at all. Which is really disappointing.

Can you give me chapter and verse?

"James" said...

Anon:

I can't find exactly the evidence you're looking for that he said those things so, yeah I don't know I guess.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. :/

Ziji said...

These quotes are often cited, and can be found in myriad places online. Like many quotes, there is no chapter and verse given. I can give you one that you don't have, and this is the most Buddhist quote of all: "The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self." Quoted in the book, "Essential Einstein," originally from Mein Weltbild, 1934.

"James" said...

Ziji:

Thanks for the great quote.

Aileen_g said...

Thanks for your wisdoms. It opened my eyes to see a better view of the world and the people in it.

They call him James Ure said...

Aileen_g:

Thank-you for your kind words...I hope that you continue to find peace and wisdom here for your journey along the great universal path.

Anonymous said...

Einstein said or not, wisdom is in those teachings of Buddha. "My teachings are only for the wise" Buddha has said. If you study them correctly without being fooled by your own mind, you'll learn the greatest lesson in this universe. And also being born as human, that's the most important thing we should learn. You can read Buddha's teachings at http://www.mahamevna.org/dhamma_talks.html

They call him James Ure said...

Anon:

I agree. There certainly is a difference between wise and intelligent.

Many can be intelligent but not wise. Rare is it for one to be intelligent AND wise.

Anonymous said...

The intelligent AND the wise........YODA is he!

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3ewCg5B3g0&watch_response

try this video. about Einstein quote.

borabora90292 said...

Great to know Einstein's comments on Buddhism. two years ago, on a LA congregation, i heard from Dalai lama himself that he is an atheist, he belives in science.

i am so happy to know that there is indeed a "religion", that is open minded, and still self sustained.

They call him James Ure said...

Thanks Anon. I'll go check it out.

Borabora:

Yes, Buddhism is very much a religion of science. It is also sometimes called the, "religion of no religion."

They call him James Ure said...

Anon:

Great video: Thanks for the link.

Greg said...

first time here.. just searching for the first einstein quote, Buddhism is a great practice. The philosopher Alan Watts has some good books and audio books [for free if you know how to look ;)] Very interesting points, and just nice to have on the ipod. Check em out. :)

They call him James Ure said...

Welcome Greg. I'm a big fan of Alan Watts.

Anonymous said...

really,enstine was a good human.he just assure the world about the way to the reality of supreme knowledge.(the time,space,element,universe,knowledge..)all its limitation of delution reveals within from the mind which is already deluted with a limitation.the mind which think of outsite elements reveals as if the time and space exists within it self. i hope some another good human will later enrich the way to supreme knowledge.(thanks computer)

They call him James Ure said...

Anonymous:

Yes, he was a great mind and gave a lot back to humanity.

shan said...

call me shan, im very glad theres some people out there in the world actuay who got their minds open to discover and experience rther than being shut by "belive" "have faith"
i wish you all will get the knowledge told by buddah, which is the truth of this universe.

They call him James Ure said...

Shan:

It is hard sometimes to remember that there are a lot of good people in this world. Thanks for the reminder.

Eternal Bodhi said...

Thank you for posting these Quotes. I'm enjoying reading your blog. Namaste.

They call him James Ure said...

Eternal Bodhi:

You're quite welcome and thanks for reading. Einstein was a fascinating character.

Anonymous said...

One should not make up quotations and attribute them to Einstein when he did not say them.
Mixing non-quotations (false) with actual
quotations (true) does not make the non-quotations real. If I assert that Einstein said
that he was seven feet tall and was a Druid, my assertion does not prove that he said that, even
if I like it very much.

kunga said...

wise man smiles,man thinks

brett said...

what does that mean isaiah? Are german jews unlikely candidats to possess such wisdom?

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katy yelland said...

I found this:

Albert Einstein paid a tribute to Buddhism when he said in his autobiography: 'If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism'.

on this website:

http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/dhammananda/269.htm

It seems that this quote, at least, was in his autobiography.


I've just realised your post about Einstein is from 2005! Ah well.

I'm a new follower of your blog and I enjoy it a lot. Very thoughtful and nicely written.

They call him James Ure said...

Katy:

I'm glad that you are enjoying the blog. I've heard that Einstein quote might not be accurate or real but I'm still not sure about that. It sounds like something he might say but who knows!! Keep on reading. I appreciate each on of my readers. :)

m.fitzau said...

All religions are ridiculous and Buddhism is a religion ... Buddhism is absolutely no solution. If you want to know why read one of the best books I have ever read: "The Guru Papers. Masks of Authoritarian Power" by Kramer/Alstad. Kramer is a Yoga-Master himself, Alstad is a PH.D in Psychology from Yale.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed those quotes.Thanks! :) as a followr of buddha i have to say that most of the buddists them selves are mistaken in Buddism.But Sir Einstein really understood it. Buddism is acctually not a religion it's just a reality!Buddha him self said "Truth is the best religion in the world" and wise people always find the truth and see the truth. :)

TTara said...

James:
I wish to respond to m.fitzau for saying:"...Buddhism is a relegion... Buddhism is absolutely no solution." Actually, Buddhism is NOT a relegion. It is Buddha's teachings about the truth of human life that are full of sufferings. And the solution to these sufferings are NOT to be reborn as (physical) human being again. That place is called Nirvana in Buddhist term (meaning nothingness). That's the total liberation.

TTara

Anonymous said...

This quote may be fake. Please see:

http://tricycleblog.wordpress.com/2007/10/26/einsteins-quotes-on-buddhism/

Anonymous said...

Regarding whether Buddhism is a religion or not, see Uchiyama's book "Opening the Hand of Thought", 2004 edition, on page 92:

"Dissatisfied with the inability of technology to fulfill their lives, Westerners have come to show a deep concern for the East, straining to look into its essence and exploring Buddhism, which reveals a remarkable and unique characteristic among religions: Buddhism does not raise the question of god. Consequently, for a time Christian-influenced scholars even denied it was a religion. However, it is nonsense to decide whether or not a teaching is a religion by the presence or absence of the concept of god. If we decide that a something qualifies as a religion only on that basis, then religion must have disappeared when the mythological worldview came to be replaced by the worldview of natural science. The presence or absence of a god concept is not what is most fundamental, since religion must be that which teaches humanity what is most important in life and offers genuine spiritual peace. In this most fundamental sense, Buddhism is pure religion."

Leo said...

To m.fitzau : hey, im sure you know nothing about buddhism. It is not a religion. Religion is based on faith, belief. And buddhism does not. Buddhism is focused on compassion and awareness. We dont have to believe about re-birth, other planet with a living being, heavens and hells, to practice buddhism. Moreover, we dont have to believe that sidharta ever exist in this world. If that so, then what is sadha or sradha ? People often translate it as faith or believe but its not it. Sadha in buddhism is closest to word confidence. And we should not see buddhism like a religion that has a people or comunity, or ally, and compare their number to other religion. This is realy a misunderstanding. No need to believe this, but in buddha's era, people (whatever their religion or no religion) is coming to place we called vihara where the buddha stay, ask the solution about their problem and then go home. See ? It is free for everyone. To practice buddhism, we dont need to declare that we are know is a follower of buddha, and later we are not follower anymore. Like Islam it has a mualaf and murtad things but theres no such thing in buddhism. Buddhist practice is actually a general and daily goodness. Do we need to read sutra or mantra like once a day or a week ? Do we need to worship the buddha statue ? Do we need to celebrate vesakh ? No. We dont need that at all. I hope this explanation can make it clear for you about what is buddhism. Thanks

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