Awakin.org

Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Our Situation on Earth

--by Albert Einstein (Nov 22, 2004)


Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here involuntarily and uninvited for a short stay, without knowing the whys and the wherefore. In our daily lives we only feel that man is here for the sake of' others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often worried at the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them. I do not believe in freedom of the will. Schopenhauer's words: 'Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of freedom of will preserves me from taking too seriously myself and my fellow men as acting and deciding individuals and from losing my temper. [...]

Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as all serious endeavors in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is.

--Albert Einstein

[ share/read comments ]


Add Your Reflection:

Send me an email when another comment is posted on this passage.
Name: Email:

2 Previous Reflections:

 
On Jul 11, 2007 bill wrote:
I am thankful for the contributions to humanity before us, and for this wonderful life.

On Jun 12, 2006 Viral wrote:

We had a great session last week, with Thanksgiving theme. Lot of can't be expressed but below are some notes anyhow. :) At the end, we all crayoned our top-five thankfulness items, put our addresses on the back and randomly redistributed the cards. Each person, then, is to mail that card at a random time throughout the next year, as reminder of thankfulness. Interesting state to be a loner and still connected. More aware you become, more interconnected life is. I'm thankful for my ability to give thanks. I'm thankful for bonds that form instantly -- like my niece. I'm thanful for suffering loss of my grandma. I'm thankful to hug my brother when my grandfather passed away, en route to his connecting flight, at the airport. Rumi quote: let the beauty we love be what we do. Another Rumi quote: sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. Enlightenment poem by Ragu I'm thankful for being able to make others thank me. :) I'm thankful to einstein and that I'm not al  See full.

  • We had a great session last week, with Thanksgiving theme. Lot of can't be expressed but below are some notes anyhow. :) At the end, we all crayoned our top-five thankfulness items, put our addresses on the back and randomly redistributed the cards. Each person, then, is to mail that card at a random time throughout the next year, as reminder of thankfulness.

  • Interesting state to be a loner and still connected.
  • More aware you become, more interconnected life is.
  • I'm thankful for my ability to give thanks.
  • I'm thankful for bonds that form instantly -- like my niece.
  • I'm thanful for suffering loss of my grandma.
  • I'm thankful to hug my brother when my grandfather passed away, en route to his connecting flight, at the airport.
  • Rumi quote: let the beauty we love be what we do.
  • Another Rumi quote: sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.
  • Enlightenment poem by Ragu
  • I'm thankful for being able to make others thank me. :)
  • I'm thankful to einstein and that I'm not alone.
  • For the first time in ten years our family was together at grandma's funeral. I'm grateful that she was giving even in her death.
  • When I read this book, I saw that Einstein was really big into the fact that everyone contributes to his achievements.
  • I'm thankful that others are honest about their emotions.
  • I'm thankful to all who make me be more real, for uncertainties and family and friends that keep me strong.
  • The quote brought a smile to my place. start: we're in a strange place; we don't know.
  • We build mental models and then write a rule base about it; gratitude comes from the same place -- we don't believe things should be as good as they are. Why not?
  • What makes the clock tick?
  • Sunday nights in Iowa are inspired by Wednesdays. Thanks.
  • Thankful for charityfocus.org -- what every link and where it could take you.
  • I'm thankful that I feel connected.
  • This year, one of the things I'm grateful for is to bring service more in alignment with my life.
  • Einstein didn't believe in freedom of will? Interesting.
  • Have the humility to believe that you don't have the will to will whatever I want.
  • I'm thankful for my sister.
  • As a high schooler, I took at class at Stanford and realized it was unproctored. They just trusted us!
  • I'm thankful that I'm aware.
  • I'm thankful that Nipun lets me attend even when sometimes I forget to RSVP. :)
  • Where the fruit is attached is the wine, it's very bitter. Just like cucumber.
  • All of us were born of a union; we were made because there was love.

Hide full comment.