Peaceful Tectonics


The Mysterious = The Most Beautiful
December 5, 2008, 3:38 am
Filed under: Philosophy, Religion

This is a segment I found while surfing the NPR site.  It seems that they have rejuvenated their old radio series “This I Believe” which is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by Edward R. Murrow. Murrow described the series as seeking”to point to the common meeting grounds of beliefs, which is the essence of brotherhood and the floor of our civilization.” How can you not love the premise of this show!?  I recommend taking a few minutes to read an assortment of testimonies, some of which are very personal declarations.  It is so important to hear the personal truths of others, whether we agree or disagree it helps us glean a better understanding of our own reality and our own philosophy of life.  I decided that Albert Einstein’s testimony was the most insightful.  I completely related to his sentiments about the Mysteries of the Universe and the importance of the creative feeling individual. 

Albert Einstein “This I believe” NPR

 

 

This essay aired circa 1954.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the Mysterious — the knowledge of the existence of something unfathomable to us, the manifestation of the most profound reason coupled with the most brilliant beauty. I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, or who has a will of the kind we experience in ourselves. I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with the awareness of — and glimpse into — the marvelous construction of the existing world together with the steadfast determination to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature. This is the basis of cosmic religiosity, and it appears to me that the most important function of art and science is to awaken this feeling among the receptive and keep it alive.

I sense that it is not the State that has intrinsic value in the machinery of humankind, but rather the creative, feeling individual — the personality alone that creates the noble and sublime.

Man’s ethical behavior should be effectively grounded on compassion, nurture and social bonds. What is moral is not of the divine, but rather a purely human matter, albeit the most important of all human matters. In the course of history, the ideals pertaining to human beings’ behavior towards each other and pertaining to the preferred organization of their communities have been espoused and taught by enlightened individuals. These ideals and convictions — results of historical experience, empathy and the need for beauty and harmony — have usually been willingly recognized by human beings, at least in theory.

The highest principles for our aspirations and judgments are given to us westerners in the Jewish-Christian religious tradition. It is a very high goal: free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind.

The pursuit of recognition for their own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice and the quest for personal independence form the traditional themes of the Jewish people, of which I am a member.

But if one holds these high principles clearly before one’s eyes and compares them with the life and spirit of our times, then it is glaringly apparent that mankind finds itself at present in grave danger. I see the nature of the current crises in the juxtaposition of the individual to society. The individual feels more than ever dependent on society, but it is not felt in the positive sense, as an organic connectivity or a sense of security, but rather more as a type of endangerment to his natural rights, or even his economic existence. His place in society is further from that advanced and cultivated by his own egotistic driving factors, nonetheless hindering the weaker social driving forces to a large extent.

It is my belief that there is only one way to eliminate these evils, namely, the establishment of a planned economy coupled with an education geared towards social goals. Alongside the development of individual abilities, the education of the individual aspires to revive an ideal that is geared towards the service of our fellow man, and that needs to take the place of the glorification of power and outer success.

Translation by David Domine. Essay courtesy of the Albert Einstein Archives at The
Hebrew
University of
Jerusalem.

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Comment by doribuckner10043




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