Thursday, 2 May 2013

Einstein the Mindful?

OK, he was one of the great geniuses of scientific thought, but I didn't realise he was a closet Buddhist!

"A human being is a 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, 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."
                        Albert Einstein

The jaw fell open when I stumbled upon this, though that's probably more a reflection of my blinkers than any reflection on Albert's range of thought.

He seems to me to be writing here about an aim of mindfulness, of meditation: to feel part of the universe, not a separate ego detached from it; to widen one's perception and escape the repetitive and routine nature of our semi-conscious trains of thought, to develop a calm and compassionate view of the living and the dead.

1 comment:

  1. ..although I guess "an aim" is not, ultimately, how mindfulness works. An aim might be to help a person deal with pain, or to cope with depression, etc. But a more thorough-going view might be to say that meditation can reveal what has been there all along, is always there. So it's more about letting go of non-mindfulness states of being, than about aiming, with one's will-power, at anything.

    It's possibly a bit sad to be caught adding comments to my own post, but there we are. Or here I am - sadly seeking enlightenment!