Collected Quotes from Albert Einstein
- "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex,
and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of
courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
- "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
- "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."
- "I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."
- "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income
- "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
- "The only real valuable thing is intuition."
- "A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."
- "I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."
- "God is subtle but he is not malicious."
- "Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."
- "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."
- "The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."
- "Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."
- "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science
- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything
- "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from
- "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
- "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age
- "Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn
one's living at it."
- "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
- "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
- "God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He
- "The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of
- "Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological
- "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by
- "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it
- "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking
we used when we created them."
- "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything
he learned in school."
- "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity
has its own reason for existing."
- "Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can
assure you mine are still greater."
- "Equations are more important to me, because politics is for
the present, but an equation is something for eternity."
- "If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z.
Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
- "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity;
and I'm not sure about the the universe."
- "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are
not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to
- "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and
Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
- "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought,
but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
- "In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep
one must, above all, be a sheep."
- "The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for
there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead."
- "Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This
is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the
- "Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome
nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately
I hate them!"
- "No, this trick won't work...How on earth are you ever going
to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological
phenomenon as first love?"
- "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable
superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we
are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
- "Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our
politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more
important, for politics are only a matter of present concern.
A mathematical equation stands forever."
- "The release of atom power has changed everything except our
way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart
of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."
- "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities.
The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly
submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously
uses his intelligence."
- "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and all 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."
- "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy,
education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.
Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained
by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
- "The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the
more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity
does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death,
and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."
- "Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead
of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics,
know that the distinction between past, present, and future is
only a stubbornly persistent illusion."
- "You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat.
You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los
Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the
same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The
only difference is that there is no cat."
- "One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for the examinations,
whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring
effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination,
I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful
to me for an entire year."
- "...one of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science
is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless
dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires.
A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life
into the world of objective perception and thought."
- "He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already
earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake,
since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace
to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at
command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble
war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so
base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak
of war is nothing but an act of murder."
- "A human being is a part of a 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 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."
- "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything
that can be counted counts." (Sign hanging in Einstein's office
Copyright: Kevin Harris 1995 (may be freely distributed with this