Albert Einstein Quotes

Albert Einstein, 1879 – 1955

Born: 14 March 1879, Ulm, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire
Died: 18 April 1955, Princeton, New Jersey

Raised in a family of non-observant Jews, Einstein attended a Catholic elementary school before entering Luitpold Gymnasium. A poor Jewish medical student ate dinner with the Einstein family every Thursday for six years, tutoring Albert in science and philosophy in exchange. He renounced his citizenship in the German Empire to avoid military service, then entered a four-year program for teachers of math and physics at the Polytechnic in Zurich. After two years trying to find a position he went to as a patent examiner at Bern where he evaluated electromechanical devices, but more importantly continued to work on his own. He published a paper on capillary forces in 1901, four years later he has his “miracle year”: he finished his thesis and published four ground breaking papers on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the famous relationship between mass and energy. In 1911 he postulated that light rays would be deflected by gravity, this was confirmed during a solar eclipse in 1919 which brought him to world fame and the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. Because his theory of special relativity was still controversial, it was his work on the photoelectric effect that was the nominal reason for the prize. He was a visiting professor at the California Institute of Technology when Hitler was elected, he returned to Europe but not to Germany, learning that there was a $5,000 bounty available for him. He joined the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, where he worked for the rest of his life. Hitler’s rise led him to turn from pacificism to preparedness and in 1939 signed an influential letter to President Roosevelt warning of German progress in creating an atomic bomb. In 1940 Einstein became an American citizen and was active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 1952 he was offered the largely-ceremonial post of President of Israel. He had an abdominal aortic aneurysm which surgically reinforced in 1948 but it ruptured, he took a draft of a speech with him to the hospital but died the next day.

Albert Einstein quotes:

A conflict arises when a religious community insists on the absolute truthfulness of all statements recorded in the Bible. This means an intervention on the part of religion into the sphere of science; this is where the struggle of the Church against the doctrines of Galileo and Darwin belongs. On the other hand, representatives of science have often made an attempt to arrive at fundamental judgments with respect to values and ends on the basis of scientific method, and in this way have set themselves in opposition to religion. These conflicts have all sprung from fatal errors.

Albert Einstein

“Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium” (1941)
A forced faithfulness is a bitter fruit for all concerned.

Albert Einstein

letter to Dr. Eugenie Anderman (2 June 1953)
A great thought begins by seeing something differently, with a shift of the mind’s eye.

Albert Einstein
A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.

Albert Einstein

“My Future Plans” student essay at age 17 (18 September 1896)
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.

Albert Einstein
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving.

Albert Einstein

The World as I See It (1959)
A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires will sooner or later always lead to bitter disappointment.

Albert Einstein

to T. Lee (16 January 1954)
A man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. He sits on a hot stove for a minute, it’s longer than any hour. That is relativity.

Albert Einstein

explanation for his secretary, Helen Dukas, to relay to reporters and laypersons
A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

Albert Einstein

“Religion and Science” in New York Times Magazine (9 November 1930)
A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way. But intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.

Albert Einstein

Letter to Dr. H. L. Gordon (3 May 1949)
A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.

Albert Einstein
A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.

Albert Einstein
A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years, but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them.

Albert Einstein
A scientist is a mimosa when he himself has made a mistake, and a roaring lion when he discovers a mistake of others.

Albert Einstein
A storm broke loose in my mind.

Albert Einstein

A theory can be proved by experiment; but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory.

Albert Einstein

The Sunday Times (18 Jul 1976)
A theory is the more impressive the greater the simplicity of its premises is, the more different kinds of things it relates, and the more extended is its area of applicability. Therefore the deep impression which classical thermodynamics made upon me. It is the only physical theory of universal content concerning which I am convinced that within the framework of the applicability of its basic concepts, it will never be overthrown.

Albert Einstein

Autobiographical Notes (1946)
Adversity introduces a man to himself.

Albert Einstein
After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.

Albert Einstein
All my life I have dealt with objective matters; hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to carry out official functions.

Albert Einstein

to Abba Eban (18 November 1952)
All of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking.

Albert Einstein

“Physics and Reality”(1936)
All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field.

Albert Einstein
All our thoughts and concepts are called up by sense-experiences and have a meaning only in reference to these sense-experiences. On the other hand, however, they are products of the spontaneous activity of our minds. They are thus in no wise logical consequences of the content of these sense-experiences. We must therefore investigate how they are related to the experience.

Albert Einstein
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.

Albert Einstein

“Moral Decay” in Out of My Later Years (1937, 1995)
All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.

Albert Einstein
All the fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no closer to answer the question, ‘What are light quanta?’ Of course today every rascal thinks he knows the answer, but he is deluding himself.

Albert Einstein
Although I am a typical loner in my daily life, my awareness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has prevented me from feelings of isolation.

Albert Einstein

“My Credo”(1932)
Although I tried to be universal in thought, I am European by instinct and inclination.

Albert Einstein

Daily Express, London (11 September 1933)
An autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion, soon degenerates. For force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels.

Albert Einstein

“Mein Weltbild” (1931)
An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.

Albert Einstein

Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.

Albert Einstein
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.

Albert Einstein
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

Albert Einstein
Anyone who thinks science is trying to make human life easier or more pleasant is utterly mistaken.

Albert Einstein
Arrows of hate have been aimed at me too, but they have never hit me, because somehow they belonged to another world with which I have no connection whatsoever. I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

Albert Einstein

quoted by Georges Schreiber in Portraits and Self-Portraits (1936)
As a child, I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.

Albert Einstein

“What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck” The Saturday Evening Post (26 October 1929)
As far as I’m concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue.

Albert Einstein
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

Albert Einstein

Sidelights on Relativity (1920)
As for the search for truth, I know from my own painful searching, with its many blind alleys, how hard it is to take a reliable step, be it ever so small, towards the understanding of that which is truly significant.

Albert Einstein

letter (1934)
As long as I have any choice in the matter, I will live only in a country where civil liberty, tolerance and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule.

Albert Einstein
As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable.

Albert Einstein
As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.

Albert Einstein
At present every coachman and every waiter argues about whether or not the relativity theory is correct.

Albert Einstein

to Marcel Grossmann (12 September 1920)
Before God we are equally wise – and equally foolish.

Albert Einstein
Berlin is the place to which I am most closely bound by human and scientific ties.

Albert Einstein

to K. Haenisch (8 September 1920)

At present every coachman and every waiter argues about whether or not the relativity theory is correct.

Albert Einstein

to Marcel Grossmann (12 September 1920)
Before God we are equally wise – and equally foolish.

Albert Einstein
Berlin is the place to which I am most closely bound by human and scientific ties.

Albert Einstein

to K. Haenisch (8 September 1920)
Black holes are where God divided by zero.

Albert Einstein
But taken from a psychological viewpoint, this combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought — before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others.

Albert Einstein

quoted by Jacques S. Hadamard in An Essay on the Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field (1945)
But, on the other hand, every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe — a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.

Albert Einstein

letter (24 January 1936)
By an application of the theory of relativity to the taste of readers, today in Germany I am called a German man of science, and in England I am represented as a Swiss Jew. If I come to be represented as a bête noire, the descriptions will be reversed, and I shall become a Swiss Jew for the Germans and a German man of science for the English!

Albert Einstein

The [London] Times (28 November 1919)
Certainly we should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. It cannot lead, it can only serve; and it is not fastidious in its choice of a leader.

Albert Einstein
Classical thermodynamics … is the only physical theory of universal content which I am convinced … will never be overthrown.

Albert Einstein
Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.

Albert Einstein

The World as I See It (1959)
Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.

Albert Einstein

quoted by Jacques S. Hadamard in An Essay on the Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field (1945)
Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.

Albert Einstein
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

Albert Einstein
Conceptions without experience are void; experience without conceptions is blind.

Albert Einstein
Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.

Albert Einstein

Creativity is contagious, pass it on.

Albert Einstein
Creativity is intelligence having fun.

Albert Einstein
Creativity is one of those hypnotic words which are prone to cast a spell upon our understanding and dissolve our thinking into haze.

Albert Einstein
Creativity is the residue of time wasted.

Albert Einstein
Culture in its higher forms is a delicate plant which depends on a complicated set of conditions and is wont to flourish only in a few places at any given time.

Albert Einstein

The World as I See It (1934)
Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.

Albert Einstein

“Old Man’s Advice to Youth: ‘Never Lose a Holy Curiosity'” interview with William Miller in LIFE (2 May 1955)
Curiosity is a delicate little plant which, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom.

Albert Einstein
Development of Western science is based on two great achievements: the invention of the formal logical system (in Euclidean geometry) by the Greek philosophers, and the discovery of the possibility to find out causal relationships by systematic experiment (during the Renaissance). In my opinion, one has not to be astonished that the Chinese sages have not made these steps. The astonishing thing is that these discoveries were made at all.

Albert Einstein

letter to J. S. Switzer (23 April 1953)
Do not worry about your problems in mathematics. I assure you, my problems with mathematics are much greater than yours.

Albert Einstein

Letter to Barbara Lee Wilson (7 January 1943)
During the youthful period of mankind’s spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man’s own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favor by means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes.

Albert Einstein

“Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium” (1934), repr. in Out Of My Later Years (1950)
E=mc2 (Energy equals mass times the square of the speed of light.) Original statement: If a body gives off the energy L in the form of radiation, its mass diminishes by L/c2.

Albert Einstein
Each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own.

Albert Einstein

quoted by Alan Lightman in Einstein’s Dreams (2004)
Each of us visits this Earth involuntarily, and without an invitation. For me, it is enough to wonder at the secrets.

Albert Einstein
Each ray of light moves in the coordinate system ‘at rest’ with the definite, constant velocity V independent of whether this ray of light is emitted by a body at rest or a body in motion.

Albert Einstein

Annalen der Physik (1905)
Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything one learned in school.

Albert Einstein

Epistemology without contact with science becomes an empty scheme. Science without epistemology is — insofar as it is thinkable at all — primitive and muddled.

Albert Einstein
Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity.

Albert Einstein
Even if only 2 percent of those assigned to perform military service should announce their refusal to fight, governments would be powerless, they would not dare send such a large number of people to jail.

Albert Einstein
Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilisation in high boots.

Albert Einstein
Even the scholars in various lands have been acting as if their brains had been amputated.

Albert Einstein

to Romain Rolland (22 March 1915)
Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies.

Albert Einstein

“Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium” (1941)
Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police.

Albert Einstein
Every reminiscence is colored by the way things are today, and therefore by a delusive point of view.

Albert Einstein
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Albert Einstein
Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.

Albert Einstein
Everyone who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.

Albert Einstein

letter to Phyllis Wright, 6th grader (24 January 1936)
Everything is determined … by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust — we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.

Albert Einstein

interview with G. S. Viereck (26 October 1929)
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Albert Einstein
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

Albert Einstein

Out of My Later Years (1950)
Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development. Feeling and longing are the motive force behind all human endeavor and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present themselves to us.

Albert Einstein

“Religion and Science” New York Times Magazine (9 November 1930)

Epistemology without contact with science becomes an empty scheme. Science without epistemology is — insofar as it is thinkable at all — primitive and muddled.

Albert Einstein
Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity.

Albert Einstein
Even if only 2 percent of those assigned to perform military service should announce their refusal to fight, governments would be powerless, they would not dare send such a large number of people to jail.

Albert Einstein
Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilisation in high boots.

Albert Einstein
Even the scholars in various lands have been acting as if their brains had been amputated.

Albert Einstein

to Romain Rolland (22 March 1915)
Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies.

Albert Einstein

“Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium” (1941)
Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police.

Albert Einstein
Every reminiscence is colored by the way things are today, and therefore by a delusive point of view.

Albert Einstein
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Albert Einstein
Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.

Albert Einstein
Everyone who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.

Albert Einstein

letter to Phyllis Wright, 6th grader (24 January 1936)
Everything is determined … by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust — we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.

Albert Einstein

interview with G. S. Viereck (26 October 1929)
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Albert Einstein
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

Albert Einstein

Out of My Later Years (1950)
Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development. Feeling and longing are the motive force behind all human endeavor and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present themselves to us.

Albert Einstein

“Religion and Science” New York Times Magazine (9 November 1930)

Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.

Albert Einstein
Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do, but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.

Albert Einstein

marginalia on a letter (1933), quoted by Helen Dukas in Albert Einstein, the Human Side (1981), p. 56
Fear or stupidity has always been the basis of most human actions.

Albert Einstein

to E. Mulder (April 1954)
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

Albert Einstein
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

Albert Einstein

Ideas and Opinions (1954)
For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything “chosen” about them.The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.

Albert Einstein

letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind
For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts.

Albert Einstein

Out Of My Later Years (1950), p. 25
For scientific endeavor is a natural whole the parts of which mutually support one another in a way which, to be sure, no one can anticipate.

Albert Einstein

Out of My Later Years (1950)
For the rest of my life I will reflect on what light is.

Albert Einstein
Force always attracts men of low morality.

Albert Einstein
Freedom of teaching and of opinion in book or press is the foundation for the sound and natural development of any people.

Albert Einstein
From a certain temperature on, the molecules ‘condense’ without attractive forces; that is, they accumulate at zero velocity. The theory is pretty, but is there some truth in it.

Albert Einstein

letter to Ehrenfest (December 1924)
Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.

Albert Einstein

On the 70th anniversary of Mohandas Ghandi’s birth
Germany had the misfortune of becoming poisoned, first because of plenty, and then because of want.

Albert Einstein
God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.

Albert Einstein

God doesn’t play dice with the universe.

Albert Einstein
God gave me the stubbornness of a mule and a fairly keen scent.

Albert Einstein
God is subtle but he is not malicious.

Albert Einstein
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

Albert Einstein

Letter to Morris Raphael Cohen (March 19, 1940)
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.

Albert Einstein

Letter to Morris Raphael Cohen (March 19, 1940)
Have the courage to take your own thoughts seriously, for they will shape you.

Albert Einstein
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.

Albert Einstein
He who cherishes the values of culture cannot fail to be a pacifist.

Albert Einstein
He who has never been deceived by a lie does not know the meaning of bliss.

Albert Einstein

to Elsa Löwenthal (30 April 1912)
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, violently I hate all this!

Albert Einstein

“Mein Weltbild” (1931)
Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them!

Albert Einstein
How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.

Albert Einstein

“Religion and Science” New York Times Magazine (9 November 1930)
How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of goodwill! In such a place even I would be an ardent patriot.

Albert Einstein
How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.

Albert Einstein
However we select from nature a complex [of phenomena] using the criterion of simplicity, in no case will its theoretical treatment turn out to be forever appropriate (sufficient)…. I do not doubt that the day will come when [general relativity], too, will have to yield to another one, for reasons which at present we do not yet surmise. I believe that this process of deepening theory has no limits.

Albert Einstein

However, all scientific statements and laws have one characteristic in common: they are “true or false” (adequate or inadequate). Roughly speaking, our reaction to them is “yes” or “no.” The scientific way of thinking has a further characteristic. The concepts which it uses to build up its coherent systems are not expressing emotions. For the scientist, there is only “being,” but no wishing, no valuing, no good, no evil; no goal. As long as we remain within the realm of science proper, we can never meet with a sentence of the type: “Thou shalt not lie.” There is something like a Puritan’s restraint in the scientist who seeks truth: he keeps away from everything voluntaristic or emotional.

Albert Einstein

Essays in Physics (1950)
Human beings are not condemned, because of their biological constitution, to annihilate each other or to be at the mercy of a cruel, self-inflicted fate.

Albert Einstein
I admit that thoughts influence the body.

Albert Einstein
I am a deeply religious nonbeliever. … This is a somewhat new kind of religion.

Albert Einstein

letter to Hans Muehsam (30 March 1954) — Einstein Archive 38-434, cited in The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Alice Calaprice, ed. (2000), p. 201
I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus or Ghandi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie?

Albert Einstein
I am also convinced that one gains the purest joy from spiritual things only when they are not tied in with earning one’s livelihood.

Albert Einstein

to L. Manners (19 March 1954)
I am an artist’s model.

Albert Einstein
I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship a Swiss, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever.

Albert Einstein

Letter to Alfred Kneser (7 June 1918)
I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.

Albert Einstein

letter to P. Moos (30 March 1950)
I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet.

Albert Einstein
I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the entire world.

Albert Einstein
I am not a Jew in the sense that I would demand the preservation of the Jewish or any other nationality as an end in itself. Rather, I see Jewish nationality as a fact and I believe that every Jew must draw the consequences from this fact.

Albert Einstein

Jüdische Rundschau (21 June 1921)
I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.

Albert Einstein

interview with George Sylvester Viereck (January 1931)
I am not only a pacifist, but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace…. Is it not better for a man to die for a cause in which he believes, such as peace, than to suffer for a cause in which he does not believe, such as war?

Albert Einstein

interview with George Sylvester Viereck (January 1931)
I am truly a “lone traveler” and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart. In the face of all this, I have never lost a sense of distance and the need for solitude.

Albert Einstein

The World as I See It (1959)

I am very happy with my new home in friendly America and in the liberal atmosphere of Princeton.

Albert Einstein

quoted in Survey Graphic 24 (August 1935)
I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research.

Albert Einstein
I became more and more convinced that even nature could be understood as a relatively simple mathematical structure.

Albert Einstein
I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.

Albert Einstein

Cosmic Religion: With Other Opinions and Aphorisms (1931)
I believe in Spinoza’s God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.

Albert Einstein

Telegram to Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein (24 April 1929)
I believe my theory of relativity to be true. But it will only be proved for certain in 1981, when I am dead.

Albert Einstein
I believe that a simple and unassuming life is good for everybody, physically and mentally.

Albert Einstein

The World as I See It (1959)
I believe the most important mission of the state is to protect the individual and make it possible for him to develop into a creative personality.

Albert Einstein

address to the Disarmament Conference of 1932
I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos.

Albert Einstein

on quantum mechanics, quoted in the London Observer (5 April 1964)
I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.

Albert Einstein

The World as I See It (1934)
I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls.

Albert Einstein

The World as I See It (1959)
I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance — but for us, not for God.

Albert Einstein

in Albert Einstein, the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds. (1981), p. 66
I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals,

Albert Einstein

in Albert Einstein, the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds. (1981), p. 66
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism.

Albert Einstein

Living Philosophies (June 1931)
I cannot then believe in this concept of an anthropomorphic God who has the powers of interfering with these natural laws. As I said before, the most beautiful and most profound religious emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mysticality is the power of all true science.

Albert Einstein

quoted by Peter A. Bucky in The Private Albert Einstein (1992), p. 86

I cannot write in English, because of the treacherous spelling. When I am reading, I only hear it and am unable to remember what the written word looks like.

Albert Einstein

to Max Born (7 September 1944)
I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.

Albert Einstein
I do not believe that a man should be restrained in his daily actions by being afraid of punishment after death or that he should do things only because in this way he will be rewarded after he dies. This does not make sense. The proper guidance during the life of a man should be the weight that he puts upon ethics and the amount of consideration that he has for others.

Albert Einstein

quoted by Peter A. Bucky in The Private Albert Einstein (1992), p. 86
[I do not] carry such information in my mind since it is readily available in books. … The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.

Albert Einstein

“Edison Test” in The New York Times (18 May 1921)
I do not like to state an opinion on a matter unless I know the precise facts.

Albert Einstein

interview, The New York Times (12 August 1945)
I do not play games…. There is not time for it. When I get through with work, I don’t want anything that requires the working of the mind.

Albert Einstein

The New York Times (28 March 1936)
I don’t know how man will fight World War III, but I do know how they will fight World War IV: with sticks and stones.

Albert Einstein
I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience.

Albert Einstein

to Max Kariel (3 August 1953)
I have always loved solitude, a trait which tends to increase with age.

Albert Einstein
I have become rather like King Midas, except that everything turns not into gold but into a circus.

Albert Einstein
I have come to know the mutability of all human relationships and have learned to insulate myself against both heat and cold so that a temperature balance is fairly well assured.

Albert Einstein

to Heinrich Zangger (10 March 1917)
I have little patience with scientists who take a board of wood, look for its thinnest part and drill a great number of holes where drilling is easy.

Albert Einstein
I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.

Albert Einstein

in Albert Einstein, the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds. (1981), p. 39
I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves — such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine.

Albert Einstein

The World as I See It (1959)
I have never obtained any ethical values from my scientific work.

Albert Einstein

I have no doubt that our thinking goes on for the most part without the use of symbols, and, furthermore, largely unconsciously.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein: Autobiographical Notes, Paul Schilpp, ed. (1979), pp. 8-9
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

Albert Einstein

Letter to Carl Seelig (11 March 1952)
I have not eaten enough of the Tree of Knowledge, though in my profession I am obliged to feed on it regularly.

Albert Einstein

to Max Born (9 November 1919)
I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.

Albert Einstein
I have remained a simple fellow who asks nothing of the world; only my youth is gone — the enchanting youth that forever walks on air.

Albert Einstein

to Anna Meyer-Schmid (12 May 1909)
I have to apologize to you that I am still among the living. There will be a remedy for this, however.

Albert Einstein

to Tyfanny Williams (25 August 1946)
I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism have brought me to my ideas.

Albert Einstein
I know what it’s like to see one’s mother go through the agony of death and be unable to help; there is no consolation. We all have to bear such heavy burdens, for they are unalterably linked to life.

Albert Einstein

to Hedwig Born (18 June 1920)
I like neither new clothes nor new kinds of food.

Albert Einstein
I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

Albert Einstein

Out of My Later Years (1950)
I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.

Albert Einstein

speech at London’s Albert Hall (1936)
I made one great mistake in my life — when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made but there was some justification — the danger that the Germans would make them.

Albert Einstein
I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.

Albert Einstein
I myself should also be dead already, but I am still here.

Albert Einstein

to E. Schaerer-Meyer (27 July 1951)
I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.

Albert Einstein

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