embrace all living creatures

“Harmony of Creatures” by Margret Hofheinz-Döring

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 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. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
~ Albert Einstein
(Mathematical Circles: Mathematical Circles Adieu & Return to Mathematical Circles)

14 thoughts on “embrace all living creatures”

  1. Extraordinarily fine words, and an important path sketched out. Understanding that the goal is unreachable makes taking the first step significant, and the journey itself all the more enriching.

    1. Well put, Julian. I still remember when I began to understand that my original goal to find answers to the big questions in life was unreachable. But continuing the journey unexpectedly gave me an awareness that not having all the answers was all right.

  2. Hi Barbara,
    A bit of knowledge goes a long way, and it is so true that we should take an interest in the things around us, whether we totally understand doesn’t really matter.
    “Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
    A fantastic quote, and very true.

    1. That part of the quote struck me, too. Somehow knowing that there will always be more to discover is liberating! Takes away the pressure to find the “ultimate” truth.

      I’m still working on the “embrace all living creatures” part – the day I embrace a spider it will be a miracle, indeed! 🙂

    1. Welcome to “By the Sea,” Monica! So pleased you enjoy my posts! 🙂 Einstein was quite a perceptive man, and like many scientists, had a spiritual awareness that was often surprising.

  3. This just shows my ignorance. I never would have guessed that old Albert had such a philosophical side. I have always just figured (!) that he thought about math. My daughter’s s.o. is a mathematics PhD, and he loves nothing more than to think about math problems all day.
    The art is great, too!

    1. I’m happy to introduce you to Albert the Philosopher! 🙂 I call my husband Mr. Logic because he is a computer analyst and, like your math PhD, thinks mostly in numbers. Our son, though, seems to have inherited a nice mix of Tim’s logical thinking and my philosophical tendencies and also artistic and musical talent from his grandparents. It’s fascinating how minds work and the role genetics play.

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