My new Einstein book, the first of two.
Who was the poet? He was a professor of sociology and a fellow German, also with some Jewish blood in him. He was much more as well, too hard for me to fit in here.
Like Einstein he lost most of his family and friends in the holocaust. His name was William Hermanns.
He had 4 meetings with Einstein, in 1930, 1943,1948 and 1954. Einstein died in 1955.
Einstein had a huge number of visitors all the time, so the poet was lucky to have these meetings.
At the first one in 1930 the young Nazis were marching outside the window singing horrible songs about knives and Jewish blood. There was a strange man outside Einstein's door who threatened to blow up Einstein if he did not return a manuscript he had sent him. Einstein was swimming in papers.
The poet hauled Einstein to the police for protection, but they did nothing. However his secretary found the papers and gave them to the man, who went away. Could the poet have saved Einsteins life? Possibly, Einstein doubted it. His wife was very nervous.
They discussed all sorts, politics, science, religions, all sorts of religions. Einstein was positive about Buddha, Moses and also Jesus, but not about the religions, nor his own childhood school teachers.
In 1930 he told the poet "if you want to help the Germans to forget (ww1) and save the world from a new war, don't count on established religions. We must found a cosmic religion, one of unconditional love, not one that sells itself to those in power."
Einstein saw God as the creator of the laws of nature and the universe, but not as a person you could approach. But he did not believe the world to have come into being by chance.
The poet said "but I made a pledge on the battlefield of Verdun, that if God would save me there I would serve him as long as I live. I now believe in a personal God, who does not limit himself to speaking through cosmic laws, since I was saved four time on the battlefield after this wow. I am a metaphysician.
Einstein smiled. And I am a tamed metaphysician. I can only say what I feel. A new world war will come under Hitler."
Einstein said when the war was on -1943, in America- that he was not longer an unconditional pacifist, but a realistic one - the allied had to fight Hitler!
He also said " the cosmic man must be restored, the whole man who is made in the image and likeness of the arch-force, which you may call God. This man thinks with his heart and not with party dogma. As I have explained before, there is an order in the universe - a cosmic order - and humans have the possibility of understanding these laws." Then he added he had no doubt the allied would win the war.
Einstein also said, that that there is too much selfishness in our youth and too little reverence for life. Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Gandhi, their ethical instructions are better than mine (when asked what he would instruct the Harward students).
Ok, the famous quote, when discussing reality Einstein said: Nature does not know chance, it operates on mathematical principles. As I have said so many times, God doesn't play dice with the world.
He also said. Dr. Hermanns, you will live to see that there is a moral law in the universe. It was in regard to all the war crimes, also by the churches.
I could go on and on. Einstein believed in intuition first of all, then reasoning. Also said that feelings are more true than the intellect, but together they give a good picture.
And he said "Men are now moving into the third phase of religious experience, cosmic religion.
I really must stop, but can't resist this one: the poet said: From Spinoza I was led to Carl Jung, one of your friends - no rather, we have you as a friend. Jung said, and I know you admire him too, Jung said what happens in space and time proves an interdependence of objective events with the psychic states of man.
I agree said Einstein, there is a pre-established harmony manifested in cosmic laws and related to our minds. You and I are individuals; still we are held together by a pattern. We are all living experiences infinitely patterned.
Later: I think I am a religious man said Einstein, and no-one will convince me that the world can survive without Jewish-Christian ethics.
He also said that he believe in one thing that only a life lived for others is a life worth living.
In 1948 there was also a reverend James present at the meeting.
Religion and science go together said Einstein. As I have said before, science without religion is lame, and religion without science is blind. They are interdependent and have a common goal - the search for truth. Hence it is absurd for religion to proscribe either Galileo or Darwin or other scientists. Einstein grinned , and it is equally absurd when scientists say there is no God. The real scientist has faith, which does not mean - he looked at the minister- that he must subscribe to a creed.
Einstein said, Without religion there is no charity. The soul given to each of us is moved by the same living spirit that moves the universe.
THAT WILL DO -!