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
¥ "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 tax."
¥ "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 is blind."
¥ "Anyone who has never made
a mistake has never tried anything new."
¥ "Great spirits have often
encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
¥ "Everything should be
made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
¥ "Common sense is the collection
of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
¥ "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 integrates empirically."
¥ "The whole of science
is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."
¥ "Technological progress
is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal."
¥ "Peace cannot be kept
by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." ¥
"The most incomprehensible
thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."
¥ "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
¥ "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 reality."
¥ "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
¥ "Too many of us look upon
Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated
thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves."
¥ "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
¥ "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 mediocrity's. 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
¥ "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."
¥ "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
¥ "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 at Princeton)