The Mysterious

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, i am a devoutly religious man.

What separates me from most so called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos.

Science can be created only by those who are imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. this source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. the situation might be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Human beings in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free but are as causally bound as the stars in their motions. Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity. Schopenhauer’s saying, ‘a man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills,’ has been a real inspiration to me since my youth; it has been a continual consolation in the face of life’s hardships, my own and others’, and an unfailing wellspring of tolerance.

Albert Einstein