My post that I wrote yesterday — couldn’t publish till this morning because of storms creating connectivity problems — reminded me of how much I used quotes from Albert Einstein when I taught in the classroom.
I think that most folks don’t realize that in addition to his 300+ scientific papers, he wrote over 150 non-scientific papers, not to mention his records which are classified as his papers. These were released in 2014 and comprise 30,000 unique documents — according to a Wikipedia entry.
Another thing that many people don’t know is that Isaac Newton also wrote much beyond the bounds of math and physics, including much biblical commentary and spiritual writing. I make the point that exceptional minds think beyond their areas of expertise, extending their concerns to the spiritual condition of men and all creation.
Who cares? I don’t know, but I do know why I care. A number of people who are considered “greats” were those who followed their hearts and were marked by intensely spiritual interests; they were acutely aware of core Self, and I am quite sure held fellowship with their own hearts regularly. Were they perfect? No, none are, but that awakened Self was responsible for their greatness. I am not making claims for any who I have not mentioned by name in my writings, but those who I have provide great inspiration for me.
Einstein is widely quoted for good reason: he had keen insight into life that did not require super intelligence or any scientific knowledge. Anyone who knows the fellowship of her or his own heart values such expressions; they encourage, confirm, and extend our thinking. And that is why I value quotes from Einstein.
All the following sentences in quotation marks are Albert Einstein’s. The not-so-inspiring commentary is mine.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
Einstein had a deep intuitive sense of how desperately we need nature; the greatest thinkers always have known that.
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
This is the spark of intrinsic motivation and key to the way I learn and the way I offer learning to others. Passionate curiosity initiates the power of imagination and gives a reason to engage in collecting information, connecting it to produce knowledge, and creating even further bodies of knowledge and ways to express that.
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
In my opinion, and Einstein indicates nothing different, he is not speaking of a few exceptional teachers. This is the rule. If a law, district, curriculum, or administrator actively interferes or seeks to eliminate this, then the true teacher defies it in any way possible — overtly and covertly. I did.
“All that is valuable in human society is dependent upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.”
And herein lies the value of education and the dangers of continuing in current mainstream philosophy that does not actively, constantly, and consistently engender curiosity — at all levels and not just on some occasional fun project. That is what begins the “opportunity for development” of the individual. And embedded in this concept is the focus of education on evoking the core Self of children and young people, of not stifling that individuality, of not insisting on everyone learning the same things at the same time from the same dunderheads who somehow know what is right for every student. Not acceptable to play god with others lives. Do it with your own and that’s great!
I could keep going, but before I end today, I want to say that I would not agree with everyone who follows their heart in terms of all issues, but we would have common sympathies. I simply want every individual to have unobstructed opportunity from societal institutions to hear the call of their own hearts, to know Self, to know peace, and to live lives of significance and fulfillment. This is not done in isolation, and life purpose is always in reference to our expression of core Self to fellow creatures in this world and to the Universe.
Education should be key in that development. It can be. “Never lose a holy curiosity.”