Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from that of their social environment.
At the same time, as social beings, we are moved in the relations with our fellow beings by such feelings as sympathy, pride, hate, need for power, pity, and so on.
If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t know enough about it.
You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.
It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.
When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
What I seek to accomplish is to serve with my feeble capacity truth and justice at the risk of pleasing no one.
I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism have brought me to my ideas.
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.
Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the entire world.
In that way imagination and intelligence enter into our existence in the part of servants of the primary instincts.
We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organized that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race.
Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
The faster you go, the shorter you are.
Only two things are infinite, the Universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.
Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes — goodwill among men and peace on earth.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and 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 closed.
Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it.
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
Nearly every great advance in science arises from a crises in the old theory, through an endeavor to find a way out of the difficulties created. We must examine old ideas, old theories, although they belong to the past, for this is the only way to understand the importance of the new ones and the extent of their validity.
I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research.
It is the theory that decides what can be observed.
Strange is our situation here on earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men – above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.
We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.
One must not attempt to justify them, but rather to sense their nature simply and clearly.
If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?
The significant problems we face can not be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done this far creates problems that we cannot solve at the same level at which we created them.
Only a life lived for others is worth living.
The difference between what the most and the least learned people know is inexpressibly trivial in relation to that which is unknown.
Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’s relativity.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one.
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.
God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.
Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.
The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.
It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat.
They come into being not through demonstration but through revelation, through the medium of powerful personalities.
I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.
God does not play dice with the universe.
Before God we are equally wise – and equally foolish.
When the solution is simple, God is answering.
I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.
Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
The legs are the wheels of creativity.
To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition.
Gravitation can not be held resposible for people falling in love.
How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.
If I had my life to live over again, I’d be a plumber.
I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.
The distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty… this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.
Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.
If one were to take that goal out of out of its religious form and look merely at its purely human side, one might state it perhaps thus: free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind.
It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.
It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
One cannot alter a condition with the same mind set that created it in the first place.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift; the rational mind is faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
It stands to the everlasting credit of science that by acting on the human mind it has overcome man’s insecurity before himself and before nature.
Divine souls suffer violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Occurrences in this domain are beyond the reach of exact prediction because of the variety of factors in operation, not because of any lack of order in nature.
Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police.
The only way to escape the personal corruption of praise is to go on working.
The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.
Intelligence is not the ability to store information, but to know where to find it.
Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.
We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own – a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.
I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.
The only source of knowledge is experience.
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
The words of language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The physical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images.
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.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; 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 life of the individual only has meaning insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful. Life is sacred, that is to say, it is the supreme value to which all other values are subordinate.
It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.
It is better to believe than to disbelieve; in so doing you bring everything to the realm of possibility.
To the Master’s honor all must turn, each in its track, without a sound, forever tracing Newton’s ground.
There does, in fact, appear to be a plan.
Albert Einstein, The Three Rules of Work
1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2. From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.