Albert Einstein wrote in an essay about the mystical or numinous aspects of reality:
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the Mysterious — the knowledge of the existence of something unfathomable to us, the manifestation of the most profound reason coupled with the most brilliant beauty.
I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, or who has a will of the kind we experience in ourselves.
I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with the awareness of — and glimpse into — the marvelous construction of the existing world together with the steadfast determination to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.
This is the basics of cosmic religiosity, and it appears to me that the most important function of art and science is to awaken this feeling among the receptive and keep it alive.
I sense that it is not the State that has intrinsic value in the machinery of humankind, but rather the creative, feeling individual, the personality alone that creates the noble and sublime.
Albert Einstein – from his essay circa 1954, in the book (and audio CD) This I Believe: Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women – which includes excerpts from the ’50s program, plus the NPR series This I Believe.
Top photo by Yousef Karsh from the NPR site for the program.