illusion or delusion...A.E. on philosophy of life...?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by dumbest man on earth, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    A student brought the following "quote" up in class :

    " A human being is part of the whole that we call the 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 illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection of only the few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living things and all of nature." by Albert Einstein
    - see : http://lucymacdonald.typepad.com/in_spirit_quotes/2011/11/being-separate-is-an-illusion.html

    However, another student opined that the "quote" as they had read it - had the word "delusion" instead of "illusion"...
    - see : http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/01/einstein-on-the-meaning-of-life/
    - see : http://www.tmgnow.com/repository/cosmology/relationship.html
    - see : http://www.spiritualwisdom.org.uk/being-part-whole.htm

    Further research has not positively identified the 'original' source of the "quote", hence not being able to "Cite" the 'original' as being either "illusion" or "delusion"...

    ...so....

    1.) Can any member "cite" the 'original' source of the "quote" ?

    ...and...

    2.) What insight into Albert Einstein's Philosophy does this "quote" (if actually stated by A.E. !!) provide ?

    3.) Would the aforementioned "insight" change depending on the use of either word - "illusion" or "delusion" ?
     
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  3. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Research skills are essential to learn for the young scholar. Tracing unsourced Einstein quotes is extra-difficult because he would repackage similar thoughts in later writings and also because so many of his private papers were published, including drafts.

    At least some of these are words of comfort written by Einstein in a letter to a father who lost his son to polio.

    http://www.lettersofnote.com/2011/11/delusion.html (image of letter and HTML transcript)
    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein#1950s (Discussion of the "illusion+prison" version versus the 1950 "delusion" version)
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A00E3DD173EE63ABC4151DFB5668389669EDE (PAYWALL) (This is possibly the same March 29, 1972 New York Times article, page 24, column 6)

    Princeton University published a great number of Einstein's personal papers after his death, and your larger libraries may have one or more of these volumes. The part which compares this delusion to a prison may also authentic, as Einstein may have written it for a speech and that may be the source of the 1972 version. Or it may possible be from his rare 1931 book Cosmic Religion.
     
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  5. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Thanx, rpenner, much of what you 'linked' had been gone over...(other than the 'wiki'!!), yet we have yet to find any concrete 'original' source of the "quote" in the OP.

    At any rate, your response covers #1.)...

    Do you have any thoughts to share on #'s 2.) or 3.) of the OP ?
     
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  7. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    These Einstein quotes are very likely spurious. Source:

    https://tricycleblog.wordpress.com/2007/10/26/einsteins-quotes-on-buddhism/

    The first similar one I ever encountered was: "No problem can be solved AT THE SAME LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS as the one which created it."

    "kind of thinking" is the correct translation of the original quote, and the quote references the aether wind kind of thinking that elicited the null result Michaelson-Morely experiment, not some yoga master's attribution of a more transcendent and perfect intellect.

    I traced the source of the spurious quote to a book published in 2003, and some of those quotes went sufficiently viral that evidently books were still being published with the misquotes in 2007.

    Disgusting having the quotation equivalent of worthless junk disseminated so widely, but it is also a situation not likely to be remedied anytime soon.
     
  8. rpenner Fully Wired Staff Member

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    Einstein's musings on subjects other than physics or past 1935 interest me little.
     
  9. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Einstein's quote was actually about the two sides of the brain, although he was not aware of this, but rather was an intuition of the same.

    The left side of the brain differentiates reality and therefore find the unique slope at a point on a data curve. When our left brain is applied to ourselves; self reflection, we become distinct and differentiated from the rest; each has a unique slope.

    The right side of the brain, integrates data or finds the area under the curve. This side of the brain attempts to integrate a range of data points, from A to B, into a spatial correlation. When our right brain is applied ourselves, we feel more integrated within ourselves and with things outside ourselves.

    Einstein's quote comes across as esoteric philosophy, but it is an intuition that is describing a how the brain works, and therefore where ego consciousness finds itself, depending in which side of the brain it resides in.
     
  10. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

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    Citation needed.
     
  11. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Complete drivel. As you've been told (with links) more than once.
     
  12. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    ...
     
  13. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
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    ...
     
  14. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    @ - wellwisher
    @ - Daecon
    @ - Dywyddyr

    ...
     
  15. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/left-brain-right-brain.htm

    "The right brain-left brain theory originated in the work of Roger W. Sperry, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1981. While studying the effects of epilepsy, Sperry discovered that cutting the corpus callosum (the structure that connects the two hemispheres of the brain) could reduce or eliminate seizures."

    Since Albert Einstein expired in 1955, it is unlikely that anything he ever said referred to the work of Roger W. Sperry, or anything having to do with his theory of right brain, left brain dominance.
     
  16. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    ... wellwisher said much the same when he Posted : "...although he was not aware of this, but rather was an intuition of the same."...
     
  17. IIIIIIIIII Registered Senior Member

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    Maybe this "confusion" was done in purpose in order to emphasis that : "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice they are not"

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