Becky often spoke about what Albert Einstein had to say on physics and metaphysics, art, and religion. Although Einstein was never a Christian Scientist, he apparently attended a Christian Science church for a time and is quoted as having said a variety of complementary things about the teachings of Christian Science, particularly its nonstandard concept of matter.
Mary Baker Eddy, as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, encountered much opposition from mainstream theology when she rejected the idea of a "personal God" - personal referring to the notion of an anthropomorphic figure somewhere in the heavens watching over/judging the universe, and that one needed to grow beyond that idea. In 1885 in a talk at Tremont Temple in Boston, speaking to the prominent theolgians of the day, she was asked,
- A [librarian] in the [Christian Science Reading Room] in Princeton, New Jersey told me that Dr. [Albert] Einstein was one of the most frequent visitors to the Reading Room. He would come in and spend an hour or two just reading "Science and Health" [the Christian Science textbook].
- Reminiscences of Elizabeth Earl Jones, from "The Healer: The Healing Work of Mary Baker Eddy," p.189.
Albert Einstein wrote,
- Do I believe in a personal God? I know not what the person of omnipotence and omnipresence is, or what the infinite includes; therefore, I worship that of which I can conceive, first, as a loving Father and Mother; then, as thought ascends the scale of being to diviner consciousness, God becomes to me, as to the apostle who declared it, "God is Love," —divine Principle,— which I worship; and "after the manner of my fathers, so worship I God."
Mary Baker Eddy and Albert Einstein are both known for forwarding concepts of the physical universe quite different from those generally accepted by the scientists of their day.
- I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation.
Mary Baker Eddy:
- There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.
- Metaphysics is above physics, and matter does not enter into metaphysical premises or conclusions.
Albert Einstein would later discover the non-material nature of the universe of what appeared to be matter, as his equation revealed the relationship between mass and energy. Mary Baker Eddy has much to say about energy, force, etc, and her use of the word 'Principle' above includes the ideas of law, force, energy — the non-material, spiritual dimension of the universe. Mary Baker Eddy refers to "the divine energy of Spirit." While Albert Einstein never became a Christian Scientist, he often spoke with people about Mary Baker Eddy's writings. Becky glimpsed insights from both.
- Science / Physics is inclined to be misled because both of its truths are deceptive.
- Metaphysics is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance.
From a poem by Mary Baker Eddy:
- ...one of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires.
Becky wrote in her notebook this quote from "Einstein as I Knew Him," by Alan Windsor Richards:
Soul, sublime 'mid human debris,
Paints the limner's work, I ween,
Art and Science, all unweary,
Lighting up this mortal dream.
- Thus it is that Einstein's work still challenges us to answer this question: 'Is the world really the way it seems to us?'
Some other Albert Einstein quotes on religion, art, and science:
- My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.
- True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness.
- The most important function of art and science is to awaken the cosmic religious feeling and keep it alive.
- I maintain that cosmic religiousness is the strongest and most noble driving force of scientific research.
- Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world; he then tries to some extent to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it. This is what the painter, the poet, the speculative philosopher, and the natural scientists do, each in his own fashion. Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way peace and security which he can not find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience.
- The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It doe s not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books---a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.
- A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _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 delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
- Scientists were rated as great heretics by the church, but they were truly religious men because of their faith in the orderliness of the universe.
- Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science
- I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
- The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true 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.
- What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.
- It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
- Space and time are forms of intuition, which can no more be divorced from consciousness than can our concepts of color, shape or size.
- The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
- True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.
— compiled by Richard Jones