There was an article in The New York Times, Thursday, April 25, 1929, which said:
Professor Albert Einstein, the author of the theory of relativity, professed belief in “Spinoza’s God” in a radiogram received here yesterday from Dusseldorf, Germany, by Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein of the Institutional Synagogue, 37 West 116th Street. The message came in response to a cablegram to the scientist asking him in German:
“Do you believe in God?”
Professor Einstein’s reply read:
“I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world,
not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.”
Baruch (de) Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher, one of the early thinkers of the Enlightenment, who came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy.
Here’s a story circulating on the Web:
What would God have said, according to Spinoza’s views?
- Stop praying and punching yourself in the chest! What I want you to do is go out into the world and enjoy your life. I want you to enjoy, sing, have fun and enjoy everything I’ve made for you.
- Stop going to those dark, cold temples that you built yourself and say they are my house! My house is in the mountains, in the woods, rivers, lakes, beaches. That’s where I live and there I express my love for you.
- Stop blaming me for your miserable life; I never told you there was anything wrong with you or that you were a sinner, or that your sexuality was a bad thing! Sex is a gift I have given you and with which you can express your love, your ecstasy, your joy. So don’t blame me for everything they made you believe.
- Stop reading alleged sacred scriptures that have nothing to do with me. If you can’t read me in a sunrise, in a landscape, in the look of your friends, in your son’s eyes… you will find me in no book!
- Trust me and stop asking me. Will you tell me how to do my job?
- Stop being so scared of me. I do not judge you, I criticize you, nor get angry, or bother, or punishment. I am pure love.
- Stop asking for forgiveness, there’s nothing to forgive. If I made you… I filled you with passions, limitations, pleasures, feelings, needs, inconsistencies… free will. How can I blame you if you respond to something I put in you? How can I punish you for being the way you are, if I’m the one who made you Do you think I could create a place to burn all my children who behave badly for the rest of eternity? What kind of god can do that?
- Forget any kind of commandments, any kind of laws; those are wiles to manipulate you, to control you, that only create guilt in you.
- Respect your peers and don’t do what you don’t want for yourself. All I ask is that you pay attention in your life, that your alert is your guide.
- My beloved, this life is not a test, not a step, not a step in the way, not a rehearsal, nor a prelude to paradise. This life is the only thing here and now and all you need.
- I have set you absolutely free, no prizes or punishments, no sins or virtues, no one carries a marker, no one keeps a record. You are absolutely free to create in your life heaven or hell.
- I could tell you if there’s anything after this life but I can give you a tip. Live as if there is no. As if this is your only chance to enjoy, to love, to exist.
- So, if there’s nothing, then you will have enjoyed the opportunity I gave you. And if there is, rest assured that I won’t ask if you behaved right or wrong, I’ll ask. Did you like it? Did you have fun? What did you enjoy the most? What did you learn?…
- Stop believing in me; believing is assuming, guessing, imagining. I don’t want you to believe in me, I want you to feel in you. I want you to feel me in you when you kiss your beloved, when you tuck your little girl, when you caress your dog, when you bathe in the sea.
- Stop praising me, what kind of egomaniac God do you think I am? I’m bored being praised, I’m tired of being thanked. Feeling grateful? Prove it by taking care of you, your health, your relationships, the world. Feeling looked at, shocked?… Express your joy! That’s the way to praise me.
- Stop complicating things and repeating as a parakeet what you’ve been taught about me. The only thing for sure is that you are here, that you are alive, that this world is full of wonders. What do you need more miracles for? Why so many explanations?
- Look for me outside, you won’t find me. Find me inside… there I am beating in you.