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 being praying and giving you blows in the chest, what I want you to do is to go out into the world to enjoy your life. I want you to enjoy, you sing, have fun and enjoy everything I’ve done for you.
- Stop going to those gloomy, dark and cold temples that you built yourself and that you say to be my home. My house is in the mountains, in the forests, the rivers, the lakes, the beaches. That’s where I live and express all my love for you.
- Stop blaming me for your miserable life; I never told you, you were a sinner.
- Stop having me so scared. I do not judge you, nor criticize you, nor anger me, nor bother me, nor punishment. I am pure love.
- Stop asking me forgiveness, there’s nothing to forgive. If I made you… I filled you with passions, limitations, pleasures, feelings, needs, inconsistencies… of free will, how can I blame you if you answer something that I put in you? How can I punish you for being as you are, if I’m the one I made you? Do you think I could create a place to burn all my children who misbehave, for the rest of eternity? What kind of God can do that?
- Forget about any kind of commandments, of any kind of laws; those are wiles to manipulate you, to control you and that only create guilt in you.
- Respect your peers and don’t do what you don’t want for you.
- The only thing I ask is that you pay attention in your life, that your alert status is your guide. This life is the only thing there is, here and now and the only thing you need.
- I have made you absolutely free, there are no prizes or punishments, there are no sins or virtues, no one carries a marker, no one carries a record. You are absolutely free to create in your life a heaven or hell.
- I couldn’t tell you if there’s anything after this life, but I can give you a tip. Live as if there wasn’t. As if this was your only chance to enjoy, to love, to exist. So, if there is nothing, then you will have enjoyed the opportunity I gave you. And if there is, be sure that I will not ask you if you behaved well or wrong, I will ask you. Did you like it? Did you have fun? What did you enjoy the most? What did you learn?
- Stop believing in me; believe is to assume, guess, imagine. I don’t want you to believe in me, I want you to feel in you when you kiss your beloved, when you throw your little girl, when you love your dog, when you bathe in the sea.
- Stop praise me. What kind of egotistical God do you think I am? I’m bored to praise me, I’m fed up to thank me. Do you feel grateful? Prove it taking care of you, your health, your relationships, the world. Do you feel looked, overwhelmed? Express your joy! That’s the way to praise me.
- The only thing 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?
- Don’t look for me outside, you won’t find me. Find me inside… there I’m beating in you.