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To My Neighbor


I lift you higher,
lift you out
of your body cells
stuffed with anxiety
of your past -
an evil load that smells.

I'll fill each cell
with love and joy
that makes the
angels dance.
You'll glide through earthly
filth and stench -
a spiritual trance.

From your youth filled eyes,
your hands
and feet,
a holy peace shall flow,
so you and I
be filled with grace -
let us be still
and know.

William Hermanns
[P527]

Seelentränen


Seelentränen sind Gedichte,
rot mit Herzblut aufgeschrieben,
tiefem Menschenleid zum Ruhm,

Lies sie still in reinem Lichte,
unbeschattet,
frei von Trieben:
Du betrittst ein Heiligtum.


Wilhelm Hermanns
[G001]




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William Hermanns


Einstein's Cosmic Man

Einstein & the Poet   Intuition  Einstein's Legacy


1930
"Many people think that the progress of the human race is based on experiences of an empirical, critical nature, but I say that true knowledge is to be had only through a philosophy of deduction. For it is intuition that improves the world, not just following the trodden path of thought. Intuition makes us look at unrelated facts and then think about them until they can all be brought under one law. To look for related facts means holding onto what one has instead of searching for new facts. Intuition is the father of new knowledge, while empiricism is nothing but an accumulation of old knowledge. Intuition, not intellect, is the ‘open sesame’ of yourself."   --   Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 16.), conversation March 4, 1930   

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The development from a religion of fear to a moral religion is a great step in peoples lives. And yet, that primitive religions are based purely on fear and the religions of civilized peoples purely on morality is a prejudice against which we must be on guard. the truth is that all religions are a varying blend of both types, with this differentiation: that on the higher levels of social life the religion of morality predominates.

Common to all types is the anthropomorphic character of their conception of God. In general, only individuals of exceptional endowments, and exceptionally high-minded communities, rise to any considerable extent above this level. But there is a third stage of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form: I shall call it cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.

The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he want to experience the universe as a single significant whole.  The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this.

The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.

How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it.

 -- Albert Einstein, Science and Religion, NY Times, November 9, 1930.  <-- Click for complete essay.

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1940
Now, even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration towards truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

-- Einstein,  Science and Religion, 1940. 

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1943
"No matter how idealistic and necessary a group is, each member must first be loyal to his conscience.” Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 73. – conversation in August 1943)

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1948
"One never goes wrong following his feeling.  I don’t mean emotions, I mean feeling, for feeling and intuition are one.” Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 95. – conversation on September 14, 1948)

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"We must make the individual man aware of his conscience so that he understands what it means that only a few will survive the next war. This man will be the cosmic man." Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 99.)

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"That is why the most beautiful Church for me is the church of conscience, found in the silence of one's own presence.  Unselfishness, humaneness, service to your brother - these are the values which the Church should practice for once, instead of con­stantly trying to gather in more souls. A cosmic religion is the only solution - then there will be no more Church politics of supporting the mighty at the cost of the human rights of the poor." Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 106.)

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1954
“We will be destroyed unless we create a cosmic conscience. And we have to begin to do that on an individual level, with the youth that are the politicians of tomorrow…. But no one, and certainly no state, can take over the responsibility that the individual has to his conscience.” Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 141. Conversation in Summer of 1954)

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“Too many religions preach love without justice. As long as there are no decent conditions for all men, as long as religions do not consider that their highest obligation is to create decent conditions for all mankind regardless of what creed, they have degraded love and justice.” Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 142.)  

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“ We must change the heart of man.” Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 143.)    See also the essay Change the Heart of Man.

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"Be proud of being the mean between macrocosm and microcosm. Stand still and marvel. Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. Look around at how people want to get more than he receives. Be creative, but make sure that what you create is not a curse for mankind.” Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 143.)  

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“We must create a cosmic man, a man ruled by his conscience.” Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 133.)  

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"Create a community which develops the highest of man's qualities based on conscience. You must warn people not to make their in­tellect their god. The intellect knows methods but it seldom knows values, and they come from feeling. If one doesn't play a part in the creative whole, he is not worth being called human. He has betrayed his true purpose." Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 135.)

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“About God, I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church. As long as I can remember, I have resented mass indoctrination. I do not believe in the fear of life, in the fear of death, in blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws.” -- Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 132.)

Einstein & the Poet  Intuition Einstein's Legacy

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