Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Einstein and Individuation as Isolation

“My passionate interest in social justice and social responsibility has always stood in curious contrast to a marked lack of desire for direct association with men and women. I am a horse for a single harness, not cut out for tandem or teamwork. I have never belonged wholeheartedly to country or state, to my circle of friends or even to my own family. These ties have always been accompanied by a vague aloofness, and the wish to withdraw into myself increases with the years. Such isolation is sometimes bitter, but I do not regret being cut off from the understanding and sympathy of other men. I lose something by it, to be sure, but I am compensated for it in being rendered independent of the customs, opinions, and prejudices of others and am not tempted to rest my peace of mind upon such shifting foundations”.

-Einstein, in Broca’s Brain, Carl Sagan, 1974-1979, Ch. 3, “The World which Beckons like a Liberation”, p27 (possible references for this quote are found on p369, sorry for the ambiguity but the quote isn’t specifically referenced)

Einstein was obviously a “man who had learned to distinguish between what had been drummed into him and what he had acquired by his own experience and knowledge” .

The individual is a mountain whose peak becomes more isolated the higher it reaches.

-Jolande Jacobi, The Way of Individuation, 1965

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