One of the most inquisitive and prodigious minds was Einstein. He upended our species understanding of the cosmos from the very small of the quantum to the large unimaginable size of the universe as a whole. Born in Germany to a secular Jewish family, his unintuitive far-stretching and mind-bending accomplishments happened in Europe during the early 20th century. Like everyone, Einstein had trials and tribulations in his personal life. And like everyone, most of his problems were self-created as he was a philanderer. He lived the repercussions from those personal decisions and they’re not to be praised, but his professional contributions are second to none. He was also a pacifist caring deeply about humanity and its fate. And as a refugee having been born into a particular religion, and from the rise of nationalism and fascism, he knew all too well the capabilities of ego’s ignorance and its ability to divide and cast inequality.
Humans are a tribal species and crave validation for their existence. Parts of an identity comes from an icon, authority, or leader. And with technology making us a more interdependent species, stark inequities in how society functions are coming to light. But letting go of old habits for growth and wholesomeness isn’t easy. This has caused a bifurcation in humanity of those keeping the status quo and others who are open to sustainable social change. Einstein said, “All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development according to the individual.” This declaration needs to be heeded and available to all. And for the unencumbered option and chance for a person to achieve their desired dreams, there must be an egalitarian environment in civil and civic constructs. Removing all obstacles, including biases of ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, and education needs to be done by all. But shifting to a fairer and more inclusive place takes everyone to accept evidence-based facts. But being tribal, we only acknowledge the facts that fit our side and view.
Identity politics fomented by biased medias, social media’s algorithmic-induced echo chambers, and ease of information from the egonet has made punditry a pastime. Everyone’s qualified in everything and we’re all know-it-alls. Parties, corporations, and institutions stoke and profiteer off ego’s ignorance and incite adversarial perceptions of one another. Tocqueville stated, “The American republic will endure until the congress discovers it can bribe the public with its money.” This has been a long-stapled perennial practice, but with the internet’s intended use for connecting and transparency, the well-heeled have dug-in to preserve this unsustainable convention through gullible digestion of disinformation. Probity, creating less suffering, and the sustainability of our species come from embracing and employing evidence-based facts whether they fit our beliefs or not. Many narratives are of the ego and their consumption is a reflection of our divided world. Einstein said, “More the knowledge, lesser the ego; lesser the knowledge, more the ego…”
Everyone is responsible for their behavior irrespective of past influences. January sixth’s sedition or the lawless wake of violence and vandalism from the murder of George Floyd, were examples of emotionally charged mobs. The individual morphed into a collective one-minded reckless tsunami with little regard for their actions. Our species has come a long way in how we treat one another, but too many are still guided by misplaced values and beliefs. With the mind controlling decisions, all of us have to be accountable for what we ingest, and the conduct it manifests. More of us need to have the courage to be open to educating ourselves about evidence-based facts, and not disregard data that doesn’t fit our belief system or agenda. It’s the only way to stop mind exploitations. Einstein said, “Few are those that see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart.”
Einstein’s seminal contributions to science are Special and General relativity, but he received the Noble Prize for his work on the photoelectric effect because many of his peers couldn’t wrap their minds around relativity. Without getting too technical, for macro-objects like people, there isn’t a privileged frame of reference for how an object, including a person, experiences the universe. He revealed the equivalencies and interdependencies of nature. His field equations show acceleration and gravity, time and space, energy and time, and matter and energy are interchangeable and equal. The formula E=MC² states that energy and matter are the same, and it’s the speed of light squared that gives them their power. All of us are made of matter, exist in spacetime, and move on a rock through space, and our empowerment is light. The actuality of nature gleaned by Einstein and other scientists needs to be the foundation for how we operate as a species. Different perspectives are divine and provide a spectrum of views that are relatable and relative to everyone, but they will lead us into the dark if they’re not based on reality and facts.
All of us looking into our belief silos and winnow away what’s real or not will do wonders for the world. We can’t escape beliefs. And they’re being used to make enemies of one another for power and profit. Europe was in the throes of WW I when Einstein formulated General relativity and said, “The powerful will forever be able to make people hate one another.” Soon thereafter he became a refuge from the anti-Semitic fervor taking over his homeland and moved to America. This blinkered mind mob led to the atrocities of the holocaust and WW II. Our essence is light, but from ego we label things and people based on pigment color, religion, geographic area, or language. Equanimity in opportunity isn’t possible until everyone sees, acknowledges, and treats one another in the unbiased authentic way nature made us and the universe. One last quote from Einstein, “I believe in standardizing cars not human beings”. Unlike in the past, most today have the freedom of choice. And to dispel the shadows of ignorance from ego, cultivating the mind to its inherent, natural, and authentic home of illumination is necessary for species-supportive decisions. If we want to stop repeating history, all of us need to ChoiceUp and come from the equator and not the poles.