Was Einstein a Buddhist?

I’m wondering if Einstein was a Buddhist. These words of wisdom certainly point to a deep understanding of the nature of interbeing – the nature of interdependence.

His statement, “…that we are here for the sake of each other,” is a statement that points to our interconnection with each other and our interdependence on each other. We depend on people in ways that we don’t often think about.

For example, when you buy a bottle of milk from your local grocery store, do you ever think of all of the interconnections that made this possible? Do you think about the cow who gave the milk? Do you think about the environment of the cows from the milk producer? Are they given free range and do they eat grass? Or are they kept in a pen and hardly ever see the light of day?

Then we have to think about how the milk is processed at the plant and the people and machines involved. What kind of conditions do the workers at the plant have to endure? Do they make an adequate living? Are they over worked and under paid? What kind of energy are the putting into each bottle of milk they produce?

Does the milk arrive fresh at the market? Who stacks the milk bottles in the refrigerator? Are they happy being a store clerk? How long has the milk been sitting there?

Some of these questions become easier to answer if we know that the cows are grass fed and have free range, especially if the milk is organic.

From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other— above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.

– Albert Einstein


Maybe wisdom such as these words convey is a product of his being a genius. But here, he recognizes the nature of interbeing as well as the importance of generosity.

So was Einstein a Buddhist? What do you think? Did he “…give in return as much as I have received?”

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