Hey, there Questers welcome back. It’s Thursday, August 19th and this is episode 424. We have a quote from someone today who I really admired as a child, but as I get older, I am continuing to find additional things that I love about this mentor and this quote today is from our German-born theoretical physicist widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest physicists of all time, Albert Einstein. He says, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
Einstein is known for developing the theory of relativity. You probably think of E = mc², wiry glasses, and crazy hair when you think of him. But he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics, and he also had quite a bit to say on spirituality and consciousness as he neared the end of his life. So, somebody that the scientific community celebrates and holds up and it’s someone that can be is recognized around the world and is admired by most people, I think means that his advice tends to get heeded and quoted a lot. That’s why we love this one. It’s not one that we’ve heard often but it’s one that’s got a lot of depth to it. “Any fool can know”. So, kind of jabbing at knowledge here right off the bat. There is a lot to know. There’s a lot to learn. There is in the transactional sense of learning so much information you can take in, but understanding, ah, well, that is where Mr. Einstein brings in the nuance here and gives us something to ponder.
I think understanding takes knowledge to the next level. What we know about the next level of knowledge is that the next level is called applied knowledge. So, understanding is having that knowledge so deeply that it influences your behavior and your actions based on that piece of knowledge. That’s that real deep level of understanding and I love that. Albert Einstein started as a scientist. I feel like he kind of ended as almost one of the great philosophers of our age in finding these things because he spent his whole career seeking to know. I need to know how to split an atom. I need to know what this looks like. That’s what science is all about. It’s all about knowledge. It’s about uncovering what’s underneath and finding out that knowledge. I’m sure that there was a flip in his lifetime where he flipped into that I want to gain that understanding so that it can influence my thoughts and my actions.
The difference between these two statements here feels like the difference between the ‘what’ and the ‘why’. Any fool can know that’s the ‘what’, that’s the mechanics, that’s the transactional piece, that’s that straight conduit of information, of findings of research. But the ‘what’ versus the ‘why’ there’s so much depth there and understanding. We have to understand our understanding there, to begin with. Who’s understanding? What point of view? From what point of reference are we understanding? Einstein talked a lot about the theory of relativity, that it’s hard to measure anything until you have something else to compare it to, that all is relative. Humans have been saying that for thousands of years. So, understanding means that you’re fitting that knowledge, that ‘what’ piece into the greater context of the cosmic universe forces at play, which allows you to open up your consciousness and your imagination in a way that the ‘what’ limits it. When we explore the ‘why’ we get so much more depth and I think that that’s what Einstein is trying to tell us here. It’s not just the ‘what’. I spent my whole life chasing the ‘what’. Let’s look for the ‘why’.
Well, if we even think about his most famous equation, E = mc², energy equals matter cubed. So, when you find a cubed piece of matter, it is an energy. So, he really shifted in even that very equation. If you understand that energy is matter, that understanding can literally influence your entire life because energy is also spirit and it creates matter. So, just percolate on that a little bit because like Albert Einstein tells us, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
Alright, it’s a Thoughtful Thursday Quest. What’s one thing you might benefit from not just knowing, but truly and deeply understanding. Once you think of the topic you want to explore, we want you to sit with it for five whole minutes in silence. As we shared in another quote a few weeks ago, “Let it be still, and it will become clear.” Are you ready? Einstein with us now.
Kay & Shi: