In 2015, many of the graphics on this site had been–through no fault of anyone on this site–accidentally wiped out. I’m in the process of inserting those graphics as time allows. This article was posted on June 9, 2015, and I’m finally updating the graphics again–this one on March 9, 2019. Enjoy revisiting this article.
Some time ago, I read a fabulous New York Times op-ed by author Brian Morton, director of the graduate program in fiction at Sarah Lawrence college.
Morton’s words stuck with me so much, I wrote to him to thank him for offering this perspective because his words reminded me of the need to question the quotes when we see them in graphic offerings.
So when I read the following in a graphic this morning, I went in search of learning whether Einstein actually said:
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead, his eyes are closed.”
And what a delightful find it was!
Einstein wrote these words in Living Philosophies, which was published by Simon and Schuster (New York) in 1931. It’s a marvelous 1000-word read starting with, “Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose.
“From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men—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 fellowmen, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received. My peace of mind is often troubled by the depressing sense that I have borrowed too heavily from the work of other men.
“I do not believe we can have any freedom at all in the philosophical sense, for we act not only under external compulsion but also by inner necessity.”
At first, I’d thought I might have confused Einstein with another scientist especially with Neptune’s approaching shift to apparent retrograde motion on Friday, June 12. We’re clearly feeling that energy by now, but many–myself included–have been feeling it for about two weeks. I’d initially thought Einstein was saying he believed in a Higher Power, but then the quote made me even more curious because I’d always thought Einstein had been an atheist or perhaps at least an agnostic. After reading it a few times (thanks for forcing me to do so, Neptune!), I realized what I had thought was indeed accurate: Einstein reserved belief in a Higher Power and apparently considered anyone believing in reincarnation “feeble” as well. Ah well, Dr. Einstein, wherever you are, the following cartoon comes to mind. My apologies for my feeblemindedness.
Now since I’ve gone this far, I thought I’d have a look at his chart. To my recollection, I haven’t offered it here yet. (On the other hand, I suppose anything is possible: Again, Neptune is preparing to retrograde.) An Eastern 4th quadrant above-the-horizon dominance commands Einstein’s chart with the Sun at the apex although not conjunct the Midheaven. Jupiter in the ninth house opposes the retrograde Uranus in the 3rd house,implying what can be a somewhat surprising philosophical perspective at least for his lifetime. The heartbeat of his chart points to a Mars-Saturn mutual reception, however, and this pairing points to another intriguing factor about the chart:
Mars in Saturn-ruled Capricorn sits in its sign of exaltation, where the red planet acts like the expert race car driver, knowing when, where and how much to turn at the same time Saturn in Mars-ruled Aries tends to temper one’s actions. Saturn in this placement can take the selfishness or impulsiveness out of Martian behaviors. Somehow, this mutual reception seemed to have balanced itself out so Mars continued to allow him to work as well as he did while Saturn and Mercury offered him the opportunity to work effectively and efficiently at his own pace. He focused well and wouldn’t have been inclined to have been sloppy with his calculations. Some people might round off. He wouldn’t have been likely to have done so.
As methodical as his work would have been, those who expected him to have been less accurate in his calculations would have been wrong, of course, as physicists years later would have known. I suppose it’s possible that he was intuitive in his work since his Pisces Midheaven was ruled by Neptune in a more prominent position as an 11th house interception with Chiron and Pluto. But the Neptune-Chiron conjunction holds a particular point of interest for me since this placement again reminds me of his having possessed that clear sizzle in performance enough for the world to have taken notice of him.
Jupiter too would have played a major role in his chart, thanks to the Moon in Sagittarius ruling the chart from the 6th house–one of the work-oriented houses–in addition to Jupiter’s opposition to Uranus, as I mentioned early on. One of the reasons I always look at the heartbeat of the chart lies in the process of seeing its interwoven connections: they offer a view of the perfect weaving of the astrological fabric itself–the whole of the person. For me, this is how I take note of the fine-tuning of the components.
Einstein notes in the essay, “I have never belonged wholeheartedly to country or state, to my circle of friends, or even to my own family.” Certainly with the Moon in a Jupiter-ruled sign and Jupiter in a Uranus-ruled sign, this feeling of never belonging–the concept of “I am a citizen of the world” could very much have been a major player in his life.
This from a man who said, “I do not believe we can have any freedom at all in the philosophical sense, for we act not only under external compulsion but also by inner necessity.” And somehow that fits.
In the context of anyone trying to understand this great man’s chart, he too presented himself as an enigma, and a fascinating one at that. Like he said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” And you were indeed beautiful and mysterious, Albert Einstein! Thank you for being who you were–wherever you are now.