The number one mistake made by people of faith is their conviction that heaven is a physical place we go to when we die.  They fail to understand that the true definition of heaven is enlightenment, and throughout the millenia there have been a handful of people who have managed to experience this while still alive — heaven on earth as I like to call it.  One person who came closer than most others to experiencing this was Albert Einstein, and in his 1954 book Ideas And Opinions, the iconic genius shared many of his most inspiring and beautiful thoughts on the highest ideals of the human experience:

“Everybody has certain ideals which determine the direction of his endeavors and his judgments. In this sense I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves — such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine. The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. Without the sense of fellowship with men of like mind, of preoccupation with the objective, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific research, life would have seemed to me empty.”

You can read more five-star excerpts from Einstein’s Ideas And Opinions by visiting Brain Pickings.  To read Einstein’s book in full CLICK HERE, and to pick up your own physical copy visit Amazon.  We live in incredibly turbulent times these days, but with these pearls of wisdom from Einstein, it makes the journey that much more graceful and inspired.  And if you ever find yourself getting down about the state of our world, take a look at this piece where Steven Pinker explains that there has never been a more peaceful time in human history than right now: “Psychologist Steven Pinker Talks To Charlie Rose About The World’s Astonishing Decline Of Violence”.  It’s all about relativity in the end.

Source: Brain Pickings

Writer, editor, and founder of FEELguide. I have written over 5,000 articles covering many topics including: travel, design, movies, music, politics, psychology, neuroscience, business, religion and spirituality, philosophy, pop culture, the universe, and so much more. I also work as an illustrator and set designer in the movie industry, and you can see all of my drawings at

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