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Einstein’s “Circle of Compassion”

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Over a coffee yesterday, my friend Saad told me about “Genius” –  a National Geographic tv series based on Walter Isaacson’s book on Einstein. An amazing story of the man within a scientist, allowing us to perhaps reflect on how a journey of sacrifice and suffering lead him to his amazing insights – insights that have fundamentally changed the trajectory of human evolution.

Yet within his scientific discoveries, we also find the insight of compassion. In his words

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

The challenge for us – how do we “widen our circle of compassion” ? A first step might be – simply opening to what is in our immediate circle – including ourselves – with joy and gratitude …

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