A Weekend with Einstein and Augustine

 

A Weekend with Einstein and Augustine

Exploring God's creative genius and finding love everlasting

Roland Trujillo

  CONTENTS

Preface

Introduction

How Could Einstein Be So Sure?

Augustine's Life Transforming Encounter with the Intuition

Understanding Intuition

The Sky's the Limit

A Time to Reap and a Time to Sow

Light: God's Personal Creative Tool

Pride, the Betrayer

Impatience, the Cause of Anxiety

Time, our Fallen Soul's Environment

Wake Up and Smell the Roses

Conscience is Like Light

Hitch Your Wagon to a Star

Energy from Time

Time and Change

Why We Feel Drained

The World Was Founded on a Lie

"Love Covers a Multitude of Sins"

A New Look at Change

The Waves of Existence

Conscious Living, Courageous Loving

How to Relate to Time

God's Purposes and Man's Destiny

How to Have All the Time You Need

Contemporary and Timeless

Light Connects Heaven and Earth and Bridges the Gap Between Spiritual Dark Energy and the Quantum Level

Metaphysical Receptivity to the Benevolence of the Space/Time/Energy Field

What Time Really Is – And What It Tells Us about God and About Ourselves

Rethinking Heaven - a Recent Magazine Article in Light of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology Destiny

Cosmogenesis and Providence

The Higgs Boson Won't Eliminate God

Motion, the Big Bang, and the Creation of the Universe

Correspondences Between the Spiritual and the Material Realms

A Brief Introduction to Gravity

Could Dark Energy and Dark Matter Be Evidence of the Ether Field?

A Poem and a Prayer

Supplemental Reading

Guiding Principles

Two Proofs for the Existence of God

A Reading from the Book of Genesis

Lord of all Being

The Thought of God

On Time

A Reading from the Book of Job

An Introduction to Isaac Newton's General Scholium

Newton's General Scholium

The Confessions of Saint Augustine Book XI Further Reading

  There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein Train yourself to hear that small inner voice.

Anne Lamott The Brain -- is wider than the Sky -- For -- put them side by side -- The one the other will contain With ease -- and You -- beside –

Emily Dickenson Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe.

Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642) True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness.

Albert Einstein Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steven Jobs from his 2005 address to Stanford's graduating class   Preface

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.

Albert Einstein All my life through, the new sights of nature made me rejoice like a child.

Madame Marie Curie

The American painter Norman Rockwell, who had a way of capturing the pathos of a tender individual moment of universal import, has a well known painting of an old sailor and a little boy, perhaps his grandson, standing on a hill looking out to sea.

We are behind them and cannot see their faces, but we know they are gazing out at the sea, and we imagine the marvels, the mysteries and the adventures hidden in the memory of the sailor and anticipated by the boy, as they look toward that great ocean.

It is my hope that this cosmological excursion will help you look at the universe and the marvels and mysteries it entails with fresh eyes. Please pardon my use of poetic license, I wonder and then I wander where my heart and my intuition take me. It is meant to be more like a tapestry in which I weave together and reunite with disinterested love what never should have torn asunder in the first place.

  Introduction

One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect [upon me] that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year.

Albert Einstein Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Albert Einstein

This book is about God, His universe, and his people--the human race--created by Him in His image and likeness.

It contains clues about God's relationship with the universe He created and about how he relates to people and about how He wants us to relate to each other.

It is intended to be heuristic: to help the readers begin to discover for themselves answers to some of life's deepest questions.

Imagine that you are going to attend a weekend conference and retreat. It was billed as A Weekend of Learning, Discovery and Personal Growth and you made reservations months in advance for this once in a lifetime event.

Held at a beautiful conference center in the woods, it is to be an intimate gathering of no more than forty attendees. The facilitators are Dr. Albert Einstein and Aurelius Augustine of North Africa.

How stimulating it would be. There is a buzz in the audience during the first Friday afternoon conference, and the excitement builds throughout the entire weekend.

It lives up to all expectations--from the gala opening gathering Friday night (where both Doctors Einstein and Augustine introduce themselves and talk about their current projects), followed by a full Saturday and Sunday of seminars, break out groups, and learning activities, to the closing conference on Sunday afternoon.

Even the meals, where the facilitators themselves always join right in, are the scene of lively discussions and uproarious fun. There is a spark in the air. People are even talking and debating long into the night around the fireplace or on the balcony under the moonlight.

After the final conference on Sunday afternoon where you shake hands with the hosts and say a heartfelt thank you, as you are driving home you have the distinct impression that you have just attended something very remarkable. You enjoy a natural high for days and you bubble over with ideas, insights, and a desire to tell everyone about them!

The next day, while it is all still fresh in your mind, you sit down and begin to write. What starts out as a few paragraphs about your impressions and major learning outcomes grows to become a daily journal and then a book, as you write down insights and observations that go way beyond the weekend conference.

Everyone said it would be life transforming, and it was. When you send a note to Albert and Gus (what they put on their name tags and insisted you call them), to thank them again for the conference which changed your life and opened up a whole new world of learning for you, each graciously responds. They are both pleased and ask you to stay in touch.

I hope that a weekend with this book may also awaken a heady, invigorating renewed interest in finding answers to the riddle of life and the mysteries of our universe.

Because I write about creation, I must include a little science and specifically some physics and cosmology. Because I write about conscious and congruent living I must include some terms from the field of psychology.

There are few numbers in this book. I know that, as Sir Arthur Eddington said, science is all about numbers. But I also heard somewhere that Stephen Hawking's publisher told him that every equation added to a book cuts the readership in half.

The science, the cosmology, and the psychology are here, but only enough for the matter at hand.

This book is about the ideas behind the math, the principles that produce the beauty, symmetry, order, and congruency we observe and marvel at.

I understand that a person can appreciate a symphony without being able to read the musical score.

The layperson will be glad to learn that this book is easy to read by anyone who has an interest in and a love of such things. You do not have to be a science major.

Except for a few terms you might have to look up, you will find most of this book familiar and friendly.

After all, I write about our home—this great green earth, the sun and the stars. I write about the awe and wonder we have felt when we observe the marvels of nature. I write about a sense of adventure and a love of discovering things that we have all experienced when we were young (and some of us have not lost as we aged).

I write of patience and of love for one another we have know by their presence or their absence. I write of the Father some of us have never known but for whom we are searching.

Many of the passages may be suitable for scanning—for light reading to get the big picture or to search for clues to your questions. As you read, some things may leap out from the page and awaken immediate insight, as you grasp the breath and depth of what I wish to communicate through the medium of words.

Some passages will be familiar to you—things you have long suspected were true. All this book does is remind you of them, and I'm merely confirming what you already knew in your heart.

Other passages may need to be sipped, like a fine brandy, a little at a time in order to savor the bold or delicate essence that they contain.

You might then spend many happy, aimless hours contemplating what you have read.

My joy will be when something is illuminated for you, awakening a renewed delight in discovery, even perhaps an aha moment that begins a flow of insights and realizations.

If this happens, what you read will come alive for you, and you will discover the joy of science and cosmology as never before.

The physicist or science student may prefer to begin with the later chapters of the book about cosmogenesis.

The person who is interested in congruent, conscious living and holistic well-being may find the middle chapters of most interest.

The deepest and most profound understanding of a subject can be called profound simplicity. Thirty years ago I once attended a conference where Will Schutz, a pioneer in the human potential movement, mentioned, as I recall, that there are basically three types of understanding of a subject: simplistic, complex, and profound simplicity. What he said made a lot of sense to me and I have never forgotten it.

First, our understanding of a subject is simplistic. About all we can do is recognize the topic, but we can't explain it, let alone teach it.

After lots of study and thought, we develop a complex grasp, no longer simplistic but now complicated. We know more now, but we are all caught up in the details.

There is a third and higher level and it can be called profound simplicity.

Many of us who have taken many courses, gotten degrees, and read widely get stuck in the second stage, where things are complicated.

But things begin to clear up if we attain profound simplicity. Perhaps that is why people with wisdom, like Yoda in Star Wars or the Shaolin Master in the Kung Fu television series, say things in a simple way. It is clear to them. The renowned humanitarian and Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, put it this way: "From naive simplicity we arrive at more profound simplicity."

As our understanding grows, it becomes simpler, but also more profound. Augustine said "The Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them."

Einstein sums up profound simplicity in this, one of his famous quotes: "If the solution is simple, God has answered."

In this respect, profound simplicity is also divine simplicity.

My spiritual mentor said: "for the person of faith, the way is always simple. He sees which way to go, what to avoid or what is right. It is clear. But for the egotist, life is always complicated." Einstein, as we will see, was a man of faith: he trusted in his intuition and did not doubt it.

The principles he realized were profoundly simple but heuristic--leading to deeper and deeper understanding.

Augustine was all too human—sentimental and exuberant, even given to anxiety. Today he would be diagnosed with anxiety disorder. But his saving grace was love.

He loved God. His love conquered his anxiety. In the Bible, Paul says: "perfect love casts out fear." Perfect love also casts out anxiety. He became a man of faith because he was a man of love.

He loved God, and he realized that he was loved by God and that his insights were from God. These realizations made him love God even more.

Knowing that he was known and loved was the realization that permitted him to cast aside doubt and trust in the subtle insights he was given. The fruit of these intuitive insights was life changing, the story of which is contained in his famous Confessions, the world's first spiritual autobiography.

Augustine realized some profoundly simple truths about God, about the nature of the created universe, and about the moral universe, and these profound realizations lead to many more insights and knowledge about God, the material creation, and about human psychology.

This book is an exploration--inspired by these men of science, both humanitarians, both men of faith and love—of the material and moral universes, and about the God Who created them.

It can be read by anyone, even someone who knows virtually nothing about cosmology, physics, or psychology. In fact, that person has the advantage of fresh eyes and an open mind.

The person more familiar with the science involved in my discussions of light, time, gravity, and cosmogony will have the advantage of already being conversant with the terminology.

However, the physicist, the mathematician, the psychologist and the theologian also have a disadvantage. Having been involved in extensive study, they become immersed in facts and theories, and may find themselves impeded by the complexity. When this happens, the acquired knowledge actually gets in the way of understanding.

Lost in the labyrinth of learning, people sometimes have a hard time breaking through to the sought after stage of profound simplicity.

It is my fervent wish that this book may help restore understanding to your knowledge, as I put words together in a way that tends to awaken, so that the student or practitioner will be able to see the meaning, the purpose, the symmetry, and the power behind the findings and formulas.

Another drawback to too much study is that it fills the mind with second hand ideas the student has accepted because they are the intellectual coinage of the day or out of a sense of obligation to accept what they are told in order to get good grades, teacher's approval, or later for grants or promotion.

The nature of pride being what it is, the student is likely to defend an acquired idea, even if erroneous, as if it were his or her very own idea.

We shake our heads when we read about how the new and correct scientific findings that Galileo or Copernicus discovered were opposed by the intellectual status quo. Yet even as this book is being written anyone who questions the sacred cows of the big bang theory or evolution is ignored or marginalized, even as Copernicus was shunned when he dared to say that the earth revolved around the sun.

How right Mahatma Gandhi was when he said: "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

Even Dr. Einstein experienced some of this. His ideas were first ignored, then I'm sure ridiculed in some quarters, then fought, but finally he won. Truth won out, though it took years and in some cases even decades for him to be fully vindicated.

At work, in our research, with our friends and above all with our family, we owe it to others to honor the truth. Always be ready to admit it when you don't really know. But most of all, you must persist with the truth, even in the face of opposition. As Tolstoy said: "The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience." And I might add a third: "Faith."

There was a popular bumper sticker during the sixties which said "Question authority." It applies today just as much as it did then.

Don't be overly deferential to teachers, professors (and textbook writers). You may have to rely on them to learn some facts and formulas for a grade, maybe even a recommendation letter; but not for who you are, what you will become, or what you know in your heart of hearts.

Dare to be an Einstein. Otherwise you will be a second hand imitation of another. Don't resent opposition. Einstein himself said: "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a person does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses their intelligence."

The study of math and science has its place. It acquaints the student with the jargon, the mathematical operations, and basic facts needed to express yourself.

In other words, such study provides the basics and the raw material to use as a platform for discovery and useful invention. Secondly, study permits you know what has been found already so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

But once you have the raw materials, it is time to set sail. There are many good things I can say about teachers who stick to the knitting and teaching basic readin', writin' and 'rithmetic—so that the student is not overwhelmed or forced to accept what may not be true. As Mark Twain so aptly said: "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

The professional cook learns the basics of cooking and how to use the right tools for the job. But he does not spend the rest of his life using cookbooks or, for that matter, even writing cookbooks. He cooks. The joy of cooking is discovering new things to make.

Use the math and science techniques you learn like the cook uses his blender, pans and utensils. Use your books like the writer uses his or her dictionary.

Enjoy your studies, but don't let a backpack full of books and a procession of endless quizzes, exams and finals rob you of the awe and wonder you had when you began your studies. Much learning is a weariness of the flesh, said the writer of Ecclesiastes.

Albert Einstein said: The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.

Einstein retained a childlike quality his whole life. All we need do to confirm this is to see pictures of him with unkempt white hair riding his bicycle or sticking his tongue out at the camera. He refused to wear socks, even to a stuffy graduation ceremony. If he was a rebel, it was because he remained true to the truth--the truth behind the marvels of the universe he loved.

You must be like Einstein and hang onto your individuality and an almost childlike sense of awe, wonder and joy.

Fortunately, in the words of the good Dr. Einstein: Study and in general the pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.

Learning is supposed to be an adventure.

Remember the opening lines of the television series Star Trek: "Space . . . the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It's five year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Einstein knew intuitively. He also knew when he did not know. When he did not know, he waited until he did know.

He waited until he realized the answer. Sometimes he waited for years. When the answer came it was simple.

He saw clocks in Bern, or he pictured a man in free fall, then he had the aha moment of a simple but profound solution to the problem he had long sought an answer to.

Augustine's and Einstein's works leave an enduring legacy, and their lives are an enduring testimony to intuition.

Einstein's discoveries came in the form of sudden flashes of insight, the Eureka moment.

Augustine's discoveries came from a sustained flow of insights and from an abiding love and trust in the source of his inner knowing.

It is my hope that you may find this book refreshing, as it helps reawaken the awe and the sense of adventure you once felt when you began your scientific explorations.

While that this book facilitates thinking outside the box, I believe you will find that my approach is solidly grounded in the conviction, which I share with Albert Einstein, that the universe is knowable, that it is comprehensible, and that its phenomena are subject to discoverable and rational causality. Moreover, I believe, as did Einstein, that any science must be linked to and grounded in reality.

Einstein's intuitive realizations were not mere flights of fancy or "creative thinking" exercises. What he realized was verifiable and verified--math, expeditions, experiments and practical applications vouchsafed the principles he intuited.

Likewise, Augustine's autobiography Confessions, wherein he chronicles how he first began to see reality for himself, was grounded in realistic self knowing.

The first truths he saw were not imaginary but were hard, tough realities of his own wrongs, misguided beliefs, and errant lifestyle.

Yet, both of these men, each in his own way, discovered truth, and this book is intended to elucidate how intuition helped them do so. It will also give you a glimpse of just how far intuition can take you.

More than anything else, I hope this book will remind you of your intuition and convince you to begin to pay attention to it, as Einstein and Augustine did, and learn to trust its quiet authority.

After four important chapters on intuition and its role in the lives of Albert Einstein and Augustine of Hippo, almost two hundred pages are devoted to an examination of the nature of time, a subject both Augustine and Einstein were very fond of.

We are all acquainted with time, with energy, with gravity, with motion, with light, and with space.

We know about waiting for the mail to arrive. We know what getting older means. We know what it feels like to accelerate in a car or airplane. We know about the noonday sun and the starry sky at night. We are intimately acquainted with gravity, especially when we fall on our behind at the skating rink.

But of the aforementioned—time, energy, motion, light, gravity and space--the one that holds the key to our well being and happiness, and the one which holds the secret to eternal life is--time.

How you relate to time and how you use your time determine your future. Look carefully and see how anxiety, dread, and impatience have to do with our relationship with time. Note also how the beautiful virtue of patience connotes giving someone time to learn, to grow, and to recover.

Impatience robs us of time. Patience gives time.

What is more welcome than mercy? Or more welcome than forgiveness? How happy and grateful we are when someone gives us a break.

A pardon or reprieve means being given another grace period—the slate is wiped clean and you are given time to yet turn things around and to enjoy the gift of life.

Life is a school. We are given a limited amount of time to develop character and to learn what we need to know to transcend time.

Nothing could be more important than to look at time, at what God intends for us, and how we might relate to the gift of time He has given us.

In this book I will talk about both time and timelessness. I will go from physics to cosmology to psychology and then back to physics again.

You will learn both about God and about yourself. This book could mark the beginning of the most wonderful journey of discovery you will ever take.

If you are relatively unread in such things as physics and cosmology, your lack of knowledge will do you no harm. In fact, it might be well that your mind is not cluttered with theories and preconceived ideas.

You will be able to look with fresh eyes, and you may be joyed to discover that you intuitively grasp the beauty of what you read here; and you will be like Einstein, an intuitive who sees in a lightning flash what it takes others decades to see and some never.

Read lightly until something sparks a flow of insights. That might be a good time to put the book down and spend the rest of the day with insight following you around like a delicate strain of music as you go about your daily activities.

Of course some people have a hunger for the kind of insights here and will want to devour the whole book. Afterwards they can return to different parts of the book that interest them.

This is a book to return to often over the years. It's okay to scan it and find something that interests you and just read that—even a line of poetry or a quotation.

It's okay to just open the book, start at any page, and quit when you have an insight. Keep it light hearted and fun.

The Introduction and the first four chapters contain important information about the intuitive process behind the discoveries of Einstein and Augustine. I also illustrate how the same intuitive faculty assists us in realizing principles which are heuristic, useful, and transforming--both in the realm of science as well as principles that help people see where they are erring in their personal lives. Such principles also provide guidance in resolving troubling personal issues.

These are key chapters for any reader, and they contain valuable insights into the lives of Einstein and Augustine in such as way as to give the reader clues about how Einstein and Augustine went about making their discoveries, and direction about how to apply the same processes in his or her own life.

Next follows my treatise on the topic of time, which I first published some twelve years ago, and have now newly edited and expanded. This section of the book contains insights into how we humans must relate to time in order to find peace of mind, develop character, and discover, through searching in the time we are given, the secret to life.

The remaining chapters are physics, cosmology and metaphysics: a glimpse into the making of the universe and into the nature of light, time, and gravity.

I have added some carefully selected additional material at the end of the book.

Included is some poetry, some readings from the Scriptures, two Thomas Aquinas proofs for the existence of God; Isaac Newton's General Scholium where he acknowledges the Creator in a most eloquent way; and Book Eight of Augustine's Confessions, wherein is his famous discussion about the nature of time.

I present these public domain writings because the interested reader will find them thus convenient to look through or even read, most likely for the first time in his or her life.

Otherwise, if the reader has to go look for them, they would likely remain unread. Few of us have ever read a proof from Aquinas or any of Isaac Newton's works, and the brief excerpts I have included here may be a rare treat for some readers.

There are different ways to say the same thing; and I believe that the passages from the Old Testament, the lyrical poetry, and a selection from Augustine express in beautiful literary form what today might be said more scientifically.

It is my sincere hope and prayer that this book A Weekend with Einstein and Augustine will be a milestone for you in a life well lived, with this book bearing witness to the wonderful discoveries that await you.  

-1-

How Could Einstein Be So Sure?

The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why.

Albert Einstein

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a [person] does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses their intelligence."

Albert Einstein

The purpose of science is to discover what is true, to explore nature, and to apply the principles learned to some useful good for others. The purpose of science is not to promote or defend someone else's ideas, nor is it to mindlessly repeat what we have heard said without questioning it.

As a child and a teenager, Einstein learned math and already had an interest in physics. As he says in his autobiographical notes, he mostly learned at home on his own. He was given a geometry book, which became his constant companion, and then some physics books which he devoured. Thus he acquired the basic tools and raw material he would need to express what he was soon to discover after long hours of quiet contemplation.

Einstein needed freedom; he did not get along well with authoritarian teachers who resented his care free spirit. He actually dropped out of high school.

Here are Einstein's own words: "One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year."

Fortunately he went to Switzerland and there found a friendlier school climate for a free spirit like himself.

Einstein succeeded in spite of school. He somehow survived the stifling atmosphere for someone curious and creative like himself.

Here's how he put it: "It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom ."

Einstein speaks of the awe he felt when he first saw a compass and how its needle moved under mysterious magnetic influence. He knew there had to be something behind this sort of phenomenon.

He later commented on how he learned what interested him, not in school, but on his own. A student who came to eat with his parents every week gave him a book on geometry which Einstein loved and studied all the time. Seeing his interest and aptitude, the man also brought him other science books. The boy is father to the man.

Einstein informs us: "I learned mostly at home, first from my uncle and then from a student who came to eat with us once a week. He would give me books on physics and astronomy."

Einstein found school boring and stifling. He wanted to learn what he wanted to learn, but they wanted him to learn for the exams. From the age of 12 he began to distrust teachers and be skeptical of authorities. He did not do well in some classes and several times, he says, he was asked to leave. He did in fact drop out of school. But that did not stop him. He continued to learn on his own and things arranged themselves so that he found a freer atmosphere in Switzerland.

He wondered, he questioned, he imagined, he pondered, and suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, an insight would come. Einstein said: "The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why."

Just like that, he intuitively knew something. He knew what he knew, even though he did not know why he knew it. Then he found the math to express what he intuitively grasped.

It was intuitive. It was gut level. Most importantly, he trusted that knowing.

The term some colleagues used to describe Einstein was unbudgeable. He trusted and did not doubt what he knew in his heart, even in the face of opposition or skepticism.

In the year 1905, like a flash of lightning across the scientific sky, this young rebel produced his magnificent papers that would revolutionize the world. It is called the annus mirabilis—the year of wonders, or wonderful year. The miracle year. Albert Einstein made important discoveries concerning the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion and the special theory of relativity. His articles, collectively known as his Annus Mirabilis papers, were published in Annalen der Physik in 1905.

The special theory of relativity was proposed in 1905 by Albert Einstein in the paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies"

Einstein's theory of Special Relativity is based on two postulates:

1. Relativity Principle: The laws of nature are the same in all inertial reference frames

2. The speed of light in a vacuum is the same in all inertial frames

From these two simple principles we get length contraction, time dilation and the relativity of simultaneity; in other words, time cannot be absolutely defined, and there is a relation between time and signal velocity. Length is also relative.

The two postulates of special relativity predict the equivalence of energy and mass, as expressed in the formula E = mc2, where c is the speed of light in vacuum.

In a fourth short paper, in what astrophysicist Dr. Michio Kaku calls "The greatest afterthought in history," Einstein added that matter and energy are interchangeable. In the words of Dr. Kaku "His extraordinary ability to see far ahead is shown by the fact that his equation was not verified . . . until some twenty-five years later."

In Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time, Dr. Kaku quotes Banesh Hoffman, a physicist who worked with Einstein and wrote a biography of him, as saying: "Imagine the audacity of such a step.... Every clod of earth, every feather, every speck of dust becoming a prodigious reservoir of untapped energy."

Audacious it was, but the kind of audacity that Moses had, or David, or forgive me, Tom Sawyer. The American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson tells of this sort of self confidence in his essay Self Reliance (which was once required reading for every American school child):