in the root of and in the recursive subdomain, the content of the index.php files is the header 'location' ../expansions/e_entryNote.php.

in other words . .

Content of n_Einstein_HumanDelusion.php included in e_Einstein_HumanDelusion.php. NB: Must be used with 'footnotes file' n_Einstein_Translation.php

open quotation markHuman beings are spatially and temporally limited parts of the whole that we call "universe"; yet we experience ourselves and our feelings as separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness.    Albert Einstein, 1950.

footnotes of n_Einstein_Translation.php included in entryNote.php, e_Einstein_HumanDelusion.php, and e_personalMeta.php.


8 Mar. 2023, written 26 Feb. 2023.
open quotation markEin Mensch ist ein räumlich und zeitlich beschränktes Stück des Ganzen, was wir „Universum“ nennen. Er erlebt sich und sein Fühlen als abgetrennt gegenüber dem Rest, eine optische Täuschung seines Bewusstseins. Das Streben nach Befreiung von dieser Täuschung ist der einzige Gegenstand wirklicher Religion. Nicht das Nähren der Illusion sondern nur ihre Überwindung gibt uns das erreichbare Maß inneren Friedens.    Albert Einstein, 1950.

Einstein wrote the above words in ink (bold emphasis added) in a note now held in the Albert Einstein Archives, Jerusalem. The translation I have made of them, and quoted from, is made in light of the translation that appears underneath them on the note and written in another hand.

There seemed to me several reasons to make another translation; to reflect the gender neutrality of the German more consistently, to echo Einstein's use of both the words delusion, and illusion, and to better reflect the certitude of the note's opening argument — carried in the brevity of the original German yet somehow stunted in the translation on the note itself in English.

Transliteration is the process of substituting the characters used in one language with the characters used in another e.g in order to facilitate pronunciation. Translations I have made here (of Einstein and Nietzsche) might then be called 'transverbations'; addressing issues of punctuation, prosody, and inference that in prior translations, I feel, detract from the originals.

While in a sense faithful, in those translations I found, transliteration of punctuation resulted in an English that makes their authors seem coarse and uneducated; similarly, 'grammatical transliteration' replaced gender neutrality with bias.

Quotations are necessarily stripped of their context, robbing them of much of their meaning. Although I am not a professional translator or writer, the edits I have made here have been made with due diligence, and are faithful; required here, in my opinion, so that the fluency, erudition, and sensibility in the originals is made explicit — I have provided originals so readers may draw their own conclusions.

The translation I offer here is based on the translations I retrieved from Google on 6 March 2024, as well as on the note's original translation:—

open quotation markHuman beings are spatially and temporally limited parts of the whole that we call "universe"; yet we experience ourselves and our feelings as separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. The striving to be free of this delusion is the only object of real religion. It is not nurturing the illusion but only overcoming it which gives that measure of inner peace which is attainable.    Albert Einstein, 1950.

open quotation markA human being is a part of a whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of pure religion, not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.

This translation, in pencil on the original note, became the text of the condolence letter sent from Einstein to Dr. Marcus on 12 February 1950. The first two sentences of it were then used to open the letter of condolence sent on the 4 March 1950 to Norman Salt.

delusions and illusions

Einstein spoke the refined German of the Bildungsbürgertum, a language characterized by its precision. It might the be reasonable to assume, as an inspection of Einstein's note also suggests, that his use of the word Täuschung (delusion) twice and Illusion once, was considered not careless.

 The German word Täuschung in the original note, meaning 'delusion'.

Etymologically the word delusion implies an action, a deceiving, referring here to that suffered by human beings through our consciousness, through which we perceive a deceptive appearance, the illusion of being "separated from the rest".

open quotation markTechnically, delusion is a belief that, though false, has been surrendered to and accepted by the whole mind as a truth; illusion is an impression that, though false, is entertained on the recommendation of the senses or the imagination. Illusion (n.), developed in Church Latin from the late 14c. onwards to mean: a "deceptive appearance".
On delusion, and illusion; from the Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved: 4 October 2022.

Footnote {delusion01a} of n_Einstein_Translation.php.

open quotation free-spirited and anti-bourgeois as Einstein may have appeared to be all his life, his language remained the refined German of the Bildungsbürgertum of his time, a language he mastered with virtuosity.
from a 2008 essay by Barbara Wolff, Albert Einstein Archives, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


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