Deepak Chopra writes in his blog on Science and Einstein’s God. How, Einstein’s religio-spiritual belief evolved and could happily live with his high Science! It was not an easy journey.. but was a very sure footed one. Dr. Chopra says:
By middle age Einstein had rejected a personal god, putting him beyond the confines of the Judeo-Christian tradition, although that was certainly his spiritual context. When he was fifty an interviewer asked him if he had been influenced by Christianity, to which Einstein replied, "I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene." Science hadn’t made him immune to Jesus’s charisma. Clearly surprised, the interviewer asked if Einstein believed that Jesus had actually existed? "Unquestionably. No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."
But personally Einstein was progressing toward a spirituality far more secular than this comment suggests. Influenced by the philosopher Spinoza, he became fascinated by the possibility that matter and mind form one reality, and that God is the supreme intelligence suffusing that reality. He praised Spinoza as "the first philosopher to deal with the soul and body as one, and not two separate things." As for whether the universe exhibited intelligence, Einstein spoke more cautiously about a universe "marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws" that as yet were only dimly understood by human beings. He declared that he didn’t believe in immortality ("one life is enough for me") or free will — the laws governing human destiny were as fixed as physical laws.
Determinists are generally pessimistic, but Einstein was not. He was constantly fascinated by a level of creation just out of reach that contained unlimited wonder. In his 1930 credo, "What I Believe," we find this sentence: "To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly, this is religiousness." Statements like these open the way for a broad, tolerant view of the spiritual quest. In that regard, Einstein outshines the rigidity of current scientific skeptics, who throw out a personal God but leave a vacuous sterility in his place.
During my years pursuing Masters at IRMA, Anand we had a course for based on freethinking, where we were encouraged to think beyond the normal. In the end we had to submit a paper on something esoteric.
My paper was on this subject: Difference between motivations of Modern and Vedic Science.
Modern Science: God is so-Dark Agey , so if I can prove why lightning occurs (electric charges etc); I can prove that God is NOT responsible for this.
Vedic Science: Everything in this creation IS a manifestation of "God". So, if I can understand how lightning occurs, then I have understood part of what "God" is!
Now, that you think of it – the argument between "Faith" and Science can ONLY be articulated in these two paradigms!
Einstein, to the utter discomfort of other Scientists – who knew ONLY the anti-Science God, could not come to terms with his "religion".
Similarly, Dawkins cannot understand Dr. Chopra’s or Einstein’s consciousness-based "God"!
Galileo was the FIRST one of the first (he defended Copernicus who came earlier to him – in any case Galileo posed a challenge) in Western world to proclaim that the Earth was NOT the center of the Universe or even the Solar System, as those before him claimed… and was punished for that. (some say he was guillotined and some say he was merely "house-arrested"… I am no historian so I will go by the version I read in my childhood – i.e.; he was guillotined)
Western mind, seeped in Abrahamic ego-centered thought cannot escape this philosophical framework easily. That is the DNA of the three religions! Everything – from God to action, from friend to foe, is defined from the standpoint of "ME"… and ME only! Man is the center of the creation. The subject of all religious discourse. "God" is reduced to an object. Man is not seen from the eyes of Eternity, but Eternity is seen from the eyes of Man! Infinity is reduced to byte-sized finite chunks in order to swallow it.. without realizing that finite-sized limited chunks do not an Infinity make!
The mind steeped in that age old ME-centered was dealt a shock then.. by Galileo and it was dealt that shock AGAIN by Einstein.. when he moved away from a personal "God" – to a larger incomprehensible but pervasive "God".
Richard Dawkins on the other hand also – despite his atheistic credentials – suffers from the same malady of the Western mind! The same malady that put Galileo to his death! His mind cannot fathom that defining "God" in context of his ownself – as someone external.(Biblical God)… is not the ONLY way. "God" or intelligence could be all pervasive!
But to even entertain that thought of one’s ownself being part of and being one with "God" – one has to take the leap of creativity that Galileo took and Einstein implied..
Galileo was not only killed then. He is being killed today as we speak – both, by conservative religionists as well as by the Atheists.. and both do not realize that behind the veneer of semantic differences.. they BOTH believe in the same .. EXACT SAME .. "God"… the ME! It will take another great mind like Galileo for the Western theologists and anti-theologists (atheists) to realize that Galileo has been dying ever since.