Quotes from Einstein's Dreams

Alan Lightman ·  144 pages

Rating: (26K votes)


“Suppose time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“The tragedy of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in a time of pain or of joy. The tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone. For a life in the past cannot be shared with the present. Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“The tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone. For a life in the past cannot be shared with the present.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“If a person holds no ambitions in this world, he suffers unknowingly. If a person holds ambitions, he suffers knowingly, but very slowly.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“The tragedy of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in a time of pain or joy.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams



“Some say it is best not to go near the center of time. Life is a vessel of sadness, but is noble to live life and without time there is no life. Others disagree. They would rather have an eternity of contentment, even if that eternity were fixed and frozen, like a butterfly mounted in a case.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“For it is only habit and memory that dulls the physical passion. Without memory, each night is the first night, each morning is the first morning, each kiss and touch are the first.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“Each time is true, but the truths are not the same.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“Each person who gets stuck in time gets stuck alone.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“A person who cannot imagine the future is a person who cannot contemplate the results of his actions. Some are thus paralyzed into inaction.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams



“Time is the clarity for seeing right and wrong.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“In this world, time has three dimensions, like space. Just as an object may move in three perpendicular directions, corresponding to horizontal, vertical, and longitudinal, so an object may participate in three perpendicular futures. Each future moves in a different direction of time. Each future is real. At every point of decision, the world splits into three worlds, each with the same people, but different fates for those people. In time, there are an infinity of worlds.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“Such is the cost of immortality. No person is whole. No person is free. Over time, some have determined that the only way to live is to die. In death, a man or a woman is free of the weight of the past [and the future].”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“And at the place where time stands still, one sees lovers kissing in the shadows of buildings, in a frozen embrace that will never let go. The loved one will never take his arms from where they are now, will never give back the bracelet of memories, will never journey afar from his lover, will never place himself in danger of self-sacrifice, will never fail to show his love, will never become jealous, will never fall in love with someone else, will never lose the passion of this instant of time.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams



“In this world, there are two times. There is mechanical time and there is body time."
"They do not keep clocks in their houses. Instead, they listen to their heartbeats. They feel the rhythms of their moods and desires."
"Then there are those who think their bodies don't exist. They live by mechanical time. They rise at seven o'clock in the morning. They eat their lunch at noon and their supper at six. They arrive at their appointments on time, precisely by the clock.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“But what is the past? Could it be, the firmness of the past is just illusion? Could the past be a kaleidoscope, a pattern of images that shift with each disturbance of a sudden breeze, a laugh, a thought? And if the shift is everywhere, how would we know?”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“What sense is there in continuing when one has seen the future?”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“A world in which time is absolute is a world of consolation. For while the movements of people are unpredictable, the movement of time is predictable. While people can be doubted, time cannot be doubted. While people brood, time skips ahead without looking back. In the coffee houses, in the government buildings, in boats of Lake Geneva, people look at their watches and take refuge in time. Each person knows that somewhere is recorded the moment she was born, the moment she took her first step, the moment of her first passion, the moment she said goodbye to her parents.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“Imagine a world in which there is no time. Only images.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams



“Some make light of decisions, arguing that all possible decisions will occur. In such a world, how could one be responsible for his actions? Others hold that each decision must be considered and committed to, that without commitment there is chaos. Such people are content to live in contradictory worlds, so long as they know the reason for each.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“Who would fare better in this world of fitful time? Those who have seen the future and live only one life? Or those who have not seen the future and wait to live life? Or those who deny the future and live two lives?”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“In a world of fixed future, life is an infinite corridor of rooms, one room lit at each moment, the next room dark but prepared. We walk from room to room, look into the room that is lit, the present moment, then walk on. We do not know the rooms ahead, but we know we cannot change them. We are spectators of our lives.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“While people brood, time skips ahead without looking back.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“In a world without future, each moment is the end of the world.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams



“A world with one month is a world of equality.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“Events, once happened, lose reality, alter with a glance, a storm, a night. In time, the past never happened. But who could know? Who could know that the past is not as solid as this instant…”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes the first precedes the second, and sometimes the second the first. Or perhaps cause lies forever in the past effect in the future, but future and past are intertwined.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“In a world of fixed future, there can be no right or wrong. Right and wrong demand freedom of choice, but if each action is already chosen, there can be no freedom of choice. In a world of fixed future, no person is responsible. The rooms are already arranged.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams


“In fact, this is a world without future. In this world, time is a line that terminates at the present, both in reality and in the mind. In this world, no person can imagine the future. Imagining the future is no more possible than seeing colors beyond violet: the senses cannot conceive what may lie past the visible end of the spectrum. In a world without future, each parting of friends is death. In a world without future, each loneliness is final. In a world without future, each laugh is the last laugh. In a world without a future, beyond the present lies nothingness, and people cling to the present as if hanging from a cliff.”
― Alan Lightman, quote from Einstein's Dreams



About the author

Alan Lightman
Born place: in Memphis, TN, The United States
Born date November 1, 1948
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