"When I was living in solitude in the country, I noticed how the monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. There are certain occupations, even in modern society, which entail living in isolation and do not require great physical or intellectual effort. Such occupations as the service of lighthouse and lightships come to mind. Would it not be possible to place young people who wish to think about scientific problems, especially of a mathematical or philosophical nature, in such occupations? Very few young people with such ambitions have, even during the most productive period of their lives, the opportunity to devote themselves undisturbed for any length of time to problems of a scientific nature." an address at the Royal Albert Hall , London, October 3, 1933, sponsored by the Refugee Assistance Fund, as reprinted in Einstein On Peace,Otto Nathan and Heinz Norden, 1981 edition, p. 238.
An interesting and rather unusual statement for a theoretical physicist, most of whom thrive on interaction and frequent dialogue with their colleagues. Perhaps the solitude of a lighthouse would have been an ideal venue for an Einstein, deriving his thoughts from nature as he listened to the continual sounds of the wind and the rhythmic pounding of the waves.
A "keeper of the light" is a symbolic position for one who dramatically changed our understanding of the nature of light at the beginning of the 20th century. Einstein later stated quite prophetically in 1917, "I want to spend the rest of my life reflecting on light."
Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,
Mike Rizzio, SOLT
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* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for: Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
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