Albert Einstein said death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation is a line taken from the letter which he wrote to the widow of physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1926.
Besides death, he also talked about afterlife, immortality and soul.
If you have read through my authentic collection of Albert Einstein thoughts on God and religion, you would know that he rejected the formal, dogmatic religion.
Einstein did not believe in immortality of the individual.
According to him, there is no such thing as, punishment for misdeeds or rewards for good behavior in any afterlife.
For him, the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, was no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion.
As Einstein explained that since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning. (source)
Albert Einstein Quotes Our Death Is Not An End
Now, let’s dig out Albert Einstein quotes on death from various reliable sources.
“Death… is a reality… Life ends definitely when the subject, by his actions, no longer affects his environment. . . . He can no longer add an iota to the sum total of his experience.” – Albert Einstein
(Glimpses Of The Great By George Sylvester Viereck, New York: Macaulay Company, 1930, P. 370) source
“I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as purely human.” – Albert Einstein
(The Ultimate Quotable Einstein, Collected And Edited By Alice Calaprice, Princeton University Press, 2011, On Religion, God, And Philosophy, P. 338) source
“Our death is not an end if we have lived on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us; our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life.” – Albert Einstein
(The Ultimate Quotable Einstein By Albert Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2010, On Death, P. 91) source
Note: From the letter to the widow of physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, February 25, 1926.
“I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.” – Albert Einstein
(Albert Einstein, The Human Side: New Glimpses From His Archives Selected And Edited By Helen Dukas And Banesh Hoffmann, Princeton University Press, 1981, P.39) source
Note: From Einstein’s hand-written remark on the letter by Alice M. Nickerson, a female Baptist pastor, July 17, 1953.
“…I have faith in my purpose here on earth. I have faith in my intuition, the language of my conscience, but I have no faith in speculation about Heaven and Hell.” – Albert Einstein
(Einstein And The Poet: In Search Of The Cosmic Man By William Hermanns, Dingle, County Kerry: Brandon Press, 1983, The Third Conversation, P. 94) source
“One lives all one’s life under constant tension till it is time to go for good.” – Albert Einstein
(Albert Einstein, The Human Side: Glimpses From His Archives, Edited By Helen Dukas And Banesh Hoffmann, With A New Foreword By Ze’ev Rosenkranz, Princeton University Press, 2013, P. 16) source
(The quote is also found in: Princeton Alumni Weekly, Volume 79, Albert Einstein Answers His Mail, March 12, 1979, P. 16) source
Note: From the letter Einstein wrote to his sister, Maja winteler-Einstein, August 31, 1935.
“Brief is this existence, like a brief visit in a strange house. The path to be pursued is poorly lit by a flickering consciousness whose center is the limiting and separating “I.” – Albert Einstein
(The Ultimate Quotable Einstein Collected And Edited By Alice Calaprice, With A Foreword By Freeman Dyson, Princeton University Press, 2010, On Death, PP. 93-94) source
Note: From the obituary for physicist Rudolf Ladenburg, April 1952.
“The only way fate can strike you two down is when you yourselves die one day.” – Albert Einstein
(Historical Auction 84, April 18, 2016,P. 61) source
Note: The letter where Einstein expresses his condolences for the loss of Albert’s child, Klaus Martin, at age six.
The image of the original letters in German, together with the English translation is found here.)
“I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially; I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.” – Albert Einstein
“Ich möchte gehen, wann ich möchte. Es ist geschmacklos, das Leben künstlich zu verlängern. Ich habe meinen Anteil getan. Es ist Zeit zu gehen. Ich möchte dies elegant tun.” (German)
(The Ultimate Quotable Einstein Collected And Edited By Alice Calaprice, With A Foreword By Freeman Dyson, Princeton University Press, 2010, On Death, P. 95) source
Note: This line was quoted by Einstein’s secretary and estate administrator Helen Dukas in her letter to Abraham Pais, Einstein’s biographer, April 30, 1955.
Here is the news on the death of Albert Einstein as reported in The Daily Princetonian, Monday, April, 1955)
“…I have grown old myself and have come to regard death like an old debt, at long last to be discharged. Still instinctively one does everything possible to delay this last fulfillment. Thus is the game which nature plays with us.” – Albert Einstein
“…ich selber alt geworden bin und den Tod empfinde, Wie eine alte Schuld, die man endlich entrichtet. Dabei tut man doch instinktiv alles Mögliche, um diese letzte Erfüllung hinauszuschieben. So ist das Spiel, das die Natur mit uns treibt.” (German)
(Einstein On Peace, Edited By Otto Nathan & Heinz Norden, New York: Simon And Schuster, 1960, P. 616) source
(The quote in German is found in: Zeit, Tod Und Ewigkeit By Horst Gädtke, Books on Demand, 2006, Albert Einstein Über Sterben Und Tod, P. 214) source
Note: From the letter to Gertrud Warschauer, the widow of a Berlin rabbi, living in England, February 5, 1955
“Remember your humanity and forget all the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new Paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death.” – Albert Einstein
(The Russell-Einstein Manifesto Issued In London, 9 July 1955, P. 2) source
“Neither on my death bed nor before will I ask myself such a question. Nature is not an engineer or contractor, and I myself am a part of Nature.” – Albert Einstein
(Albert Einstein, The Human Side: Glimpses From His Archives, Edited By Helen Dukas And Banesh Hoffmann, With A New Foreword By Ze’ev Rosenkranz, Princeton University Press, 2013, P. 92) source
“An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls.” – Albert Einstein
“Auch ein Individuum, das seinen körperlichen Tod überdauert, mag und kann ich mir nicht denken; mögen schwache Seelen aus Angst oder lächerlichem Egoismus solche Gedanken nähren.” (German)
(The World As I see It, Einstein’s Views On Life, Science & Human Nature By Albert Einstein, New Delhi, India: General Press, 2018, Ch. 1, Part I: The World As I See It, The World As I See it) source
(The quote in German is found in: Mein Weltbild Von Albert Einstein, Herausgegeben Von Carl Seelig, Berlin: Ullstein-Taschenbuch-Verlag 2005, I. Wie Ich Die Welt Sehe, P. 10) source
(The quote in German is also found in: Mein Weltbild. Hrsg. von Carl Seelig, Zurich: Europa Verlag, 1953, P. 10) source
“Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” – Albert Einstein
(An Einstein Encyclopedia By Alice Calaprice, Daniel J Kennefick, Robert Schulmann, Princeton University Press, 2015, Friends, Michele Beso, PP. 65-66) source
Note: From the letter of condolence to Michele Besso’s son, Vero, and sister, Bice Rusconi, 21 March 1955.
Note: All the above Albert Einstein quotes our death is not an end are verified authentic.
*Read this selection of Albert Einstein advice on life quoted from various reliable sources.
*Find out Albert Einstein critical thinking techniques quoted from credible sources.