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All Great Discoveries Have Involved a Leap of Intuition

alex atkins bookshelf quotations“Certainly there are things worth believing. I believe in the brotherhood of man and the uniqueness of the individual. But if you ask me to prove what I believe, I can’t. You know them to be true but you could spend a whole lifetime without being able to prove them. The mind can proceed only so far upon what it knows and can prove. There comes a point where the mind takes a leap — call it intuition or what you will — and comes out upon a higher plane of knowledge, but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap.”

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) quoted in the Life Magazine article Death of a Genius (May 2, 1955). Einstein was a Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist and poster boy for geniuses and bad hair days. As early as 1975, a variant of this quotation appears in The Human Side of Scientists by Ralph Oesper: “The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”

Read related posts: The Meaning of Life by Peter Gay
The Meaning of Life by Joseph Campbell
The Meaning of Life by Mortimer Adler
The Meaning of Life by Norman Vincent Peale
Where to Find the Meaning of Life
Life’s Most Important Questions

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