Everything is a Miracle?
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. — Albert Einstein, supposedly
It’s unclear whether Einstein actually wrote or endorsed the above words. If anything, it seems the latter is more likely. The part of the longer excerpt this quote comes from that one can confidently attribute to Einstein is as follows:
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is in the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.
One can see how the first passage is a humanized derivative of the concept presented in the second. Einstein speaks to the inherent oneness of reality, and bizarre and ultimately false way that our consciousness draws a boundary between ourselves and everything else.
Following this line of thought, the fundamental nature of everything must be the fundamental nature of ourselves. Therefore if anything is a miracle, our own consciousness included, then indeed everything is a miracle. The converse, through the symmetry implied the aforementioned principle of oneness, is also true. The strict logical converse would be, if anything is not a miracle, then everything is not a miracle. That language simplifies to the linguistically equivalent statement, if anything is a not a miracle, then nothing is a miracle.
We can test scenarios and quickly see that assuming only what is true in what we can certainly attribute to Einstein, this idea that our separation from everything is a delusion and that oneness is therefore reality, we can conclude that either nothing is a miracle, or everything is a miracle.
The context of the first quote usually implies that Einstein was suggesting that one ought to see everything as a miracle. I would wager that he was rather more neutral on this point, and saw it more as what was plainly true. There was surely much that Einstein saw as plainly true that is incomprehensible to most. But there was also much of the human experience, particularly as it related to love and connection to others, that Einstein’s biographers make clear he yearned for, yet tragically never quite attained.
Given Einstein’s heavy intellectual lifting to establish a foundational understanding, that either everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle, it only takes a small dose of humanity to choose the right way to live. I choose, everything is a miracle.