William Edelen: Albert Einstein and the Dalai Lama — kindred souls with the American Indian…



Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his THEORY OF PHOTOELECTRICITY, and of course his THEORY OF RELATIVITY is known throughout the world.

His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, is the head of state and also the spiritual leader of Tibet.

In every other area of life and living, apart from physics, these two men were truly kindred souls with shared views on almost every subject and identical AND with the spirituality of the American Indian… whose cosmology and beliefs were also almost identical.

The Dalai Lama said, “I am NOT a Buddhist. I live by the principles found in many of the great spiritual traditions” and “We can live without religion and meditation. This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy or theology. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple.”


Albert Einstein said the same thing in these words, “Teachers of religion must have the stature and integrity to give up the archaic and superstitious concept of a ‘personal’ God that has brought fear and monumental harm to individual human beings.” “I believe in a ‘cosmic’ religion that has no creeds, dogmas, doctrines or churches.”

Both men put “compassion” and “love” at the center of their belief system, a guide to the living of their days, a guide that brought happiness into their lives.

“Man’s ethical behavior should be effectively grounded on compassion, nurture and social bonds. What is moral is not divine, but a purely human matter.” Einstein

“Love and compassion are the true religions to me. But to develop this we DO NOT NEED TO BELIEVE IN ANY RELIGION.” The Dalai Lama with the American Indian… (I use the Lakota tradition). It was similar. They said, “We dance our religion.” There was no belief in an anthropomorphic god… only a phrase to indicate the divine. “Wakan tanka” meaning the mystery. Any person or object or idea that was divine… had wakan attached to it… only the “mystery.” “The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your action will be. We can live without religion and meditation, but not without love.” The Dalai Lama.

With both men, these kindred souls, it was the compassion of their hearts that made them such monumental giants in touching the lives of human beings.

With both Einstein and the Dalai Lama, emphasis was always on listening to your heart, to look within to your own heart and soul and not to any of all the voices pouring into your head from “outside authorities.” “Your own heart is the only oracle given to you by God,” wrote Thomas Jefferson to his nephew. Einstein wrote, “I am a lone traveler and have never belonged to any country, or to my friends or family. I am my own authority.”


The Indian belief included total respect for the individual and his ‘authority’… sexual orientation was totally respected, no matter what it was. If an Indian did not want to fight… that was his decision. Divorce was unheard of. If you chose to leave your mate that was up to you. Being “your own authority” was totally honored and respected.

The Dalai Lama used almost the same words in writing about guides to his own life. “There is one very important point you must always keep in your mind. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. KEEP TO THIS TRUTH. How do you want to live? We live and we die. No other person can help us. So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life.”

It has been a very special path for me lately in reading through volumes of material on these two kindred souls, Einstein and the Dalai Lama, and the true path of life they shared together with ideas so similar it was almost mysterious to me, how in harmony they were. Love and compassion with profound wisdom filled the days of their lives. And being a student of the American Indian, with dear friends… full blood Lakota’s, Red Crow Westerman and Vine Deloria… I was just in full joy at discovering how similar their views on life… religion… spirituality… and philosophy were.

Like a pebble dropped in a pond, the ripple goes out far and wide… the wake behind their lives will produce an immortality that will live as long as there are human beings surviving.


It’s great to be reminded how great minds and souls are united, how simple the good life can be, and how disconnected many religions have come from these basic truths about life.

At this point, the celestial bureaucracy has not passed down the Manual to our level, so the default position is there’s enough suffering, no need to cause more.