There has been a letter on the force of love found in numerous internet sites, claiming that it is a letter written by the best known scientist Albert Einstein to his daughter Lieserl. On further research it becomes obvious that the author is not Einstein.
At the same time the insight contained in this letter is worth rereading. The letter begins cautiously. “When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.” Then it asks his daughter “to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.”
The letter elaborates on the universal force of love. “There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is love.”
It reminds the readers that when scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe, for which Einstein spent the last 20 years of his life, “they forgot the most powerful unseen force. Love is light, that enlightens those who give and receive it. Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others. Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For love we live and die. Love is god and god is love.”
Our alleged Einstein elaborates: “This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.”
It also brings in the most famous scientific formula to connect it with love. “To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation. If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.”
The warning is typically Einsteinian: “If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.” It adds: “Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.”
There is also an assurance: “However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.” It elaborates: “When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.”
The letter ends on a personal note: “I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it’s too late to apologise, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer!”
Though not belonging to Einstein, the message is a powerful plea for love. The ascription to the wrong author should not deter us from its powerful message.
(The writer is professor of science, religion and philosophy and author of Gratefully and Gracefully)