You can choose any person from history to teach you any topic you want. Who’s your teacher, and what do they teach you?
“So, my friend. You come seeking knowledge?”
“Yes,” I said. “I would like my mind to work as yours does.”
“For what purpose?”
I search for an answer. This man has a beautiful mind; searching, questioning, reasoning and highly intelligent. What do I want, to be like him? To push the frontiers of knowledge as he does? I attempt an answer.
“To see the truth of creation.”
“Because there is so much to learn, so much I want to discover.”
“You are not content with your existing knowledge?
He has answered my every comment with a question. I am getting nowhere.
“I want to know more!” I said with exasperation.
He sat before me, in quiet contemplation with the slightest of smiles upon is face. It felt like checkmate. Were there any moves left for me?
His eyes sparkled with compassion, they probed my mind; they were asking questions now, his eyes.
“Perhaps,” he said, “you should ask me a question?”
“OK. How can I be like you?”
His smile grew wider, “wrong question.”
I was perplexed. Why couldn’t he give me a straight answer? My desire was a simple one surely?
“Can you teach me?” I said.
“All that you know, your theories?”
“Why?” I said
“Because you will not learn without finding out for yourself.”
“What do I need to do to learn for myself?”
“Now you are getting close,” he said. “I have played with you enough. The question you should have asked is, ‘what do I need to become?’ ” He fixed his eyes upon me again. Then they closed and he began to speak.
“I have sought to understand the universe, the quest has been my life’s work. I embarked upon it without any desire for personal gain or glory, simply that I had to do it. I was chosen to do it, or rather, it chose me. I had no choice. I was nothing but a humble clerk, and now I am nothing but a humble scientist whom some people claim is a genius. I see nothing in myself that should make me famous. I carried on, producing new theories, I could not have done that if I identified with the accolades people wished to bestow upon me. I worked for the love of doing it. Do you understand?”
“I think so,” I said.
“Very good. Mark this well, you cannot achieve anything great in your life unless you work with humility and a humble mind. For others, not yourself. Do not associate with the ego, the mad dog. That is the answer to what you must become.”
I though upon his words for many minutes as he continued to smile at me. Then I saw it. To work for the love of it, with grace and a humble heart, accepting that creative discovery comes through you, but not necessarily from you.
“I see it in you eyes my friend, you understand.”
I stood up and shook is hand before leaving, “yes I do, thank you Mr Einstein.”
“Please, call me Albert. Now I will teach you more.”