Don Quixote and Albert Einstein
The Two Dreamers

I contend that Don Quixote and Albert Einstein were both dreamers. That assumption is very defensible. The knight-errant and the scientist used their imagination to further their various quests during their journey in this world.

Don Quixote Albert Einstein

At first glance, many will initially question my premise. Certainly, Don Quixote was clearly a dreamer; he sang The Impossible Dream.

Don Quixote dreamt and saw many windmills, with which to joist. Don Quixote dreamt his impossible dreams, which ranged from windmills to having Dulcinea fall in love with him.


The knight errant, Don Quixote

Having said that, Einstein did not seem to be a dreamer. His equation for the theory of relativity, E = mc2, was not nuanced with dreamlike or imaginative speculation. It was factual and lacked anything fancifully creative. Nonetheless, Einstein said, "Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge." Einstein cannot be written off as some scientific knight-errant.

Einstein wanted our imagination to be free to dream. Bobby Kennedy said essentially the same thing, "Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not." 

Einstein, who was arguably the greatest scientific mind of the 20th century, pushed his position further, "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." When we do logical syllogisms, we are locked into a predetermined answer, which won't vary.

Being locked into a syllogism box

However, the process of dreaming and imagining things is a freeing experience. That freedom allow for progress in science and in life in general. It permits one to think outside the box.

Whether we journey through life in math and science or in the humanities, our ability to dream and imagine allows us to see and experience things about which we could not be aware.

Einstein summed up the human experience in this single sentence, "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." Interestingly, that analysis came from one of the greatest thinkers of all time. Einstein's brain was loaded with knowledge. What made Einstein great was being able to dream and imagine outside the box. That process connects the dots. Great ideas are not sequential. If they were, they wouldn't be great ideas. Imagination and dreaming allows one to connect unrelated dots in life. Click on Connecting the Dots and watch Steve Jobs' commencement address about that imaginative process.

Finally, watch this video discussing Einstein. All of Einstein's scientific work is based upon his thinking that used his imagination.

Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

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My Hauntings

My Hauntings

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Don Quixote

"Don Quixote"

Visit the "Don Quixote" page to read more about this topic.

An old man and his grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson

Visit The Mentors and Me page to read more about this topic.