Albert Einstein has a quote, “I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence and the truth comes to me.” I have been looking at this quote for a long time, maybe even more that 99 times and now wonder if it’s a quote or a formula. I truly believe that Einstein wanted to share with us something that he practiced. That’s why I raise the question, Did Albert Einstein practice intermittent silence?
I think 99 times and find nothing
I love how he starts; I think 99 times and find nothing. He is not stopping until he thinks 99 times. This step is a requirement for going forward. Thinking and thinking it over and again is the first step in creating the flow. The inner universe has to know what flow to direct at you. Brainstorming as we call it now is what Einstein, in my understanding, is saying when he says, I think 99 times. Even though he finds nothing by thinking 99 times, he does not stop thinking next time. What does he do next?
I stop thinking
The second step is so significant. It’s time now to turn down the chatter of mind to zero. How do you do that? I talk about entering the inner universe with a four-step process. You close your mouth, close your eyes, silently listen to all the sound around and watch your thoughts as a third person. Watching your thoughts as a third person is how you stop active thinking. It automatically turns the chatter volume to zero. You stop giving energy to the thoughts. Let them just pass through. Now you are ready to move to the next step, the crucial step in starting the flow.
Swim in Silence
What does he do when he enters the inner universe? Can you do something there? Many of us understand that we can ‘be’ in the inner universe but not ‘do’ anything. Einstein has a different take on it. He does not say that he sits in silence as many meditation teachers would say. He on the other hand says that he swims in silence; he is active in silence. Swimming is a learning process same as learning to swim in a river, pool or an ocean. It becomes fun once you learn how to swim.
And the Truth Comes to Me
Now you just have to wait. You have done what you can do. You thought 99 times. You stopped thinking. You learned swimming in silence. Now be ready to feel the flow. Let the flow come to you. Let the flow of creativity and the music come to you. Let the inventions and formulas come to you.
Did Albert Einstein practice intermittent silence? A better question is, can we test these steps out? Does the pathway work for us? It works for me. You have to find out if it will work for you. Take the jump. Try it out and see if you can also swim in silence and see the flow.