What did Einstein actually mean when he said "we shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive"? What did he mean?
If we look at his whole quote in context, the meaning comes into focus - he was echoing the ancient teaching of compassion.
A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.
~ Albert Einstein
He says we need a new way of thinking. Liberation from the self. An optical delusion of consciousness. Free ourselves from the prison. Widen our circle of compassion.
His quote sounds identical to the Vedic rishis (seers) 10,000 years ago, so of course, there's nothing new about the way of thinking he proposes - just new to a society that doesn't value compassion.
Einstein went right to the edge of the observable universe as far as "science" or "society" would allow him to go, and he became aware of an invisible world behind our visible universe. But because he was not exposed to or aware of Vedic thinking - which aligns perfectly with his own observations - science did not (and still to this day does not) pursue the realm of Mind as a valid form of inquiry - despite the irrefutable fact that Mind is the unyielding force that shapes and holds the universe. That is unfortunate.
"Science" itself is unenlightened. It treats and studies us as a myriad of separate entities, rather than studying what holds us together. Every atom in the universe has been categorized and divided, when in fact everything is from the same source and of the same light.
The new manner of thinking therefore, must begin with the ancient teachings of compassion and a spirit of cooperation - we are all connected.
Modern science - the institution that Einstein represents - has limited itself, and therefore has unwittingly (or in some cases intentionally) restricted our collective societal vision to the three-dimensional observable universe - but this reality that we hold so firmly is nothing more than - as Einstein explained, an optical delusion of consciousness, a manifestation of light and energy. There is an inner world that is above mind, above time. There are new ways of thinking that have never been explored.
Take a breath. Relax.
Your mind is infinite. You can imagine any grand plan for your future, but you know what limits you? You can't imagine anything bigger or better than what you know. That's why you have to raise your own self-awareness to new and better ideas at higher levels of consciousness. Only by opening to new ways of thinking will you ever hope to have a better future.
The most important thought we need to instill is a higher understanding of compassion. The powerful and the powerless - we must recognize that we are all one.
We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others.
~ Robert F. Kennedy
The divisions we have been taught are not real in any sense, they are born from our ignorance of the true nature of reality, the true nature of ourselves.
As you become enlightened you are infused with a higher knowledge of compassion. We are all connected, and so it becomes uncomfortable to be greedy, it becomes uncomfortable to insult another group of people, it becomes uncomfortable to ignore the struggles and suffering of others because they all matter - they are all part of us.
As more and more people start living by the higher truth of our oneness, then we as a civilization can begin to live up to our potential. We have a long way to go, it's difficult to change minds and even harder to change institutions, but it is possible - and every effort you make to your own advancement adds to the advancement of all our futures.