Albert Einstein

THE LIGHT OF INTELLECT AND THE SHADOW OF EMOTIONAL LIFE

Many facets in Albert Einstein’s personality are graphologically and psychologically intriguing. Among these many, I always found it amazing how lightly he took the “genius” label the world attributed him, without mania of grandeur or feeling a great personage. Simplicity, sobriety and self-irony to the end, though the terrific flattery he was subjected to; moreover, he used his own immense prestige in behalf of a highly, at that moment, controversial cause: pacifism to the end and before all things, in a time in which being a pacifist could be quite more difficult than nowadays.
But everything contributed to the picture of a personage like Einstein, more original, custom-cut to represent a “genius”, totally glorified by the press, and his tousled hair and informal look became a powerful symbol: his clear mind versus the horrors of irrationality ruling the world. His life and history had been polished to fit all details in the picture of a “secular saint”. This to the moment in which the same press, because of the unavoidable string of up and downs in history, took possession of another side of his life, his relations, showing how, through hard facts’ language, his intellectual intuition coexisted with a powerful emotional nearsightedness as well, hence leaving a number of destroyed lives after himself. Einstein begins his emotional life in a well meaning way and with very optimistic expectations. He overcomes his mother’s strong opposition to marry a woman scientist, in order to live a full union in all aspects, body, heart, emotions and mind with her. “We are going to work together… We will be able to complete our work about relative motion”. (1) The wound from such a failure emerges from his latter behaviour, in denying his wife the role of scientist-without ending in dramatic derangements affecting her inner balance, when subsequently settling herself in a more traditional kind of marriage, whose roles are and must remain well defined and separated and the dream of a perfect union is strongly repelled as illusive, then denying his second wife to use the pronoun “we” about their couple (2).
Whilst it is clear Einstein avoided, in his second marriage, passion in behalf of the steadiness of a well-organized home life (but, to his surprise, this life was also a source of quite a few quarrels) (3), until Mileva Maric’s – his first wife’s – handwriting will be available for analysis, the real intellectual and emotional exchange between these two will not be understood in its depth. But Einstein still remains, even in this issue, truly ahead of his time in his aspiration to an union between man and woman as deep and complete, and so different from his time’s traditional marriages. (4)
No need to judge how politely this marriage was finally ended, as everybody knows to keep one’s own self control is really hard for both parties in such a frustrating condition. Moreover, in this case man steps out as a winner (he is the “genius”) and wife as a loser by all means, jobless, severely depressed along with the most common feminine script, unaffected by the woman’s high education and culture, and, what’s more, with two children to take care of. But the main source of sorrow and his shady side where emotional self control, with the years, becomes more and more difficult was, for Einstein, his relationship with his children: to the point of showing in behaviours so improper to be hidden and censored by his own staff, because openly contradicting his persona of “secular saint”. Summarizing all these fact synthetically: Einstein abandoned his daughter who was born before his marriage; had a difficult relationship with his eldest son and hardly could cope with the hostility his child showed him. But things got much worse with his second son, Eduard.
Eduard is a precocious, highly intelligent child and patently the one who inherited his father’s genius. But Einstein feels really uncomfortable in the presence of this son, because all this bright mind exhibits a dissonant facet: that child shows also a highly rich emotional life, and all his life Einstein tried to control, transcend or, at least, to keep under his reasons’ mastery the emotional world.
Einstein, all his life, will not be able to stand the relationship with this child: while his elder son will follow him to the States, Eduard will spend many years locked in a Swiss mental institution and his father never paid him a visit. Facing such a fact, his friends, deeply shocked, urged him to do something, as he had means enough to take him out of there and keep him closer to his father, after his first wife’s death. Einstein writes: “Seeing me hurts him”. He cannot say “Seeing him hurts ME too much”, I come out of it emotionally destroyed, I cannot stand all he stirs about me. Therefore he can have his secretary filter the news about his son and let him have only what he can, in her opinion, stand, and with the sentences that sound too emotional censored.
While Einstein copes with the emotional load of his “genius” label with such a great, wonderful lightness, showing his being deeply self-centred and no interest in mundane appearance, still remains the mystery of his “cruelty” as a father. Or was it something else?
This are two issues in Einstein’s life we want to investigate by means of a graphological analysis.

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