This conversation was the element of departure for Ansuman Biswas performance in Berlin.
Rabindranath Tagore met Albert Einstein on July 14, 1930, in his home in Kaputh, on the outskirts of Berlin.
Excerpt from Conversations And Interviews, by Rabindranath Tagore, Rupa 2006.
EINSTEIN: Do you believe in the Divine as isolated from the world?
TAGORE: Not isolated. The infinite personality of Man comprehends the Universe. There cannot be anything that cannot be subsumed by the human personality, and this proves that the Truth of the Universe is human Truth.
I have taken a scientific fact to explain this — Matter is composed of protons and electrons, with gaps between them; but matter may seem to be solid. Similarly humanity is composed of individuals, yet they have their interconnection of human relationship, which gives living unity to man’s world. The entire universe is linked up with us in a similar manner, it is a human universe. I have pursued this thought through art, literature and the religious consciousness of man.
EINSTEIN: There are two different conceptions about the nature of the universe: (1) The world as a unity dependent on humanity. (2) The world as a reality independent of the human factor.
TAGORE: When our universe is in harmony with Man, the eternal, we know it as Truth, we feel it as beauty.
EINSTEIN: This is the purely human conception of the universe.
TAGORE: There can be no other conception. This world is a human world — the scientific view of it is also that of the scientific man. There is some standard of reason and enjoyment which gives it Truth, the standard of the Eternal Man whose experiences are through our experiences.
EINSTEIN: This is a realization of the human entity.
TAGORE: Yes, one eternal entity. We have to realize it through our emotions and activities. We realized the Supreme Man who has no individual limitations through our limitations. Science is concerned with that which is not confined to individuals; it is the impersonal human world of Truths. Religion realizes these Truths and links them up with our deeper needs; our individual consciousness of Truth gains universal significance. Religion applies values to Truth, and we know this Truth as good through our own harmony with it.
EINSTEIN: Truth, then, or Beauty is not independent of Man?
EINSTEIN: If there would be no human beings any more, the Apollo of Belvedere would no longer be beautiful.
EINSTEIN: I agree with regard to this conception of Beauty, but not with regard to Truth.
TAGORE: Why not? Truth is realized through man.
[PDF] Dakghar: Notes Towards Isolation and Recognition, by Landings (Natasha Ginwala and Vivian Ziherl) a booklet for Tagore’s Post Office exhibition, curated by Grant Watson at NGBK, Berlin (Workshop 4).
This is the collection of photos of the various events held for the fourth workshop in Berlin. Friday at NGBK; Saturday at Alice Creischer and Andreas Siekmannan’s Studio and again in the NGBK in the evening
Elzbieta Walter: Public Talk
FRAGMENTING TAGORE: Saturday 12 April
Anshuman Biswas and Magda Mayas: Parentheses on Truth, Beauty and Humanity; a live event based on the conversations between Einstein and Tagore with took place at Einstein’s house near Berlin in 1930.
Anshuman Dasgupta: Translating Tagore: the problems and possibilities of attending Tagore from another language and culture
Adrian Rifkin: Tagore seen seated: some others standing, a short speculation in composing the past-imperfect of the ‘post-colonial’