This delusion is a prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons close to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from our prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all humanity and the whole of nature in its beauty.
by Albert Einstein
This delusion is a prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons close to us. A human being is part of the whole, called by us “universe,” limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

I love this quote. I am constantly surprised and moved by the words Einstein uses and the way in which he was able to spread such an immense amount of knowledge in one lifetime. I have really been seeing recently how small I make my world. I am surprised by the amount of evaluation that it takes to be a mindful and global thinker.

I feel as though I consume myself with what is directly in front of me without ever taking into consideration how this will then effect the rest of the world and I think that is a very dangerous pattern to fall into. It does feel like we, as a society, have moved into the “optical delusion of our consciousness” and it feels as though we are destroying each other because of it. In our attempt to create and solidify our own comfort we have lost that human quality called compassion.

Sometimes it feels as if somehow the people that are out of my direct contact don’t exist and therefore I shouldn’t think or be concerned about them and how my decisions effect them, directly. I have really been looking at myself lately, looking at the choices I have made for myself thus far and the choices I continue to make by the minute. What I see is a woman who is seeking compassion from the outside world, but is unwilling to give it herself. I expect others to behave in a way that I don’t behave myself. I expect others to have a worldly and mindful point of view, when in reality, that is usually the last thing on my mind when I am doing something. When I really started to see how consistent I am in this behavior and how destructive this behavior is to all of humanity, I did the least compassionate thing I could do– I punished myself, as though somehow that would evoke more compassion from me. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I am punished for something, I am usually angry. So I was definitely not doing what I wanted to do.

In order for me to see compassion in the world, I must first have it for myself. Likewise, in order for the world to change, for us as humans to start behaving as though we are all connected in this “universe,” we must first connect with ourselves– really start to see ourselves for who we are… The good, the bad, and the ugly. I am so inspired by this concept, and I look forward to my quest towards creating a more loving, friendly, safe and compassionate world for myself and all others to thrive and grow within.

Thanks for the day


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Add yours Comments – 76

  • Natália

    on July 14, 2007 at 2:08 am

    Hi Allison 😀

    Great quote! Einstein was awesome, I like him a lot too 😀

    I’m not so sure if my actions effest the whole world, though. Yours definitely effect on many more people. 😛

    I usually expect from people what I feel I could have done myself. But that can be a little wrong too because we are all different, we feel the world differently. It can lead to misjudgements and unnecessary disappointments.

    I’m certainly going to try to be more connected with the universe for now on 😉

    Take care 😉


  • sheryl225

    on July 14, 2007 at 11:35 am

    As always, you make me think and send my mind in a million directions. One of the previous comments, by David, talks about the long range view and the close up view. In walking the path we walk on this earth both views are essential. We need the big view of the tapestry we call life, and we need the close up view of our part of that tapestry. Each thread is interwoven with other threads to form the overall picture.

    Every choice we make impacts us, those around us, and others we don’t even realize are touched by our choices. I get frustrated with things that go on & make some choices based on the frustration. I boycotted tuna for years, until they began certifying it as ‘dolphin safe’ Some days I would ask myself what impact does my not buying 15 or 20 cans of tuna a year have in the big scheme of things? Not much–so why not just go with the flow, because my little part doesn’t really make a difference? Some days when a tuna sandwich sounded SO good it would have been easy to buy into that thought & buy a can of tuna. The difference was that by breaking down I’d be compromising myself.

    We don’t always make the best choice in the heat of a moment. Personal integrity, and a desire to at least try on the other guy’s glasses are essential. This life is both a journey & a destination. There’s always tomorrow–the choices I messed up on today–I have tomorrow to try again and make different (& hopefully better) decisions. It take a while to get this vision thing down–seeing both the wide angle view and the close up view.

    I like what Einstein said–I also like what St. Francis prayed: Lord, Make me an instrument of your peace…… Let there be peace on earth & let it begin with me. I’ll never be at peace with this planet & my place in it if I’m not at peace with myself. You are so right with that. It is by accepting our own imperfection that we can accept it in others, and give them another chance. Accepting our own imperfection doesn’t me we use it as an excuse, but it means that we give ourselves room to make mistakes. It’s never how many times you fall down, it how many times you get back up that count!

    Have a lovely week, if you’re back at work I hope all is well.

  • Curlyqlink

    on July 14, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    The task of widening our circle of compassion is certainly a noble goal. But isn’t it precisely that we experience ourselves, experience our “thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest” of the universe the very thing that gives us a sense of self– the very thing that makes us human?

    Anthropologically, it it natural that we should concern ourselves mainly with a relatively small village-sized circle of acquaintances. Psychologically, it seems scarcely possible to feel the same level of empathy for every single one of the billions of people on earth. And ethically, placing limits on concern seems not only defensible, but logically necessary.

    Personally, I find it amazing and inspiring that there is often such an outpouring of concern and aid for distant people we will never meet.

  • mabel

    on July 14, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    hi, allison
    your blog is very interesting as always…thanks for share your soul and your thoughts… and don´t be so hard with you.
    most of us make some decisions not thinking how they can affect others, most of us want a better, safer and compassionate world but not doing enough for it and most of us sometimes stop thinking how we can be better persons or what can we do or give to people and the world.
    you are a good person… every word you write in this blog says that.
    have a peaceful day

    from Los Cardales, Argentina

    PS sorry my english is elemental and i am really dying for season 7.

  • jewels9

    on July 14, 2007 at 7:08 pm


    “All pain and suffering is rooted in our thoughts about things, people, circumstances, relationships and ourselves.” This doesn’t mean there isn’t pain and suffering in the world that deserves to be addressed and healed. But on a personal, individual level I feel the truth of this statement profoundly.

    It explains why there are people who can find happiness in even the most dire circumstances–because they don’t judge their circumstances or better yet, they refrain from judging themselves.

    It’s sometimes our perverse need to explain and justify everything we experience and feel that leads to the most unhappiness. This is only human, but we are more than human. We are spiritual beings with the capacity to create our realities–for better or worse.

    This is something I learned from a Course In Miracles. One day recently I started waking up with a new reality that replaced the old one–a reality where I am very happy and I mostly experience joy and gratitude throughout my day. A reality and a world where I am SAFE and LOVED and my life if full of meaning and purpose and abundance. It’s from this place inside myself that I can effect the most change for good in the world. Because my “needs” are met, I can focus on others and giving love instead of getting it.

    This is a reality that is heavenly and maybe heaven itself and to my understanding this is the reality that will save the world and reclaim it for God or whatever higher power one might believe in.

    As the Course says, love is the only true reality. We’re all here to learn that love is ours and we are love. Peace is the goal. Forgiveness is the function (the way to Peace) and Love is the the only reality. Teach only love for that is what you are!

    And that is the most direct way to continue your “quest towards creating a more loving, friendly, safe and compassionate world for myself and all others to thrive and grow within.”

    With lots of love,
    Julia F. 🙂

  • Alyson Lindley

    on July 14, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    Hello Allison
    Just read your blog. I think the world could used more compassion. Your words are so meaningful. PEOPLE get so involved with their lives they forget adout there fellow human. If more people would take time just to help someone out when needed or just say a friendly hello the world would be a better place. Take care Alyson

    ps One of my favorite quotes is ” Life is not a gravy train on biscuit wheels ,but Life is for real”! Though you’d like that one.

  • Matty / inLove_with_Chloe

    on July 15, 2007 at 5:02 am

    Hi Allison,
    I am delighted to find a quote by Albert Einstein this week, delighted both as a Scientist, as well as a German citizen. It is amazing that Einstein commented on so many topics, I remember reading about a philosophical discussion between him and Karl Popper they had in Princeton, which lasted for hours. Back then, people were more universally trained, with a wast knowledge of science, literature, art, music and philosophy. It sometimes depresses me how one-tracked our minds have become today.
    I agree with you on principle, that we should try to show more compassion for the people around us, indeed this will give us access to an entirely new universe. However, I feel like pointing out one simple fact: please remember that Mr. Einstein probably was an old man when he made that comment. Why does that matter? Well, you know once one has achieved everything, both professionally and emotionally, then one can develop kind of a more laid-back attitude. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t disagree with old Albert’s quote – however, it clearly contains the knowledge of an aged genius.
    You are a young, talented woman. There is nothing wrong with focusing on what you want, IMO. For now, at least. I think if someone is rather self-absorbed in their 20ies, then it’s totally OK, when they still are at age 60, then it’s just sad…… You raise the important point of feeling compassion for yourself, I feel like we touched that in our previous blog entries already – fighting the need to punish yourself. In my opinion, before you can start sharing your compassion with the rest of the world, you will have to come to terms with yourself first. Is this how you say that in English….? Again, that’s nothing unusual, everybody has to do that.
    In today’s world we have developed information technology which allow us to know about every single suffering person on this over-populated world. That has never been possible before. It can be very, very depressing to let yourself be affected by that in an unprepared manner. It’s not OK to be indifferent, of course. However, it is important to know who you are before you decide to share your compassion with the world, otherwise the sorrow of the entire world will consume you, in a way. How one gets there is different from individual to individual. For me it’s music, literature and philosophy. For others it might be religion or some kind of mysticism. I am sure you’re on the right path, your path….
    Well this week was kinda serious again, I hope my friend Jeremy posted a few jokes – he’s usually very good at that.
    Until next time…..

  • Ahmed

    on July 15, 2007 at 5:11 am

    Hi Allison,

    You said that :

    (In order for me to see compassion in the world, I must first have it for myself. Likewise, in order for the world to change, for us as humans to start behaving as though we are all connected in this “universe,” we must first connect with ourselves– really start to see ourselves for who we are… )

    I think if we want to change the world. We can start from ourself. For example, if we want to reduce global warming process. we can start from our home.

    We can manage our trash, our electric power usage and our transportation usage. We can start to separate organic and inorganic trash. Start to recycle. Start to reduce power consumption. etc.

    If we want to change the world we can start it right now. Start it from ourself and start it from small thing around us.

    Ciao….. See ya..

    Semarang City

  • bourdieu

    on July 15, 2007 at 6:03 am

    Nice post, and an interesting blog from someone in the entertainment industry. I wonder though if connecting and awareness must be more than just thinking nice things and being nice to people you don’t know. You need a mechanism through which individual practices can be part of collective action. That mechanism is usually politics (broadly imagined, i.e. not just party politics) and the gap in Einstein’s quote is that he elides politics with an appeal to “universal” physics. It’s somewhat ironic when we think of the terrible political and military consequences of Einstein’s work. So how about something on politics?

  • ChloeFan07

    on July 15, 2007 at 7:31 am

    Hi Allison 🙂
    Great quote this week. I loved reading your blog,sometimes I feel the same way.I love how your so open with your feelings. Not many celebrities would open up the way you do. I think your amazing for doing that and letting your fans get to know the real Allison and not just your character Chloe Sullivan. You have so many fans that love you and I’m proud to say that I am one of them. I get so tird of hearing about all the young stars in Hollywood always getting into trouble and it’s nice to know that you are not one of them. Your a true role model. You care more about your fans and your charities then getting drunk in a club,crashing cars and hooking up with random guys. I hope you never change. 🙂

  • Medina

    on July 15, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    I think that Einstein was a kripitonian hehehe

    peace from Amazon

  • Tony

    on July 15, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Hi beautiful Alison,

    I think what you’re most likely speaking about (and Einstien) is NARCISSISM. I’m sure you see plenty of that in California. But is definately not indicative of the entire U.S. population, nor the world for that matter. But least you forget, the United States was developed on the notion of freedom. That includes freedom of thought, hence individualism. That freedom enabled the U.S. to prosper and sustain it’s populous in a positive way, unlike any in comparison (size and diversity). Even if you take into consideration the harshness in history by many means.

    Because of the development of individualism (freedom of thought, speech) that structured the U.S. – other countries around the world were lifted up by their boot-straps (sort-a-speak). This would entail trade among other.

    To a degree I dissagree with some of your notions, because there must always exist positive and negative elements. Whitout the two, one could not make claim or rational to the other. There would be no means of measurement. Everything in moderation, and too much of a good thing can be bad. Take for example the free trade. Some proclaim that it is doing damage to Mexico, hence – the reasoning behind the illegal immigration problem the U.S. is faced with.

    Does allowing people to flee one place to another justify the actions of the free trade policy? Breaking the laws of another country? Using systems and services, and sending currency out of our country to support another? I don’t believe so. The negative out-weighs the positive. In economical instances, for both countries.

    In essence, that is illegal socialism – individuals (not legitimately authorized) taking from one, to give to another. Two wrongs do not make a right. I believe the policy makers themselves may be to blame for creating bad policy, but it is not relective on the majority – or how the majority think. Attitudes and actions of people (in general) are not bad. It is the bad policy that creates negative implication – of which could be altered accordingly.

    Everthing else pertaining individual strenght in peoples lives is, and has been, due to their upbringing. Well said WENDY – July 12, 2007 @ 8:21 am.

    Ciao tutti.
    😉 @ Allison

  • Thayssa

    on July 15, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Hey Allison, how are u? I really love this blog, I think you’re such an amazing actress and so beautiful too.Hope to see you on Smallville when season 7 begins. Kisses and hugs


    on July 16, 2007 at 6:40 am

    Once again Allison you’ve written another great blog. I like the quote you picked this week.

  • Fatma

    on July 16, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Allison

    I agree that for one to have compassion for the world they must have it in themselves first, your blog is beautifully put, great job.

    Maybe we all can reflect on the world around us and fiqure out if we are really content.

    Its great that you take time for your fans and share your feelings and thoughts. I hope you do creat the ideal world you desire.

    Looking forward to getting to know you on myspace and all and seeing you in season 7.

    Good luck for the rest of the year.

    Take care

  • Lis

    on July 16, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Hey, i think that it is really cool that u have a blog and all seeing as YOU are my fave. character on smallville because of how insightful you are. It’s cool that you take the time to share your thoughts with your fans and i totally agree with Einstein. By the way i am routing for your character in season 7. Have a great summer.

  • bunnyhugs

    on July 16, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    What a wonderful, insightful young woman you are!

    Yes it seems much easier to have compassion for others and to offer forgiveness for whatever wrong they have done in the world. We seem to struggle greatly with offering the same kindness to ourselves. We recognize the beauty in the imperfect when we gaze at others, and readily forgive them for it. But we somehow hold ourselves up to some higher self imposed standard.

    In striving for this unobtainable goal of perfection we miss out on so much. We miss the beauty of the struggle to be a better person. We miss out on the sweetness of the longing to make a difference in the world. We miss out on the essence of who we are. Because we are trying so hard to be something we are not. Perfect.

    We have to come to a point in our journey where we can look at ourselves, full on and say, you know what I’m not perfect and Im ok with that.
    We have to not only forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have, and will, make along the way, because without them we would be so much less than what we are.

    We have to get to a point where we can honestly say “Yes there are things that I need to work on but you know what? Im fabulous just the way I am and Im just going to get better.”

    The more we forgive ourselves the more we can forgive others. The more we truly love ourselves, as imperfect human beings, the more we can love others. The more we look at ourselves and know our own souls the more we can see others and connect with them on a deeper level.

    Stop punishing yourself for your imperfections Allison. Embrace them. Celebrate them. They are what make you, YOU. We are all unique, thank god. The world aint ready for another me!

  • hugesmallvillefan

    on July 17, 2007 at 6:15 am

    Hi Allison,
    This blog really makes me think and i like it. it is a great blog. I can’t wait for the season 7 premiere of smallville.

    Can’t wait for your next blog.

    hugesmallvillefan (Craig)

  • João Rômulo Negri

    on July 19, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    Oláaaaa como vai?? That´s a cool thing to think. We are pieces of something big. It´s amazing how we can choose to live our lifes, isn´t it? I mean, we can live alone and without the contact or, we can make part of the society. I think that i´m in the middle of this because i love to be a social person but something i rather be alone.

    I think i said something different from your entry but this is my opinion.



    Have an amazing night with all great moments that we can have.

    Tchau and beijos

    Take care

  • joey

    on July 22, 2007 at 11:29 am

    once you find the good, bad, and ugly in yourself you will realize you are only meant for the good and the rest of it is not you at all.


  • Aaron

    on July 28, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    I don’t know if you read these comments or not, but if so, I wanted to let you know I really appreciate your thoughts. You are in good company in your feelings and I can tell you, from a Christian perspective, that individualism permeates most of us. For those of us who truly see and internalize what you just said, there is a freedom that emerges that blesses the giver and receiver like nothing else. Christ knew this…and apparently Einstein did too. Who knew? 🙂 God bless.

    P.S. While I am sure you hear this more times than you care to remember, I love Smallville and have truly enjoyed seeing your character grow.

  • Hamilton

    on September 22, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Hello Allison,
    This Blog is so interesting…
    I completely agree with you and Einstein 🙂
    I noticed that you already have some compassion just by the fact you share your feelings with other people. I´m sure it inspire those who read this blog.

    Thanks for the blog
    Take care..

  • Katherine

    on November 10, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    what is lex micheal rosenbaum really like in real life

  • Mario

    on November 10, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    widening the circle of compassion…

    There’s another interesting piece of non traditional wisdom about it…read the lyrics of “within you without you”, a song by George Harrison…

    You have nice eyes, keep them always around…

    Lima, Peru.

  • Beth James

    on February 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    I’m feeling a little bit weirded out right now.

    I’ve been able to understand and relate to other entries before, but oh my God.
    I think that exact same thing all the time.

  • Beth James

    on February 15, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Whoa, my bad, I somehow sent my comment to early…?

    When I was little I used to imagine that the whole world would just disappear when I wasn’t around. (Not in a conceited way but in…an imaginative way) I imagined things just ceasing to exist and then starting back up when I entered the room, only with changes and deveopments that formed somehow in the universe.
    Since then, my ideas have developed. But that’s where it started and that’s where its roots are.

    I find myself so many times thinking about other people and how rarely I think about those other people when I’m living my life and making decisions. (For example there are people dying in Africa, you know? And I’m concerned with these stupid nothingless things that have no affect on the rest of the world)

    I’m in a German class at school, and we’re learning about language, culture, and all that. It is so, so different in Germany, than it is in America. (I’m going to sound completely idiotic but oh well, I probably am anyway.) A lot of times, instead of learning about Germany, I feel like I’m reading a story or a book about some altered society.
    Crazy, right?
    I’m so closed fromt the rest of the world, that in my subconscious, I don’t accept any other culture exists but mine!!!

    There are 6 billion people on this planet.
    SIX BILLION!!!!!!

    That is so many people!!!
    You know how many people I know?
    A couple hundred.
    out of:
    SIX BILLION!!!!!!

    I’m sitting here in my room, typing on a computer, while Andres over in Peru or Marie back in France or Allison in Canada or wherever, they don’t know I exist.
    And don’t know if there is an Andres in Peru, or a Marie in France, or even an Allison in Canada (isn’t that where you live?).
    I can only imagine.
    And maybe that’s part of the problem.
    Maybe that’s why I keep forgetting.

    But that doesn’t make it okay. I’m not okay with the fact that no matter how many times I’m told that millions of people in Africa have AIDS or that there are soldiers dying in Iraq, I know that it won’t cross my mind everyday.

    I am not going to remember to pray for the children in Africa.
    I’m going to forget that there are children in Africa that need praying.

    And that makes me feel so bad.
    And it’s worse knowing that most of the world is doing the same.
    The rest of the world is as bad or worse as/than me.

    And I don’t know where to start to make myself into the person I want to be.