20 of the Most Thought-Provoking Nikola Tesla Quotes

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American inventor, electrical/mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.

After Tesla emigrated to the United States in 1884, he began working for Thomas Edison in New York City. Tension mounted, and he set out on his own path –  due to financial support from backers who allowed him to setup laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla for a short time as a consultant.

Sadly, Tesla’s work was ahead of his time, and fell into obscurity after his death in 1943. However, in recent years – due in part to the work of entrepreneur Elon Musk, there has been a resurgence in Tesla technologies.

Below are 20 of Tesla’s most thought-provoking quotes, which have immense spiritual, scientific, and sociological depth.

Share your thoughts and be sure to comment on which is your favorite!


“Every living being is an engine geared to the wheel-work of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance.”

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

“What we now want is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth, and the elimination of egoism and pride which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife… Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment…”

“Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another’s point of view. This again is due to the ignorance of those concerned, not so much in their own, as in their mutual fields. The peril of a clash is aggravated by a more or less predominant sense of combativeness, posed by every human being. To resist this inherent fighting tendency the best way is to dispel ignorance of the doings of others by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in view, it is most important to aid exchange of thought and intercourse.”
“Nature may reach the same result in many ways. Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it seems to stay, passing through processes of a complexity inconceivable to men, but in all its forms, in all its stages, its energy ever and ever integrally present. A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature. In no way can we get such an overwhelming idea of the grandeur of Nature than when we consider, that in accordance with the law of the conservation of energy, throughout the Infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.”

“I am part of a light, and it is the music. The Light fills my six senses: I see it, hear, feel, smell, touch and think. Thinking of it means my sixth sense. Particles of Light are written note. O bolt of lightning can be an entire sonata. A thousand balls of lightening is a concert.. For this concert I have created a Ball Lightning, which can be heard on the icy peaks of the Himalayas.”

“The gift of mental power comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power. My Mother had taught me to seek all truth in the Bible.”

“Most certainly, some planets are not inhabited, but others are, and among these there must exist life under all conditions and phases of development.”

“Its not the love you make. It’s the love you give.”

“But instinct is something which transcends knowledge. We have, undoubtedly, certain finer fibers that enable us to perceive truths when logical deduction, or any other willful effort of the brain, is futile.”

“Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves.”

“The year 2100 will see eugenics universally established. In past ages, the law governing the survival of the fittest roughly weeded out the less desirable strains. Then man’s new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. As a result, we continue to keep alive and to breed the unfit. The only method compatible with our notions of civilization and the race is to prevent the breeding of the unfit by sterilization and the deliberate guidance of the mating instinct, Several European countries and a number of states of the American Union sterilize the criminal and the insane. This is not sufficient. The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny. A century from now it will no more occur to a normal person to mate with a person eugenically unfit than to marry a habitual criminal.”

“If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”

“Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more.”

“One has to be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane”

“As I review the events of my past life I realize how subtle are the influences that shape our destinies.”

“Let one concentrate all his energies in one single great effort, let him perceive a single truth, even though he be consumed by the sacred fire, then millions of less gifted men can easily follow. Therefore it is not as much quantity as quality of work which determines the magnitude of the progress.”

“All perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never-ending cycles all things and phenomena.”

“My belief is firm in a law of compensation. The true rewards are ever in proportion to the labor and sacrifices made.”

“When a child is born its sense-organs are brought in contact with the outer world. The waves of sound, heat and light beat upon its feeble body, its sensitive nerve-fibres quiver, the muscles contract and relax in obedience: a gasp, a breath, and in this act a marvelous little engine, of inconceivable delicacy and complexity of construction, unlike any on earth, is hitched to the wheel-work of the Universe.”

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