That's easy... He looked it up in The Secret Doctrine. (1)
Here's the Background:
On the 20th Anniversary of Einstein's death (1975), physicist Richard Feynman was quoted in Time magazine as saying, "I cannot understand how he arrived at the intuition (2) leading to E-mc^2, considering the level of scientific knowledge at the time."(1905)
A niece of Einstein reported that a copy of the Secret Doctrine was always on his desk.(3) Another witness, Jack Brown, reports similarly in an article, "I
visited Professor Einstein." (4)
Here's the story as I got it:
Sometime, around the mid 1970s, I was attending a lecture by a foreign visitor at the United Lodge of Theosophists in New York City... After the talk, a group of ULT associates and I met the speaker, Mrs. Wadia, the elderly British born widow of a well known Indian theosophical writer and lecturer. She was accompanied by several other Indian women dressed in Saris.
Mrs. Wadia, or one of the other women with her (I do not remember their names) told us that when she was at the Theosophical Publishing Company in Adyar during the mid 1960s, she met Einstein's niece, who said she had come to the TPC headquarters to offer their library the book that was at the bedside of her uncle when he died. Mrs. Wadia (or the speaker) said that she and several others at the Adyar Lodge gratefully accepted the worn out and dog-eared copy of the first edition of The Secret Doctrine - The Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy by H. P. Blavatsky.
I asked whether she actually handled and opened the book. She answered that she had. When I specifically asked if there were any margin notes, she said that the book was heavily notated and underlined, and that the margins were covered with scribbles and other markings that none of them could make heads nor tails of. (What would we give to get a look at them?) When
someone else asked what happened to the book, she said, it was still in the library of the Lodge in Adyar.
Whether it could still be found there today, is anybody's guess.. (If anyone gets to read its "scribbles" as a result of this lead, please let me know.)
This information, however, led me to re-evaluate the "Secret Doctrine" which I had been studying for the past many years (and which was already heavily underlined and margin notated -- but mostly of philosophical, occult, symbolical, and comparative religion significance).
I immediately Purchased a new facsimile edition of The Secret Doctrine (The Theosophy Company, Los Angeles) with the intention of starting all over... But, this time, specifically to study its deeper scientific teachings with reference to the linkages between consciousness, mind and their associated biological organs and organisms (since most of its teachings in cosmology
and physics had already been culled and expanded by Einstein, Planck, Millikan, Heisenberg, Bohr, Gell-Mann, Feynman, Hawkings and many others).
My continuing study since that time (and the margin notes it engendered) led me ultimately to the present holographic consciousness theory of Astro Biological Coenergetics and the beginnings of a new scientific paradigm and technology derived from it -- that I am still working on... Hopefully, "next year (or the year after :-), Jerusalem." ;-)>
Leon H. Maurer
New York, October 29, 1997
P.S. I'm not sure if my letter to Feynman in 1975, (telling him where Einstein got his insight) pointed him to the SD. (He never responded.) But it wasn't really necessary for his own work... Since, Einstein (and Millikan, for another -- but that's another story) had already been there. :-)
"You can tell the seriousness of a scientific theory by how much fun the discoverer had in writing about it." -A.N.Onymous (or Al. Einstein :)
(2) "...mass or substance is equivalent to energy and that time and space are integral parts of the substance-energy continuum...," Cranston, S. L., HPB;: the
extraordinary life and influence of Helena Blavatsky, founder of the modern theosophical movement, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1993, 434; ibid, Ref: Notes, Part 7, Note 21, 606" A. March and I.M Freeman, The New World of Physics, 1963; quoted in Sunrise, November 1975, 81"
(3) "Iverson Harris, The Journal of San Diego History , San Diego (California) Historical Society, Summer, 1974, 16. In checking this information it was learned that a niece of Einstein's, in India during the 1960s, paid a visit to the headquarters of the Theosophical Society at Adyar. She explained that she knew nothing of theosophy or the society, but had to see the place because her uncle always had a copy of Madame Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine on his desk. The individual to whom the niece spoke was Eunice Layton, a world renowned theosophical lecturer who happened to be at the reception desk when she arrived. While in Ojai, California, in 1982, Sylvia Cranston met Mrs. Eunice Layton, who confirmed the story." (Cranston, S. L., HPB;: the extraordinary life and influence of Helena Blavatsky, founder of the modern theosophical movement, G. P. Putnam's Sons 1993, Notes, Preface, Note 11, 557)
(4) "Ohai Valley News, Ohai, California, September 28, 1983." (ibid, Notes, Preface, Note 12., 558.)
Related Secret Doctrine references
Some references pertaining to Einstein's theory of relativity (E=MC2), Heisenberg's theory of indeterminacy, holographic universe, etc. From The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky, 1888, The Theosophical Press, Adyar, India (facsimile reprint, 1964, The Theosophy Company)
1-29 "Everything that exists has only a relative, not an absolute reality, since the appearance which the hidden noumenon assumes for any observer depends on his power of cognition (Ref: Indeterminacy theorem) but all things are relatively real, for the cogniser is also a reflection, and the things cognised are therefore as real to him as himself."
1-45 "Metaphysical abstractions are the only conceivable cause of physical concretions a process of conversion of metaphysics into physics, analogous to that by which steam can be condensed into water, and the water into ice." (Ref: General laws of Phase Change Also Chaos, Complexity, Universal Inflation, Symmetry, etc.)
1-75 "... there is but one universal element which is infinite, unborn, undying all the rest-as in the world of phenomena-are but so many various differentiated aspects and transformations (correlations as they are now called)" (Ref: Conservation of Matter/Energy, Special Relativity, General Relativity, etc.)
1-77 "It (occult philosophy) indicates existence of things imperceptible to our physical senses" (Ref: all sub-molecular physics and chemistry)
1-83 "Brahmâ (Sanscrit name of precursor of Universe) "expands" and becomes the Universe, woven out of its own substance." (Ref: Big Bang theory, Inflationary theory, String Theory, etc.)
1-120 "The radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in nature is the one fundamental Law" (Ref: Unified Field theories, GUTs, High Energy physics, Quark theories, General Relativity, etc.
1-143 (footnote) * * " consider all the forces of nature as veritable, though super sensuous, states of matter" (Ref: General Relativity, E=MC2, Quantum Chromodynamics, etc.)
1-146 "Electricity, Light, Heat, etc. (i.e. energy) i.e. supersensuous states of matter light is - a supersensuous state of matter in motion, a Nature Force" (Ref: General Relativity, E=MC2, Special Relativity, Photoelectricity, Quantum Thermodynamics, etc.)`
1-147 " all the so called Forces of Nature, Electricity, Magnetism, Light, Heat are in esse i.e. in their ultimate constitution, the differentiated aspect of that universal motion discussed (earlier) (see Proem)" (Ref: General Relativity, E=MC2, Special Relativity, Photoelectricity, Quantum Thermodynamics, etc.)
More to come in the forthcoming book: On The Threshold of a New Science and Technology (intro)