Home > non-fiction > Einstein And Human Consciousness (Eternity Is An Instant): Brad Buettner

Einstein And Human Consciousness (Eternity Is An Instant): Brad Buettner

April 22, 2010


Which is more important: the practical or the sublime? Are you a Doer or a Dreamer? Brad Buettner has over twenty-four years of experience utilizing his physics degree in a wide array of engineering and management assignments. With this background he examines early twentieth-century physics and human relationships observed during his professional tenure to illustrate how Einstein’s theory of relativity pertains to our perception of time and how it explains divisions in our outlook. By applying the theory of relativity to human consciousness, Buettner discovers the motivation for personal inclination toward either the practical or the abstract.

Buettner defines total reality as containing more than the reality our senses perceive. When discussing alternate forms of reality, however, he insists on measurable and observable conclusions, eliminating references to mysticism, magic, or mystery. He outlines an engaging search for the unlikely possibility of interaction with the reality that existed before the Big Bang.

Einstein in Human Consciousness: Eternity is an Instant provides stunning revelations concerning human reality. Does your world extend beyond that perceived by the physical senses? If so, why? Buettner offers the answers to these questions by explaining an aspect of reality that was previously elusive.

Brad Buettner received physics and metallurgical degrees from Benedictine and Lehigh Universities, which he applied to a varied career in engineering and management. He’s lived or worked in New York City, Baltimore, Princeton, and the Chicago area. He has a wife and two sons and currently resides in the Chicago suburbs.

Brad Buettner might have written his book Einstein and Human Consciousness: Eternity is an Instant around an interesting theory, and he certainly has an easy, fluent writing style. But both were spoiled for me by his repeated reassurances that I would be able to understand his reasoning if I only tried, even if I wasn’t very highly educated. I found some of his comments about this patronising, and at times almost insulting.

When Buettner commented, “Dreamers have a different view of reality than Doers, and the reason is that Dreamers concentrate on a different reality altogether. Dreamers have found a peculiar aspect of human consciousness that has different properties than the physical reality that our senses detect” I wonder if he realised that he was casting Dreamers as “other”?

Buettner is at his best when he explains proven, accepted concepts: his account of relative time is clear, elegant and interesting. His writing is good; his text is beautifully error-free. But in trying to reach a wider audience he’s only succeeded in patronising us all; and he’s perhaps revealed more about himself than he had planned to in places. I stopped reading on page nine, when I came across this:

Imagine the ridicule simpler minds must have given Einstein when they first heard his proposal.

I don’t like the implication that anyone less clever than Einstein (which, let’s face it, includes pretty much most of us) would have automatically ridiculed him for proposing his theory: most, I suspect, would have asked him questions and tried to understand it for themselves. The human race is usually more curious than it is judgemental: if we weren’t, we would never have escaped our more superstitious beliefs and reached the moon. Because of that I’m not going to judge Mr. Buettner for apparently thinking so little of his readers: instead I’m going to wonder how much better his book would have been if he’d worked with someone who challenged his ideas and edited out all of his more patronising bits. How good could it have been then?

  1. April 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    You say it's error-free, but I spot what look like two usage errors in the back cover copy. "Buettner defies total reality as…" looks like it should be "defines".And "…explaining an aspect of reality that was previously abusive" looks like the writer *might* have meant "elusive".

  2. April 22, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    The complexity and controversy of Einstein’s work has definitely had an impact on the scientific world for generations. On our blog we are featuring interesting photos of Einstein’s life and death. May be of interest. http://www.americanbiotechnologist.com/blog/einstein-photos/

  3. April 26, 2010 at 9:36 am

    nauthor, those errors were mine, I'm afraid: if you read my other blog regularly you'll know that I'm wrestling with cataracts and PVD which cause me intermittent vision problems–and lead to mistakes like those which unfortunately the friend who has been error-checking for me doesn't always pick up.Thank you for pointing them out, though: I've corrected them, and might well put this blog on hiatus until I can do my own copy-editing once more. I HATE making mistakes!

  4. April 28, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Jane, sorry about your troubles :(. I do read your other blog but had thought maybe your eye problems had gotten better; sorry to hear they haven't.

  5. May 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    In the paragraph:Win Buettner commented, "Dreamers have a different…" I wonder if he realised that he was casting Dreamers as "other"?I've read that paragraph multiple times, and I don't understand your comment.Also, there's a typo "win" for "when."Hope all is well.- Michael

  6. June 6, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Michael, thanks for your proof-reading help. It's much appreciated. I'm back to the eye-clinic at the end of this month and hope the doctor will send me to have my cataracts dissolved: it's so very difficult reading things on-screen for me right now, and I have had enough!You didn't understand my "other" comment, eh? Sorry about that. I shall attempt to clarify.In the para I quoted (and elsewhere in his text), Buettner allies himself with "doers" and describes "dreamers" as being different. Had he discussed the two extremes without taking such a personal stance his discussion would have been unbiased and impartial: as it is, there was an undercurrent of "us vs them" to his writing which brought with it a certain amount of judgement and disapproval rather than the analysis and understanding I would prefer.Does that help? If not, let me know and I'll take another stab at it!

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