Human Understanding: An Engineer’s Analysis of Life, Getting to the Basics


Robert J. Brust, PE, SE

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Human Understanding is an analysis of life from an engineering perspective. It looks to develop some simple basics from which other related life issues are more easily understood. Typically, fields of thought in philosophy, psychology, archeology, astronomy, and even religion rely on information and evidence that fits the conventionally accepted paradigm and ignore information and evidence that does not fit. Engineers deal with fixed numbers and facts and overlooking any information or evidence that may affect a project must be considered or engineers risk failures and lawsuits.

Author Robert Brust looks at information and evidence overlooked by conventional thought to assess how it could affect conventional thought. Perhaps the biggest oversight is that of consciousness independent of the physical body. Evaluation of the evidence is not based upon any religious consideration. It should be realized that the existence of an independent consciousness would indicate a purpose for life beyond physical existence. It would likely also mean there are consequences for how life is led.

The book also looks at such things as growth in knowledge and other aspects of life in ways not generally considered. In the end,the biggest universal simplification that can be made in life is that it is virtue that is responsible for order and joy and culminates in the highest reality—love. Conversely,  vice is responsible for chaos and eventual despair. This simplification holds for all dimensions and levels of conscious reality.

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