Bernardo Kastrup

Bernardo Kastrup is a physicist who has broken from materialism as the basis for understanding the nature of the universe. Materialism is the doctrine that there is nothing in the universe except matter and its motions. Hence explaining how something so immediate, mental, weird, and undivided as consciousness arises from a material process becomes the “hard problem” of consciousness.

By contrast, Kastrup has become a thorough-going radical “idealist”. Not as in someone who is driven by ideals, but someone who considers that mind is the fundamental constituent of the universe.

An introduction to where his views have led him is found in this Scientific American article:


The obvious way around the combination problem is to posit that, although consciousness is indeed fundamental in nature, it isn’t fragmented like matter. The idea is to extend consciousness to the entire fabric of spacetime, as opposed to limiting it to the boundaries of individual subatomic particles. This view—called “cosmopsychism” in modern philosophy, although our preferred formulation of it boils down to what has classically been called “idealism”—is that there is only one, universal, consciousness. The physical universe as a whole is the extrinsic appearance of universal inner life, just as a living brain and body are the extrinsic appearance of a person’s inner life.

I have been reading Kastrup’s Why Materialism is Baloney to my considerable satisfaction. His writing is clear as water, but what he is asking you to imagine is that how you have been educated causes you to misperceive the world. It is not his language that is difficult. It is in seeing the world through fresh eyes.

He is the author of seven books.

Kastrup is the antidote to the Harris/Dennett/Hitchens school of radical materialist atheism.

Watch out for Kastrup; the man is taking the battle to the reigning gods of drivel.

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Thanks for the link; just downloaded it and looking forward to reading it. Really appreciate you ‘bird dogging’ the good stuff


Thank you! Positive feedback is welcomed. I have been wondering of late whether linking was sufficient when I had nothing in particular to say myself. I am happy to see that research and linking is often enough.

Phil Brisk

Bernardo Kastrup is an extraordinarily lucid thinker and writer. As a fellow idealist, I can only applaud and thank him for all he contributes to the field. And, if Bernardo piques your interest, you might also want to check out the equally lucid and wise Rupert Spira. I recommend his book The Nature of Consciousness: Essays on the Unity of Mind and Matter. (To which, as it happens, Bernardo writes the afterword.)


Will obtain. Thank you. I have been assaulted with enough materialism over the years to be thoroughly disenchanted with it. The fact it cannot answer is the only one that matters: who exactly is perceiving when “I” perceive?
Is mind a generator of consciousness or more like a radio, receiving ‘mind’ and amplifying some aspects of it?
And suddenly a lot of what Carlos Castaneda said about shifting the “assemblage point” of awareness makes much more sense to this way of thinking – not that I am wholly persuaded of Castaneda.

Dollops - Eric Doll

Thanks for the reference. I have argued — alas, not always effectively — against randomness in the universe for years. I will certainly be looking for incisiveness in Bernard Kastrup’s writings.

Al Whyley

I think Harris’s references to rational mysticism in the last chapter of The End of Faith remove him from the radical materialist camp.

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