hello, my friends welcome to season two of Paterson in pursuit.
The show is finally back after taking about four months off, I'm so excited to start this project.
Up again, I'm your host, Steve Patterson, I'm trying to ask and answer the deepest questions.
The world and find a worldview that makes rational sense.
If I can't find one I'm going to build one myself season, two kicks off with one of my favorite interviews so far that I actually shot a few months ago.
So I spend a lot of time arguing in metaphysics about dualism or the idea that at least physicalism is false, that there is more stuff in the world than just physical objects.
There's mental stuff mental stuff is really important, but I get a lot of criticism and for good reason from people who are idealists they're kind of on the other end of the spectrum they aren't physicalist, they aren't duelists.
They think that everything is fundamentally mental in nature, and I haven't really spoken that much about it.
I haven't really written anything about why I'm not an idealist, but lots of idealist have sent me a name. 00:01:04
I say Steve.
You got ta have doctor Bernardo Kastrup on the show he's an idealist soon.
He makes a very compelling case.
So that's the interview, we're gon na start season.
Off with before we start, I want to send a thank you to everybody. 00:01:17
Who's been listening to the show and to the patrons of the show and my work who have stuck with me through these last four months.
When I left, you know, I said I had some writing and some health things to do and that turned into pretty much just dealing with health things.
So I'll gladly talk about those of becoming weeks and months learned a lot of information about how the world works. 00:01:37
How the medical establishment works, but I just want to give a special thanks to all of the patrons at patreon.
com, slash, Steve Patterson, who have been very patiently waiting for me to come back and return to work.
So I hope you guys will enjoy this interview as much as I did with dr.
Bernardo Kastrup talking about idealism, so dr.
Bernardo Kastrup, thanks so much for coming on Patterson in pursuit you, your name has come up quite a lot from my audience as I cover Issues in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics, everybody says I got ta have this Bernardo trip on the show, so I'm really glad that you can talk to me today.
I'm glad to be here so, where I want to start is where I started the past few conversations I've had on this topic, which is our apparent observations about the world and then why you think, maybe our kind of common sensical intuitions are maybe misleading. 00:02:30
So it seems like we live in a world of physical objects.
Where I look around me, there's tables there's chairs, there's physical things.
Everybody seems to have a solid grasp on what physicality means, but there's a whole school of thought. 00:02:48
Multiple schools of thought, which say well, actually, the world is not inhabited by physical objects.
In fact, there's no such thing as physical objects or what we mean by physical objects are actually mental phenomena and when you first encounter those ideas, they seem very striking and hard to believe.
But what is your take on the matter? What do you do you think that we leave that? I live in a world of physical objects and if so, what is the nature of those objects? When we say physical objects, usually we make all kinds of assumptions about what is entailed by that right.
I mean I don't dispute physicality as far as concreteness goes as far as independence. 00:03:31
From my personal volition goes, I mean there is clearly a world out there that there is concrete that will go on, irrespective of whether I am awake or asleep.
Things will happen, irrespective of my personal illusion.
If I jump off a building, I will fall, even if I don't want to.
I don't dispute with any of these now the problem comes when we make extra assumptions when we say that physicality and tail and think ontologically distinct from meditation, something that is tight and independent of mind.
There is an explanatory model: it's not a content of intuition.
It's something we add, maybe in an unexamined way, to the intuition of concreteness and independence from volition.
This latter thing is what a dispute. 00:04:29
I think this explanatory model leads to more problems than than what it explains, and I think it's false mm-hmm.
So with something straightforward, like you know the table the table in my dining room, that seems like it's an object that is independent of my my mental goings-on, that it's a thing that's out there in the world that kind of impinges on my senses and that I Have some kind of sense experience of it? Are you disputing that idea that no, no, I think the table is independent.
Well, at least something that corresponds to the table is independent of your personal meditation, but the stress is, on the word, personal meditation.
The fact that it's independent of your personal meditation does not mean that it is ontologically distinct from meditation itself.
I see, and I think that is the error - that our cultural in culture in general has been making for the past couple of hundred okay.
So if it's not the personal minh taejun, then what whose is it well Nature gives us plenty of clues about this right I mean we know that the physical object we call a brain with its activity corresponds to meditation.
I mean if a surgeon has the brain of a patient exposed on an operating table. 00:05:54
That brain is a very physical, concrete object, it can be cut, it can be color eyes, it can be touched.
Theoretically, it can even be smelled.
It's a very physical object composed of the same atoms and force fields as the stars and galaxies. 00:06:11
Yet we know that behind between quotes that object in some way corresponding to that that object.
There is the entire inner life of a person with despairs and happiness and love affairs and heartbreaks and pain and suffering and successes and all kinds of things, memories, the food you have eaten and the taste of that food, the smells so nature is giving us a Hint that behind what we call matter and physicality behind between quotes corresponding to which to it in some way there is mental activity.
So I think we should take that hint in the most direct straightforward way possible, in other words, without making unnecessary philosophical conjectures, and I think the most direct way to take that is to is to see to realize that what we call matter is the image of Mental activity that and that's all there is to it, there is nothing more to matter.
Then the second person image, the the extrinsic appearance, which is mental in nature.
Every Liron is mental.
It's a phenomenon, not aluminum.
It's the extrinsic appearance of mental activity that holds for brains, and I would claim that holds for the entire inanimate universe as a whole.
What we call biological bodies are simply the extrinsic appearance of certain dissociative processes in a transpersonal form of mind that underlies all nature, and that's why we feel that our thoughts are sort of separate from the rest.
That's why we do not experience.
What's going on across the universe, that's why I can't read your thoughts, because what I call me is a dissociative complex in what we might call mind at large to use Aldous Huxley's, a famous expression.
It's dissociated from the rest, at least temporarily, which prevents me from accessing the rest and the image of that dissociation is my body.
That's what you see from a second person perspective. 00:08:15
Okay, so I'm gon na see if I can rephrase a little bit of that and if I make an error, then please correct me in what you're saying here.
So if objects are identical to their appearances.
So if we make that concrete - and we say what a table is - is the thing that I am experiencing when I talk about a table, a mental image.
Does that mean that the the spaciality, the taking up of what we think of as three-dimensional space by those objects disappears when nobody is having an experience of it? So so, like you know, if I look away from the table and no longer have the experience of it and nobody, let's say in the room, does does it still exist and if so, is that because you're claiming that the mind is something that's not personal, it's Kind of everywhere, the extrinsic appearance we call a table with certain phenomenal characteristics, a certain color certain size, certain texture, roughness, whatever.
That is not there by definition, if nobody's looking at it, but the mental activity.
The mental process whose extrinsic appearance is the table that will continue to be there, irrespective of whether you are looking at it or not. 00:09:34
So a phenomenal appearance on the screen of perception is an interaction between a dissociative, complex and something outside that dissociative complex.
That will only exist upon interaction, because it is the interactions the result of the interaction, but the the transpersonal process that is going on outside the dissociative complex, with whose image, partly at least, is the table that that will go on, irrespective of whether you're looking at It or not, it's the same thing for people right.
If nobody is looking at my body, not even me, can we say that the body exists with the qualities that are experienced by an observer, in other words, with the shape the color that a body has.
I don't think that's a coherent statement because, by definition, you're excluding the phenomenal properties that correspond to a do that, but that doesn't mean that my mental in their life, whether I can access it inter spectacle, introspectively or not.
It doesn't mean that my my mental in their life, who cease to be if I and nobody else, is observing my body that mental activity can go on.
I would say the same thing for the inanimate universe.
I think the mental process see is that correspondent to the inanimate universe before the origin of life, in other words, before the first dissociated complex of minded large, formed that mental activity existed before the origin of life.
It existed since the Big Bang.
If we endorse that particular theory of our time, but the phenomenal properties that we experience when we look out at the universe, those by definition didn't exist.
If there was nobody there to look, ok, ok, so would you accept something like this that the idea is the cause of our phenomenal experience? Is mental goings-on of the mind at large so wow that so the table out there when nobody's looking at it? The phenomenal qualities at the table don't exist because nobody's looking at it, but what it actually is kind of.
From our perspective, the Newman uh it in itself is a mental object, and so that's why yeah that's correct.
That is entirely correct you.
So basically, what I'm saying is that there are nomina, but the nature of the Newman.
A -- is phenomenal.
Now how the phenomena of the Newman air feels like from a first-person perspective is not the same as the phenomenal properties that I experienced when I look out to the world hmm, but it is phenomenal in nature.
So there are new Mena, but the Newman are phenomenal.
Not the phenomenon I experienced, but they are phenomenal in nature as an ontological class, and would you say that we have know, at least in our regular everyday state of mind, we have no access to their actual phenomenal qualities, at least in our regular state of mind.
We do not correct yeah, ok, so this is uh.
This is a great segue, then into different states of mind.
So is this.
This sounds to me very much like, like kind of like a almost like an Eastern mysticism idea of the the mind at large, and then there were one kind of disassociated mind that's not connected to this other mind, but there are a lot of people who I've Talked to who claim that they they have been in mental states in which they see actally kind of what you're talking about that they experience kind of the this this universal mind.
I've never had that experience, but lots of people whom I respect have had that experience is that something that you have had and is that something that's essential to really grasping the nature of this theory, or is this pure purely arrived at through kind of rational deduction? So I don't think it is essential at all. 00:13:37
Actually, if no mystical experiences existed, if there were no reports in the literature or on the record about mystical experiences that that sort of resonate with what I just said, I would maintain that what I just said is still the most parsimonious, a logical ontological explanation for, For the world for for for existence, so whatever else comes on top of it that might endorse what I'm saying. 00:14:09
I see that as bonus, for instance, sighs phenomena.
A lot of people contact me asking if I, if, if my views would would make room for psy phenomena like telepathy or whatever else, it so happens that it may.
But I don't think whatever empirical evidence there might be for psy phenomena are essential to to to defend or substantiate the position I hold.
I think the position I hold would still be the better explain the best explanation, even in the absence of any mystical experience, sigh phenomena, phenomena any of that.
Having said this, and we need to entertain your a question, I don't think it's there always central to my case, but and we need to entertain it mystical experiences by by their very nature, ambiguous.
They tend to be noisy and they are unreliable.
That's why I'm so careful about going that direction? Have I had experiences in this direction? Maybe a couple of times, but I don't rely on them to make an objective case.
If you know what I mean, because I I'm very careful about interpreting them in an unambiguous way, yeah, I think so.
I've had a few conversations with people who are come from that kind of personal experience or mindset where they have the experience, and then they kind of throw theories together to try to make sense of the experience and a lot of times.
I think if they do it in a very careless way, and so I from my experience and the research I've done, I know, there's a there's, a knee-jerk reaction, that a lot of people have and I used to have towards people that claimed any kind of insight.
In a mystical state, but after doing research and have to having conversations and and dealing with the theories, I'm finding that actually mystical experiences are a part of human experience throughout history and there actually is a ways that you can completely make rational sense of them. 00:16:22
It might not be the the most popular interpretations.
You know that I think there's a lot of you know if we're going to stereotype there's a lot of hippies out there.
That you know think all is one because they took some drug and then they think they understand how the universe works, but I'm finding there's a whole.
Other group of people who sounds like yourself included, have had these experiences and are not willing to entertain.
You know a bunch of nonsensical arguments just because they've had a profound experience.
I think it's a problem of translation.
I don't even I wouldn't go even as far as saying that the insight these people have are invalid.
Maybe they are valid.
The problem is when you try to translate that into a coherent system and that's where it usually goes very, very wrong dramatically wrong and I think the problem you're pointing out is rampant. 00:17:08
It it's it's widespread and it's not helpful that people try to between quotes theorize and haphazard way from their experiences that there is a certain rigor that is required for for a logical argument to be built properly and for it to be in accordance with whatever evidence.
We have and so forth.
That said, I would say one thing: philosophy: as a early conceptual practice, purely an electric analytical practice is is necessary because it gives us intellectual permission to entertain certain possibilities, but it isn't sufficient in a sense that it will not really change your life and your perspective On the world, even if you are fully convinced and satisfied with a certain conceptual model - and you tell yourself with all sincerity that it is true - it is not life changing my mystical experience is: it can be very life changing, even if you make a mess of Trying to give your eyes around it afterwards.
So, while I think that philosophy, a conceptual model is very important as far as it has the potential to drive the cultural narrative, which is a conceptual narrative, because it's communicated in terms of words - and we should be very rigorous and careful about the models we entertain From philosophy, I think it's necessary complement is a direct experience.
Otherwise things remain theoretical and conceptual and they don't really change the world.
So I'd say mmm, it's an excellent point.
I'm glad you brought that up, because this very closely mirrors my own path, even without the that type of mystical experience.
I'd say I had when I experienced love for my wife.
That was something that was life-changing experience.
It didn't come with the the the universal mind. 00:19:11
Experience but it was still incredibly powerful for me, but I was having a conversation with my friends about this status of a logic in these mystical States, because that's something that's really really important for me and my own philosophy is logical coherence and the the obsessive elimination Of contradiction and I had had conversations with people that were claiming that you could have a logical contradiction, and you realize that once you're in this mental state - and I said yeah, I can't square that circle literally and this the individual I was having had had a Little more background in philosophy and said that, just like you said, that's a translation error, it's a literal, logical contradiction! It's just that's how it comes out when you try to articulate the nature of the experience.
I thought oh okay, that actually makes a great deal of sense yeah.
This is this is such a delicate topic whether there are true contradictions, I mean people like gray and Bristol would say there are contradictions, but if you look at the examples you go, you think well.
Is this really a representative example, but anyway ad? I I think what happens is that there is a certain perspective.
A certain meta level of logic, from the point of view of which things that are contradictory at our level are no longer contradictory.
But what this means is that what what we consider contradictory here is actually a false dichotomy that there is another point of view there is. 00:20:51
There is a level of insight from which you realize that it is not a true contradiction so and then we come back from that perspective, and I say well, there are true contradictions.
Why are, in fact the insight is that there aren't that things that we consider contradictory here.
We do so because of a certain lack of perspective, and then we gain when you gain that extra perspective.
The contradict the contradiction deserves, I think, that's most of the times at least what what actually happens.
So let me, let me ask you questions on it, because that you brought up Grand Prix's is a good example, so there are some examples that he gives he talks about.
I think what I heard was about being drunk where you know, if you're, if you take one drop of liquor, you're not drunk at some point, you are drunk, therefore, in the middle there's, a kind of drunk and not drunk logical contradiction.
I didn't find this very compelling.
He gives lots of examples like that.
I don't find compelling, are you or do you mean something like that level? What's something that appears a little ambiguous, you realize, though it's not ambiguous.
Are you saying something even what seems as clear-cut as you know, square circles can be understood as being not logically contradict from that standpoint.
Let's take your last example.
If I take a cylinder - and I shine a light on it from the side, the shadow will be a rectangle.
If I illuminate the same cylinder from from its back, the shadow will be a circle.
So, from the perspective of a 2d world, the rectangle is incompatible with the circle and you have a contradiction.
But if you add a dimension and you go to 3d, the contradiction deserves in the form of the cylinder, and you realize that there has never been a contradiction. 00:22:39
There has only been one object there, the cylinder.
So this is an example of this.
You know gaining a level of insight being a different perspective from which the contradicted the contradiction is resolved, and then you come back from that and you say well, there are true contradictions, because the rectangle is the same thing as the circle.
No, that's not the correct conclusion.
The correct conclusion is there isn't a contradiction.
You thought there were because you're restricted to two dimensions when the whole picture of the reality in question was three dimensional.
That's what I mean the example from Graham press that you mentioned.
I also don't think, that's a particularly good example.
I am more ambiguous about certain examples regarding language statements.
Mmm some classical examples, like you know, statements being true or false.
The following statement is true and then the next statement contradicts the first one and then is well.
They must be true and false at the same time, but these are true.
Contradictions in that only exist within a certain conceptual scheme, and I question how representative that is of an ontology of the world.
If you know what I mean, is that a contradiction just within the rules of a certain game that we invent it or does that have applicability to the nature of being so ambiguous about that? Yes, I think it's the former, I think very strongly.
It's it's a it's a language game, it's a language game that P and I in fact I would take it one step farther and say it's not actually even a contradiction in the language game.
It's one poor formulation of the rules of the language game.
That yields a contradiction.
I think there's a much there's a there's, a kind of a common sensical resolution to things like the liars paradox.
I really like the example that you give about this shining.
The light on the cylinder is a school and a rectangle on itself or it's not a rectangle.
That's that's a great example, because it's a little imprecise and you see the imprecision and that's the why you gave the the circumstance.
But if we're talking about this, the shadow and not the actual object, then at any given time a shadow with straight edges is not a shadow with curved edges, and so there would be a conflation of the shadow with the object.
That's the lights being shined on.
So there's these little little fudge, areas that you add them all together and it gives you the illusion of something like a contradiction: there you go and there are even more.
You know practical and present examples.
I mean the cylinder is a metaphor, but we can talk about things that are not metaphors, for instance, it there is.
This notion reigning society in the culture today that mind and matter are a true contradiction.
They form a dichotomy in the sense that they are mutually exclusive and and jointly sufficient to make sense of everything.
In other words, everything that exists is either mental or material.
There's this dual aspect: monism that is so popular today, even amongst neuroscientists, like a Cris of God and and some Harry's, but I believe that's a false dichotomy.
Mind and matter are not a true dichotomy matter as a different ontological classroom, mind or method or something outside and independent of mind.
It's mutually exclusive with mind that that's an explanatory model, it's a conceptual invention of mind.
It's an abstraction of minds.
True dichotomies must reside in the same level of abstraction.
I must be able to to tell the ontological status of the two members of a true dichotomy with a single test.
Like is this person dead or alive? If I test for the person being alive and the test is positive, I know the ontological status of death.
The person is not dead.
That's a true that caught me.
The person is either dead or alive, but then death and life are in the same level.
Webster action, mind and matter are not in the same level of abstraction, so I cannot define their status with a single test because one of them always requires an extra level of inference and since it's in another level of abstraction, yet we live in a cultural ethos That sort of takes for granted that mind and matter for my true dichotomy, I don't think they do so.
I really like that in my position is kind of a third option here, where I'm a a duelist.
I think that I actually do think there are two separate systems that I'm actually not a do.
I'm a pluralist.
I think there is a there is a mental system and there's a physical system and there's another system that plays an interacting role between the two and there's, probably a lot of other systems all out there that that interact with one another.
But what I think you said in there that I really like that, I don't think most people in our in our cultural paradigm grasp is the true status for being honest with ourselves about physical phenomena where, when we think we're referencing physical phenomena, we don't realize that Always we're trying to explain phenomena we experience, we always tie it back into well, there's this color blob in my visual field and if my stick my hand out - and I have this sensory experience - I have this sensory experience.
This makes me think: there's an object out there in the world, but really it's like: we've we've theorized the existence of the mind independent world and then we've forgotten that it's still a theory to explain our experiences exactly exactly the maldo is now so built-in we don't.
Even know that we are applying it right, so ok, so I want to.
I want to transition to some questions about the way that you were conceiving of ontology here and you use the term that disassociated or this idea that you have the universal mind.
And then we are kind of individual disassociated parts of it.
This, I think, is a beautiful idea and I I'm tempted by a lot of it, but I don't have a good explanation, and maybe you can help me with is for what is the the reason or the cause of the disassociation? Why would it be the case if everything is grounded in this mind? Why would it be that, at time 1 we have the universal mind and then time to there's like a fracturing of it, to the extent that you are fishing for a teleological explanation? I'm not sure when it's necessary okay, it may it may be simply the way it is.
If you ask me what I personally sense or into it, I into it ideally a logical explanation, but I really not get into that because I don't think it's necessary for for for for this ontology to work.
Dissociation is basically it's a it's something, logical and and not ontological.
In that sense, how do I make sense of this? I mean if you explore the nature of mental activity.
You realize that mental activities based on cognitive associations, there is a certain phenomenal property that leads to another phenomenal property and that's to another and so on.
For instance, a memory may evoke an emotion that emotion may evoke a thought that thought may evoke an action which, in turn leads to certain perceptions.
All of these are mental contents that are connected together via certain implicit logic right.
There is a certain implicit logic that connects the memory to the thought and the thought to the emotion and so on. 00:30:19
It's unimportant whether we can make that logic explicit whether we can model it or not.
I think it's it's! It's not polemical that whatever that logic is, there is an implicit logic that connect phenomenal properties, associative activity that goes on in mind in a very natural way.
Dissociation is when two mental contents can no longer evoke each other, like as if you had entries in a database, and some of those entries are no longer indexed, so you cannot reach them that doesn't separate those entries from the database ontologically.
They are still part of the day the base, but you never get to them because they are not indexed.
So there is no logic that that that allows for a cognitive Association leading to them, so we never reach them.
That's what I mean by dissociation.
This dissociated complex or dissociated outer outer, would be.
The psychiatric technical psychiatric term used here is a sort of a cluster of phenomenal properties or experiences that are logically connected to each other.
There is an implicit logic that allows them to evoke each other, but they are logically disconnected with whatever is outside on the other side of their dissociative boundary.
So you can never experience what is on the other side, because no experience that you have leads to what is outside and I think if we look upon dissociation as a primary process in mind, we can explain life in terms of it as opposed to explaining dissociation In terms of something else - and this isn't a trick - you see because every theory of nature needs at bottom to postulate a ontological, primitive and a primary dynamics, in terms of which you can explain everything else in terms of that ontological perimeter.
If you're a physicalist and you subscribe say to quantum field theory, you would say: okay, my ontological primitive is the quantum field and and the primary dynamics is the excitations of the quantum field, and these are not two different ontological primitives.
You only have the quantum field and the quantum field has certain dispositions and that's enough to explain everything else.
I can reduce everything else to the quantum field, except, of course, consciousness phenomenal properties.
But let's forget about that.
For the moment, every theory of nature would require you to do that, so what I'm doing is instead of this objective quantum field outside mind.
What I'm saying is that my ontological primitive is consciousness itself phenomenal consciousness.
Not your purse so no mind, but phenomenal consciousness.
As a quote field and the primary dynamics of that, we can metaphorically describe it as patterns of vibration, that primary dynamics and tail dissociative processes.
So there is a fundamental disposition in consciousness that allows for the formation of dissociative dissociated outers.
If you have that, which is entirely equivalent in terms of you know explanatory power in terms of parsing, when it's entirely equivalent and as legitimate as the quantum few, then it's excitations, if you have that my claim is you can explain everything else.
So what I like about that theory is, I think it at least, is a little more honest for those metaphysical fundamentals that if we want to be certain about the nature of what types of things exist, we at least have to say there is at least mental Stuff going on we, it may be the case that there's not physical stuff, but it cannot be the case that there's not mental stuff.
We have direct experience.
We have direct awareness of that, so we have to start from that standpoint, but I don't think that necessarily means that's where we have to end to say: that's the fundamental thing: could it be that the mental phenomena we experience is kind of the output of a Let's say a third system, so that so imagine that there's some other ontological realm out there that, as an output of it, one of the outputs is a physical world.
The other output is the phenomenal world.
So in that circumstance the the the mind is not something.
That's literally fundamental it's on par with a physical world, but it's still kind of derivatives of this third type of existence.
That would not be possible.
Of course, it is conceptually possible.
Would you agree with me that this third thing whose output is both the mental world and the physical world, whatever else it may be, even if it is true, it is primarily first and foremost an abstraction of mind? Would you agree with that? I would say that my theorizing about would be fundamentally an abstraction, but I don't I couldn't it that this would be kind of a norm in a world in itself that I would theorize about.
It doesn't necessarily mean that's what it is okay.
Would you then agree that if we could explain all nature without postulating anything other than mind as an ontological class preferable for for reasons of parsimony, not necessarily, I think it's very admirable and very compelling, but I don't think it's necessary because I rather like the conceptual Theory of the mind, independently existing physical world, so there's a way that I can preserve a kind of physical realism in addition to acknowledging the existence of consciousness, I'm very I'm very tempted by that.
But but I why do you want to preserve that? Even if it's not necessary to make sense of things, so here's here's the reason why I think there's something like a physical world is that explains the regularity of the phenomena that I experience.
Aha, okay, so what I said is if you could explain all the regularities of the phenomena you experience if you could explain everything, including all the empirical evidence without postulating anything beyond mendacious as an ontological class.
Would that be preferable? That was my hypothesis yeah, that's fair! If I could be persuaded that there could be some type of mental goings-on outside of any individual mind, then I think that would be.
I think there would be merit to that theory, but I I have a hard time accepting that mental phenomena could exist outside of anybody's individual mind.
Okay, then we can reduce the challenge to the following.
If it can be shown that all the regularities of nature, the patterns and regularities of nature, including things like the fact that the inanimate universe seems to have rules and laws and to to to comply to certain certain patterns of behavior, that a totally independent of my Volition, the fact that we all seem to inhabit the same world apparently outside ourselves, the fact that my inner life seems to have very strict correlation with my mental activity.
If we can explain all this without postulating anything other than mind, then that would be preferable.
So we can reduce the we can frame the challenge in terms of explaining all that without anything other than mind.
So that's the challenge at hand right, because if this challenge can be met then it would still be preferable to start at mind and end at mind as well.
I definitely see the the persuasive power of that, but there still is some intuitive difficulty.
That has to be overcome and I'm not so it certainly can be, but I have not I've not gotten there yet that the explanation for how, for what this universal mind, you know is how how it operates.
I grasp the nature of concepts and ideas from my own perspective, but I do not grasp how you get any type of mental happenings outside of myself.
I have no, I have no evidence for that.
I understand it well.
That is, nonetheless, the challenge that I took up upon myself to try to make sense of everything in terms of meditation alone, and, of course, the moment you do that, the only thing you have to to be able to accept and to grant it sedimentation is not Limited to your personal mendacious, in other words, to use a metaphor, you have to grant that the earth goes on beyond the horizon. 00:39:24
Then there is earth beyond the limits of what you can see, in other words, that there is mental activity beyond that which you can access through introspection through personal introspection.
You have to grant that, but you do not have to grant that there is a shadow earth of an entirely different ontological nature.
In addition to the earth itself, you only need to grant that the earth goes extends beyond the horizon.
You do not need to grant another earth of a different, ontological nature.
I think that argument is especially persuasive if I were coming at it from a physicalist standpoint.
I think, because I'm coming at it from a dualistic standpoint, I already accept a kind of difference in world, so so I so, I think that I think, what's out, there is the physical bits and then all the the mental stuff that I have is unique to My own mind and the mental stuff that you have is unique to your own mind and the reason that we're having our our personal experience of our own little. 00:40:26
Our own little world is because of the relationship between the state of the physical world and the kind of the rules of the game, the rules of physics or the rules of how mental phenomena come into existence.
I think so so my my mental world is much much much smaller.
I think than yours is, but I could see if I were committed to the physical standpoint.
I think that would be a very difficult argument to to disagree with not to pursue you regarding the problems of dualism, which I'm sure you're well aware.
Okay, so I got one more well, maybe two more questions for you along this line too, in the way that you're theorizing about things.
So what do you think, then? The study of something like physics is, would you say that there what you're doing is kind of studying the rules of them of a personally mind, independent system that is fundamentally physical or a fundamentally phenomenal in nature? So so, if I could speak kind of, I guess put it in religious terms and metaphorically you're kind of when you're examining the properties of a table you're examining the properties of the mind of God, like the properties of the universal idea.
I'm not trying to infer to continue with your metaphor of God, which is a very dangerous word, but it's also a handy word: I'm not trying to infer what it feels like to be God.
In other words, I'm not trying to infer what the transpersonal phenomenal properties Mar that when interacting with my specific dissociated outer leads to the phenomenal properties.
I call a table, I'm not trying to infer that.
I am content to establish that whatever the inner life of God feels like there is and inner life of God and it makes sense of existence in a very logical parsimonious and empirically consistent manner.
I'm content to establish that.
I do not feel that we need to elaborate on what it feels like to be God in order to arrive at a conclusion here the conclusion at the conclusion that there is the nominal, but the nominal is phenomenal, like we discussed earlier, so it's not.
I think I misspoke, I don't mean that you're trying to get you're trying to experience like a trying to grasp, but it would be like to have a first-person experience of God.
It's more like you're, you're kind of interacting with ideas in God's mind.
Something like that.
Yes, yes, and I wouldn't even go as far as saying that God's mind is self reflective or it has metacognition the way we have.
I would, I would think of God's mind, as primarily instinct to all phenomena in nature, but without conscious metacognition.
In other words, it it doesn't know that it knows like we do.
I would construe its thoughts as very regular and symmetric, because we see that regularity and that symmetry in physics.
So if we see that in the extrinsic appearance of God's thoughts between quotes, then there must be some regularity and symmetry in God's thoughts.
However, it feels like from the first-person perspective and that's as far as I would go, why I'm content to arrive at a firm conclusion that nature is mental.
Actually, there is paper published by richard cohen, hearing in nature magazine in 2005.
I think the title was the mental universe and there is a statement he makes that the universe is entirely mental.
He comes at it from a perspective, a very physics oriented perspective.
I come at it from a more philosophical perspective, but the conclusion is the same, and I think that conclusion is sufficient, at least for the time being this historical axis.
We are today because it has such enormous implications, such fundamental implications, to mention only one.
If this is true, then your consciousness doesn't disappear when you die, it expands because that's the end of the dissociation, it's not the end of consciousness and - and I think that's enough for us to grasp and and integrates for the next many decades and probably what I Would add in the context of your question, is that you know physics is fundamentally about the contents of perception, even when, when physics is studying things that are not accessible to ordinary perception, like subatomic particles, we cannot see or touch them directly or or individually.
We depend on these instrumentation for that, but we still perceive the output of instrumentation and our prediction of the behavior of subatomic particles, in fact, is the prediction of the output of instrumentation, which we do perceive.
So what physics does it's to model and predict the patterns and regularities of perception, and that's all that physics does fundamentally so when we study physics, we are studying one aspect of mind, namely perception as a mental category, but there are other mental categories.
There are thoughts there is intuition, there is imagination, there's all kinds of other things.
So from that perspective, my approach is not restricted to physics, although it leverages physics a lot, especially.
My latest paper is it's a physics paper fundamentally two foundations of physics paper, but I look at it from from a perspective that that's more than just physics.
I like, I think that that to say that physics is fundamentally about perception.
I really like that, although I agree with half of it, so I think the the pista mala G that is correct is that it has to be about perception.
It can't be about anything when you're looking in your reading and measurement device, a measurement apparatus and theorizing.
It is all mental goings-on, but I would say that we're trying to theorize about the external mind, independent cause of the phenomena that were experiencing, but I will give.
I want to give you another at a point on this theory, which is a purely aesthetic one, which is my conception of the physical world, is one in which colors are not in the physical world.
A bunch of properties are not in the physical world.
It's like a bunch of little gray, cube stuck together right.
That's none of the qualities of experience, so you can't even visualize it.
It's pure abstraction.
I understand it may have it may have position, it may have the property of the units of matter having position, but that's about it that doesn't get you very much so to abstract form itself, although it corresponds to two phenomenal properties. 00:47:58
Form as a geometric relationship is also abstract position.
All of this is abstract.
You can model it, but you can't visualize it without phenomenal properties by definition yeah.
Well, that is true.
You can't visualize it without phenomenal properties, but this would be something like a pure conceptualizing or or or you couldn't you make an abstract system to try to model what what it would be like without like a but without the visual little visualizations of it. 00:48:27
Exactly it's abstraction, that's making with you.
I would say that the theories are definitely abstraction that and that I can't say that the theories definitely correspond, but I I can entertain the idea that there's some kind of correspondence, even if we can't even necessarily verify it.
But the point that I think this is a purely aesthetic go in which I really like is that your world is much more colorful than mine.
So the objects that I think inhabit the physical world are not very exciting it just patterns and in in the way that you're thinking about the world that exists out there with it outside of the boundaries of our conscious perception is very colorful.
It's got all kinds of.
If you were to look, there would be beautiful, colors and patterns and relations and all kinds of things in there.
So I think that is a point in your favor that there would be at least thought, and there would be something it is.
It is like to have those thoughts, so the world out there isn't abstract from my perspective, mmm.
It is phenomenal, although I may not have access to the particular qualities of its phenomenality, but it is phenomenal.
It's not it's not abstract.
I you see personally and - and this is not a critique to your well - it is a critique of your position, not necessarily a critique of you, but I'm not sure that pure abstraction is even coherent from from an ontological perspective from an epistemological perspective.
Of course, it is from a conceptual perspective, but the moment you try to derive an ontological class from pure abstraction, I'm not even sure that that's coherent, I mean there.
Is this idea of on tape and computational is not there or digital physics.
The idea that information is primary that mind and matter somehow arise out of information and people allude to Shannon and information theory and all that.
But if you look at how the very concept of information arose and Shannon in 1948 was the first one to to really lay it out explicitly, what we mean by information information is defined as a quantity related to the number of discernable states of a system. 00:50:42
In other words, information is a property of a substrate.
It's not a thing unto itself, it's defined by it by the configurations of something else.
The information is abstracted out of the discernable configurations of this something else.
It does exist in and of itself to say that you say that information is primary, is equivalent to no it's like that.
That Luis Guerra said that when the Cheshire Cat disappears the the Green stays behind, I mean you can write this and it makes synthetic.
Oh and grammatical sense, but it may not mean anything.
What does it mean that when the cat disappears, the cat's green stays behind? I think when we say that information is primary, we are committing the same fallacy.
It's something that we can write in words, but it has no semantic value whatsoever and - and I think the idea that at the root of ontology is pure abstraction and concreteness arises from that.
It may be like saying that you know the Cheshire Cat disappears, but the Green stays behind.
Actually, it's like saying that the green creates the cat.
Now I actually agree with a lot of this.
I also agree that the the way that I think about information is information about.
You can't have information dangling out there by itself.
I think numbers work the same way.
You could talk about the number four, but if you're you want to talk about something, it's got it you got to have units.
I agree that dangling abstractions are very dangerous, but where I disagree is to say that it would be impossible for such an ontological realm to exist.
So I concur with that.
Okay, so yeah that my perspective, as I think, is actually close to yours in terms of how honest we have to be about our epistemological claims is, I can.
I will not say, because I can't say that there is definitely a physically existing world.
I can't say that, and even when I've talked about, I think that information plays a very essential role in how the world operates, but the, but my only way of understanding is information is still mental.
So so I'm saying that the physical world or any mind-independent world is has to be 100 % a guess.
It is a theory that we're saying it might correlate to the world if it does correlate to the world.
It can explain the phenomena that we experience in this way, but I think it is.
It is naive to think that somehow, like the Cheshire cats, a good example that somehow you kind of you theorize about the world - and you try to remove yourself from the theory and then claim that it still is persisting by itself.
And somehow you have knowledge about that possible.
I have two quick comments to make about this.
If I may, if we have, I agree with you that we cannot categorically say that there cannot be a physical world.
I even agree that we cannot categorically say that on tape and computationalism is false, but I don't think that that's the point, because there are many many many things that we cannot categorically say are false.
I mean it's a universe of things that we cannot definitely falsify.
So it doesn't mean much to say that we cannot categorically say that it's false.
It means very little if anything.
The point is what makes more sense to entertain as a plausible hypothesis, because the number of implausible hypotheses that cannot be categorically falsified, it's just mind, boggling sure.
So that's one comment I wanted to make and the second comment I just forgot well I'll respond to that.
One and then maybe maybe we'll remember while I'm responding that one, so I I agree actually.
However, I because I'm so persuaded by this one particular three - I don't think the theory of the physical world as any old, arbitrary theory.
I think that's a very, very powerful way to explain regularities in our experience and - and I and I would turn around and say this - that I have an easier time intuitively.
Accepting the notion of the the mind the the physical world, in which there is no mind.
Then I do accepting a mental world in which there is not my not a personal, perceiving of so that so just like there's the check you know, why would we entertain the idea that there's a physical world that's mind independent, I would say well.
Why would we entertain the idea that there's a mental world that's kind of personal consciousness independent? I see it as kind of the same we're just speculating to try to create a metaphysics to explain our experience.
Well, both would explain the patterns and regularities of nature, but one would require an ontological step that the other doesn't one would require postulate.
An ontological class to which you have no direct access and the other one would just require extending an ontological class that you already know to exist to extrapolate that class beyond your the boundaries of your introspection.
But I have no experience whatsoever of mind outside of the boundaries of my own experience.
I have no experience, I I would say that's a new class of thing.
Well, it's the same class, but it's just something that you cannot access introspectively and i mean ii. 00:56:00
Unless you are a solipsist, you always have to postulate something beyond personal experience.
If you do not do that, you're a solipsist, but can't we say that the in terms of certain foundations, you have to start from Sol Ops is Amanda sense that this is the thing that I know exists and everything else is theoretical speculation.
Yes, but there is better and worse speculation.
It requires lots of postulates and theoretical speculation.
That requires less.
I would say that extrapolating and ontological class you already know to exist beyond the boundaries of your introspection is better than to infer the existence of a completely abstract and totally different ontological class, to which you have no inkling of what it could mean.
I think this might be what kind of bringing it all together.
I think this might be where the power of experience comes into play, because I have no experience of anything mental outside of my own mental goings-on so have a hard time accepting that that's more plausible than the physical world. 00:57:08
If it were the case that I had the this experience, that lots of people claim that they have where I kind of my boundaries kind of dissolved - and I have a that type of experience, then I think I would have a my way.
I would probably agree with you, but since I don't have that experience, I'm kind of yeah - I'm not persuaded, ok, no problem, so I would invite you to have a look at my papers and your listeners to have a look at my paper and see if I, If I succeed in making a case for this, maybe not yeah, definitely I'll link to the work that you're doing there's been an awesome conversation.
I feel like we.
We agree a lot on the tools here and I I really love to have you back on the show and keep exploring these ideas, because where we agree is on the kind of primacy of when we're developing theories, we have to start with the mind.
I think that is such an important insight that is completely lost in modern discourse, and it's such a huge one that has these gigantic implications, and even we didn't really get into it in this conversation.
But this is it's not a stretch of the imagination to see where this leads in terms of religious ideas, because now suddenly, if it's the case that we have a rational basis for entertaining this kind of universal mind, we'll go figure.
There's been people for thousands of years who have been trying to develop systems of knowledge and and dealing with the implications of that.
That's, of course, what they call God.
So it's a huge deal sure I'll be glad to come back all right thanks.
So much all right.
That was my conversation with dr.
Bernardo Kastrup. 00:58:37
I'm definitely gon na.
Have him back on the show.
So thanks guys for the great recommendation be sure to tune in next week because at long last, by conversation with dr.
Thaddeus Russel about post-modernism is going to take place.
We've kind of been in the works for this one for maybe a solid year, but it's finally gon na happen.
I can't wait for it and I'm sure you guys are going to enjoy it.
You'll be talking about not just the philosophy of post-modernism but about the big ideas like whether or not objective truth exists, and if so, how could we ever know about it? So if you're interested in those questions, that'll be up next Sunday, all right thanks everybody more philosophy.
Next week, .