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The Idea of the World: A Multi-Disciplinary Argument for the Mental Nature of Reality (English Edition) Kindle-editie
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The assumption the author rightly identifies as the downfall of materialism (which he calls physicalism) is that the material universe actually exists. To anyone who can perform rational thinking (except, perhaps, most scientists), it is clear that there is no absolute proof the material universe exists. As the author states, all we have is our experience to go on. It tells us that the material universe exists, but it can never offer direct contact with any material universe.
Whether or not the material universe actually exists, the idea that it exists is an assumption we make. It's a valuable assumption as it leads to all kinds of technological progress. But we need to agree it is not provable. It is just useful.
So far, the author is on track. However, then the author tells us that his philosophy of reality is going to explain the existence of multiple consciousnesses. That is, it will explain why "we" all inhabit the same universe. The existence of other consciousnesses is just as unprovable as the existence of the material universe. Just as we have no direct access to any material universe, we have no direct access to any other consciousness.
Having assumed the existence of these countless other minds, the author creates a logical explanation for them According to him, the universe is one consciousness with the psychological disorder of dissociation. That is, the universe is nuts.
Attempting to explicate this strange behavior of the universe becomes the author's "hard problem", akin to the hard problem of materialists explaining the existence of consciousness.
I don't understand what the author means when he say this one consciousness is the entire universe. Though I might ask, What universe? You just said the material universe does not exist.
I will add one more problem with the author's philosophy. He rightly says that the material universe is an idea, not a thing. It is a concept. But he goes on to talk about the basic "substrate" of consciousness, the mind. Really? And is "the mind" something other than a concept itself? If there is no material universe, then there is also no mind.
As Zen adepts have said, "if you see the Buddha walking down the road, kill the Buddha". Which means, Buddha is a concept too. Unfortunately everything is a concept, including every philosophy ever invented. All are concepts. Perhaps useful, some of them. Perhaps fun to play with. But explaining nothing about the true nature of reality.
Unfortunately, we are stuck in experience. It is all we have. We will never get out. And we can never understand how or why it exists.
I gave this book 5 stars because it is a first step in breaking the frozen waters of scientific dogma. One day, thanks to this book and others, the prevailing paradigm will indeed be that the material universe does not exist. Alas, a generation or two of scientists are going to have to move on from the material universe before that happens. But it will happen.
With the logical progression and force of the argument, there is one overarching perspective which may be overlooked: much of the majestic tapestry woven together here is largely speculative. Kastrup is open about this. For example, about his presentation of relational quantum mechanics he declares, "The interpretation suggested above shall remain a matter of philosophical speculation until somebody writes down the wave function for the thoughts of a conscious human being (r) and formalizes the interaction dynamics between it and ψ." Did you get it? A philosophical speculation. But a grand one, and quite plausible, or at least an intuitively satisfying foundation for building a view that reality is pure mind.
Making everything mental, it's an exhilarating adventure of the mind as we know it. Take the dive, plunge in, explore the way everything may be different than we ordinarily think.