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I understand him as saying all things are happening within consciousness. If that's the case, why at least seemingly, does the world maintain it's order (things like object persistence, principles of physics) when nobody is conscious of it?

Berkeley explained this by saying, God is always observing everything, so in Berkeley's view, there's always at least one observer keeping everything going.

Bernardo says we're all avatars of one universal mind... is he also saying that something is always conscious?

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Bernardo Kastrup's cosmic idealism is a type of Panpsychism according to his paper here:

This thesis articulates an analytic version of the ontology of idealism, according to which universal phenomenal consciousness is all there ultimately is, everything else in nature being reducible to patterns of excitation of this consciousness. The thesis’ key challenge is to explain how the seemingly distinct conscious inner lives of different subjects—such as you and me—can arise within this fundamentally unitary phenomenal field. Along the way, a variety of other challenges are addressed, such as: how we can reconcile idealism with the fact that we all inhabit a common external world; why this world unfolds independently of our personal volition or imagination;

The core idea of this thesis can be summarized thus: we, as well as all other living organisms, are dissociated alters of universal phenomenal consciousness, analogously to how a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) manifests multiple disjoint centers of subjectivity also called ‘alters.’ We, and all other living organisms, are surrounded by the transpersonal phenomenal activity of universal consciousness, which unfolds beyond the dissociative boundary of our respective alter. The inanimate world we perceive around us is the extrinsic appearance—i.e. the phenomenal image imprinted from across our dissociative boundary—of this activity.

So Kastrup favors a form of panpsychism according to which the whole universe is conscious and we are dissociated personalities within it, which is why we are aware only of our own consciousness. Each living organism is a fraction of the whole universal consciousness. This is also similar to Yogachara consciousness-only and some kabbalah schools of thought. As to explain how non-living objects persist even when no consciousness is conceiving of them, one way is to invoke the age-old dream analogy where you can perceive objects in it and they seem to persist during the same dream at least...

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  • Thanks. So your post prompted me to think, why do objects persist in dreams... the answer I thought of was some kind of memory. I can see short-term memory as being within consciousness... but long-term memory feels more problematic for idealism. I think I'll have to post a new question with regards to this. May 31 at 0:09
  • Ok. Reading section 4.5 of Bernardo's paper, I really don't see how he can be an idealist. He admits there's a world apart from personal avatars. He calls this a "world of phenomenality" 4.6-4.9 add to this idea. Doesn't this automatically make him a dualist? Maybe the thing apart from 'persons' isn't 'physical'... but there's some separate ontology. I don't think he can get out of this by the label "world of phenomenality"... May 31 at 0:54
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    @AmeetSharma in his appendix A he writes "In a mental world, the images we perceive on the screen of perception aren’t essentially different from our own imagination, except in that the former are shared across observers. This collective ‘world dream’ symbolically points to underlying transpersonal mental dynamics, just as regular dreams symbolically point to underlying personal mental dynamics" So clearly for him outside object is in a collective dream, it's not our usual individual dream, it's like a mass hallucination kind of universal dream perceived by all from the cosmic mind... May 31 at 4:57
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    Right, but if it's from our collective imaginations... why the clockwork accuracy of physics? Can we collectively imagine the universe to have a different physics in this view? Was this physics some kind of collective choice? May 31 at 6:04
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    @AmeetSharma he continues write "the world is the symbolic image of these immanent, transpersonal mental processes", and "These images are the extrinsic appearance of God’s conscious inner life.". So clearly "accuracy of physics" is simply because the objects are all images immanent from the ultimate same transpersonal God's mind. And each living organism as a DID participating locally as another local dream inside the same grand dream and all dreams shares same object phenomenality due to their ultimate common conceiving source, ie, the oneness. It's similar to monadology or indra's net. Jun 1 at 3:26

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