An Open Message Regarding Bernardo Kastrup
I have been following some of Bernardo’s writings for a long time. A while ago my cousin asked me if I saw something he had just written, and my thoughts on it… My answer to her has evolved into this essay…
Bernardo Kastrup doesn’t seem to fully realize the degree to which he is still trying to think his way to what in its primal essence is both prior to and the end of all thought, a sort of destination, phenomenon or quality he and his colleagues most often label “consciousness.” They continue to promote their various philosophical, psychological, metaphysical and even scientific attempts to objectify, or in other words make into a “thing” that which precedes, is the source and substance of, and makes up all things, all thought, all language, all imaginings, all perceptions, all ideology and all concepts.
It is as if a being in a two dimensional world, deducing the existence of a three dimensional realm, is trying to “reach” (i.e., grasp, own, control) a deduced, imagined and overly theorized “three dimensional realm” by extending, articulating and refining all of his same old two dimensional and very artificial boundaries in merely greater and “more encompassing” ways.
One framework or scaffolding Bernardo seems to use a lot, in order to continue to be the identified “thinker” (doer) of his own thinking, is to challenge and debate (duel) with certain select (and necessarily contrary) scholars, peers and colleagues who might be willing to meet his challenges, and who, through a whole huge “rational” mess of convoluted and befuddled intellectual gambits and complexities, are even further lost than Bernardo is in what is truly a centuries-old game.
Similar to college football, most of these collegial scholars are extremely addicted to banging away at each other’s identities with post-modern formulations, words, data, concepts and publishing credits, rather than with mere bodies, balls, yard lines and goalposts. The seeming “winners” will gain more “identity” at the expense of the “losers,” all of it of course depending on who’s looking and from which sidelines.
It is a whole world of competing academic and institutional(ized) ideologues and their pet ideologies, each one trying to assert their own exclusive, special (personal) “understandings” of why it is that thought and/or matter, and all related and various space-time interactive measurable (graspable) effects, is all that there is. With every one of them coming from a different and very relative (to their own and each other’s backgrounds and conditioning) point of view.
Bernardo does know a good bit more and better than most of his colleagues, and articulates what he knows in some beautiful, clear and elegant ways.
He actually is, in some noticeable and certain ways, on the very edges of awareness, and probably experiences or has experienced in certain moments what can only ever be communicated via the natural realms, poetry, metaphor, certain stories, subtle pointings, pure art, dance, rhythm, music, etc. Or in other words, communicated through resonance.
Yet, in other ways, and particularly in such realms as empire, prominent social personalities, power, money and self-imagery, Bernardo seems to still be pretty lost in much of the meta-belief-in-separation’s dominant, conflicted and competing projections, collectively referred to as (by fragmented minds) the “world.”
Yet he has a highly trained and incredibly amazing mind as well, seems to be a profound intellectual adventurer, and is looking in some right directions through a massive education, all the while dragging bits and pieces of establishment science and academia, as best he can, along with him.
Never-the-less, Bernardo doesn’t seem to understand that for as long as he keeps arguing with establishment belief systems he will keep being co-opted back into them, always to serve establishment’s (separation’s) own purposes. The more successful his challenges are, i.e., the more he is able to reform aspects of the establishment into Bernardo’s own ideological self-imageries, the more encompassing and eventually successful will be his co-optation back into the very same systems he is trying to challenge. Or maybe he does understand this, and it is what he wants. No knowing.
For the purposes of this essay, establishment and our collective identity of separation are the same.
None of the ways human “civilization” has clawed itself to where we seem to be now are (any longer) the way forward. Every additional effort large and small based on that history (his story), or might I say our collective trajectories, will only lead us, as individuals, families, tribes, communities and societies, ever deeper into destruction, along with most of earth’s present and relative (related) forms and expressions of life.
In the same way the actual physical universe itself, at different major transitional points in its evolution, totally used up literally all the conditions, processes and circumstances that brought it to that point, making a whole new fundamental trajectory (never before known, implied or indicated in any of the universe’s preceding expressions of itself) both necessary as well as possible, human sentience on this planet, along with the planet itself, has now reached (and is reaching ever deeper into) a similar necessary as well as possible transition.
Earth has experienced some similar transitions or transformations, but never before has she done so in the company of consciousness or may I say Life awakening to itself, presently in this case, and only seemingly so far, through and as humans. Humans who also happen to be the cause(s) or catalyst for these end stages that are now coming to pass.
And just as as in earlier transitions, when none of the prior conditions (or stages) of the universe could guarantee, describe or “predict” what a new trajectory might look like, let alone survive its appearance (emergence), the same is true now for what is presently believing itself to be human, as a (potentially) awakening part of what is an immeasurably ancient yet always fresh and new, eternal journey.
Humans are now, unavoidably, overly, and irreversibly, the dominant determiner of Life’s journey on this planet, and it is both time and far past time for us to begin to let go of the destructive ignorance of the old, even as we, in all our two dimensional ignorance, are without any actual “knowing” (which is always based on the impressions, infatuations and conditioning of a nonexistent past) of the new.
All of us are a part of evolution. And not just evolution, the miracle of creation itself. We are being called now to really and actually step out of our illusions of separation together. What may go forward, in new ways we cannot know, at least not through and as these identities we must first and fully let go of, is what we have always been and only forgotten.
What we can hope for is that what comes will be more (and more) consciously awake, and ever more openly and relatingly interconnected and together. And it is we who must become the seeds for these sorts of possibilities.
We will, I believe, if and as much as we are able to let go, and most especially of what we believe to be the past, begin to discover other, deeper and better ways of engaging, first with our own selves, and then with each other, other life expressions, and the universe.
It is our willingness that we are being called to realize now, all the while as we let go of willfulness, otherwise known as the assertions of competing illusional and delusional identities lost in the beliefs of separation.
The modern western educated mind trying to understand this now primal requirement is like the proverbial camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle.
Going for a walk with Bernardo in these realms of thought and language, in these ways, if I ever were to find myself doing that very unlikely such, would be sort of like going for a walk in the forest with a world class olympic gold medalist gymnast who can virtually (pun intended) jump, twist and fly over all the seeming “obstacles” in the forest.
All the while as the forest is calling to both of us to slow down and bring our attention back to this expression or place that is unfolding both within and as a part of our very own here and now presence in the forest. This is the only place where he and I and a living world might begin to share a deeper awareness of what he and I and a living world also are, together, as each of us, as all of us, and as the forest.
Invite this amazing Bernardo of my fantasy, through a sort of sharing of what we are that is the very same, to actually experience our greater being as the very forest itself.
The two of us now discovering what is really the most intimate surprise of all, that this larger context (expression) of who he and I also are, that we were calling at the beginning of our walk the forest (or world), is now actually and consciously, without need of any labels, concepts or identity, discovering itself through and as our very own extant (here and now) conversation (journey) with each other.
Whatever it may be, through writings, conversation, dancing, or simply noticing, we are now, actually, walking on water. And behold, this very “water” itself is now fully revealed as the most vulnerable, intimate and ordinary expression of all. And so we are revealed, to ourselves.
In other words, realize with Bernardo a world of connection, rather than mere observation, all the while as we support each other and the world in letting go of some of the ways observation (separation) seems to offer (what is always and only) a temporary “sense” (illusion) of “control” over what we believe is other than us, or the so-called observed.
Neither the observed nor the observer are actually real. Yet our beliefs that they (as in us, you, me, other) are, is now rapidly destroying ourselves, each other, other life and the earth.
This consciousness of ourselves is an extension, and therefore not separate from the source of everything. The belief we are separate, the one meta belief every “modern” human seems to agree upon, and simply because in fact we are not and cannot ever be separate from source, actually has the power, simply through its own beliefs, to project and seem to make real illusions, and through acting as if these projections are real, destroy all that we are (in fact and truth) part and participant in.
Just as it is not always a blessing to have great wealth, privilege, power, it is not always or at least only a blessing to have a talented, healthy, highly trained and educated mind, or a talented, healthy, highly trained and educated body. “Blessing” in this context meaning truly helpful for our true purpose(s) here on earth.
Projections upon projections, none of it real. What is true and real never comes, never goes, never changes. And yet, all change, all form, all phenomena, all experience is made up of, arises from, and returns to the real.
This huge play of existence we are for a while believing we are separate from, in a sense condensates out of the real, and it will all eventually fall away, dissolve back into, return to the real.
That returning is also simultaneously a becoming, creation in greater and greater dimensions.
What I am calling here the real is what all of us who are blessed with a truly auspicious or human birth are now being called to fully realize is actually what we, also, always and already, are.
I actually believe there is an incredible gift in what we are all being called (invited) to accept. This calling or invitation, that is arising through each of us and all of us who are also slowly beginning to realize that we also are what is calling, is not an abstract idea, concept or thought. It is reality itself.
How amazing is that, reality itself wants to come into an awakened and ever awakening relationship with itself, through each of us and all of us. I believe this may be the most truly incredible gift in ALL of creation.
Without becoming familiar with, embracing, and actually entering into and living paradox, none of this can be grasped. It is prior to all words, concepts, time and space. It can only seem to be grasped by allowing it to slowly (and sometimes suddenly) grasp us. Here is where we actually begin to experience the difference between willingness and mere willfulness. For it is always in its own time, and in its own infinite ways and manner.
When that sort of symbiosis happens, the forest (world) begins to converse, dance, sing, shape-shift, drum and paint into actual phenomenal existence its very own joy, love and beauty, otherwise known as Source, all of it now expressing and discovering itself through each of us, with each of us, as each of us, and all of life.
The universe in a grain of sand realizes that it is so…
That Love is so…
~ John Fridinger