Bernardo Kastrup: Idealism Reloaded: The End of the Perception-Imagination Duality

It’s curious how we seem to differentiate our mental categories: We assume that perceptions (what we see, hear, smell, touch, or taste) come from ‘outside,’ while thoughts, affections, and imagination unfold ‘inside.’ Yet, they are all phenomena of mind, witnessed in consciousness in exactly the same way. Why, then, do we make the categorical split?

There are two reasons for it: Firstly, the existence of a world outside of mind seems necessary to explain the fact that we all seem to share a common reality. Secondly, while we feel that we have some degree of control over our thoughts, emotions, and imagination, the world we perceive with our sense organs seems entirely autonomous. To explain both of these observations we postulate the existence of a whole abstract universe of particles and fields, fundamentally independent of subjective experience, which supposedly leaves a consistent imprint on our sense organs. Moreover, we go on to postulate that it is the abstract particles and fields in this strongly objective universe that, somehow, give rise to the concreteness of subjective experience itself.