I have been following 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…
Bernardo Kastrup doesn’t seem yet to fully realize the degree to which he is still trying to think his way to what is in essence the end of thought, a sort of destination, phenomenon or quality he and his colleagues most often label “consciousness.” In a sense (because it is not actually possible) they continue their attempts to objectify, or make into a “thing” what precedes all thought, all language, all imaginings, all perceptions, and all concepts.
One framework or scaffolding Bernardo seems to use a lot to continue on as the “thinker” (doer) of his own thinking, is to debate (duel) with certain scholarly peers and colleagues, who, through a whole huge “rational” mess of convoluted and befuddled intellectual gambits and complexities, are rather lost in what is truly a centuries-old game. Sort of like college football, most of these collegial scholars seem to be addicted to banging away at each other with post-modern formulations, words, data, concepts and publishing credits, instead of bodies, balls and goalposts.
A whole world of competing academic and institutional ideologies and associate ideologues, each one trying to assert their own exclusive (personal) “understandings” of why it is that thought and/or matter, and all their various space-time (measurable) effects, is all there is.
Bernardo knows a good bit more and better than all that, and articulates what he knows in some beautiful, clear and elegant ways.
He 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, pointings, pure art…or in other words, resonance.
Yet, in other ways and particularly in such realms as empire, i.e., prominent social personalities, power, money, self-imagery, Bernardo seems to still be pretty lost in much of the meta-belief-in-separation’s dominant, conflicted and competing projections, collectively called (by fragmented mind) the “world.”
And yet he has a highly trained and incredibly amazing mind, seems to be a profound intellectual adventurer, and is looking in some right directions through a massive education, all the while dragging establishment science and academia as best he can along with him.
Maybe sort of like what some U.S. “democrats” these days are trying to do with the “republican” mindset, get them to see their own behavior in some better ways, or at least drag them along into some better trajectories or views, so to speak.
On the other hand, 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, in order to serve establishment’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 images, the more encompassing and successful his co-optation will eventually become. 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 effort based on that history (his story) will only lead us, as individuals, communities and societies, ever deeper into destruction, along with most of earth’s present forms and expressions of life.
In the same way the actual universe itself, at different major transitional points in its evolution totally used up all the conditions, processes and circumstances that brought it to that point, making a whole new trajectory (never before known, implied or indicated in any of the universe’s preceding expressions) both necessary and possible, human sentience on this planet, along with the planet itself, has now reached (and is reaching ever deeper into) a similar transition.
The earth itself has in the past experienced similar transitions, but never before in the company of awakening consciousness itself, presently expressing through and as humans.
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 ancient yet always new, eternal journey.
Humans are unavoidably a part of life’s journey on this planet, and it is time and past time for us to begin to let go of the old, without yet “knowing” the new. All of us are a part of evolution and we are being called now to step out of the illusions of time (past and future), together. What will always survive is what we have always been, only now perhaps more (and more) consciously, openly, relatingly, together.
We will, I believe, if and as much as we are able to let go, especially of what we believe to be the past, begin to discover other ways of engaging with ourselves, each other and the universe. It is our willingness we are being called now to realize, all the while as we let go of willfulness, otherwise know as the assertions of identities of separation.
The modern western educated mind trying to understand this 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 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) 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. This is the only place where he and I and the world might begin to share a deeper awareness of what he and I and the world also are, together, as the forest.
Invite this amazing Bernardo of my fantasy, through a sort of sharing of what we are that is the same, to actually experience together with me our being as the very forest itself. The two of us now discovering what is the most intimate surprise of all, that this larger context (expression) of who he and I also are, and that we were calling at the beginning of our walk the forest (or world), is now actually and consciously, without any labels, concepts or identity, discovering itself through and as our very own extant (here and now) conversation (journey) with each other. Writings (walking) on water, and behold, the water itself is revealed, to itself.
In other words realize with Bernardo a world of connection, rather than mere observation, 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, the so-called observed.
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 merely helpful for our purpose 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 and arises from 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 all eventually falls away, dissolves back into, and returns to the real.
That returning is also a becoming.
What I am calling here the real is what all of us who have been blessed with a human birth are being called to realize we also are. I believe it is actually an incredible gift we are all being called (invited) to accept. This calling or invitation is arising through each of us and all of us who are slowly beginning to realize that they also are what is calling. Not as an abstract idea, concept or thought, but as 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 incredible gift of all of creation…
Without becoming familiar with, embracing, and actually entering into 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 willfulness. Always in its own time, and manner.
When that sort of symbiosis happens, the forest (world) begins to converse, dance, sing, shape-shift 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…
~ John Fridinger