Why Bernardo Kastrup’s version of idealism is baloney

Mikhail Rogov
3 min readOct 4, 2021


Kastrup’s “coat of arms” of ontological idealism. Please don’t ask me why he needs it.

“It seems to be the Deity’s own will that every way of seeking after truth be dared at the risk of error. We need not fear unveiling what it would conceal; what we have to fear is falsehood. Yet this daring all, and saying all, is limited to my own stage of consciousness. … There is a time for all things. The great leaps and crises change the whole of man, as if organs of sight were evolving, and others decaying. Men who really belong together may be kept apart by a discrepancy in their stages of consciousness.” — Karl Jaspers

Bernardo Kastrup is a talented basher of the pseudoscientific metaphysical mythology of materialism/physicalism and other “matter-included” erroneous ontologies. However, his own version of ontological idealism (consciousness-only ontology) is utterly absurd and dangerously misleading.

Kastrup’s absurd Schopenhauerish vision of Transcendence (transcendent consciousness-in-itself) as a dissociating instinctive impetus conflicts with countless mystical/transpersonal experiences of Transcendence — nondual/nondichotomic Light — in which there is actually nothing dissociative, instinctive and impetuous.

Kastrup doesn’t seem to understand and appreciate the Copernican Turn of transcendental idealism in Kant and mature Husserl, hence his erroneous interpretation of the dissociative identity disorder (DID) phenomena at the foundation of his absurd vision of individual subjects as “dissociated alters”: Kastrup doesn’t understand that the dissociating empirical subject is not the subject proper but the subject’s phenomenal self-representation, whereas the subject proper is the transcendental subject which constitutes/projects all phenomena and meanings, including the empirical subject, and there is zero evidence that it ever dissociates.

Kastrup’s ridiculous understanding of individual subjects as transient, illusory and limited to metabolizing bodies conflicts with countless near-death out-of-body experiences (NDE OBE) which support the view that individual existence of transcendental subjects, their universal intersubjectivity and intersubjectively constituted/projected phenomenal worlds is a beginningless and endless emanation of nontemporal Transcendence.

Kastrup’s bizarre understanding of each metabolizing body (e.g., a bacteria in his toilet — strangely, his favorite example) as a representation of an individual subject is absolutely groundless, for we can neither communicate with primitive organisms nor empathically feel the presence of other transcendental subjects behind such phenomena, and hence such phenomena most likely represent insentient autonomous processes of constitutive transcendental intersubjectivity.

Kastrup’s erroneous understanding of this particular world of triumphing evil and perpetual suffering as a mentation of Transcendence is not only blind to the intersubjective constitution of the world, not only shifts the responsibility for this karma from the constitutive subjects to a false image of Transcendence, but most importantly fails to set the right goal — liberation.

Kastrup’s implicit denial of freewill deprives man of the most fundamental aspect of man’s existence — freedom (Existenz) rooted in Transcendence, whereas his ignorant attitude toward the problem of evil, together with his failure to comprehend the truth of transcendental idealism, makes him blind to the existence of the Shadow.

Kastrup’s love for secondary thinkers such as Schopenhauer and Jung is very telling, for he is himself a failing secondary thinker, like attracts like. Moreover, considering the fundamental ideas of his philosophy which degrade man and Transcendence to sheer absurdity, he is a false prophet of ontological idealism and a useful idiot of the Shadow. The fact that his absurd vision of man and Transcendence became popular is one of the signs of our age of the ultimate obscuration of the truth of idealism. The Shadow triumphs.

Don’t waste your time on Kastrup’s nonsense; instead, read Buddhist Yogācāra thinkers (Asaṅga, Vasubandhu, Dignāga, Dharmakīrti, etc.), Kant, mature Husserl, and Karl Jaspers — read and think autonomously.

“Schopenhauer took part in the production of that chaotic modernity, the overcoming of which is the gigantic task of modern reason.” — Karl Jaspers



Mikhail Rogov

“Pure immanence without Transcendence remains nothing but deaf existence.” — Karl Jaspers