Unveiling consciousness: A journey through Bernardo Kastrup’s metaphysical trilogy

In an era dominated by materialism, Bernardo Kastrup’s insightful trilogy—”Why Materialism Is Baloney,” “Decoding Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics,” and “Decoding Jung’s Metaphysics”—offers a refreshing and profound exploration of consciousness and reality. Each book challenges conventional scientific perspectives, presenting a metaphysical idealism that places consciousness at the core of existence. This blog post delves into the essence of these books, providing summaries and practical habits to integrate their wisdom into daily life.

“Why Materialism Is Baloney: How True Skeptics Know There Is No Death and Fathom Answers to Life, the Universe, and Everything”


Kastrup critiques the materialist worldview that views reality as purely physical and consciousness as a byproduct of brain activity. He argues that this perspective is inadequate in explaining subjective experiences. Instead, he advocates for idealism, proposing the “filter hypothesis,” where the brain filters and localizes consciousness rather than generating it. This view aligns with Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious, suggesting that consciousness is fundamental and interconnected.

Practical Habits

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: Practice daily mindfulness to connect with broader consciousness beyond the ego.
  2. Reflective Journaling: Write about your experiences to gain self-awareness and understand your mind’s filtering processes.
  3. Engagement with Nature: Spend time in nature to reconnect with the broader flow of life and the interconnectedness of all things.
  4. Acts of Kindness and Compassion: Perform daily acts of kindness to foster empathy and a sense of unity with others.
  5. Limit Material Distractions: Simplify your life by focusing on experiences rather than material possessions.

“Decoding Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics: The Key to Understanding How It Solves the Hard Problem of Consciousness and the Paradoxes of Quantum Mechanics”


Exploring Schopenhauer’s division of the world into ‘will’ and ‘representation,’ Kastrup presents the ‘will’ as the intrinsic essence of everything and ‘representation’ as how the world appears to us. This idealist perspective suggests that reality’s fundamental nature is volitional and mental, addressing the paradoxes of quantum mechanics and the hard problem of consciousness. Schopenhauer’s framework offers a path to alleviate suffering by understanding and subjugating the will through meta-cognitive awareness.

Practical Habits

  1. Daily Reflection and Self-Examination: Reflect on your desires and impulses to understand their roots and motivations.
  2. Mindful Perception: Practice mindfulness by fully immersing yourself in sensory experiences.
  3. Meditative Contemplation: Engage in meditation to connect with the broader will and transcend immediate representations.
  4. Cultivate Intellectual and Artistic Pursuits: Stimulate abstract thinking and creativity to explore deeper aspects of existence.
  5. Acts of Selfless Service: Perform acts of kindness and service to others to transcend personal desires and align with the broader will.

“Decoding Jung’s Metaphysics: The Archetypal Semantics of an Experiential Universe”


Kastrup delves into Jung’s view of the unconscious as an active, creative force with its own will and language. Jung’s metaphysical idealism portrays life as a dream interpretable through the psyche’s symbolism. The psyche, comprising conscious and unconscious processes, is influenced by archetypes—primordial templates guiding our emotions, beliefs, and behaviors. Jung’s metaphysics suggests that the physical world and the collective unconscious are one, presenting a symbolic narrative that communicates the unconscious’s perspective to the ego-consciousness.

Practical Habits

  1. Active Imagination: Engage in daily dialogue with different aspects of your psyche through active imagination.
  2. Dream Journaling: Record and analyze your dreams, paying attention to recurring themes and symbols.
  3. Meditative Reflection: Dedicate time to meditative reflection, allowing unconscious content to surface.
  4. Creative Expression: Engage in creative activities to allow unconscious archetypes to manifest.
  5. Seek Synchronicity: Be mindful of meaningful coincidences, reflecting on their symbolic significance.


Bernardo Kastrup’s trilogy challenges us to rethink our understanding of consciousness and reality. By integrating the practical habits derived from these books, we can cultivate a deeper sense of meaning, alleviate suffering, and foster a more connected and fulfilled life. Embracing mindfulness, self-reflection, creative expression, and empathy can help align with this idealist perspective, promoting personal growth and a more profound understanding of reality.

Going Up or Going Down? Exploring the Shadow Self of Dmitry Karamazov and Arthur Fleck in Joker

The concept of the shadow, coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, refers to the unconscious aspect of our personality that we reject or suppress because it conflicts with our conscious self-image. But when we fail to integrate our shadow, it can manifest in destructive and unpredictable ways, as we see in both the Brothers Karamazov and the movie Joker where the character Arthur Fleck is fighting his demons in today’s America.

Dmitry’s journey is one of turmoil, passion, and ultimately, self-destruction. Like the Joker, Dmitry struggles with his shadow self, unable to fully confront and integrate it. He is torn between his desire for love and his impulses toward violence and revenge. His actions are driven by his inner turmoil, leading to destructive consequences.

Similarly, in the Joker, we see a character who is also grappling with his shadow self, unable to reconcile his inner demons with the expectations of society. Both Dmitry and the Joker are portrayed as outsiders, struggling to find their place in a world that rejects them.

However, unlike the Joker, Dmitry has moments of redemption and growth. Through his love for Gruschenka and his interactions with his brothers, Dmitry begins to confront his shadow and take steps toward integrating it. He acknowledges his faults and weaknesses and strives toward self-improvement.

In contrast, the Joker’s journey is one of complete descent into darkness, with no hope for redemption. While both characters struggle with their shadows, Dmitry is able to find moments of growth and redemption, while the Joker is consumed by his own inner demons. In Dante’s allegory, Dmitry is ascending towards Heaven after having been in Hell and Purgatory, while Joker is still working his way down the levels of Hell.

Overall, the Brothers Karamazov and the Joker both offer powerful explorations of the human psyche and the struggle to confront and integrate the shadow self. Through the characters of Dmitry and the Joker, we can see the destructive consequences of ignoring the shadow and the potential for growth and redemption when we confront it.

The Tripartite Self in The Brothers Karamazov: Freudian Insights on the id, ego, and superego

The Brothers Karamazov is a complex and thought-provoking novel that delves into the depths of human psychology, ethics, and spirituality. One of the most intriguing aspects of the novel is how the three main characters – Ivan, Dmitry, and Alyosha – represent different facets of the human psyche. For example, Freud’s concepts of the id, ego, and superego can be applied to these characters.

First, let’s define these terms. According to Freud, the id represents our most primitive and instinctual desires, such as hunger, thirst, and sexual impulses. The ego is the rational, logical part of the psyche that tries to balance these desires with the demands of reality. Finally, the superego represents our internalized moral values and societal norms.

Dmitry Karamazov can be viewed as the id in the story. He is impulsive, passionate, and driven by his desires, particularly his desire for Grushenka. His actions throughout the novel, including his violent outbursts and impulsive decision-making, reflect the unchecked desires of the id. Mitya often refers to this as the Karamazov way of living – the insect that lives in all of us.

On the other hand, Ivan Karamazov can be seen as representing the ego in the novel. He is the most rational and logical of the three brothers and is often seen grappling with ethical and philosophical questions. His famous “Grand Inquisitor” chapter illustrates this perfectly, as he presents a logical argument against the idea of a benevolent God. Ivan’s struggle to reconcile his intellect with his emotions is a central theme of the novel.

Alyosha Karamazov can be seen as representing the superego in the novel. He is deeply moral, compassionate, and guided by his faith. Alyosha is often seen as a mediator between Ivan and Dmitry, attempting to balance their conflicting desires and beliefs. But for Alyosha, while he is often seen as embodying the superego, it’s worth noting that his character is more complex than a simple moral authority. He is deeply compassionate and empathetic and often seeks to understand and forgive those who have committed wrongs. This suggests that his role in the novel is not simply to act as a judge or arbiter of morality, but to embody a more holistic approach to ethics that takes into account the complexities of human behavior and motivation.

We should also note that the id is big among the Karamazov family. Apart from the passionate Dmitry, we can also see Smerdyakov and Fyodor Karamazov as representing different aspects of the id. Fyodor Karamazov is driven purely by his base instincts and desires, indulging in his vices without any regard for the consequences or morality. Smerdyakov, on the other hand, is more calculated and manipulative in his actions, using his intelligence and cunning to achieve his own ends. But behind this intellectual veil lies primitive instincts that will have an effect on all the others in the book.

Of course, it is worth noting that Freud’s theory of the id, ego, and superego is not a perfect fit for the characters of The Brothers Karamazov, as it is a complex and multifaceted novel that defies easy categorization. However, viewing the characters through this lens can provide insight into their motivations and actions throughout the story. By viewing the characters in The Brothers Karamazov as Dmitry embodying the passionate id, Ivan representing the logical ego, and Alyosha exemplifying the moral superego it might be easier to remember their main urges in life.