Does Consciousness Generate Reality?

When one claims that reality is in consciousness, one is claiming precisely that consciousness is irreducible, primary, fundamental. Consciousness, as such, is not generated by complex entities, or for that matter, by anything outside consciousness: it simply is. To say that irreducible consciousness generates reality poses no more problem than to say that irreducible laws of physics generate reality. In fact, it poses less problems, since it avoids the so-called ‘hard problem of consciousness’ altogether.

For the same reason that materialists believe that simple laws of physics generated the unfathomable complexity of today’s universe, fairly simple ‘laws of consciousness’ could generate the phenomenology of all existence. In both cases, very simple rules generate unfathomable complexity, something well understood in complexity science. The difference is that materialism postulates these complexity-creating rules to exist fundamentally outside consciousness and, in some totally non-understood way rather akin to magic, to generate consciousness. Monistic idealism, on the other hand, sticks to the obvious: the complexity-generating rules are intrinsic regularities of the unfolding of consciousness itself. This is not only much more parsimonious and empirically honest, it avoids the artificial and unsolvable ‘hard problem of consciousness’ altogether.

Brief Peeks Beyond
Brief Peeks Beyond: Critical Essays on Metaphysics, Neuroscience, Freewill, Skepticism, and Culture
Bernardo Kastrup

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