Bernardo Kastrup has a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering with specializations in artificial intelligence and reconfigurable computing. He has worked as a scientist in some of the world's foremost research laboratories, including the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the "Casimir Effect" of Quantum Field Theory was discovered). Bernardo has authored many academic papers and books on philosophy and science. His three latest books are: More Than Allegory, Brief Peeks Beyond, and Why Materialism Is Baloney. He has also been an entrepreneur and founder of a successful high-tech start-up. Next to a corporate life developing technology strategy in the high-tech industry, Bernardo maintains a philosophy blog and continues to develop his ideas about the nature of reality. He has lived and worked in four different countries across continents, currently residing in the Netherlands. For a rigorous, analytical summary of his philosophical ideas, see this freely available academic paper.
What do I do best?
Critical, self-reflective analysis of key questions related to life’s meaning and the nature of reality. Identifying and exposing the hidden, unexamined assumptions and unwarranted logical bridges behind what we culturally consider plausible or even self-evident about what is going on. Life and the world are far from what we, culturally, take them to be, because we are immersed in a cocoon of assumptions and expectations taken from collective historical currents. Dismantling this cocoon is my vocation.
What makes me the best version of myself?
An involuntary, compulsive, restless drive to understand reality and our condition as conscious beings within it. A kind of brutal self-honesty when it comes to the conclusions I arrive at, an irresistible readiness to confront and accept these conclusions whether they edify me or depress me.
What are my aspirations?
To help improve the mainstream cultural narrative we live under today—regarding the underlying nature of reality, or ourselves as individuals, and of the meaning and purpose of life—so to bring it as close to the truth as we can, on the basis of sound logic and the available data. Currently, we live under a story that isn’t only false, it is disastrously false, demeaning to nature and to the human spirit.
My Biggest Success?
Having achieved some degree of recognition not only amongst the educated public, but also in mainstream academia, even when it comes to ideas that outright contradict—even ridicule—mainstream views.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Moments are ephemeral. Challenges are the constant foundation of life. All my seemingly difficult decisions weren’t difficult in the sense that I felt irresistibly compelled—often against my best rational judgment—to take them. They weren’t difficult because they were ultimately unavoidable. The most important decisions assert themselves as impersonal forces of nature.
No mottos. Life isn’t so simplistic and contexts always change. Every situation presents itself anew to our contemplation. What was wise yesterday may be outright stupid today.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
Not as much role models as people I admire, often for reasons other than the ones they are best known for: Søren Kierkegaard, Carl Jung, Richard Feynman, José Saramago, Thomas Kuhn, James Hillman, William Blake, Noam Chomsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Martin Heidegger, Niels Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger, Patrick Harpur, and so many others. (My listing these names does not imply that I concur with everything these people thought or said, or condone everything they did.)
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
There is nothing like Europe. Here one breaths the depths of history and confronts the breadth of the human drama. Here one escapes banality, superficiality, and gains perspective.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
10. My Current Passions?
Pursuing my calling to the best of my abilities, so on my death-bed I will be able to look back and think to myself, “I did alright, I’ve earned my ticket out of here.”