I think his view is a bit more nuanced than just a permanent mind. I’m not done with his Idea of the world book at the moment, but I know that in many of his interviews he has explained how what he is trying to do in his metaphysics is give a better story than physicalism. He even outright states that he is “probably wrong” in the details of his theory, just that it is a step in the right direction. Of course, I am not arguing for a straight up adoption of Kastrup’s analytical idealism either, any Buddhist idealism will have to be distinctly Buddhist in that it will need to provide a theory of rebirth and karma as well as be non-essentialist and so on.
I respect agnosticism of course. But I also don’t see anything wrong with giving interesting metaphysical accounts as a teaching tool, as long as one realizes these are just useful ways of thinking about the world, not absolute systems. Like I said, I am not arguing for Buddhists to all come together and develop the “One Metaphysics to Rule them All”. Rather, what I am saying is that it might be useful to promote non-physicalist views as a counterpoint to physicalism within a Buddhist framework as a skillful way of showing people there are other ways of doing metaphysics which allow for karma and rebirth quite comfortably.
One can only hope! I think materialism is a very harmful way of thinking about things. Like Heidegger said, if you think everything is just stuff, you are going to see and experience it as things to be manipulated, as affordances “for me”.
Sure, but whatever physical substratum you pick would have to be analogous to the biological system which gave rise to consciousness. A computer is not analogous to a human body, as such, it can only run a simulation of consciousness, not consciousness itself. In the same manner, if you run a simulation of my kidneys on a computer, you cannot expect the computer to urinate on the floor as it runs the simulation.
I am not arguing that there is a permanent mind moving from birth to birth (indeed, this is Sati’s heresy from MN 38 so its quite a claim!). That is a total misrepresentation of the type of idealism I would approve of.
I think the point I am trying to make is that it only seems concrete from the physicalist perspective. After all, the only thing we really have access to is our experience. When we make measurements, observe an experiment, look through a telescope and calculate data and so on, the actual “concreteness” is all in the mind. The idea that this means there is a mind independent material world is already an abstraction or inference from our very immediate experience. It might be a very easy and natural seeming inference, but it is still an inference. Idealism just says its all upside down.
A reified consciousness would be a mistaken interpretation of the Yogacara system IMO. After all, the three natures are all empty and dependently arisen, as explained in all Yogacara texts. Not only that, but Yogacarins take great pains to say that all words and concepts are not really the ultimate, and that all explanations of reality are provisional. The real Ultimate Reality in Yogacara is, as the Samdhinirmocana says in chapter 2 (Xuanzang version, Keenan trans):
The sphere that is internally realized without descriptions cannot be spoken and severs expressions. Ultimate meaning, laying to rest all disputes, transcends all the descriptive marks of reasoning.