Has Lloyd Christmas gone mad?

Jim Carrey once gave a controversial and unlikely philosophical interview at a recent New York Fashion Week — as well as other talks in the same vein — which have spurred debate regarding the nature of the comedian’s unconventional outlook on life and his mental state altogether.

“There’s no meaning to any of this,” he said about the fashion event to a shocked Catt Sadler. “So I wanted to find the most meaningless thing to come to and join, and here I am. I mean you gotta admit it’s completely meaningless.”

Because of this and other bizarre statements, Twitter has become a scene of both concern and praise for the actor— some fearing Carrey might be suicidal, while others eyeing it as a display of spiritual enlightenment. This all tied into rumors circulating the Internet claiming the “woke” him was because of heavy psychedelics he took as part of his preparational process to play Terence McKenna — a famous advocate of the recreational use of such drugs.  

Considering Carrey’s history of intense methods for authentic character portrayal, as well as his statements falling somewhere on the thin line between profound wisdom and madness, the alleged psychedelic stories definitely seemed plausible — until they were vehemently refuted by a representative of the actor and even the actor himself.

But perhaps such gossip and trivialities shouldn’t be everyone’s main concern.

The spring of Carrey’s awakened identity, psychedelically induced or not, is arguably irrelevant compared to the actual substance behind his existential philosophy and what it might mean if it has even a drop of truth.

Because Carrey’s transcendent thinking surfaced long before the infamous E! interview — it’s just been entangled with his signature cartoon-like irony. His 2014 MUM graduation speech (below) is even a toned down, more humorous version of it. In it, Carrey uses vague metaphors and elusive wordplays to suggest the same idea of everything being a unified energy and consciousness, merely passing through physical bodies and shapes.

“My soul is not contained within the limits of my body — my body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul. One unified field,” he says.

“You won’t be feeling the world, you’ll be felt by it, you’ll be embraced by it.”

“Life is not happening to you – it’s happening for you.”

The takeaway from the speech is practically a word-for-word copy of this year’s viral interview.

“That peace that we’re after lies beyond personality, beyond the perception of others, beyond invention and the skies.”

However, the idea that “we don’t matter” — which comes off as somewhat melancholic at this particular NYFW event — somehow rides along the overall positive vibe of the graduation speech and hence leaves a very different aftertaste. Something like changing the soundtrack of a film and thus completely shifting a scene’s mood, Carrey behind the projector.

And speaking of film metaphors, at his graduation speech, Carrey makes a very similar movie analogy as Jeff Liebermann, host of the show Time Warp on Discovery Channel, did at his Ted Talk. Liebermann explains the act of looking at something in real life resembles the act of watching a film.

“You all think you are seeing me out here, with a red shirt on, but this red only exist in your head,” he says. “And so this entire picture you’re seeing is happening inside your head. In a movie inside your consciousness.”

Liebermann goes on to explain that world problems and suffering arise from people projecting films filled with the wrong emotions and scenarios, films that aren’t even real. He believes that by realizing we are all part of the same movie, human suffering and global problems can end. This mindset bears a striking resemblance with Carrey’s current outlook on life and the relationship between himself and his screen performances:

“I don’t exist, so … They are all characters that I played, including Jim Carrey, including Joel Barish, including any of those things,” Carrey said at the Toronto International Film Festival. “They are all characters.”

He even explains that depression is no longer a factor in his life since that was a character trait of Jim Carrey, who he no longer plays. “So when I tried to go back and play Jim Carrey, I got depressed, and now I don’t try to do that anymore,” he explains.

The same idea of universal consciousness and energy keeps making an appearance in all of “Jim Carrey’s” new-age interviews, which once again overlaps with the ideals Liebermann preaches.

“This illusion that there is a separate person inside an environment, when in reality, there’s just energy and motion everywhere.”

“A wave is not in the ocean – a wave is the ocean.”

This philosophy, according to Liebermann, is at its core what all religions have tried to capture in essence, and surely enough, is what Jim Carrey seems to already have a very firm grasp on.

“This room is filled with God.”

“Every cell of your body is God, everything is God, everything is divine.”

And by “God,” he doesn’t confine himself within any particular religion, the only dogma that guides him is the one of love.

“I’m a Buddhist, I’m a Muslim, I’m a Christian, I’m whatever … you want me to be,” Carrey once said. “It all comes down to the same thing. You’re in a loving place or you’re in an unloving place.”

Even if some of Carrey’s statements on the NYFW interview came off as over the top and overwhelmingly existential, psychedelic and a completely un-sober ideology, it still aligns closely to what Einstein had in mind — and he was always on to things.

“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion,” said Einstein. “It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity.”  

[originally published October 3, 2017]