Jim Carrey may not be a recognized Buddhist teacher, but his ability to offer meaningful insight was recently put on full display when he turned the tables on an unsuspecting interviewer:
Carrey argues that it is unwise and unproductive for any human being to devote any time to creating and curating a specific identity for themselves. This pertains to the all ego: needing to feel important. Carrey is right to make these arguments, because maintaining an ego tends to lead to separation between yourself and anyone who doesn’t promote your ego. Additionally, maintaining an ego promotes the status quo rather than progressive change, and it also makes the idea of simply maintaining a basic goodness of character seem negative or inferior (which it certainly is not).
This is why it is imperative to release the need to be someone, or to become someone; as per Carrey, “The feeling of wholeness is a different feeling than me-ness. People talk about depression all the time. The difference between depression and sadness is sadness is just from happenstance—whatever happened or didn’t happen for you, or grief, or whatever it is. Depression is your body saying [“F”]-you, I don’t want to be this character anymore, I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me.”
Keep in mind that all human beings require deep rest, but no human being needs to be depressed. It is vital to release the identity that you’ve worked your whole life to generate, and to move forward with an open heart regarding yourself and the world around you. As Carrey argues, none of it really matters anyway, which should be a comforting idea: “I have no depression in my life whatsoever—literally none. I have sadness, and joy, and elation, and satisfaction, and gratitude beyond belief. But all of it is weather, and it just spins around the planet. It doesn’t sit on me long enough to kill me. It’s just ideas.”
Fascinatingly, Carrey has said, “I’m a Buddhist, I’m a Muslim, I’m a Christian. It all comes down to the same thing: you’re in a loving place or you’re in an unloving place.” It’s remarkable how Carrey is able to leap to his insights on so many different aspects of culture and life, but it’s even more surprising that his words always sound so right and insightful. Lastly, Carrey contends that pharmaceutical drugs should be avoided if there is any way at all to safely to do so; he feels as though their side effects are not worth the relief they might provide: “It feels like a low level of despair you live in, where you’re not getting any answers, but you’re living okay and you can smile at the office . . . but it’s a low level of despair.”