I watched a video of Jim Carrey where he said “I used to be a guy who was experiencing the world, but now I feel like the world and the universe is experiencing a guy.”
What happened to Jim Carrey seems to be an almost total (or total) disidentification from the body. Upon further pondering on the interviews I watched of him after his awakening, I know that his level of disidentification from the body is greater than mine.
When you meditate regularly, the disidentification from the body must happen. But it won’t come all at once, unless you do something dangerous to quicken this process, such as using drugs. If a total disidentification from the body would happen during a short period of time, a person would probably not survive because the shock would be too great.
If viewed at his awakening from a Buddhist perspective, Jim seems to have reached at least the first non-physical absorption, which is that of unlimited space/universe. A person who was touched by a void will also view life from Jim’s perspective – that the Universe is living through the person, because the selfish ego is no longer there or is disintegrating.
I believe that his awakening was successful, because he’s reasoning is sound, though maybe it won’t seem so to the unawakened ones. Like in my case, his body disidentification seems to have happened gradually.
When you engage in spiritual practices, soon you will realize that you are not the body. This realization is called by some Buddhists as “getting in touch with the Knower“. You realize that you are not the body but the Knower/the one who is aware of the body.
For example, during meditation you may realize that the body is breathing by itself, and that you don’t control that process in any way, and that it’s not you who’s breathing; that the body that breathes and you are two different things.
The Knower experience will change you forever
When you get in touch with the Knower, you will never be the same again. If you keep meditating, those states of disidentification from the body would get longer and longer, until this disidentification is total.
According to the Buddhist monk who was my teacher at a forest Buddhist monastery in Thailand, some people feel absolutely frightened when they first get in touch with the Knower.
I personally wasn’t frightened at all when it first happened. It felt natural, so I was curious why it was so. And the reason this experience isn’t frightening to some is because in past lives they were already in touch with the Knower, so it doesn’t feel like anything new.
But for those who’s contact with the Knower is first, this experience can be shattering. The whole world will turn upside down, and you will have to discard many of your beliefs. What seemed to be important will no longer seem so after this realization. All worldly ambition will be gone, close relationships will no longer hold that specialness they used to.
A guy who was also visiting the forest Buddhist monastery and whose teacher was the same monk I just mentioned, told that his experience of the Knower was very difficult to deal with.
After he understood to be not the body, his relationships with people lost meaning; he no longer could find joy in worldly things. He was changed forever. Even after three years, he continues speaking about this experience and is still in awe about how it changed him.
Life after the disidentification from the body
For those who aren’t awakened, Jim Carrey either sounds crazy or it seems that after his awakening his life became tasteless. But that’s not so, and he himself claims to have found new joy and meaning in life. But that joy comes from the spiritual side only.
He says that he finally feels liberated, and that the disidentification from the personality of Jim Carrey is a huge relief.
That’s exactly how it feels when the process of disidentification/ego death is happening. You’re expanding; you no longer can be contained in that little personality you currently identify with. You become extremely flexible. You can get along with anyone; there’s no more anger or annoyance towards those you used to dislike; problems lose their painful sting. Life becomes much easier.
Your life becomes impersonal. The personal side – the selfish ego – is disintegrating. This is frightening to many people, because they are afraid that they will annihilate themselves. But that’s not the case; what is getting annihilated is the ego with which the person is currently identified with.
Because the identification with the ego is total, it seems that you’re getting annihilated and not the ego. But trust me – you remain, and it’s the ego that’s mortal and gives you that fear of dying.
When the expansion/liberation is complete, the person realizes he’s everything. That’s what Buddha must have meant when he sounded so vague to the unawakened ones about Nirvana being annihilation yet not that. It’s difficult to describe this spiritual phenomenon, because we must stick to earthly labels.
Nirvana – liberation – is the death of the ego; it’s the death of that which keeps you bound. Buddha met the Grand Architect of the universe face to face and said to him: “O house builder, you have been seen; you shall not build the house again.”
Once there’s nothing personal but you realize yourself to be the entire Universe, how can you ever be trapped in Maya again? When you are no longer fooled by the senses and when nothing of this world can entrap you through enticements of all sorts, you can no longer be controlled but you become the master of your existence.
Only then, according to Buddhism, can you escape reincarnation or being sucked into other worlds. Only then you can make a choice of what happens after death. But if Maya, the illusion of this world, still has any sort of grip over you, you still remain a slave, and therefore you cannot decide on your afterlife destination.
After watching some of Jim Carrey’s interviews, I see that he can still use his old personality. This shows to me that his awakening was natural. Those who achieve body disidentification with drugs become crazy, or are unable to use their old personalities since the transitioning totally destroyed them.
Those who awaken naturally, however, become flexible rather than rigid, which means that they can quickly adjust to any circumstance, and this means that sometimes using your old personality is the best thing to do (especially when it comes to dealing with worldly matters).
Body disidentification and immaterial absorptions free you. Buddha told that only those who experience immaterial absorptions are able to escape the grip of the Evil One. He said that their footsteps become invisible to him. The rest are still trapped.
For those who are closely identified with their bodies, such spiritual attainments are unwelcome and frightening. Thus, real awakening is definitely not for everyone.
New-age believers think that spiritual awakening is personal evolution without losing any part of your personality, but this isn’t how it works. The egoistic personality will start disintegrating and you will more and more become inseparable in traits to the Nature/Universe/Spirit of the World, until you merge with that force of creation, thus accomplishing Yoga.
I strongly believe that Jim Carrey achieved total or almost total disidentification from the body, and that now he sometimes uses his old personality to deal with the public.
Such disidentification from the body comes as a result of spiritual practices, and the old soul sometimes simply matures and sheds the last shackles of the sensual world without any specific spiritual exercises.
This stage of spiritual evolution is definitely not for everyone, and people who are still addicted to sense-pleasures might find body disidentification absolutely frightening, with no way to go back to their old state of being. Thus, practices such as yoga and meditation shouldn’t be engaged in by such individuals.
Disidentification from the body provides an exit out of the matrix system, because when you’re not allured by anything of this world, the House Builder/Grand Architect of the universe is no longer in control of you, but you control what happens after death.
Thus, true spiritual evolution is nothing to do with new-age feel-good entertainment.
Speeding up your soul growth through true yoga and meditation is difficult and can be very scary; but it’s important to understand that it’s not you who’s scared but the ego that’s totally merged with you.
When it dies, you free yourself from the monster that was in control of your life all this time whilst tricking you into thinking that you were in charge. Only after its death you are free to direct your life in any way that you wish – but definitely not before Nirvana.