Russell Brand — sex, drugs and consciousness.
Russell Brand is best known for stroking the furry wall.
Not only in Get Him To The Greek but as I’m sure he would also agree, in real life — as a glorified sex addict. Fame, you know he’s got plenty. Money? Yep. Previous marriage to Katy Perry? You bastard. Brand has punched out pop-cult classics like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Despicable Me and even poised a ‘Revolution’ toward the UK’s mainstream media outlets with his book and YouTube series, The Trews. His life has been filled with booze, drugs, comedy and women and while there’s much to be said about his journey up until now, I think the man is a genius.
What I value most, of all the ridiculous sounding words that leave this gorgeous man’s mouth — he has a well invested and uniquely substantiated view on human consciousness, empowerment and spiritual revolution. Plus he sounds really funny communicating it.
Ensure you watch the video or the following won’t make much sense.
You’re probably feeling like the world just started spinning a little quicker, but it hasn’t, he actually speaks that fast. There’s a couple of really powerful passages here I want to take the time deconstruct and explore with Russell’s help.
“One quote that I heard that I like was ‘Be quick to see where religious people are right” because it’s all really obvious where religious people are wrong, you see it on the news. But where religious people are right; togetherness, selflessness, relationship with a deeper self, acceptance of death and the possibility of transcendence of human primal self. Those things are all really beautiful ideas that have lost their way (because of Scientism).”
Unfortunately a lot of the information we’re exposed to doesn’t highlight these positive foundational pillars of religion anymore. We’re only privy to the exploitation, neglect and radicalism, the shit that unfortunately sells. We need to be implored to look beyond the headlines and have faith that within any ideology there is still a overarching majority practicing it out of love, not hate.
“Materialism and individualism are hard things to overcome. If we have them as our dominant mindset, that “I’m only going to believe shit that I can prove” then you are just an individual and you may just as well spend your life f!@#ing as many people as can and accumulating as much material as you can. Because nothing exists unless you can see it, measure it, weigh it and f!@# it. Now if that is the dominant belief system, which, sort of materialism, consumerism, capitalism all dovetail on that premise then that’s how you can have the chronic ecological disrespect. Because (people think) “It doesn’t matter what happens after your dead” (Okay well) “Yeah but what about my f@#$%^& children” even just on a practical level, have got to live on this f@#$%^& pebble in infinite space.”
There’s credibility in this view shared by Brand purely because, from early on in his career he has been totally open about his craving for fame, fortune and affluence. Now, having accomplished that, he’s speaking against those values, he presents them as smoke and mirrors. We should remember this when we’re beating ourselves up searching for approval or idolization. Russell has been there and it’s not what the media promises it to be.
“Do you know what I believe in? On every level if something is possible you should be trying to f@#$%^& do it. As soon as people realise “hold on a minute, that’s having a negative impact” or “hey this is a better way of using our resources and utilities” soon as you realise it you should be moving towards it. They say wisdom is acting on knowledge. Once you recognise fossil fuels are running out; “Right f@#$%^& hell we better start working on the basis that we’re f!@#$%.” Better start looking at alternative energy sources, look at different alliances. Knowing those things and not doing them makes me very, very uneasy. Because it makes me think, who benefits from ignoring this stuff? Who’s running this show? If it’s creating all this rage, all this unease, all this fear in your country and in my country now, times of great great disease and uncertainty for people, really looking for something. And these institutions are just kind of saying “just carry on”, there’s no alternative, no one now is going to see themselves as part of a religious community in the same way, or as one of the dead ideologies of the last century. Meanwhile we’re in this peculiar state of looming crisis that feels really fucking mad to me.”
As a society, we’ve reached a height of individualism. Within any social group you may find a vegan, racist, atheist or practicing buddhist. We commonly present ourselves defined by our professional accolades and applied skill set. But beyond these labels what do we all have in common? We’re human — each trying to generate as much joy as we can from our time here, to negate the unavoidable suffering. It’s my belief that those that appear to be ‘benefiting from ignoring this stuff’ as Russell notes, are those that lack this broader perspective and empathy. It’s productive to remind ourselves this.
“What my difficulty is, is that when ideology behaves dogmatically or prohibitively which prevents further exploration. For example; The nature of consciousness.
But what I think is interesting Joe is somewhere between this woo woo craziness and the kind of flat mundane “look, this is life, you’re born, you die, you eat, you shit” territory. Somewhere in that mystery, somewhere behind your eyes there is a constant. There is this consciousness, there is this awareness, there is the inexplicable experience you’ve had through DMT, experiences I’ve had through yoga and LSD that suggests to me that consciousness itself is the dominant force. Consciousness isn’t just one more phenomena it is the seat of all phenomena. And when people are saying “oh there’s this thing thats god” what they’re saying is there’s an absolute consciousness and all is contained within it. All matter at some point has come from consciousness, these realms that are experienced through psychedelics or extreme personal experiments like cryogenics or your floating tanks all suggest a phenomenon beyond individual consciousness, there’s something else there. I’m not taking that to the extreme of “your mind can control shit” now, I don’t think it means that. It means that reality is only reality when you look at it. That’s what it’s kind of getting towards.”
Russell’s loose definition of consciousness is exactly that – loose. But what I like about what he’s saying here is the fact that he puts consciousness on the same, if not a more superior level than the current ideologies commonly accepted by our societies — capitalism, socialism, communism. He believes it has the potential to be a dominant doctrine in which we may base our lives. This constant and compelling notion of Russell’s ignites a fiery passion for those of us who has always felt ‘there is something more’.
“One of the ways I’ve reduced this down for my own simple understanding is this. If none of us had a sense of smell how would the concept of smell make sense? How would you go there’s paint, there’s bacon, none of us would have the instrument to receive it. So that whole thing would be off the agenda. So I think that their are streams of energy, streams of data for which we do not have the instruments to receive so we totally discount it. My cat doesn’t know the internet exists. the internet does not enter the realm of my cats consciousness. But the f@#$%^& internet’s out there. And all these realms we’re experiencing in these psychedelic states or however they’re achieved is an indication to me there’s another reality.”
Perhaps Russell’s cat does know the internet exists and is a passionate Trump supporter, Russell just doesn’t know it. Either way the image of his cat using the internet is amusing. The idea of there being streams of data beyond our recognition is more than viable. We should remember how much we’ve uncovered in the last ten years. The impressive nature in that would have to insinuate that there’s more to the eye.
One of the contain ideas that keeps re-emerging that takes us back to where we were with Joe Campbell, at the beginning (of their conversation) is there is the f!@#$%^ sense of oneness. And believing ourselves to be individual and believing that the dominant thing in our lives to be material, that f@#$s us up. Because people will kill each other over that material. Once we realise the true thing about us is the consciousness, the inner self, thats the real thing. Now we’re all out here, we’re in the game and we’re all gonna do shit and we’re all gonna make mistakes. But let’s not have the material idea as the dominant social idea, because everyone’s agreed with that. Whether they’re communists, facists or whatever everyone is saying the main thing is the shit that’s out here and that connects to those primal drives. If that taps into your sexual drive, you can never have enough pussy. If that gets into your status drive you can never have enough status and power. We’re all still going to feel those things, I’m still going to be a c#$% 25 times a day. But it would be nice if the cultural ambience was “oh, don’t worry Russell, you’ll be back to your normal self in a minute, of feeling that we are all one and connected.” not “Yeah well of coarse, I feel like that too” and that’s what frightens me about the culture of our countries at the moment. It’s endorsing the worse aspects of our nature instead of the best aspects of our nature. And for me there’s no difference between left and right in the current political sphere because they’re all making the same argument. They’re all saying come and live out here in the material world.
Russell once again highlights the apparent dangers of material dominant ideologies in our society. He implores us to consider altering our priorities. He recognizes that there will still be times in which we might lose sight of this ‘oneness’ but if it were culturally prioritised, we would have the support around us to re-align.
What I think we can draw most from Russell’s journey is experience. He’s been the test dummy for aspirations we’ve had. From this, it’s certainly clear what he considers the priorities on the most primal level — oneness & consciousness. His passion and authenticity cannot be faulted or diminished. But what will be interesting to track is how he can turn these firm beliefs into action. He can excitingly communicate perspective but how will he initiate movement? Revolution may have been the pilot and The Trews it’s predecessor, but how will you channel it next Russell? Through a cat internet multi-verse? Let’s hope so.
“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” – Rita Mae Brown