Russell Brand: ‘Prayer can be a way of accessing latent aspects of yourself’


Ever since I reported on Russell Brand’s self help videos he’s been coming up in my suggested videos on YouTube. He’s so interesting! There’s the argument that he’s full of sh-t, but most of what he says comes across as genuine and like he’s learned some things and wants to talk about them. I especially liked what he said about prayer in a recent video. That’s above and here are the highlights.

We’ve been taught to think of prayer as a kind of dumb recycler, an empty incantation, but prayer can be a way of accessing latent aspects of yourself. Aspects of your own consciousness, your own being that lie dormant because you live in a culture that only interacts with a limited aspect of you, that only sees you as a passive consumer and a worker. Through prayer we can nurture parts of ourselves that would otherwise be neglected. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Do you want to be a man in a brown hat talking to a screen?

I pray every morning. I do use some old fashioned prayers such as Christian ones. How I interpret them is a kind of personal universalism. What do these words truthfully mean to me? “Our father,” all of us are children, brothers and sisters.

I don’t see the transcendent deity that governs all beingness as having a particular sex of sex organs or traits, merely as being a powerful parenthetic force holding me in great power within and without. I suppose even deeply committed atheists understand that the limits of human knowledge are not the limits of all potential knowledge because human knowledge is continually changing and altering. The potential for us to communicate with different types of being, inner and outer, does exist potentially. I want my will to be in alignment with these forces. What is the deepest me? Who am I really? What is beingness itself? Can I possibly commune with that? I actually believe I can through meditative techniques and even the recurring memories of psychedelic experiences… There are different “me”s ready to be realized.

The power of prayer is to commune with some untainted and essential self that lies beneath all possibility waiting to be realized. You can control, govern, nurture and influence the way you’re going through prayer and make yourself a nicer person.

[From Russell Brand on YouTube]

That was so cute how he started and ended talking about his hat! (I didn’t transcribe that part.) He’s a charming guy, he’s worked on himself and thought about these things and a lot of what he said resonated with me. I identify as a humanist and don’t believe in a deity but I sort-of pray. I’ve been meditating for about a year and the benefits really blow me away. It definitely changed my outlook and has given me an entirely new perspective on prayer and on faith. I just meditate through YouTube guided videos and some of them talk about manifesting. That stuff has worked for me. It probably works by inspiring me to take action on specific things and convincing me that I can do it, but it works either way. So while I still don’t consider myself a believer, I understand and appreciate prayer and faith in a different way now. I also like how Brand is conceptualizing Christian prayers in a more general way.

Day 1 of @porteliotfestival reading my favourite children’s story The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. A magical experience, thanks everyone. #porteliotfestival

Here are the highlights in a quicker video:

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Do you ever pray? In some way?

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Do you ever pray? In some way?

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