Google searches for the word “prayer” increased massively over the past few weeks amid the worldwide pandemic and controversial comedian Russell Brand, who’s best known for his vulgarity, offered his thoughts on why.
“I found out that everyone’s googling prayer,” Brand said in an Instagram video post, titled “Why the h*** are people suddenly googling prayer?”
“People want to know how to pray all of a sudden. There was a time not that long ago when we thought that prayer and religion was redundant that mankind could answer all of our questions through technology.”
Brand said that “now” everyone is looking for a “sacred experience.” He then went on to define the meaning of the word sacred as “holy, divine, the presence of God.
“What I think that means is the presence of the limitless that is always, by its nature, present in the limited bandwidth of our physical sense-based experience here on Earth, which on some level we know is not enough,” he said.
In March, it was discovered by Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, associate professor at the University of Copenhagen and executive director of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture that “In Crisis, We Pray: Religiosity and the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
In a draft released by Bentzen, she found that prayer intensity rose in countries that have “only recently been hit by the pandemic themselves.”
“Daily data on Google searches for 95 countries demonstrates that the COVID-19 crisis has increased Google searches for prayer (relative to all Google searches) to the highest level ever recorded,” she wrote. “The level of prayer search shares in March 2020 was more than 50% higher than the average during February 2020.”
Brand noted that the world has now been forced into a “monastic corner, except for those of us that are frontline workers.”
“The fact that people are googling prayer suggests to me that we need to find a way to pray together,” he added. “Now you might not want to pray because you say, ‘Hey man, I don’t like religion, it’s trying to tell me how to think.’ It ain’t trying to tell you how to think, it’s just giving you some suggestions.”
Brand, who became famous for his insults and wild behavior, challenged people to think about why they were googling prayer.
“Think about why are you looking to prayer? What are you looking for? Is it you feel trapped in your home at the moment? Do you feel afraid? You feel afraid for loved ones?” he inquired.
“My conception, a prayer to the limitless, to the oneness from which all phenomena.”
In 2018, Brand said he discovered…