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IS JIM CARREY becoming a monk?
The 42-year-old "Bruce Almighty" star says his way of challenging himself to reach a "higher level" of being is to cut back on all indulgences including food and sex.
"It's about sacrifice. It's about giving up things that keep you from feeling," says Carrey.
"I'm always asking, 'What am I going to give up next?' Because I want to feel."
The rubber-faced comedian has been studying Taoism, an ancient Chinese philosophy that emphasizes simplistic, frugal living.
But that could get pretty difficult for a guy who commands $25 million per flick.
"Taoism talks about not wasting your sexual essence. You can't eat cake all day long or you waste your energy," he explained. "Heaven is about sacrifice."
The problem, say pals, is that the self-analytical star - known for assuming a wide range of strange identities in his comedy hits - is trying to get his spiritual footing and discover what kind of person he really is.
"Jim knows he's great at becoming other characters, but he feels he has no true soul of his own," a close friend confided to The ENQUIRER.
The twice-divorced performer also feels frustrated at not having found the right woman, but he doesn't think he'll find his soul mate until he first discovers his own true self, said the friend. And right now the spiritual pilgrim is practicing what he preaches.
"Jim eats no wheat, dairy, sugar or processed food. No caffeine, either, and he doesn't smoke cigarettes or pot. And he's really into fasting - he actually enjoys feeling hungry," revealed his friend.
"Jim never does anything halfway. Even his house reflects his new philosophy - he's been giving away his possessions, little by little."
Carrey himself recently told a Playboy interviewer: "Psychology and spiritual life fascinate me to no end. I like nothing better than to go home and read my books and say some prayers and meditate."
Confirmed his friend: "Jim rarely goes out or calls friends, but just sits on the porch of his house in Malibu, staring out at the ocean, in a sort of a Zen state. He is truly starting to live like a monk." - ROBIN MIZRAHI