Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in a recent interview, Flea, the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, opened up about why he became a believer in God, describing how he suddenly understood God and changed his life to reflect that belief.
That came up during the interview when Flea bowed his head and prayed in silence for about half a minute before the interview began. “Having moved inside from the parking lot to an airy practice room, Flea asks for a moment before we sit down to chat. ‘I’m gonna do my little ritual,’ he says. Then he bows his head in silence for about 20 seconds,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
The LA Times reporter, Mikael Wood, then asked “Is that a daily thing for you?” Responding, Flea opened up on how he orders his life around praying, saying, “Yeah, I’m a praying guy. I pray in the morning when I get up, when I go to bed, when I eat. And when I do an interview, I’ll just stop for a second — like, let me get out of the way and let go of everything.”
Wood asked then about Flea’s faith, namely what deity he is praying to. He asked, “To whom are you praying?” The response was somewhat disappointing, as the bassist has just turned to a vague form of deism rather than Christianity, saying, “To God. I’m not religious in any way, but I kind of believe in God. And I try to live a life that honors my idea of what God is — like a divine energy.”
Continuing, Flea then spoke about how he grew up hating religion and living the life of a rock star before he realized like something was wrong in his life and, though he’s been to church and still isn’t religious, has started focusing on God. He said: “For me, music is the voice of God. I grew up virulently anti-religious, and there came a time in the early ’90s, right around when I turned 30, I got really sick with chronic fatigue. I’d been a drug-taking madman — party all night, play basketball all day. I just thought I was Superman. And all of a sudden it was like all the energy got sucked out of my body. I was like, I can’t go on tour, I feel too s—. And I was cut off from my friends because I wasn’t partying. So I read this self-help book by this guy Jon Kabat-Zinn where he talked about how if you strip away all your thoughts and actions — your pain, your pleasure, your memories, your hopes — what’s the thing that’s left? And it really struck me because I’d been so caught up in the external. I started thinking about that emptiness, and in that moment God just made perfect sense. I mean, like I said, I’ve still never been religious. And I’ve tried — I’ve been to churches.”
Flea added that he kept trying churches out because he thought there might be a sense of community in them, telling Wood, “I thought there might be a sense of community. In the ’80s I’d go to churches in South L.A. as an atheist. I had a friend who knew where the best gospel groups were coming through, so I’d go and it would be incredible. I thought punk rock was intense. Punk rockers are a bunch of p— compared to a church where people are speaking in tongues and throwing themselves on the ground.”
Featured image credit: By Henry Laurisch – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27567600
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