Moby interview: Everything is complicated

Photograph of rockstar Moby in front of a fence
With new glasses and a crash diet I could look like Moby.

This has been sitting in my “to blog” bookmarks folder for ages: a really superb and honest interview with musician Moby about life, faith, celebrity and music. Here’s a snippet from the first couple of minutes of the interview:

…and so I read the New Testament and, well, specifically the gospels, and I was just struck at their divinity. That feeling that like humans could not have figured this out on their own. We’re just not bright enough.

And also was struck at how utterly difficult so many of the teachings were. You know, I was expecting a pat on the head, like ‘go be nice to people’ and ‘be forgiving’ and ‘be friendly’ and that’s all.

But instead we get: not only should we not kill someone you shouldn’t be angry with someone. And how many times should you forgive someone? As many times as you can forgive someone. No matter how many times someone wrongs you you’re called upon to forgive them one time more…

You can either listen online via embedded the flash player or download the following MP3s:

  1. Moby’s testimony (MP3, 4.44 MB)
  2. Christianity and celebrity (MP3, 4.69 MB)
  3. Music and motivation (MP3, 3 MB)

If you do, in your own way, recognise the divinity of Christ, then what? You know. And for a while for me that meant going to church once a week and teaching bible studies and trying to be like a good, conventional Christian.

And then that started rubbing me the wrong way cos it seemed like … it seemed very restrictive. You know, that the world is such a nuanced and complicated place and a lot of the religion I was encountering didn’t want to talk about how nuanced and complicated the world was. And so then I spent some time studying quantum mechanics and looking at other religions to try to get a better sense of things.

And now I’ve come back to this state of like being a clueless Christian, you know? Like what do you do? Like, you know that something is true but how do you live it? You know, because there’s so many different ways.

Do you become a snake handler? You know, do you read Kierkegaard? Do you go to Russian Orthodox churches? Do you move to Calcutta and bathe the wounds of the poor? Do you go to strip clubs and minister to strippers? Who knows what? Do you give away all of your money and all of your possessions or do you keep your money and your possessions?

These questions that I … it’s driven me crazy that I can’t figure them out. So the only answer I have is like well I can’t figure this out, I don’t know what to do. So, you know, God do your will. I might not like your will so much. I might be frightened of your will. But it seems like if you made everything there’s a good chance you know how things should work.

There is a genuine honesty and reality about Moby’s faith that appeals to me. A real desire to be true to God and true to himself. Not afraid of the blurred edges of life, not afraid to recognise that life is hard and complicated and at times utterly confusing. I’m attracted to his not looking for firm and fixed answers other than that God is the answer … whatever that means and wherever that takes us.

One thought on “Moby interview: Everything is complicated”

  1. Nice quotes, will have to have a listen soon. Sounds like he’s sort of a seeker-after-truth-yet-glad-so-much-is-within-Christianity, so I understand where he’s coming from.

    Oh, and quantum physics++. Einstein’s real failure was in thinking dice was not an honourable game 😉

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