Lizard Brain: Seth Godin’s Christian Theology

Lizard Brain. That’s what Seth Godin calls that evil still small voice in your head that resists your dreams. Lizards, says Godin, only seek survival. They don’t make a risk to produce something artistic or generous. They desire the warmth of the sun, but live fearful of others. When we humans act like this, says Seth, we are listening to our “Lizard Brain.”


If you want to be a nun, Lizard Brain says, “You’d be a terrible nun. You cannot pray and you’d burn out. Plus, there are no good religious orders anymore. Forget it.”

If you want to write a book, Lizard Brain says, “You didn’t go to the right school. Plus, it’s so hard to get published. And your grammar isn’t perfect. Nobody would buy your book. Don’t waste your time”

If you want to give a public speech on a passionate topic, Lizard Brain says, “People will laugh at you. Your topic isn’t that interesting. Plus, your suit looks funny and you don’t look professional. Will people even take you seriously.”

Lizard Brain is similar to what Steven Pressfield labeled “The Resistance” in the soul. It’s the voice that haunts you. The voice that tells you that you will certain fail and make a fool of yourself. I’ve written about this before in a post called “The War of Faith: Understanding Resistance.”

I do not think that Seth Godin (nor Steven Pressfield) are Christians. However, they are pointing at a profound teaching expressed by Christian theology. In the New Testament, it’s called “Sarx” or “The Flesh” and in medieval theology it’s also labeled “concupiscence.”

In the tendency in us to what is lower when we should be reaching higher. Fear, lust, anger, gluttony, boredom. These are the consequences of the Sarx.

Now I really, really like Godin’s phrase “Lizard Brain.” In fact, my wife now uses the word to talk me of the ledge. “Oh Taylor, it’s sounds to me that you’re now thinking with your Lizard Brain.”

There is one think about Godin’s term that I LOVE. Remember back in the Garden of Eden. What kind of animal led Eve and Adam into sin?

Did you say “Serpent”?

Actually, go back and read the Scriptures. Before the Original Sin, the serpent may have had LEGS. God removed the legs from the evil critter as a punishment. So in fact, that primordial voice leading Adam and Eve into sin and survival mode may have been a legged lizard.

While Seth Godin refers to Lizard Brain from an evolutionary point of view (the less evolved “lizard-like” part of the human brain), from a Christian point of view, Lizard Brain can also refer to that which is Satanic and diabolical.

Question: Do you experience Lizard Brain? How? Leave a comment and explain.

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