EPISODE 030: Midlife Crisis, Ego, and Desire: Part 1: Seth Taylor

All religion is born from anxiety.
— Seth Taylor

Seth is a crazy ass, mystic, shaman-like, wise, amazing guy.  At least, he is to me.  He was featured in EPISODE 014, one of your favorite episodes.  He's also a husband, father, and author whom you can read on XXXChurch and his new book.  Much of his story of healing has come through his struggle with pornography and his desire for freedom.  In reading Seth's writings, you'll often hear him reminding us that porn, and other addictions are not the problem, they're the symptom.

Seth has become a friend through our experience with him through Losing Our Religion. It's something I've grown grateful for while still being highly skeptical of the mysticism he embraces. We both divulge some very vulnerable things we are going through right now, and he has a natural wisdom that flows out of him that is arguably the most helpful therapy I have had in a long time.

 

Midlife Crisis

When you're going through a midlife crisis, when your marriage is starting to break down, when you just want to start life over.  Religion is what used to hold us together, but what it often does is tear us apart.  It causes us to avoid the deep issues inside of us, it leads us to suppress, developing coping mechanisms, by wearing masks, and arrogantly pushing others down, rather than digging deep within ourselves to do the healing work we need.

Ego

When ego leads the way we have big dreams, want to be rich, have celebrity status, and rule the world.  But it comes with a significant cost and doesn't lead to joy and peace.  Sometimes religion is what used to promote that for some of us, and for many it's what tore us and our real dreams down.  When desires are led by ego, it leads to unhappiness, forceful living, not peace.  

Desire

When you don't need anything, you can want anything.  It's a state of being that dreams can come from a creative place, free from ego, and selfish desire.  A place where you can create without demonstrative driving forces running over others, and hurting people.  You can, instead of forcing things into reality, begin to live in the now that doesn't need anything else.  Where you get to work from rest instead of resting from work.  In this peaceful place, real desires can really begin to manifest rather than be forcefully taken.

And we cannot be honest unless we recognize that we have to live in the world etsi deus non daretur [as if God did not exist].
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison, 360-361)

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