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Living Myth

Mosaic presents Living Myth, a podcast with Michael Meade, renowned mythologist and storyteller. Meade presents mythic stories that offer uniquely insightful and wise ways of understanding the current dilemmas of the world we live in. Living Myth proposes that genuine solutions to the complex and intractable problems of our world require both transcendent imagination and cohering, transformative narratives.
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Mar 3, 2021

This episode of Living Myth begins with a consideration of the old idea of two arcs that shape the course of human life. The first arc describes the process of growing up, stepping out and making a life in the common world. The second arc involves the inward path through which a person awakens to their inner life and develops a greater sense of both spirit and soul. Whereas the first arc has to do with external things, the second arc involves eternal matters.

 

Humans have always been called to grow along both the outer and the inner arcs of life. Yet, there are times when the crises of the outer world make the inward arc of realization and great imagination more important to follow.

 

Despite the modern obsessions with materialism, mass technology and narrow ideologies, a society can only heal and truly grow by tapping the deep feelings and creative energies of the inner arc of life. When everything seems to be falling apart, the inner arc of imagination and creativity is actually closer at hand and the second adventure of the soul is calling for our attention.

 

Thank you for listening to and support ting this podcast. You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 300 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month. 

 

You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, you can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Feb 24, 2021

In this episode of Living Myth, Michael Meade considers the familiar notion of paradigm shifts as inadequate for envisioning ways to deal with the worldwide crises we all face. Paradigm is an old Greek word that refers to a “pattern or model” and the common usage of paradigm shift involves replacing an old pattern or model with a newer and therefore better one.

 

What began as a theory of how scientific revolutions occur has for the past fifty years been applied to everything from social movements and business plans, to education, ecology and beyond. What has typically been overlooked is that the inspiration for the theory paradigm shifts came from psychological studies of growth spurts in children.

 

Meade turns the consideration of cultural change back to depth psychology and mythology where another old Greek word can bring a greater sense of imagination to modern crises. Archetype, like paradigm, refers to patterns and models. However, archetypes are the original patterns from which all subsequent models derive; as such they can have a powerful effect on human thinking, beliefs and behaviors.

 

Whereas the sense of a paradigm shift would simply have the old be replaced with the new, the deeper sense of archetype involves new patterns arising from the ancient and original sources of creation. When activated, archetypes connect the ancient and universal forces of life with the immediate issues of the world. When transformation is needed at all levels of nature and culture, it is time to tap back into the endless potential of the origins of life in order to truly change things going forward.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade speak more about archetypes and inner sources of renewal, by joining his ongoing live series “Hidden Abundance” that continues this Friday, Feb. 26. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on this series, receive additional podcast episodes and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Learn more and join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, you can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Feb 17, 2021

Throughout history, epidemics and plagues have stirred deep levels of distrust and fear that have, in turn, thrown entire cultures into upheaval. The current pandemic seems to be a perfect storm of fear that permeates all areas of society and exposes deep divisions as well as wild extremes.

 

This episode of Living Myth begins with an old teaching story that reveals the many levels of fear that can affect each of us individually and all of us collectively. Michael Meade uses the old tale to show that how we respond to fear determines whether we become more wise or else more foolish, become more centered or more extreme and unbalanced.

 

Eventually, it becomes necessary to realize that what we fear will not simply go away; rather we must face our fears or else become overwhelmed. It is important to know that the hidden aim of fear is not “fight or flight,” but rather the revelation of untapped inner resources that are trying to awaken in each of us. Healthy fear involves an increase of consciousness that stirs deep instincts and intuitions that can be life-protective, life-saving and life enhancing. In critical times, the greatest safety can be found in becoming wise enough to take the right risk.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online series “Hidden Abundance” that continues this Friday, Feb. 19. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on this series, receive additional podcast episodes and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, you can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Feb 10, 2021

This episode of Living Myth begins with the plight of immature clown fish that increasingly become doomed to drift aimlessly at sea because they cannot hear the soundscape of coral reefs calling them home. The call to refuge is interrupted by the extreme volume of man-made noise that now pervades the oceans of the world. Michael Meade considers how the cycle of life for humans also becomes broken by the volume of noise, disinformation and distractions of the modern world.

 

For humans, the soundscape of home can be imagined as the call of the knowing self within, which has often been depicted as a golden fish waiting to be found. Despite all that separates, isolates and overwhelms us, the profound “soundscape of humanity” continues to call us to awaken to a greater sense of self. Even as the world suffers a scarcity of truth and meaning, and a loss of humane inclusion and understanding, there is an inner abundance and a sense of refuge waiting to be found in the depths of each human soul.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online series “Hidden Abundance” that begins on Friday, Feb. 12. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. You can save 30% on this series, receive additional podcast episodes and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth. As always, you can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

 

On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Feb 3, 2021

This episode of Living Myth begins in the year AD 96 on a remote island in the Aegean Sea. It was a period of great cultural upheaval, similar to the times in which we now live. Like the present era, extreme beliefs and conspiracy theories were battling with the dominant political systems and traditional religious values.

 

While in exile on the island, a man who came to be known as John of Patmos recorded a series of radical visions and prophecies about the impending “end of days.” The fiery text began with an old Greek word, apocalypse and the narrative became known as the Book of Revelation.

 

John had been exiled for rabble-rousing and preaching both revolution and revelation. While in isolation he wove threads of old apocalyptic stories with his own wild visions and prophecies of The End. Although many believed those prophecies at the time, the fiery end of the world never came. To this day however, when people are faced with upheaval and uncertainty the old images of apocalypse stir again, wild visions arise, and fantastic theories abound.

 

The ideas and the images of a final drama between the forces of good and evil leading to a fiery end of everything is deeply embedded in the human psyche. The problem way back then, which has become an increasingly mainstream issue now, is that people take literally what appears metaphorically and would be better understood psychologically.

 

Michael Meade shows how understanding the deeper sense of the “archetype of apocalypse” reveals how the world as we know it does come to an end. Yet, as has happened time and again, the world also becomes restored. The message of renewal turns out to be an essential component of radical change and a critical issue for understanding revelation here on earth.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online series “Hidden Abundance” that begins on Friday, Feb. 12. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. You can save 30% on this series, receive additional podcast episodes and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, you can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

 

On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Jan 27, 2021

This episode of Living Myth focuses upon two contrasting meanings of myth, one being a false narrative and the other as a genuine myth. On one level, myth involves things that can be proven false as when people say that something is “just a myth.”  On a deeper, more meaningful level, myth means “emergent truth,” the learning of transcendent truths that can alter both our vision of the world and our immediate understanding of life.

 

Both the false myth and the genuine myth use the elements of narrative and symbolism to present their core stories. One difference between them is that false myths aim to divide people and turn them against each other, while more universal myths reveal underlying truths that serve to bring people together through greater imagination and deeper understanding.

 

In many ways, we are in the crux of a growing tension between the two levels and contrasting meanings of myth. The current moment involves the coming together of dangerous false myths in the form of the Big Lie and the Lost Cause. The Big Lie involves the false story line that Donald Trump won the recent election, only to have it stolen from him. The Lost Cause involves the weaving together of false narratives about the reasons for the Civil War with symbols of Christianity and the false myth of White Supremacy.

 

Those who commit to a big lie or a false myth can rarely be persuaded by the “facts of the matter.” Their commitment is not based on facts; almost the opposite, the blind belief at the core of false myths is based upon a determination not to experience a common reality. Thus, the antidote to the big lie or a false myth involves not just the facts, but the evocation of more enduring and inclusive narratives and symbols of unity and renewal that are the deepest heritage of our shared humanity.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 290 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.  As always, you can further support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

 

On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being, protection and deep community connection during this period of great challenge and transformation.

Jan 21, 2021

This episode of Living Myth begins with the roots of the word inauguration, which Michael Meade traces back to “an installation and consecration” that happens when the “omens are favorable.” In ancient times, the date for an investiture would only be chosen after signs indicated an auspicious moment for a new beginning.

 

The modern world runs on fixed schedules that typically ignore the subtleties of omens and auguries, leaving us looking for auspicious signs within pre-scripted programs. When it comes to inaugurating a new administration amidst a tragic pandemic and widespread uncertainty, the signs and symbols may have enhanced importance.

 

Beginning with the words "to heal, we must remember," Meade reflects upon the memorial ritual held the night before the formal inauguration began. The symbolic lighting of 400 lamps to honor the loss of over 400,000 souls to the coronavirus presented the kind of healing moment the soul of the nation needs. For many ancient people, the moments “between sundown and dusk” were considered auspicious and symbolic of a time when one thing can turn into another. In that sense, acknowledging our shared losses and wounds makes a path to healing more possible. In the end, what brings us together and makes unity possible is not simply our shared history, but rather the recognition of our shared woundedness and the stirring of the deep longing in each human soul to find healing and pathways to wholeness and renewal.
 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 290 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you and your loved ones continued well-being, protection and deep community connection during this period of great challenge, change and transformation.

Jan 13, 2021

Beginning with an inspired interpretation of The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats, Michael Meade addresses how “anarchy was loosed upon the world” and “what rough beast” came round in the violent insurrection at the U.S. capital. Besides the sea of red MAGA hats and the rag tag array of military outfits and gear, the riotous display of symbols emblazoned on flags, banners and clothing bespoke a confusion and collusion of movements and purposes.

 

As the lines between fans and fanatics, between anger and madness were obliterated, one message that did come through was that we have now entered a more desperate, dangerous phase of collective life.

 

Meade states that: “Anyone who understands the deep human need for meaning and truth could intuitively know that attacking truth must eventually lead to attacking life itself. Facing this kind of zealotry, fanaticism and terrorism requires understanding the psychological dynamics of dissociation from one's regular identity and possession by unconscious resentments and floods of raw emotion.”

 

Something is trying to be born, but it cannot be born of false certitude or blindly blaming others for troubles we all share. It cannot be born of hate or abject cruelty.  It cannot be born of terrorizing people or destroying the symbols of democracy.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 285 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you and your loved ones continued well-being, protection and deep community connection during this period of great challenge, change and transformation.

Jan 8, 2021

“An old psychological idea states that if we do not consciously face our inner conflicts, then those conflicts will be lived out in the world as fate.” Michael Meade considers the recent riot in the nation’s capital, the fragility of our institutions and the growing tragedy of coronavirus fatalities as elements of a collective fate that we must witness. If many of the roots of our collective conflicts and traumas can be traced through history, Meade proposes that the way to both survive the current disorders and help heal our many wounds requires turning to mythology for wisdom and guiding images.

 

This episode of Living Myth ends with an appeal from a wise American poet: “…though we could fool each other. We should consider less the parade of our mutual lives gets completely lost in the dark. It is important for awake people to stay awake, or a breaking line may discourage us all back to sleep. The signals we give each other yes, no, or maybe should be clear. For the darkness around us is deep.”
 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 285 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

On behalf of all of us at Mosaic, we wish you the touch of grace, the sense of gratitude and shared moments of wholeness in this new year.  We are grateful for the work you do in the world and for your interest in and support of our work.

Dec 30, 2020

On this replay of a New Year’s podcast, Michael Meade begins an exploration of the myths of creation and tales of re-creation that allow time to renew and the world to begin again.  Any serious consideration of creation must also include the energies of chaos that continually dissolve and disintegrate  what creation establishes in the world.  An ancient story from India describes the “two hands of creation” through which the world recreates itself from emptiness  as well as from abundance, from sorrow as well as joy and from despair as well as wonder. 

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 285 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

On behalf of all of us at Mosaic, we wish you the touch of grace, the sense of gratitude and shared moments of wholeness.  We are grateful for the work you do in the world and for your interest in and support of our work.

Dec 22, 2020

This episode, a replay of a popular episode from a few years ago, begins with a Native American story of the origin of healing rituals.  In telling the tale Michael Meade emphasizes a remarkable point in the story when knowledge, healing and songs all enter the world at the same time.  The songs become central elements in the original healing ritual which brings those that are sick or wounded to the center of the community.  Having established the importance of healing songs, Meade introduces an excerpt from Mosaic’s recording “A Song is a Road”.  The podcast concludes with a chorus singing a song of praise and gratitude to the healing energy of the Earth.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 285 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

On behalf of all of us at Mosaic, we wish you the touch of grace, the sense of gratitude and shared moments of wholeness.  We are grateful for the work you do in the world and for your interest in and support of our work.

Dec 16, 2020

This episode of Living Myth begins with a review of how cosmology used to refer to all of the ways that humans could imagine the creation of the world and the subtle connections of the human soul to the living cosmos. “As above, so below” is the ancient mantra that places humankind in the middle of the cosmic story as an essential link in the chain of being. As individuals we may properly feel frail and small; yet we belong to more than one dimension of life. And the dark time of the year is the traditional time to recall the interconnection between each of our souls and the starry universe around us.

 

The word solstice means the “sun stands still” and ancient people imagined that the extremes of darkness harbored a timeless moment of stillness as the sun seems to stop just in time before the gloom becomes too great to recover from. Traditional cultures all over the world imagined that the midwinter sun needed conscious help from human beings in order to turn things around and bring back the light.

 

These are not simply the dark days of winter; but the dark times for everyone; especially for those who truly care for the souls of other people, and for the well-being of the sacred earth we all live upon. Even as we can feel more physically separated from each other, and just when we can feel even more frail and small in the face of all the worldwide troubles we face, there may be no better time to light a candle, make a prayer, find a song to sing in the midst of the darkness, in order to help bring the light back.

 

In facing the darkness together in a spiritual sense and in the ancient way, we can also find again and realign with the divine spark of life we each carry. For the soul has its own inner light and each soul is secretly connected to the song of the earth, to the Soul of the World, and to the indelible spark of life and light that can only be found in the darkest hours and the darkest times.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael talk more about solstice by joining his free live online solstice ritual “In This Darkness Singing” that takes place this Sunday, December 20 at 6:00 pm (PST). Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. You can receive additional podcast episodes and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you and your loved ones continued well-being, protection and deep community connection during this period of great challenge, change and transformation.

Dec 9, 2020

This episode of Living Myth recounts the process of shaping a ritual in the high desert to bring healing and unity to a painfully divided group of younger and older people. Making analogies to our currently divided culture, Michael Meade sets the scene: “In the realm of myth, as in the territories of ritual, there are no accidents. So, this story of feeling exiled and being lost, of feeling victimized and caught in resentments doesn't appear accidentally. It appears because at this time I feel aspects of my own inner exile, and because so many people are trying to figure out how to reach across the current divide to those on the other side.”

 

Stating that there can be no simple or clever solutions for that kind of problem, Meade turns to the old idea of being wounded healers. “I imagine that if we're going to turn out to be wounded healers who help each other find unity, we're going to have to find both stories and rituals that allow us to honestly feel and truly express the ways in which we are all wounded and feel exiled. For, only in places of deep sharing and mutual compassion can we find ourselves all in the same story, and in the age-old ritual of painfully uncovering the wounds, speaking the truth from those wounded places, and then allowing the beauty of the world, and the healing powers of nature to set us back on the paths of our dreams.”

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade talk more about myth and ritual by joining his new online series “The Arc of Transformation” that continues this Friday, Dec. 11. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. You can save 30% on this series, receive additional podcast episodes and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you and your loved ones continued well-being, protection and deep community connection during this period of great challenge, change and transformation.

Dec 2, 2020

This episode of Living Myth focuses on the idea that sharing stories is at the heart of any relationship. The word relate comes from Latin roots meaning “to carry back, to report, to tell.” From ancient times humans have related by carrying stories back to each other. When we stop sharing the heartfelt tales of our life experiences, we can lose the essence of our relationships.

 

Through mythic stories we learn to relate to the deepest parts of ourselves, while also reconnecting to the realm of great imagination and universal truths. Mythic tales can release us from the prison of time and carry us all the way back, past invisible thresholds, to the creation of the world and the origins of human life.

 

Ancient peoples used creation tales to stay in relationship to the mysteries of nature and the hidden potentials of life. If we forget our connection to mythic stories, we can lose essential understandings of how the world renews itself and how we can be agents of creation ongoing.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online series “The Arc of Transformation” that begins this Friday, Dec. 4. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. You can save 30% on this series, receive additional podcast episodes and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

On behalf of all of us at Mosaic, we wish you the touch of grace, the sense of gratitude and shared moments of wholeness.  We are grateful for the work you do in the world and for your interest in and support of our work.

Nov 25, 2020

This episode of Living Myth begins with an ancient Mayan myth about the first human ancestors being shaped from corn. Far from being random creatures, humans were created to bring missing ingredients to the world. The missing ingredients included: a conscious awareness of the wonder of creation, a sense of gratitude and thankfulness, and a potential for imagination and genuine vision.

 

Central to the role of humans was the capacity to be thankful for the gift of life.  Thus, people all over the earth have created ceremonies and practices of gratitude and thanksgiving. Yet, in this year, when so many things have gone upside down, the idea of gathering people for a Thanksgiving event can turn out to be a kind of reverse ceremony. In the upside-down world, coming together to feel a sense of connection and thankfulness can wind up having unintended consequences.

 

The idea of giving thanks and the word thankfulness come from the old root word, grazia, which gives us gratitude, as well as grace. In that sense, what we seek in giving thanks are moments of gratitude that can bring a sense of grace back into the world. And this can happen in small ways that do not require large gatherings, an abundance of food, or any pretension that everyone might agree on life's great issues.

 

More than ever, we need occasions of grace and gratitude, however small they may be. We need moments of wholeness to rekindle our spirits and to ease our souls. We need to feel that life, despite all the existing divisions and heated conflicts remains a holy place, a place where healing remains possible.

 

When the world keeps turning upside down, it can be time to look and feel deeper inside in order to find the people and aspects of life that we are most grateful for. Sometimes that's all we need to do in order to reconnect to and contribute to the holiness of life. In doing that, we can ease the burden of our own hearts; we can also connect to the original sense of humanity and enable more grace to enter the world.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online series “The Arc of Transformation” that begins on Friday, Dec. 4. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. You can save 30% on this series, receive additional podcast episodes and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

On behalf of all of us at Mosaic, we wish you the touch of grace, the sense of gratitude and shared moments of wholeness.  We are grateful for the work you do in the world and for your interest in and support of our work.

Nov 18, 2020

This episode begins with the anguish of a caring nurse tending to a person dying of Covid-19 who continues to deny, while at death’s very door, that the pandemic even exists. “This is tragic in ways that we couldn't anticipate,” Michael Meade laments. “This is tragedy of a different order, a combination of blind belief and life-draining denial.” No wonder that many ask how we can ever find healing when people increasingly believe that they live in different worlds?

 

Using a combination of ancient ideas and cogent poems, Meade addresses the issues of deadly denial and hidden grief in America and the spiritual, emotional chasm that continues to divide the country in half.

 

“If everyone would acknowledge the loss and the grief that is under the surface of the conflict, hatred and division, there could be a melting of all that polarizes, denies and rejects. There would be a falling into the depths of humanity, where sorrow, grief and tears can wash away those things that are deadly and need to be relinquished. We might then realize how much we are all in this together, not in some naive way, but in the old way of understanding that we are all walking the road of life and death together.”

 

Ultimately, grief turns out to be a vital element in life, a form of inner medicine that not only shapes the heart, but also opens it and makes us more genuinely human.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his upcoming live series that will begin on Friday, Dec. 4. Info and registration will be announced in the next few days. You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 280 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

You can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Nov 11, 2020

This episode of Living Myth begins with the confusion and fears developing from the difficulty of finding a peaceful transition after the recent election. Trust in institutions and political process has eroded to the point where people with opposing views feel that they are living in opposite worlds. While most agree that the truth can set us free, it becomes ever more difficult to find what that truth might be.

 

What for many modern people can seem like a flood of falsehoods and a baffling plague of conspiracy theories might have been seen by Socrates as a collapse of imagination that leads to the “lie in the soul.” The lie in the soul is an untruth taken into the core of a person’s life, where it becomes treated as truth. This was considered the most dangerous kind of lie because of its destructive effect on both the individual’s core and the community’s soul.

 

Perhaps surprisingly, Socrates proposed that the antidote to mistruths and misconceptions can be found, not simply in asserting the facts, but in a notion that translates as the “noble lie.” The noble lie can best be understood as stories that are not literal or historical, but are foundational for understanding humanity and essential for reestablishing universal truths.

 

In this old way of seeing, myths and creative arts were considered to be lies that reveal truths that otherwise can remain hidden. In other words, the kind of truth that can heal is found through acts of creativity and imagination not through facts and data gathered to make a point.

 

The symbols and metaphors of myth and the creative arts do not simply open our eyes, they open our imagination and thereby allow us to see the world anew. When the world becomes increasingly divided and it becomes more difficult to separate the deeper truths from the big lies, the point becomes not simply political resolution, but also a greater awakening to the underlying unity and inner truths of life.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining a free Q&A this Friday, November 13 at 5pm (PST). This monthly Living Myth Q&A session has been limited to members of our Living Myth Premium podcast. Because of the recent election, and subsequent changes in the cultural and political landscape, we want to open this live event to everyone interested in mythic imagination and the genuine transformation of culture and nature at this time.

Join us by using the Zoom Webinar ID: 868 8129 2158 and entering the password: meade (all lowercase).

 

You can join future monthly Q&A events and support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

You can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Nov 6, 2020

The most common explanation for why we find ourselves caught in an increasing tension between opposing forces is that “we live in a deeply divided country.” After all the talk about flipping red states to blue or blue states to red, when the dust settles, the political map reflects a continuing division throughout the country.

 

Recorded whiles votes are still being counted in battleground states, Michael Meade considers deeper reasons why so many things tend to polarize in these troubled times. A surprising report on the growing separation between the layers of water in the world’s oceans may shed light on the intense divisions we feel in so many areas of life at this time.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 270 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

You can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Oct 28, 2020

This episode begins with the ancient idea that human beings are the make-weights in the scales of time. That means that in critical moments humans can tip the scales of life in the direction of renewal rather than decline. The idea that every vote counts rests upon the idea that every life counts. And now, that rests upon the underlying idea that everything is interconnected. Michael Meade considers how the set of worldwide crises we all face makes the voting process part of tipping the scales of time as well as the scales of justice. He talks about the politics of democracy versus autocracy; but does so in the context of psychology and mythology. Sometimes a vote is more than a preference. Sometimes a vote is more like a prayer or a pledge to help life change and heal and renew.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 270 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

You can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Oct 21, 2020

This episode begins with a puzzle set before the lead officials and counsellors of a royal court in ancient India. The key to solving the puzzle turns out to be an active use of imagination that shifts the level of viewing the problem. Michael Meade uses a similar shift of perspective and understanding to consider the cascade of crises we all are affected by at this time. It is our mutual fate to be caught in the dilemmas of our times; yet the twists of fate are secretly connected to threads of destiny which can pull us to deeper understandings and unexpected solutions.

 

You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new 3-part series “Inner Wisdom: Finding Healing in a Divided World” that continues through Friday, October 23rd.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 270 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

You can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Oct 14, 2020

We live in a time when seemingly all possible conflicts and oppositions come crashing all around us. Each day leaves us more exposed to raw emotions and rocked by the harsh energies of life. The tragedies and calamities of this era leave us in the lurch of history as antagonisms harden into stone and life seems increasingly stuck.

 

In order to imagine ways to pass through the dire straits of these troubled times, Michael Meade turns to ancient myths which can offer a third way to see when we find ourselves caught between opposing ideas and hardened ideologies.

 

The old myth of Jason and the Argonauts includes the quest to recover the Golden Fleece, the symbol of justice, authentic authority and balance needed to bring peace back to the world. The tale also involves facing the famous obstacle of the clashing rocks that represent the danger of being crushed between the rocks and the hard places. The story illustrates that some greater imagination must be found, and something must be consciously sacrificed, or else more people will become unconsciously and unnecessarily sacrificed.

 

You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new 3-part series “Inner Wisdom: Finding Healing in a Divided World” that continues through Friday, October 23rd.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 270 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth.

Oct 7, 2020

Michael Meade takes up the theme of the little-self and the deeper self as way of understanding why people misuse power and what keeps people from changing. Meade uses the behavior of Donald Trump as a classic example of a person deluded by grandiosity and self-importance, while also being trapped by the shell and the spell of the little-self. “Fearful of being proven empty inside, the little-self tends to become more and more tyrannical as the anxiety of being exposed as a fraud grows greater and greater.”

 

By contrast, the deeper self within each person is the source of genuine strength, which naturally includes a capacity for empathy and compassion for the suffering of others. It is the deeper self within us that has the power to truly change and in times of crisis it tries to help us to rise to the occasion. When this truly knowing self takes charge, we find inner resources that could never be tapped by the little-self. At the same time, a surprising sense of peace can be experienced even in the midst of unsettling or chaotic circumstances.

 

You can hear Michael Meade speak more about the little self and the deep self as part of his new 3-part series “Inner Wisdom: Finding Healing in a Divided World” that begins on Friday, October 9th.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 270 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events with Michael Meade.  You can learn more and become a members at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

You can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Sep 30, 2020

The convergence of so many crises in the world can seem like gathering storms all headed to make landfall just as the shadows grow deeper, as the current election draws near, as we move into the dark time of the year.

 

No wonder psychologists increasingly worry about our mental health, as the collective psyche has experienced one devastating blow after another. By now, everyone's assumptions and expectations of the future are shattered. And increasingly the question becomes: how do we find refuge from the ever greater, gathering storms that threaten to engulf us all.

 

At times like this, everyone needs a healing image or saving grace, a safe haven or refuge from the storm. Turning to ancient myths, Michael Meade finds an old story that reveals forms of inner wisdom that can be awakened when the outer world becomes overwhelming.

 

It turns out that there is a little gap in time that is more than just the calm at the center of a storm. Rather, it is a still point in time through which life renews itself, at the level of the cosmos, at the level of the turning of seasons, and surprisingly at the level of the heart and soul of each living person.

 

You can join Michael Meade for his new 3-part series “Inner Wisdom: Finding Healing in a Divided World” beginning on Friday, October 9th.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events

 

You can support the podcast and receive additional content each month by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Members receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events, the full podcast archives of over 265 episodes and a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products.  Learn more and subscribe at patreon.com/livingmyth. 

 

You can further support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Sep 23, 2020

This episode begins with the contrast between logos and mythos, which the ancient Greeks considered the two primary ways of reporting on life’s events. If the power of logos is reason, the power of myth is imagination. The ideas of logos are supposed to clearly state the facts of the matter; while the narratives of mythos reveal underlying truths and what matters most to us.

 

Hypocrisy names a third form of narration that happens when people are not faithful to either the facts of logos or the truths of mythos. An old idea that suggests that hypocrisy can be more dangerous than crime. For when hypocrisy becomes habitual in the halls of power, crimes are being committed against the soul of the country.

 

Michael Meade uses an old myth to depict how the heights of hypocrisy can only lead to greater division and distrust in the body politic, and increasing tragedy and suffering in the hearts of the people.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his next online series “Inner Wisdom: Finding Healing in a Divided World” that begins on Friday, October 9.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events

 

You can support the podcast and receive additional content each month by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Members receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events, the full podcast archives of over 265 episodes and a 30% discount on all live events, courses and products.  Learn more and subscribe at patreon.com/livingmyth. 

 

You can further support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Sep 16, 2020

This episode begins with the wildfires burning across the Western U.S. and the smoke that obscures the sun and makes simply breathing hazardous. On top of all the political chaos, the economic collapse, and the worst pandemic in modern times, the wildfires create a kind of second quarantine as well as a “living hell” where entire towns are reduced to ashes. In order to gain both a psychological and mythological perspective on the issues of fire and the future, Michael Meade turns to ancient myths about how the mishandling of power on the part of misguided humans caused the sun to fall and set the earth on fire.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his next online series that will begin on Friday, October 9.  Series info and registration will be announced in  a few days.

 

You can support the podcast and receive additional content each month by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. A big thank you to everyone who has joined this growing community of supporters.  Members receive 3 bonus episodes each month, including regular live Q&A events, the full podcast archives of over 260 episodes and a 30% discount on all products, courses and live online events.  Learn more and subscribe at patreon.com/livingmyth. 

 

You can further support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

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