Michael Meade tells a story about a boy orphaned from his community who must find his way back, a journey that reveals threads of fate and destiny. Meade suggests that we all have orphaned parts of ourselves that are needed when we are feeling lost, disempowered or rejected and are trying to awaken to the dream of our life. He describes how genius hides behind our wounds and how the awakening energies in our life can be found within the rejected aspects of ourselves. Seen this way, we don’t transform to be another person, we transform by bringing into awareness parts of ourselves that could not be present earlier in our life.
This episode begins with a poem about how easy it is to become lost in this world, in this time of conflict and growing darkness. On the eve of Solstice, Michael Meade takes the image of darkness and light and weaves it through a consideration of holidays and holy days, Christmas trees and the Tree of Life. The word solstice means “sun stands still”, and Meade elaborates the moment of standing still as a way for people to connect with each other and reconnect to the essence of life and the moment when light returns to the world from the depths of darkness.
Michael Meade reports on the increase of isolation and loneliness in the world and comments on the new cabinet post in England entitled “The Minister of Loneliness.” He contrasts the old ideas of having genuine “friends of the soul” with the modern sense of “friending” people online. He then draws on ancient traditions from India, Ireland and Mexico to illustrate the importance of having “soul friends who nourish the inner spirit and true aim of each other’s lives.”
Michael Meade responds to the current international climate talks and recent alarming reports on climate change by turning to the old teaching story of the blind men who encounter an elephant. In this case, the elephant represents the overwhelming challenge of global warming and climate change that can make any of us feel numb, blind and helpless. After considering some of the literal problems, Meade turns to the psychological dilemmas that accompany the huge challenges we face and then takes the issue to a deeper level of myth and imagination in order to find new ways of seeing the crisis and envisioning ways forward.