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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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Now displaying: November, 2020
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.

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