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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: March, 2021
Mar 31, 2021

This episode begins with the idea that the task of finding symbols and stories through which we discover the meaning of our lives is as old as human consciousness. In that sense, Carl Jung was rediscovering ancient knowledge when he wrote: “What we are in our inward vision can only be expressed by way of myth. Each human life is…like a plant that lives from its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in that root.”

 

In response to a time of great crisis in his life Jung realized that an inner myth was trying to become conscious and that he had to awaken to it: “I took it upon myself to get to know my myth and I regarded this as the task of all tasks.”

 

Since collective mythologies no longer generate a sense of existential meaning and coherence, turning inward in search of our own mythic story becomes essential for our health and psychic growth. By tapping the inner mythic root, we can develop a more conscious and creative relationship with our own deep self and soul; but also find our unique way of contributing to a world in crisis.

 

As was the case with Jung, our personal myth or inner story tries to surface each time we feel we are in a crisis or at a turning point. If we allow the inside story of the soul to awaken and guide us, we become the living word trying to enter the world though us. Like Jung on his radical path of self-discovery and mythic recovery, we are repeatedly being called to find and learn the personal myths trying to be born from our own souls.

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade speak more about personal myth by joining his new online series and companion workshop “Personal Myth, Cultural Change” that begin this Friday, April 2. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on these online events, 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.

Mar 24, 2021

A wise old idea states that whatever we refuse to face within ourselves, will become a collective fate acted out in the world. The conflicts within people do not simply disappear; rather, when denied or left unattended they eventually erupt and can wreak great havoc on society. Tragically, it is our mutual fate to be alive when a maelstrom of issues long denied erupts into our lives at the same time.

 

It becomes increasingly clear that conventional ways of looking at life, not to mention contemporary practices in politics, are bereft of any capacity to genuinely respond to the onslaught of violence and the weight of personal and collective tragedies we are experiencing. No amount of data or information can add up to the wisdom needed to understand, much less interrupt the flood of violence and tragedy.

 

An old proverb advises that we can only go as far forward as we can reach back. When we lose our way we must backtrack to pick up the pathway again. Michael Meade reaches back to ancient ways of wisdom to find threads of meaning and coherence that might shed some light on the darkening shadows of violence and ignorance that threaten modern societies.

 

When things become stuck, when it seems that life has lost all sense of meaning, when we have lost our collective sense of direction, something dangerously crosswise has fallen over us. At that point, what we are waiting for is not simple knowledge or minor legislation; what we are waiting for is a return of wisdom, the kind of deep understanding that waits to awaken in the depths of the soul.

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade speak more about myth by joining his new online series and companion workshop “Personal Myth, Cultural Change” that begin on Friday, April 2. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on these online events, 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.

Mar 17, 2021

This episode begins with the idea that an individual word can be like a story that has both history and mystery within it. Michael Meade tracks the meanings of enlightenment from an original sense of “anything that might remove dimness or blindness” to concepts of mystical illumination and spiritual liberation.

 

On the historical level, the period termed The Enlightenment, which set out to shine the light of reason on everything wound up discovering the enormity of darkness as seen in the discovery of “dark matter,” “dark energy,” and “black holes” in the universe. On the cultural level, Enlightenment ideas about the “sovereignty of reason” over all human endeavors and over nature as well, can be seen to contribute greatly to the current period of “endarkenment.”

 

Turning to the mythic level, Michael Meade tells an ancient tale of a young seeker eagerly trying to solve the human dilemma and enter enlightenment as soon as possible. A wise old teacher points out that what we seek with all our feverish searching must first be found in the darkness within ourselves, in the inside story where the hidden light of self and soul waits to be revealed and brought to life.

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade speak more about myth by joining his new online series and companion workshop “Personal Myth, Cultural Change” that begin on Friday, April 2. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on these online events, 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.

Mar 10, 2021

There are parallels between the flowers of spring breaking through the hard ground of a long winter and rising expectations for a return to familiar ways of life as the pandemic appears to be waning. Yet, Michael Meade suggests that the message borne by spring flowers involves much more than a simple return to how things used to be.

In mythological terms, creation is ever ongoing as nature continually presents the essential mystery of life renewing itself from the haunts of death. In terms of that ageless story, we are being invited to participate in a return to the original potential that was there at the beginning and continually becomes present again. This greater invitation involves the blossoming of our own souls as well as a potential renewal of culture.

In Greek myths, Eros was the first born deity, there at the very beginning, but also present again at the beginning of any new project or meaningful change in life. Eros is the archetypal presence of longing and attraction, the primal energy of connection, the secret glue that holds everything together. Eros is the power that connects each of our souls with the living, breathing soul of the world.

Eros is also the connective tissue in social life and all relationships. When this soulful sense of instinctive connection and compassion declines, people turn against each other and life itself is diminished. When we lose our natural sense of longing for beauty and truth and being present to the wonder of creation, we become as if dead to the world.

It is our collective fate to live at a time of both tragedy and transformation. It is our mutual calling, not simply to return to the world as we knew it, but to become part of a genuine renewal, a flowering of imagination and a recreation of the sense that we are all connected and part of the mystery and the ongoing creation of life on earth.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast. You can hear Michael live by joining a free online Q&A tomorrow, March 11 at 5:00 pm (PST).  Check out our Facebook event page for details. 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. 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.

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.

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