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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: October, 2021
Oct 27, 2021

This episode of Living Myth offers a reflection on time and timelessness and the deep understandings behind ancient rituals that marked the beginning of the dark season of the year.

To be modern means to be lost and running out of time; to be careening towards an uncertain future and increasingly dislodged from the past. Originally, time was not simply linear, but an alteration of darkness and light, of night and day, like ocean tides that swing to and fro over the body of the earth. Once separated from the tides and lunar cycles, time began to march on rather than flow.

Having lost any connection to the eternal, time becomes a process of loss, a losing proposition, wherein each passing moment simply disappears, lost forever, dismissed by the next moment as time floods faster and faster, with no hint, much less a promise of any redemption.

As we approach the time of turning the clock back a single hour, what we really need is to turn back far enough to touch timeless things again. That's what ancient people used to do at the beginning of the dark time of the year. Since darkness was there at the very beginning, turning to darkness meant returning to the moment when light appeared and time began.

Between the light half the year and the beginning of the dark half, there fell a timeless moment, a little drop of eternity that could begin the next cycle of life. That's what was hidden in the darkness, an unlimited space, a moment of dark gestation that was able to renew time and revitalize life again. So, people would turn to the mystery of darkness and to timeless rituals whenever the earth grew dark again.

Not turning the clock back an hour, but turning people’s imagination all the way back to the beginning of time to touch the mystery of darkness turning into light and of death turning back into life. The dark season was when the spiritual world became more visible to humans. Darkness shaped the doorway to the Otherworld which opened wide as the spirits and the soul of the dead mingled with the presence of the living.

That was the origin of Samhain (sawain), the remains of which people now call Halloween. We see wispy remnants of the ancient connections between the dead and the living in the costumes of children dressed as ghosts or skeletons or even the Walking Dead on Halloween night. We can see it with greater clarity in the bone memories and intense creations of Dia de los Muertos. Celebrations of the Day of the Dead go back over 3000 years in Mexico and Central America and now appear, seemingly revitalized, in North America. As if some ancient understanding is trying to catch up to us and reconnect us to the mysteries of darkness and light, to a deeper sense of life and death and timelessness.  

Ancient peoples from around the world saw death, not simply as a dead end, but also as part of the continuous, indelible cycle of the renewal of life. Even now, the sense of the light hidden in darkness remains so close that it takes but a moment to connect to the ancient mysteries. Simply allowing the movement of sorrow in the heart and in the body can open the doorway between the worlds. The simple act of accepting loss can connect us to the “dark interval” where light and shadow, life and death become reconciled as the song goes on, resonant in us, beautiful in the earth, tender in the sorrow of songs and in the dreams that keep pouring timelessness into each moment of life on earth.

 

You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online workshop “Healer, Mentor, Elder, Guide” on Saturday, November 13.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.  You can save 30% on this workshop 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.

 

We’d love to hear your feedback on the podcast.  You can leave a review wherever you listen or send a question or comment to info@mosaicvoices.org. 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.

Oct 20, 2021

On this episode, Michael Meade responds to elements of nihilism when it comes to the future of human life on earth and to pretentious claims of individual freedom that are not based in an awakening of individual souls. Meade uses an ancient Mayan story to make a defense of the gift of life that makes each soul born both unique and gifted and aimed at something meaningful.

 

“False demands for freedom and liberty are a substitute for genuinely seeking a unity of self intended to be found within. The real courage to seek freedom is connected to the sense that something is trying to be revealed in each soul born, in each child going to school and in each of us trying to awaken.

 

This deeper education of the soul has always been the root of the effort of learning; the attempt to bring each girl, each boy to the point of awakening to their inner nature and the gifts they were given at birth. That is the universal birthright and the deeper root of freedom; not simply the freedom from, but the freedom to be part of creation, to be part of a genuine awakening, rather than a faux revolution.”

 

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 355 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all online events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month. 

 

Learn more and join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, we appreciate you 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.

Oct 13, 2021

This episode of Living Myth begins with a dream of being in the waters of uncertainty that leads to a discourse on ancient understandings of the necessity of entering and crossing the river of life.

 

“We are all standing on the banks of the great river of life as it floods with energies of disruption and change. In the course of time, the river shifts and the ground shifts, and new crossing places must be found, as the common world begins to drain of meaning, beauty and wonder. In that sense, it is not just the shared facts of the daily world that have been lost, but also something much greater, a deep connection to the source of life has been lost again.

 

The uncertainty of life has risen, and the future of the planet is severely at risk. Like ancient peoples, we must find a fording place from which to depart and find our way across to the other shore and a different view of this world. The other shore has been called by many names, the Far Bank, the Mystic Reach, the Dreamtime, all reflections from the living waters of the stream of life.”

 

“We cannot make the crossing to a healthier, more whole world simply by new inventions or just by adopting solutions from the past. It is the creative efforts of the old makers which we must emulate, not an imitation of the way that they are said to have gone, but rather a creative effort of our own that reveals the way we are intended to go. We must face the river of life, find our own reflections in the troubled waters, and make the crossing anew.”

 

“Finding genuine solutions requires a dissolution of fixed attitudes and collective delusions that restrict us from swimming in the waters of change and renewal. In this alchemy of “solutio”, what is not worth saving becomes dissolved as we find the deeper self in our own souls.

 

The ego fears that it will die or disappear in the deep waters, but the soul knows that any descent in life can be a baptism that can return us to the full potential at the origin of our lives, back there at the beginning, down there near the source, where the underlying unity of the deep self waits to be found and be touched again.”

 

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 350 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all online events, courses and products and receive bonus episodes each month. 

 

Learn more and join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

We appreciate you leaving a review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player 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.

Oct 6, 2021

On this episode, Michael Meade begins with the mythic idea that the fateful event of being wounded early in life creates the need for a deep healing process that also becomes the path of awakening for each person.

 

Here on Earth, everything is a little wounded, a little broken or cracked. Ancient artists often placed a defect in their creative work to honor the necessary imperfections of life on Earth. In making earthenware, they left an area unglazed or allowed a small crack to be seen. The imperfection in the vessel made each piece a one of a kind creation, never to be repeated and all the more valuable because of that.

 

Human beings are also vessels for the energy of creation and for the energy of healing. So each soul carries, and at critical times, exhibits an inner defect or sacred affliction. This necessary wound makes us truly human, a little cracked, a little weird. For, we must be cracked enough for the eternal to find a way in and for the dream of life to find a way out.

 

The point has never been to become perfect or be completely healed. The point has always been to become holy, meaning complete with our vulnerabilities and our wounds. Thus, the old saying was that the afflicted are holy.

 

Accepting how we are wounded leads to recognizing that our personal wound is also the archetypal wound. Facing the ways we are wounded opens us to parts of ourselves that are not wounded, but are in fact gifted. Without the pretensions of invulnerability, we become wounded healers and thus able to find medicine within ourselves and bring it to the suffering world.

 

You can hear Michael Meade talk more about the wounded healer by joining his online workshop “Waking the Inner Healer” on October 9.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. 

 

You can save 30% on these events 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, we appreciate you 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.

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