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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: August, 2023
Aug 30, 2023

This episode of Living Myth takes up the issue of deep inner fears that keep us from finding our way in life. Rapid changes in nature and culture cause an increasing loss of context in life and that gives rise to greater levels of fear, both collectively and individually. Typically, our inner patterns of fear derive from early life feelings of abandonment and from early experiences that suggest the world is too overwhelming for someone as insignificant as us.

 

Later in life we continue to harbor and live out our infantile fears. Whenever genuine change is required of us or being truly honest is necessary for us, our inner fears become like demons or hungry lions we must face. At opportune moments we can suddenly be overwhelmed by fears of feeling inadequate or fears of being ultimately abandoned and left alone. We become self-rejecting and self-abandoning unless we somehow face those fears and trust that something meaningful and valuable is trying to live through us.

 

For, it isn't simply that fear is in the way, it's more that fear is part of the way. What we fear most will not simply go away, because it indicates what we must go through in order to awaken, in order to become more genuine, in order to live more fully as ourselves. Ultimately, our greatest fears are connected to our deepest sense of self and the hidden purpose of fear involves accessing the deep resources of our own soul.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting Living Myth. You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online workshop “The Soul’s Great Adventure” on Saturday, September 23.

 

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. Members receive bonus episodes each month, access to the full archives of over 560 episodes and a 30% discount on all events, courses and book and audio titles.

 

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

 

If you enjoy this podcast, we appreciate you leaving a review wherever you listen and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you well during this challenging and uncertain times and thank you for your support of our work.

Aug 23, 2023

This episode brings a focus to the need for having a calling in life and the idea that as the world seems to fall apart there can be an acceleration of calling. The human heart carries an indelible expectation of being called to a greater sense of meaning and a revelation of our true aims in life. In the old sense of a rite of passage, the deeper point is not simply to grow up and take more responsibility in society, but rather to awaken to the story trying to unfold from within oneself. The point is to open up, to break out and to feel the feathers of the heart in full flight.

 

No one knows when an opening to spirit might come and change the trajectory of their life. Something as light as a feather, as bright as an idea or as fleeting as a dream comes into our life and essential aspects of our souls become revealed to us, at the same time that the mysteries of nature and the realms of spirit speak directly to us.

 

Without a calling we can feel lost throughout our lives. Without a genuine purpose, we can turn bitter, drifting without genuine passion and withering without the blessing of the spirit of life. Yet, the spirit of life within us does not age as we grow older. The inner genius continues to be on the verge of awakening and our calling keeps calling no matter what age we are, no matter what position or condition in life we may have. Because what calls to us is timeless, the calling can come at any time in life.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting Living Myth. You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Members receive bonus episodes each month, access to the full archives of over 560 episodes and a 30% discount on all events, courses and book and audio titles.

 

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

 

If you enjoy this podcast, we appreciate you leaving a review wherever you listen and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you well during this challenging and uncertain times and thank you for your support of our work.

Aug 16, 2023

This episode begins with the idea that at critical times all of life can just hang by a thread. Michael Meade then describes the ancient rites of passage that involved the “upavita” or thread of life.  The upavita was imagined as the red thread of passion that runs within the blood of every being. It was also envisioned as the green thread of existence that is dancing through the endless windings of the vegetal realm. Either way, it's the vine of eternity that secretly unites all living tendrils and embodied souls to the eternal web of life.    

 

When tied onto young people as part of a rite of passage, a red thread or cord indicated that each life is sacred and symbolized the capacity of each person to awaken to how and where they are threaded to the eternal chain of being. The upavita thread symbolically pulled each novice away from the concerns of daily life in order to connect them to something deep inside themselves that also connected them to something deep and enduring in the world.

 

At this troubled time on earth, when life itself seems to be unravelling, we are all in a collective rite of passage and need reminders that we are each secretly tied to the web of life in a meaningful way. We each have an inner thread of spirit or genius that connects us to a calling and a purpose that makes our lives meaningful, no matter what the conditions of the world might be.

 

The symbolic thread of life reminds us that we are all in this together; but also  that meaningful change comes from following the inner thread of imagination woven within us to begin with. Like initiates in ancient rites, we can follow our thread  and become messengers of the unseen, able to bring forth both ancient understandings and new ideas when everything seems to be hanging by a thread.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting Living Myth. You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Members receive bonus episodes each month, access to the full archives of over 560 episodes and a 30% discount on all events, courses and book and audio titles.

 

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

 

If you enjoy this podcast, we appreciate you leaving a review wherever you listen and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you well during this challenging and uncertain times and thank you for your support of our work.

Aug 9, 2023

This episode of Living Myth begins with the report on the increase of perfectionism in the world. Whether caused by comparisons found on social media or notions of meritocracy, young people especially suffer from perfectionism.  Beginning with the idea that something perfect is finished, and therefore closer to death than to life, Michael Meade turns our attention instead to the value of trouble. Not just any trouble, but the importance of getting into the right trouble, the kind of trouble intended to grow our souls. The right kind of trouble serves to awaken inner capacities we didn’t know we had and draws upon resources we didn’t know were there.  Recent studies in education indicate that the right kind of struggle makes all of us more resilient, creative and less anxious in general.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting Living Myth. You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Members receive bonus episodes each month, access to the full archives of over 550 episodes and a 30% discount on all events, courses and book and audio titles.

 

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

 

If you enjoy this podcast, we appreciate you leaving a review wherever you listen and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you well during this challenging and uncertain times and thank you for your support of our work.

Aug 2, 2023

This episode considers the record breaking heat waves that are currently plaguing many parts of the planet and how easily we can feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of worldwide crises.

 

“In radical times like this, great emotions can fall upon us in a similar way that massive storms and heat waves now settle over entire areas of a country. The overwhelming facts about disasters in the world around us can quickly become overwhelming emotions inside our individual psyches. We can suffer increasing levels of stress and anxiety, even if the place where we are living is not one of the hotspots in the moment.

 

Collective anxiety is a real thing that connects to our primal sense of fear, and like fear, anxiety can be contagious and spread. Over time, collective anxiety tends to exacerbate our sense of feeling insignificant and impotent in the face of radical changes in the world. How can a single, fragile person do anything to affect or change conditions that are so big and beyond our control?

 

The German word weltschmerz translates as “world pain” or “world weariness.” It carries the sense that while we feel inadequate in the face of world troubles, our individual pain is linked to the pain of the world. What troubles the world also troubles us and we don't have to be in tragic circumstances ourselves to feel how others are suffering.

 

We can be deeply affected by the pain and grief in the world because basic empathetic qualities are part of being human. We feel heightened levels of stress and worry when we see a loved one suffering, but also to some degree when a stranger is suffering or in fear. In terms of weltschmerz, we not only sympathize, but we can realize that all humans are inextricably linked to each other, and that each person's suffering easily could become our own suffering.

 

On a psychological level, we each have our own unique experiences of fear and anxiety that arose early in life, when we were in fact helpless in many ways. The trouble with emotions like fear and anxiety is that they don't simply go away. If they are ignored or denied, they tend to take up residence somewhere in the body. One way or another, we continue to carry our own sense of fear and anxiety about being left alone and being helpless in the face of things beyond our control.

 

In spite of some prevalent ideas, emotions turn out to be part of the natural dynamics intended to keep us awake and resilient in the face of ever changing conditions of life on Earth. Engaging with our deepest emotions turns out to be a necessary part of the transformations that need to happen both individually and collectively. Emotions are part of the great outflowing of life, without which we cannot truly live or meaningfully change and grow.

 

It is the role of feelings and emotions to reveal the inner stirrings of the human heart and soul. In that sense, emotions are the necessary and mysterious turbulence without which we cannot truly tell if we are alive or not. Emotions serve as a vital link between body and mind, between spirit and soul. They move us because they carry massive amounts of energy. And in that sense, emotions can be understood as messages coming from a deeper sense of self and soul within us. Thus, ignoring or repressing an emotion amounts to shooting the messenger and missing the message coming from the deeper self that knows what we need and how we must change.

 

The ancient idea that transformation is the aim of the soul rests upon the understanding that there is something essential within each of us that we can turn to, and continually learn from, that we can draw upon repeatedly and grow from continuously. When this knowing self within us becomes more conscious, a surprising sense of inner stability can be experienced, even amidst the chaotic circumstances of life. At the same time, inner resources previously unknown to us can become available.

 

And that's why ancient poets and thinkers could say, hold on to your particular pain and suffer your anxiety for those too can bring you in touch the inner spirit and knowing self that has been secretly present within you all along.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting Living Myth. You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Members receive bonus episodes each month, access to the full archives of over 550 episodes and a 30% discount on all events, courses and book and audio titles.

 

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

 

If you enjoy this podcast, we appreciate you leaving a review wherever you listen and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you well during this challenging and uncertain times and thank you for your support of our work.

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