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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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Jul 18, 2023

This episode begins with excerpts from an article entitled “Men Are Lost.” The writer describes how many “young men struggle to relate to women, don't have enough friends…and lack long term goals.” In addition, recent data shows that “men now account for almost three of every four deaths of despair that come from suicide, alcohol abuse, or overdose.” In what seems to be “a widespread identity crisis,” the question becomes: What does it mean to be a man?  The article concludes with the notion that “people need codes for how to be human. When those codes aren't easily found, they'll take whatever is offered. If left unaddressed, the current confusion of men and boys will have destructive social outcomes in the form of even greater resentment and radicalization.”

 

Michael Meade suggests that “throughout history, there have been many different and even divergent answers to the question of what a man might be. There are levels to the question and therefore, levels to the answers. I fear that, in the midst of radical cultural changes, trying to solve the confusions about masculinity at the level of a collective agreement on terms, might result in greater divisions rather than unifying solutions.

 

At a personal level, our deepest fear can be that there is nothing inside us, that we have no real meaning and can have no purpose in this world. That kind of deeply felt sense of meaning and purpose cannot simply be gained from collective ideas or societal definitions. When faced with the need to support and guide young men facing an uncertain and often unwelcoming world, or young women for that matter, the issue becomes not simply how they might be defined by the outer world, but what they might discover in their own inner world.

 

At a level which is deeper and also more specific, the core issue becomes awakening to the inherent values in the individual soul. In this old way of understanding what's at the core of each person, what is really missing in moments of despair is a lack of connection to one's own soul. Soul is the connective tissue of life that keeps mind and body together and soul secretly connects the masculine and the feminine in each of us.

 

We are most lost and feel most abandoned when we have lost touch with our own souls, with our innate style and way of being. Since it is likely that the current confusions and polarizations that trouble the world will get worse before they get better, the answers most needed are likely to be found in the depths of our individual souls. For, the soul is the part of us that is not simply overwhelmed by the challenges, disappointments and confusions of 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 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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