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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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Aug 4, 2021

We can suffer an identity crisis at any time in this troubled world, where no one can be certain of what comes next. The pandemic is a painful example of the instability of contemporary life. The variants that create the surge of new cases and illnesses also cause surges of confusion, anxiety, and fear. On a psychological level, the rising intensity of uncertainty and raw emotions threaten to overwhelm the ego or “little-self.” Meanwhile, the deeper self within us imagines that each crisis can also become a life-changing event in which we become wiser, more creative and meaningful.

 

As uncertainty deepens and crises multiply, the sense that there is a deeper, more knowing self or soul in each person becomes more important. At the same time, we have to have a greater tolerance for the insecurity, the fears, and anxieties of the little-self. Michael Meade uses an old tale of a wise fish, a half-wise fish and an unwise one to show how we must forgive ourselves for getting caught in the nets of fear and anxiety and reconnect to the deep self and soul which has the exact knowledge and wisdom we need, both to survive and to truly grow wise.

 

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 340 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.

Jul 28, 2021

Michael Meade uses elements of myth to consider the origins of the pilgrimage to the Olympic Games and the essence of the human dramas that unfold when people go seeking for the gold.

 

“In these troubling times, institutions all over the earth are rattling and shaking, and becoming unable to keep up with all the changes and complications that are underway. During times of great change, the symbolic level of things becomes more important, as the literal levels of life become more chaotic and confusing, and the psychological levels become more intense and demanding. And that pattern would include those who have made appearing at the Olympics the pilgrimage of their life.

 

On the path to arrive at the Olympics and compete for the gold, everyone will have a misstep, and some can literally slip and fall off an apparatus or just be off their game. That doesn't mean something has gone deeply wrong. Rather, falling and failing is actually a step on the way to finding the genuine gold.

 

Olympic hopefuls are likely to encounter deep moments of despair, not because they have done something wrong, but because we have to lose our naive and simple sense of hope in order to tap into something that is much deeper and more important than simply winning in literal terms. Sometimes, we must be willing to enter the waters of change, and in a metaphysical version of sink or swim, simply manage to not abandon ourselves.

 

The trick in this realm of high aspirations and deep disillusionment is to learn what really carries us when the seas of life get rough. Psychologically, it becomes more important to understand that the actual goal is the inner gold. And that the moment of awakening can happen anywhere along the way; it can happen after we fall or fail to accomplish what we aimed at.

 

In other words, the genuine aim and purpose of a pilgrimage is to arrive at the center of oneself. The reason for a practice, any practice, is to awaken to the essence of oneself. Those who would be seekers need to know that the source of buoyancy and vitality, as well as the knowing center of life must be found inside. Because in doing that, we begin to recognize what brought us to life to begin with. And we also find what secretly carries us all along the way.”

 

You can hear Michael live by joining his new online workshop “The Soul of Change” this Saturday, July 31. 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 growing community of listeners 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 thank you for being part of this podcast and we wish you well during this period of great change.

Jul 21, 2021

In this episode of Living Myth Michael Meade responds to questions generated by the idea that we are on a great threshold that requires change on personal, collective and global levels.

 

“One of the tragedies of current life is that we have fallen out of story; so that many people can no longer imagine that we are all in the same story together. It is not simply that we are changing the world, but that the world is changing, and we must change with it. A psychological way to consider it is that the archetypal background of life on earth is changing.

 

Archetype means “an ancient or original form” that sometimes manifests fully and sometimes goes quiet. Archetypes are like riverbeds where sometimes the water of life pours through one and then drains out of that riverbed and flows into another. The archetype of apocalypse begins with collapse and chaos, then passes through a middle ground of liminality and uncertainty. It resolves with a renewal of the vitality of life and new forms of life. This archetype is present in a way that it wasn't years ago. Now the water of life is rushing through it and we are being carried along by it.

 

Some of the water of life tries to enter the world and flow through each of us. So that the collective and personal crises which all are facing now may threaten our habitual ways of being and acting on one level of life, while opening the doors of vision and understanding on other levels. Part of what happens in the midst of all the uncertainty and liminality, because we are changing in ourselves, our relationships change, and we can find new ways of relating to other people, but also to nature and also to the divine.”

 

You can hear Michael live by joining his new series of online events that further explore ideas and themes about the threshold of change.  The online series continues this Friday, July 23 and the workshop takes place on Saturday, July 31. 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 growing community of listeners 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 thank you for being part of this podcast and we wish you well during this period of great change.

Jul 14, 2021

As human cultures seem increasingly at odds with the rhythms of nature and modern societies succumb to inner conflicts, people of all ages can feel that there is no longer any purpose in life. Although we all may be suffering a modern predicament, Michael Meade suggests that we are also in an archetypal mythic condition.

 

Like characters in an ancient story, we are collectively on a great threshold which can be simply seen as the edge where everything falls apart or be viewed as a great threshold of awakening, where ancient wisdom as well as new visions of life can arise. Meade uses a dramatic scene in an old story to show how the turning point depends upon whether or not we abandon our true selves.

 

As everything seems to teeter on the edge of destruction or else on the verge of transformation, meaningful change does not come from a social agreement, an ideology or a belief system. Rather, it comes from awakenings of the heart and soul in individual lives. As an old saying reminds, if there is no change at the level of the individual soul, there can be no change at the level of collective culture.

 

The sense of identity that we need in order to tolerate the great tensions and pressures of contemporary life is not a “social identity” or some kind of collective abstraction. What we are looking for, what humans have always been seeking for, is the precise and unique identity that was written on the walls of our souls before we were born. Seen that way, the edge of our life becomes the place where we connect to missing parts of ourselves and find the hidden “wisdom of the threshold.”

 

When that type of turning point happens in the lives of enough people, everything can begin to turn around and we can find ourselves on the way home, with home meaning the place where young people find their genius and true dreams of life and older people have meaningful visions that include renewed connections to the living world of nature as well as to the nearby realm of spirit and great imagination.

 

The wisdom of the threshold is part of Michael’s new series “Thresholds of Change” which includes a workshop on the soul of change.  The online series begins this Friday, July 16 and the workshop takes place on Saturday, July 31. 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 growing community of listeners 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 thank you for being part of this podcast and we wish you well during this period of great change.

Jul 7, 2021

This episode of Living Myth is about the need for having a sense of irony and a tolerance for the paradoxical if we are to maintain our sense of self in an increasingly divided world. Michael Meade addresses how difficult it is to build bridges to other people if they have decided that being on one side of a division is exactly the thing that gives them a sense of personal identity.

 

The radical changes sweeping through contemporary life have caused some people to feel neglected and left behind in their own countries. As patterns of division and disconnection intensify, people can lose their sense of self and fall into a crisis of identity. When that happens, the need to find a savior figure can seem to be the only way out of feeling abandoned and helpless.

 

Looking back, it becomes clear that a great irony of fate occurred when Donald Trump, descending down his golden elevator, presented himself as bigger than life and as the only one who could fix the growing problems of the country. While what for some was the epitome of narcissism as Trump descended from his golden tower, was for others the arrival of a “self-object” that they could emotionally relate to.

 

The effects of that event continue to reverberate and cannot simply be explained by political factors nor by historical perspectives; it is likely that it can only be grasped psychologically. Typically, a person will project their sense of self onto someone or some entity that appears bigger than life to them. The psychological aim of such a self-projection is for the outer figure to reflect back to the person the presence of a greater self within their own psyche.

 

When Trump made his arrogant claims of personal power and blamed all our troubles on “other people,” he became, in psychological terms, the elected “self-object” for many of those already suffering a loss of self-identity.

 

The trouble is that even after Trump disappears, painful and dangerous issues created by the sense of sense of a loss of self-identity and self-worth will still be present. While part of us may want to help other people change and part of us feels the urgency to change the world; the irony of life and the paradox of existence indicates that the only genuine way that we can change the conditions around us is to change ourselves.

 

You can hear Michael Meade talk more about thresholds of change by joining his new online series and workshop beginning on July 16.  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, 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.

Jun 30, 2021

An old psychological idea suggests that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it must appear in the outside world as fate. On this episode of Living Myth, Michael Meade connects our increasingly divided world with the need to face and embrace conflicts and divisions within ourselves. “If we are to bring a greater sense of unity to the world, our work must include facing and seeking to resolve the tension of opposites that exists with our own psyches.”

 

Using ideas and images from alchemy and myth, Meade examines the process of polarization into opposites as an unconscious search for the sense of wholeness and unity that humanity has lost both collectively and individually. When seen in terms of depth psychology and alchemy, “separatio” describes a transformative process intended to lead to both revelation and greater unity.

 

Seen this way all conflicts and oppositions harbor a hidden lament for the loss of healing and wholeness. All arguments secretly point to the original split in the world, but also to its healing in a “conjunctio” or union at a deeper level. “Something ancient and knowing in us bends back towards the origins of life, instinctively knowing that what we're trying to find is the hidden unity, the lost Eros that is the glue of life, the longing for love and the felt sense of the divine.”

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online series and workshop beginning on July 16.  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, 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.

Jun 23, 2021

This episode begins with a consideration of how contemporary patterns of polarization can lead people to feel discouraged and defeated when it comes to meaningful change. Although “the twin offspring of this age of polarization may be radical uncertainty and rampant absolutism,” Michael Meade approaches the problem, not by trying to reduce it, but by making it bigger in order to better understand it.

 

“Back at the beginning of creation, the original polarization was between cosmos and chaos. And in some sense, each occasion of polarization is connected to that original tension of opposites. Understanding it at any level requires understanding it at that original level. Rather than seeming like the impending end of life, the tension of opposites secretly hints at a hidden third that not only relieves the tension but also renews life at a meaningful level.”

 

The hidden third or middle way that can shift the tension of opposites to a creative level is not the same as notions of a middle path that avoids excess and extremes by following reason and moderation in all things. Nor is it simply the path of negotiation, bi-partisanship and compromise. The old imagination of a middle way involves a living center, a moving middle and golden mean that can loosen the restrictions of time and place and opens us to moments of wholeness and renewal.

 

“While the two poles of a polarity may seem to be irreconcilable opposites, they are secretly parts of a hidden unity. Existence itself is an essential unity appearing as a duality, and thus genuine change and transformation are the secret aims of the tensions inside the opposites and inside life itself.”

 

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 330 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live 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, 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.

Jun 16, 2021

This episode of Living Myth considers the difficulties of finding peace in a troubled world. The increasing amount of tension and conflict in the outside world generates a corresponding intensification of conflicts within each soul. Because the individual soul is not separate from the conditions of the world, simply turning away from outside conflicts does not necessarily lead to states of inner peace.

 

The word peace comes from two deep roots. On one hand, peace can mean “to settle, to find stillness;” on the other hand, it can mean “to reconcile, to make agreements.” Each root meaning involves a deeper understanding of life and each can lead to finding a greater sense of inner peace.

 

Being at peace can feel like sitting by a still pond, untroubled by anxiety or the stress of daily life. Yet, being at peace with oneself can also mean finding a vital stream of creative expression that connects the deeper self within us with a genuine calling and way of serving the world. Either way, if we can't find inner agreements that help resolve our own conflicts, we won't be able to help solve the great conflicts that now divide the world.

 

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 330 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live 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, 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.

Jun 9, 2021

As the world around us becomes increasingly divided into opposing forces, the tensions and conflicts within us also intensify. In psychological terms, the division most in need of being healed is the split between the ego or “little self” and the deeper, knowing self within us.

 

In fairy tales a golden ball often appears as a symbol of the inner unity and wholeness we felt, at least for a moment, as children. The old rule is that everyone has at least one experience of the presence of the deep self, typically felt as something golden within us.

 

This deeper self within knows why we are here on earth and what we are intended to do. Yet, the ego, with its fixed attitudes and pretensions of being at the center of life, stands in the way. At each turning point in life this golden self within tries to become more conscious as a source of grounding and centering, but also as a resource of genuine visions, big dreams and vital energies.

 

In a world filled with conflicts and great uncertainty, the guidance and centering power of the deeper self can save us from feeling anxious and overwhelmed. In order for both individual and collective awakening and meaningful change to occur, a deeper sense of self and soul must become more conscious and available to us.

 

You can hear Michael Meade talk more about the deep self by joining his new online workshop “Initiations of Self and Soul” on Saturday, June 12. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on this workshop, 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. 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.

Jun 2, 2021

On this episode, Michael Meade addresses individual and collective issues that arise when considering how to return from the separations, losses and ordeals of the Covid pandemic:

 

“When I hear people talking about returning to normal, I find myself repeating the idea that normal cannot know itself. Normal is not a place anyone really wants to be, especially if a person wants to be themselves. Since there is no normal self, the idea of living in normal is truly self-defeating.

 

Rather, we have a desperate need to figure out how to go forward, which means finding our way to a better place, one that is more inclusive of all kinds of people, but also more inclusive of the various parts of our own selves that are often excluded from the ideas and the practices of normal. There is also a danger in trying to return too quickly in ways that are not healing or reassuring to our own souls.

 

Part of a return both to self and to community can be found through a meaningful sharing of stories; yet there is a danger of missing the opportunity to be vulnerable and bring to others a true sense of what we lost during our time of separation. From the view of the soul there needs to be a recognition of what has been lost before there can be a celebration of what might be found.

 

Deep down we are looking for rituals of return that bring us not just reconnection, but soulful restoration; that bring us not just a sense of relief, but a genuine sense of renewal and a greater sense of purpose in our lives. If there is a genuine ritual of return, there can be a renewal of vitality, a sense of being restored to potentials in our lives as well as a deeper feeling of communitas, of genuine human community.

 

We are invited to practice ways of returning to ourselves and to each other in deeper, more conscious ways. And we are being asked to learn how to return collective culture to meaningful and healing connections to nature. In that sense, we are part of a much greater project of restoration, renewal and return. Our individual attempts to find ways to return to community life at this point, can also be seen as part of a greater learning that needs to happen collectively, for the sake of our humanity and also for the sake of the earth that also waits for our return.”

 

You can hear Michael Meade talk more about initiation and the ritual of return by joining his new online workshop “Initiations of Self and Soul” on Saturday, June 12. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on this workshop, 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. 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.

May 26, 2021

This episode is about the breath of life that invisibly moves through each of us, connecting our souls to the forests and the birds and the unseen realm of spirit. Here is an excerpt:

 

“Typically, our breath is invisible, yet it is the essence and the evidence that life is present. Human breathing mimics the breath of living forests and also connects us to the divine breath of spirit that secretly sustains all of life. This inspirited breath of life can wither when the forests of the earth are diminished or destroyed; but also when humans fail to awaken and genuinely live the spirit of their own lives.

 

Because of all the troubling issues in the world, it is ever more important that we awaken to the deeper self within us in order that we become inspired to live in meaningful ways. But also so that we become living vessels through which the divine breath of life can enter the world more fully.

 

Breathing has always been connected to spirit and to hidden aspects of life, and it is those mostly unseen elements that make it true that we are all in this together. For, we all breathe together, literally, naturally, globally, locally, all in tandem with the breathing of the trees and the birds and the pulsing of the earth. All of it mostly unseen, yet present like the unique spirit in each of our lives and the dreams secretly trying to bring us all together.

 

There can be expanding circles of awakening, learning and becoming that give us more access to the spirit of life and allow us to contribute more living presence to the world. We are all being asked to hear the music of the spheres, the horns of the angels, the voices in dreams and in the life-long callings that keep calling us to awaken to who we are inside, in order that we might live more fully and contribute presence and meaning and beauty to the world.”

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online workshop “Initiations of Self and Soul” on Saturday, June 12. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on this workshop, 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. 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.

May 19, 2021

On this episode, Michael Meade tells an ancient story from India in which a tiger cub is born at a tragic time and becomes abandoned at birth, only to be raised by goats. The young tiger comes to act like a goat and believe it is a goat, until a life-shattering, self-revealing event uncovers its true, inner nature.

 

We all live in hard times now when tragic events seem about to shatter everything we believe or think we know about ourselves and the world around us. Meade uses the old teaching tale to show how the hidden continuity of stories can relate the animal realm with human experiences and connect ancient wisdom with current events.

 

When everything seems to be on the edge of destruction we can also be on the verge of great awakenings and life-changing revelations about our own inner nature and ways of contributing to the ongoing pulse of life.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online workshop “Initiations of Self and Soul” on Saturday, June 12. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on this workshop, 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. 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.

May 13, 2021

Recent studies suggest that the ultimate causes for people being willing to spread disinformation and act irresponsibly derive from underlying insecurities and psychological forces. Periods of radical change and uncertainty always place greater stress upon individuals. Yet, the current era of global crises and cultural upheaval may be the epitome of extreme conditions that threaten the basic sense of identity for many people.

 

Growing levels of cultural insecurity can trigger many people to use their “social identity” as the primary source for feelings of belonging, but also as the basis for a false sense of security and pretenses of superiority. This felt need for finding in-group security creates a willingness to accept reassuring information even when it can easily be proven to be false.

 

This process, which some call “outsourcing identity,” helps explain how some people and some groups can completely change character, become suddenly radicalized, and no longer be willing to listen to reason. Once a division into Us vs Them can be established, the entire world can be framed as a place of conflict and danger that pits our righteous in-group against outsiders who can also be blamed for all our troubles.

 

Because the genuine crises in the world must be faced, and despite the strange practice of outsourcing identity, what becomes most important is an awakening of the deeper sense of self in those who would still search for truth and for meaningful solutions.

 

When the waves of disinformation and misinformation, and the high tide of big lies and false beliefs have arrived, the search for truth becomes more important. And the meaning we are each called to search for begins with the living truth that can be found in the inner resources and sense of deeper self already present and waiting to be found in the heart and soul of each person.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online workshop “Initiations of Self and Soul” on Saturday, June 12. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on this workshop, 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. 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.

May 5, 2021

Times of great uncertainty and upheaval provoke an acceleration of calling that includes the call to awaken the elders and the sage within each person's heart. In the old wisdom traditions, elders were considered to have one foot firmly on the ground of survival, and the other in the realm of great imagination. Seen that way, the elder archetype becomes a source of imagination and vision as well as a resource of resiliency and endurance.

 

Of course, old age alone cannot make the elder, for growing older can simply lead to a return to infantile attitudes and exaggerations of neediness and fear. Collectively, we fail to imagine aging's meaning as well as its hidden beauty if we look only through the lens of physiology. When it comes to waking the elder there is something metaphysical involved, something transcendent and spiritual that is required.

 

While those who become “olders” tend to contribute to the divisions in society, those who act as elders foster unity above self-interest and harmony over conflicts. Despite inevitable bodily aches and pains, genuine elders become the deepest source of life-affirming energy in a culture.

 

Being connected to the sage in the heart, elders become instinctive humanitarians who can embody wisdom and serve the highest ideals of humanity. Having survived their own troubles, elders are not shocked or overwhelmed by the crises and conflicts that exist in the world. Having repeatedly seen how things fall apart, elders have also witnessed the uncanny ways in which both nature and culture find roots of renewal. In the dark times, the archetypal energy of the elders tries to awaken and help find ways for creation to continue.

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his upcoming online workshop.  Details will be announced by the end of the week.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 310 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live 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, 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.

Apr 28, 2021

This episode of Living Myth begins with a review of gun culture and gun violence in the United States, which Michael Meade laments continuously put us all in life and death circumstances. “We are in the kind of crisis where it becomes necessary to recognize the growing presence of death in the middle of life; in the middle of what we call public policing and in the middle of political culture wars.”

 

Part of the agony involves realizing how a culture that develops wealth and power, but does not develop psychologically, must increasingly suffer more from self-inflicted wounds than from attacks by outside forces. One of the most perverse areas of self-inflicted wounds comes from the militarization of, and excessive use of deadly force, by police forces throughout the country.

 

At the same time, states like Texas consider legislation that would allow anyone over 21 to carry a gun without a license and without having to pass a background check. In order to demonstrate the increasingly deadly outcomes that must result from the tragic path of modern gun culture, Meade traces the origin of guns back to a dramatic mistake that happened over a thousand years ago.

 

In one of the greatest ironies of history, gunpowder was invented during an alchemical experiment intending to produce an elixir to prolong life. Instead of enhancing life there was a literal backfire, an explosion that threatened the lives of those handling the volatile mixture. Ten centuries later, there is no magic elixir and people keep making the mistake of not realizing how having weapons with great firepower can only lead to a greater presence of death and a greater loss of life.

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 310 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all live 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, 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.

Apr 22, 2021

This episode of Living Myth focuses on the significance of the moment following the reading of the verdict in the George Floyd murder trial. As his tragic death became a worldwide symbol of injustice, the issue was always going to be whether the agonizing truth of what we could see with our own eyes would be acknowledged and validated by the jury and the court.

 

The word verdict comes from Latin roots that literally mean “to speak or tell the truth.” In that sense, each truth telling verdict stands as an antidote to the plague of Big Lies that callously and cynically pervade so much of our political and cultural lives.

 

Upon hearing the verdict, we become witnesses again; but this time we are witnesses to the truth being told and justice being, at least partially, served. Although it is not the end of the story, it is vitally important not to miss the meaning of such a moment of truth.

 

More than a matter of simple relief, a moment of truth can be a kind of medicine. Although not a complete remedy, each moment of truth stops the bleeding and can bring a sorely needed sense of healing. To heal means to “make whole again,” so that each moment can make us more whole as people and as the human community. If we don't stop long enough to take in the medicine, we miss out on the healing value of truth telling.

 

It doesn't mean that more tragedies won't occur, they already have. Yet, healing is also a revolutionary act, the kind that makes it more possible to stay in the long struggle for greater truth and justice. We need to hold onto the moments of truth and healing because they contain little acts of redemption that renew our sense of trust in ourselves, in each other, and in the deepest sense of human community.

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 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 of this community of listeners 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.

Apr 14, 2021

This episode begins with the idea that we are living in a dire time in which the nobility of our own souls is at odds with many of the circumstances in which we live. The latest report on the earth’s oceans predicts even more extreme weather events and a rapid rise in sea levels. At the same time psychologists are concerned about a rising tide of grief and loneliness resulting from the tragic loss of life due to the pandemic surges and the scourges of hatred and gun violence.

 

The notion that going back to familiar forms or normality will solve the crises we face seems a different kind of madness given the desperate collective state we are all in. We are caught in the turning tides, not just of the ocean, but also the tides of time that occasionally turn over as one era ends and the next seeks to begin. In mythological terms, we are in the throes of a great transition in history, which of necessity requires a transformation of humanity as well.

 

People drown in the storms of change because they cling to abstract notions or conventional beliefs that lack true buoyancy when the time for transformation comes. Sometimes we have to be willing to enter the waters of uncertainty to find the inner dream, the living story that can keep us buoyant in the tides of change.

 

Part of the challenge and part of the practice involves accepting that we are on the edge between the known and the unknown, the only place that new knowing can come from. Although not found in the headlines or the many reports of growing dangers, the greatest level of loss involves our loss of things that are timeless, of things that touch the eternal, of things that are sacred to the soul.

 

For only in timeless moments does time itself renew, as life is reborn and the future becomes revealed. Moments of true awakening become “lived time,” time fully lived into, that alone can lead to a life fully lived out. In the storms of life, the awakened soul becomes the source of vision and creative agency that alone can inspire a collective renewal at both the level of survival and the level of transformation.

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online workshop “Personal Myth: Unfolding the Plotline of the Soul” this Saturday, April 17. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can save 30% on this workshop, 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. 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.

Apr 7, 2021

This episode of Living Myth focuses upon the idea of destiny as an essential part of humanity through which each soul is called to follow its own star and true aim in life. However, the consideration of the word destiny also leads to some confusion about its historical associations and its original meaning. One thing leads to another as concepts about etymology or the study of words become entwined with ideas of mythology and the study of stories.

 

Michael Meade suggests that language has its own genius and that each word can also be a story that branches out from root meanings to many associations with other words and other concepts. Similarly, each person has their own genius, the inner spark and speck of star that forms the original constellation of their soul. This inner spark connects us to our natural way of being, but also to our North Star that secretly tries to guide us further on the path of our own destiny, as we all participate in the spinning of the world, the turning of the spheres and the song of the stars of creation.

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online series and companion workshop “Personal Myth, Cultural Change” that continue this Friday, April 9. 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. 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 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.

Feb 24, 2021

In this episode of Living Myth, Michael Meade considers the familiar notion of paradigm shifts as inadequate for envisioning ways to deal with the worldwide crises we all face. Paradigm is an old Greek word that refers to a “pattern or model” and the common usage of paradigm shift involves replacing an old pattern or model with a newer and therefore better one.

 

What began as a theory of how scientific revolutions occur has for the past fifty years been applied to everything from social movements and business plans, to education, ecology and beyond. What has typically been overlooked is that the inspiration for the theory paradigm shifts came from psychological studies of growth spurts in children.

 

Meade turns the consideration of cultural change back to depth psychology and mythology where another old Greek word can bring a greater sense of imagination to modern crises. Archetype, like paradigm, refers to patterns and models. However, archetypes are the original patterns from which all subsequent models derive; as such they can have a powerful effect on human thinking, beliefs and behaviors.

 

Whereas the sense of a paradigm shift would simply have the old be replaced with the new, the deeper sense of archetype involves new patterns arising from the ancient and original sources of creation. When activated, archetypes connect the ancient and universal forces of life with the immediate issues of the world. When transformation is needed at all levels of nature and culture, it is time to tap back into the endless potential of the origins of life in order to truly change things going forward.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade speak more about archetypes and inner sources of renewal, by joining his ongoing live series “Hidden Abundance” that continues this Friday, Feb. 26. 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 join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, you can also support this podcast by leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends.

Feb 17, 2021

Throughout history, epidemics and plagues have stirred deep levels of distrust and fear that have, in turn, thrown entire cultures into upheaval. The current pandemic seems to be a perfect storm of fear that permeates all areas of society and exposes deep divisions as well as wild extremes.

 

This episode of Living Myth begins with an old teaching story that reveals the many levels of fear that can affect each of us individually and all of us collectively. Michael Meade uses the old tale to show that how we respond to fear determines whether we become more wise or else more foolish, become more centered or more extreme and unbalanced.

 

Eventually, it becomes necessary to realize that what we fear will not simply go away; rather we must face our fears or else become overwhelmed. It is important to know that the hidden aim of fear is not “fight or flight,” but rather the revelation of untapped inner resources that are trying to awaken in each of us. Healthy fear involves an increase of consciousness that stirs deep instincts and intuitions that can be life-protective, life-saving and life enhancing. In critical times, the greatest safety can be found in becoming wise enough to take the right risk.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online series “Hidden Abundance” that continues this Friday, Feb. 19. 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.

 

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.

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