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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 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.

Dec 14, 2019

On this bonus sharing of the latest premium podcast, Michael Meade begins with a poetic response to the deadening language that at times dominates the discussion about impeaching the President.  What begins as a critique of the speech being used to defend the politics of big lies turns into a lament for the loss of language able to carry the truth of the human heart and soul. A procession of poems and commentary ranges from Aime Cesaire seeking “to rediscover the secret of great communications and great combustions" to  D.H. Lawrence warning us how big lies and damning mistakes have repeatedly been sanctified in modern times. 

The surprise of this intricate response to the lack of presence and imagination in political life arrives through the ancient wisdom of Kabir, who reminds us that truth resides in the surprising territory of awakening where the deep self and soul waits to be found again.

Thank you for listening to this podcast.  You can hear more content like this by joining the growing community of listeners who are members of Living Myth Premium.  Become a member with a $10/month subscription and receive 3 bonus episodes each month, the full podcast archives and a 30% discount on all products.  Become a member at patreon.com/livingmyth. 

Jun 29, 2019

This excerpt from the latest premium episode offers samples from the new audio book Awakening the Soul, along with expanded content and spontaneous commentary by Meade. The book sample focuses on the chapter “Inner Eyes of the Soul” which includes a story of an orphan left behind by his tribe, who then unexpectedly has a radical awakening experience that leads to a vision that affects everyone in the tribe. The commentary by the author includes autobiographical material as well as psychological ideas about each person’s “orphan self.”

You can hear the full episode and receive additional podcast content by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Go to www.patreon.com/livingmyth to learn more and subscribe.

For $10/month, members of Living Myth Premium receive:

* Q&A episodes where Michael Meade answers member questions

* Autobiographical and anecdotal stories from Michael

* A 30% discount on all products and many events

* Archival recordings from live events and dynamic interviews

* Access to over 125 Living Myth podcasts

Living Myth and Living Myth Premium are products of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, a 501©3 organization.  Your membership helps grow Living Myth and ensures we are able to continue developing and expanding this creative project.

Peace and blessings,

Mosaic Staff

Jun 20, 2019

We are pleased to announce that Michael Meade’s latest book “Awakening the Soul” is now available as an audio book.  Here is a sample from this newly released title.  The audio book can be purchased as a download or CD at mosaicvoices.org/audio.

Members of the Living Myth Premium Podcast can save 30% on this title and all other offerings from Michael Meade and Mosaic.  Learn more and become a member of this podcast at patreon.com/livingmyth.

Apr 19, 2019

On this excerpt from the latest Living Myth Premium episode, Michael Meade answers questions about the soul posed by listeners.  One question is “what is the meaning of the original agreement of the soul?”  Another is “why is this first agreement so important that it is indelible in the soul?” Using ancient stories about the origin of the soul, Meade offers a compelling commentary on the soul’s way of bridging the two worlds, the eternal and the time bound. 

Rather than being separated from the divine by an “original sin”, old stories depict the separation as an original forgetting of the unique pattern in each soul.  The rest of life involves a longing to reconnect to the eternal and live out the soul’s first agreement and original intention in life. This excerpt is from the first of a two-part Living Myth Premium podcast series on the two agreements of the soul.

Hear the full episode and receive additional podcast content by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Go to www.patreon.com/livingmyth to learn more and subscribe.

For $10/month, members of Living Myth Premium receive:

  • Q & A episodes where Michael Meade answers questions from Premium members
  • Autobiographical stories from Michael
  • Archival recordings from live events and dynamic interviews
  • Exclusive offers on products and events
  • Access to the entire collection of Living Myth podcasts

Living Myth and Living Myth Premium are products of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, a 501©3 organization.  Your membership helps grow Living Myth and ensures we are able to continue developing and expanding this creative project.

Peace and blessings,
 
Mosaic Staff

Jan 27, 2019

On this excerpt from the latest Living Myth Premium episode, Michael Meade reads selected poems from The Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart, the renowned anthology edited along with Robert Bly and James Hillman. The recording includes reflections on the surprising dynamic of creating the anthology along with commentary on the importance of poetic inspiration. This is the first part of a Living Myth Premium podcast series that weaves poetry, spoken word and anecdotal stories about the role of art and creativity and the undying speech of the soul. 

You can hear the full episode and receive additional podcast content by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Go to www.patreon.com/livingmyth to learn more and subscribe.

For $10/month, members of Living Myth Premium receive:

  • Q & A episodes where Michael Meade answers questions from Premium members
  • Autobiographical stories from Michael
  • Archival recordings from live events and dynamic interviews
  • Exclusive offers on products and events
  • Access to the entire collection of Living Myth podcasts

Living Myth and Living Myth Premium are products of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, a 501©3 organization.  Your membership helps grow Living Myth and ensures we are able to continue developing and expanding this creative project.

Peace and blessings,
 
Mosaic Staff

Jun 19, 2018

Hey Living Myth listeners, thank you for being a part of this podcast.  We wanted to let you know about the Living Myth Premium Podcast, a new offering from Mosaic that gives members access to additional content beyond the free weekly edition of the podcast. Go to mosaicvoices.org or livingmyth.org to learn more and become a member.  Your membership helps grow Living Myth and ensures we are able to continue developing and expanding this creative project. To give you a flavor of the premium content, we have included an excerpt from the first bonus episode.

Jan 6, 2017

Michael Meade introduces the role of myth in making sense of our complex and challenging world and he answers the question “Why Myth, Why Now?”.

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