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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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Nov 24, 2021

On this replay of a popular episode, Michael Meade considers how “gratitude is a sign of nobility in our souls” and yet “gratitude can also be difficult to express because it comes from a deep place in the heart where pain can also dwell.” Thus begins Michael Meade’s mythological consideration of the essential place of gratitude in human consciousness and at the core of human nature.

 

A potent telling of the Mayan creation myth leads to a surprising array of images and the idea that unless the human capacity for technological invention can be placed in service of the ongoing story of creation, we will continue to turn the natural world against us.

 

We are most human and most alive when we allow ourselves to be touched by the beauty of the world and when we feel genuine gratitude for the life we have been given, no matter how hard or how dark the world around us may become.  In this way, feeling grateful and expressing gratitude helps to bring grace back into the world.

 

You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online series “Soul’s Hidden Wholeness” that begins on Friday, December 3. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. 

 

You can save 30% on this series and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Learn more and join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

We’d love to hear your feedback on the podcast.  You can leave a review wherever you listen or send a question or comment to info@mosaicvoices.org. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Nov 17, 2021

On this episode, Michael Meade brings a focus to issues of trust and betrayal in a time when truth and meaning can be hard to find.

 

“We live in a time of great challenges and frequent betrayals. When the weather becomes extreme, the political climate is too poisonous to be trusted, and many don't even trust that the world will continue, it is hard not to feel betrayed by life. Because betrayals arise from so many levels and layers of life, more and more people are left, either in the bitter camps of the cynics, in isolating places of denial, or in the fear that there is nowhere left to turn.

 

Yet, the levels of betrayal are not intended to be the end of the story. Rather, they are the part of the story where we have to turn another way, go deeper into life. Because only through a descent into the depths of our own souls can the sense of betrayal turn back into trust.

 

When trust and truth go missing in the surface of life, they must be sought at the level of our individual souls. Psychologically, we're being pulled down to the depths of our own souls. Not so that we feel an even deeper sense of loss, but in order that we might let go of false expectations and find the essential truths and the innate aims hidden in our own lives.

 

Part of the hard truth of the harsh times in which we live involves the realization that many hard attitudes, fixed beliefs and false expectations must be dissolved. Betrayal may be a bitter pill to swallow, but in the alchemy of the soul, it is a medicine that can dissolve infantile expectations, fixated attitudes of the ego, and false expectations about the world and other people.

 

We experience betrayal in order to find a deeper sense of truth; that is the only way we can turn betrayal back into genuine trust. That is the secret of betrayal, that the treacheries we experience in our lives are secretly intended to bring us to a place of deeper, greater trust in our own selves. And it is by being willing to descend through the tests and trials of betrayal that we arrive at the place where we can trust ourselves and genuinely say we have become part of the truth.”

 

You can hear Michael Meade live by joining him for upcoming online events. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. 

 

You can save 30% on all online 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.

 

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

 

On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Nov 10, 2021

This episode begins with a report on the effects of the climate crisis on young people throughout the world. The survey shows that youth find the future to be frightening, find the present to be full of heavy sadness and feel increasingly anxious.

 

Youth may carry the seeds of the future, but they also must suffer the troubles and burdens of the present moment in human culture. The combination of being alive at the end of an era and living when the earth itself is under threat, young people are older than they would otherwise be.

 

Whereas in traditional cultures, youth enter a rite of passage of some kind; young people now find themselves stepping into an existential gap that includes a desperate need for a reorientation of human culture in general. There is a danger of young people taking on too much of the weight of tragedy and loss in what has become a collective rite of passage for humanity.

 

In traditional cultures, it would be understood that youth and elders both contribute to the process of finding the next vision for life. If we are going to find ways to help young people survive the abandonment and betrayals that characterize modern societies, there must be a genuine awakening of elders.

 

The image of elders helping to understand the visions and struggles of young people is not simply a structural part of rites of passage. On a psychological level, it is a representation of the secret connection between youth and elders.

 

Elders and youth are opposites that secretly identify with each other. For, both are secretly attuned to the timeless cycles of nature, but also to a capacity for deep imagination that can redirect and revitalize human culture. Together they become the vessel in which the imagination needed to face the impossible tasks, and the courage needed to survive the troubled times can become conscious.

 

We are living at the end of one era and the beginning of another. The ancient sense of an underlying unity between elder and youth becomes the way we can hold end and beginning together. Youth and elders each carry aspects of an essential and timeless force of life that only becomes evident when the two parts are joined. When the oldest and the youngest parts of the soul come together, we can awaken the living force of nature and draw upon the underlying unity of life.

 

You can hear Michael Meade live by joining him for two upcoming online events.  His new online workshop “Healer, Mentor, Elder, Guide” takes place this Saturday, November 13 and on Thursday, November 18 he will be offering a free online event called “Gratitude and Grace”. Register and learn more about both events 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.

 

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

 

On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Nov 3, 2021

This episode of Living Myth begins with the sense that it is part of our mutual fate to be living in radical times, when the extremes are activated and the center cannot hold at the level of politics or society.

 

“When the heavy winds of change blow, what is underneath the surface of life becomes revealed. Part of the revelation is that people who have based their sense of self upon outer forms can be rapidly radicalized and become living expressions of the splitting of the collective psyche. Under pressures of radical uncertainty and rapid change, people more readily abandon the difficult search for truth in favor of the type of security found by identifying with a group.

 

Some will give up all sense of a meaningful inner identity in order not to feel a deep sense of insecurity. Being part of a group that claims righteous superiority can help suppress feelings of deep insecurity and powerlessness. However, the cost of self-betrayal involves becoming increasingly disconnected, not only from provable truths, but also from common reality.

 

Modern notions of an accidental universe, combined with the belief that the human soul is a blank slate, leaves people feeling increasingly isolated and empty, and therefore powerless to change the tragic course of life on Earth. People may be vehemently opposed to each other in the outside world, but when it comes to what is within each person, most modern people feel empty on the inside.

 

By now, most people do not even know that there is a deeper self and soul within hem. In that sense, our problem is not only the need to awaken to the nature and aim of our own lives. We now have, by historical necessity and by collective fate, the problem of redeeming the sense of each soul being unique and meaningful on both the personal and collective levels. For, the unifying center that cannot be found in the outer world must first be located in the depths of the individual soul.

 

What has been mostly forgotten is that the inner message and defining pattern of our souls must be uncovered if we are to become genuine individuals. Individual means someone undivided on the inside and awakened, to some degree, to a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Unless we can find ways of being undivided on the inside, there is no way for collective society to find a sense of unity in the outside world.

 

Each of us has the most to give, and can contribute most meaningfully, when we become who we already are at the core of our lives. That is the inside story and the hidden message that has been etched in the soul of humanity and needs to be rediscovered and brought back into current imagination and understanding.

 

You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online workshop “Healer, Mentor, Elder, Guide” on November 13.  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.

 

We’d love to hear your feedback on the podcast.  You can leave a review wherever you listen or send a question or comment to info@mosaicvoices.org. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Oct 27, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online workshop “Healer, Mentor, Elder, Guide” on Saturday, November 13.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.  You can save 30% on this workshop and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.

 

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

 

We’d love to hear your feedback on the podcast.  You can leave a review wherever you listen or send a question or comment to info@mosaicvoices.org. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Oct 20, 2021

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

 

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

 

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

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 355 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all online events, courses and products and receive 3 bonus episodes each month. 

 

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

 

As always, we appreciate you leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Oct 13, 2021

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 350 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all online events, courses and products and receive bonus episodes each month. 

 

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

 

We appreciate you leaving a review on iTunes or your favorite podcast player and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Oct 6, 2021

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

You can save 30% on these events and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Learn more and join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, we appreciate you leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Sep 29, 2021

On this episode of Living Myth, Michael Meade tells an old story of someone who follows a dream that leads to being stripped down and stuck, before it unfolds a path to healing and wholeness. “Stories and dreams are about the mysteries of life. And penetrating the mysteries requires a different kind of vision and a different understanding than what we use to negotiate the common world.”

 

“By now, most people can agree that we are living in a broken world at both the levels of nature and culture. What still seems difficult to accept is that the way to find solutions involves accepting our own participation in the woundedness of the world. The presence of the wound makes healing necessary; it is also the presence of the wound that makes healing possible.”

 

“The current moment of stripping down institutions and dissolution of familiar patterns of life may be the exact condition in which we begin to see with other eyes and find the threads of the dream of life again. But, in order to find ways to awaken to the meaning of life again, we have to accept our own woundedness.”

 

The world needs healing on so many levels, that there cannot be a single idea, simple process or common belief that ends all the conflicts and begins the healing. The missing ingredient, the deep medicine, the inner gold is hidden in our own hearts. Until we can loosen the stones that we have constructed to protect our vulnerable selves, we can't find the inner medicine or the inner wisdom of the soul.

 

Only through that kind of process can we find genuine ways to become wounded-healers and bring some healing back to the world. If enough people would do that, then enough medicines would be found that we could contribute to the healing of ourselves, and at the same time, be humbly, but creatively helping to heal the world.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast. You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his new online events that continue through October 9 and explore the theme of the wounded healer.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. 

 

You can save 30% on these events and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Learn more and join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, we appreciate you leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Sep 22, 2021

This episode of Living Myth begins when the local power grid suddenly goes down in the middle of the evening telecast about all the conflicts and troubles in the world. Michael Meade finds himself plunged into a darkness of a different order: “Suddenly, the procession of polarizations, conflicts and tragedies stopped. And I was left in an old place of darkness that was different than the darkness of the broadcast news. Suspended in timeless silence between candles beginning to flicker in the room and the stars flickering in the sky above, an old idea came back like a refuge suddenly found.”

 

The idea that sparked like a light in the darkness comes from the mythology of a small tribe in South America who imagine that each soul is secretly connected to the center of the cosmos and the source of life. The presence of a “good word” or wise word in each soul, we could say, is the good news. Each person born arrives with gifts and inner knowledge waiting to awaken and be shared.

 

The bad news is that each person also has a “word placed crosswise” on their soul. In this old understanding, the word crosswise is the true source of human conflicts that leads to all the troubles in the world. Not simply a lack of knowledge, but an inborn, contrary element that blocks our vision, works against our best interests and resists our efforts to become more self-aware and learn to heal.

 

At this time on earth it seems that crosswise and unwise elements dominate life in ways that threaten both nature and human culture. Yet, in this old story of the soul, there is a third component that can tip the whole story towards finding genuine meaning and healing. The “word held in waiting” is the key to unlocking the opposition between that which is wise and all that is crosswise within us and in our culture. If people are willing to face that which is crosswise on the soul, both personally and collectively, the “waiting word” can appear as the light hidden in darkness, as the living word of healing and wisdom we have been waiting for.

 

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 September 24.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. 

 

You can save 30% on these events and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Learn more and join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, we appreciate you leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Sep 15, 2021

This episode is about living through this dark time on earth by finding and making more medicines from eros, love and soul. Michael Meade weaves together the myth of Eros emerging from primal darkness with poems of Rumi and Hafiz that reveal the initiatory nature of love.

 

“When we refer to how everything seems divided and people are turned against each other, we are also saying there is a lack of Eros, a lack of love, a loss of the bestowing soul that otherwise would remind us that we are in this together.”

 

In Greek myth, Eros was a divine figure born out of the darkness and chaos before creation began. Eros or love had to be born first, for without it the created world could not come together or hold together. The same is true when everything seems about to fall apart. In terms of ongoing creation, the amount of eros and love present in each of our lives determines the state of our individual souls, but also affects collective life on earth.

 

When life becomes chaotic, it is hard not to feel fear and anger, even despair. It also makes sense to let those emotions run through us. After they have passed through, it turns out that we are not left empty or simply in dark despair. If we are true to our own souls, we arrive at the gates of surrender where eros, love and inspiration wait to open the way forward.

 

Each person is but a frail being compared to the immense crises facing the world. Yet, each is also a living link in the great chain of being that sustains collective life on earth. If we do not risk opening the gates of surrender and finding our intended personality, if we forget that we are also the agents of Eros come here to keep creation ongoing, then consciousness falters and the genuine paths of knowledge and devotion become weakened.

 

Eros was there at the very beginning, hidden in the darkness and Eros is waiting to be found now in the chaos of the troubled world in which we live. What we love is where we make medicine and can find cures. Loving becomes a kind of initiation in which we become our self in a deeper way, while also giving ourselves away in service to something greater.

 

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 September 24.  Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events.  

 

You can save 30% on these events and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Learn more and join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, we appreciate you leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Sep 8, 2021

This episode begins with pressing questions about the outer dangers and the inner devastations caused by the climate crisis. Michael Meade responds to questions about the collective fate of humanity and the future of the world by turning to ancient myths of Sophia and the Soul of the world.

 

“In terms of mythic imagination, the word world is not simply a reference to the measurable earth that we live upon. Rather, it is a term for the complex, intricate, ever renewable interrelationship of all the beings and all the energies on earth. In losing an instinctive sense and intuitive imagination of both the multiplicity and the underlying unity of life, modern societies continue to lose connections with the living world and the mystery of ongoing creation.”

 

The ancient imagination of Sophia represented a way of connecting to the intricacies and surprising potencies that create and sustain the living world. Sophia, as the energy of creation, was seen as the mother of all the forms of life. Sophia as daughter represented all the potentials that reside inside each person, inside the earth, and within all the living relationships that make up the world. Sophia, as the Soul of the World, symbolized the wisdom hidden within the multiple elements of life, but also the essential unity that underlies the body of the world.

 

Nothing is real until it has been imagined and re-imagining the essential connections between the individual soul and the living Soul of the World becomes a key to understanding how life on earth can be re-visioned and balance can be restored. A transformation of collective humanity is needed to help heal and transform the world. However, the collective only changes through the awakening of individual souls, who in turn help awaken the hidden potentials of life, once known as Sophia or the Soul of the World.

 

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 September 24. These events explore the archetype of the wounded healer. Register and learn more at mosaicvoices.org/events. 

 

You can save 30% on these events and further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium. Learn more and join this community of listeners at patreon.com/livingmyth.

 

As always, we appreciate you leaving a review on iTunes and sharing it with your friends. On behalf of Michael Meade and the whole Mosaic staff, we wish you continued well-being and deep community connection during this period of great uncertainty and transformation.

Sep 1, 2021

This episode begins with a news report about a political candidate threatening to “…go into school boards with 20 strong men and give them an option. They can leave or they can be removed." He suggested that forcing school board members to resign over a rule designed to help public safety would “make men men again.” In order to consider the nature and the danger of this kind of behavior, Michael Meade turns to ancient myths of the Titans.

 

“The exaggerated sense of self, the broad insolence and the delusion that men become real men by threatening people and enacting violence made me think of the Titans. The manifestation of faux outrage and false heroics is not an indication of inner power, but more of a revelation of inner hollowness. And that is the nature of the Titans, who appeared in times of chaos that came before civilized culture began and appeared again during periods of cultural upheaval, and collapse.

 

The idea of bringing in powerful strong men to solve the intricacies of public health and the complexities of public education is foolish on its face, but also a dangerous representation of what happens when someone loses their sense of soul, and denies their own vulnerability and insecurity. As with the Titans, an inner emptiness drives the blind sense of excess, which includes breaking boundaries, destroying institutions, and pretending to be all powerful.

 

As the common understandings of society seem to disappear, and the holding institutions no longer hold things together, there is a rise of primal energies and raw emotions from the depths of the unconscious. The less developed a person's sense of self might be, the more available they are to archetypal, un-socialized, uncivilized energies.

 

Titanism describes what happens when humans deny common decency, morality and even mortality, and seek to be seen as gods. Titanism arises where unconsciousness prevails, where people refuse psychological shadings, where a lack of emotional growth passes for genuine passion. The less a person knows about the suffering of other people and the less they admit to their own inner woundedness, the more they become available to become possessed by energies of the unconscious.”

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 350 episodes, receive a 30% discount on all online events, courses and products and receive 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.

Aug 25, 2021

On this episode, Michael Meade uses an ancient version of the Grateful Dead theme to show how when faced with impossible tasks we must draw vitality and wisdom from the deep ground of being where life can renew itself. Rather than a typical hero’s journey, the story involves a compassionate youth who gives all that he has to properly bury a corpse that was left unburied. Eventually, the corpse comes back to life and becomes a wise guide and soulful companion as the youth faces great challenges.

 

In working through the story, Meade raises the idea that the corpse that revives and returns to help guide us could be myth itself. He shows how myth can be a direct source of lost knowledge and how mythic imagination may be essential for understanding the current world crises and gathering a sense of how life on Earth continually renews itself.

 

“Myth may have come back from the dead and into some awareness in modern culture; but the result has been more of an over-identification with the myth of the hero, than a revelation of the redeeming and transforming powers of myth overall. The mythic approach is a perspective, a way of seeing the world, not a program. We can be caught in heroic visions and suffer heroic blindness that can keep us from perceiving ways to see the world with greater imagination and deeper compassion.

 

In this time of dramatic challenge and radical change, we need a therapy, not of the hero, which often relates to the ego of a person, but a therapy of the soul, which can become a therapy of the earth as well. The bad news may be that myth, the great source of imagination and vitality has often been buried deep in the earth. The good news is that, like the grateful dead, it is nearby and waiting for us to redeem it, and then learn how to be redeemed by it.”

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his free online event “Mythic Imagination and Climate Change” next Thursday, August 26. Register at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 345 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.

Aug 12, 2021

On this replay of a popular episode, Michael Meade takes up the issue of healing from the ancient idea of the Sacred Fifth, or Secret Fifth, that represents the hidden center of the world, the original source of wholeness and renewal. Following the Navajo myth of the Fifth World, Meade describes how a small reed can become the connective link to the axis of the world that then leads to the hidden center that remains the living source of life.  The ancient myth becomes a way of recovering from, and shifting the burden of the otherwise overwhelming dilemmas of the modern world.

 

Thank you for listening to and supporting this podcast.  You can hear Michael Meade live by joining his free online event “Mythic Imagination and Climate Change” next Thursday, August 26. Register at mosaicvoices.org/events.

 

You can further support this podcast by becoming a member of Living Myth Premium.  Members have access to the full archives of over 345 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.

Aug 11, 2021

This episode begins with the latest report on the climate crisis from the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. With each fractional increase in global warming, extreme events such as the wildfires burning across Australia, Europe, parts of America and even Siberia will continue to get worse. At the same time, massive floods will become more frequent and sea levels will rise, leaving low lying lands and coastal communities in extreme states of vulnerability.

 

Michael Meade recounts a cautionary story about the loss of giant kelp forests off the coast of California. The dense underwater canopies can draw down much more carbon than similar stands of terrestrial trees. Yet, these immense kelp forests are being turned into underwater wastelands by sea urchins who, in turn come to starve from the lack of kelp. Rather than seeming like an abstract problem at some distance, our human plight parallels the tragic predicament of the sea urchins and the kelp. We risk becoming agents of our own suffering, creators of our own wastelands, and destroyers of the only home we have ever had.

 

The new climate report declares that altering the tragic course of life on earth depends upon “transformation at every level of human society.” Meade suggests that such a metamorphosis of human society requires more than logic or reason alone can offer and much more than technological innovation can provide.

 

“To me, the story isn't simply that nature needs humanity in order to survive, but also that humanity must rediscover its own nature and its connection to the mystery of life, in order to transform. Regeneration is a law throughout the cosmos where the mystery of life involves the process of life, death, renewal. If we are to find our reconnection to the capacity to transform, we must die, in a sense, to the limited understandings of life that now prevail, in order to find a deeper ground of imagination from which to grow a greater more genuine human culture.”

 

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.

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.

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