This episode takes place during the record-setting rainfall of Hurricane Harvey and the tremendous tragedy and displacement that follows the storm. Michael Meade uses the metaphors of the tough-minded and tender-hearted as ways of understanding the two sides of heroic efforts to save people and survive the disasters of life. Using James Joyce’s idea of living in the time of chaosmos, Meade looks into the eye of the storm of tragedy in search of the underlying nobility of the human soul and its capacity to survive by the surprising elements of altruism and cooperation.
This episode begins with reflections on whiteness arising from Mosaic’s recent multicultural conference that came on the heels of the tragedy in Charlottesville, VA. Michael Meade seeks to analyze and deconstruct white supremacy by looking at the cosmological trick that led to using color as a primary aspect of identity. Pointing out how whiteness claims purity at the same time as it produces oppositional thinking, Meade reveals how the misuse of a symbol contributes to centuries of oppression. Breaking the spell of whiteness as an aspect of collective identity turns out to be a necessary step for stopping oppression and finding cultural healing.
Drawing from relevant and compelling archival audio and building on themes from last week's podcast, Michael Meade tells an old and timely story from Japan while arguing for a poetic response to conflict, uncertainty and fear. Meade suggests that genuine peace requires a poetic basis, a relearning of ways to weave the fragile fabric of culture with threads of imagination, meaning, and healing; not a quick fix or a simple protest, but a reclamation of radical roots and practices that affirm and nourish the genuine spirit of humanity. This is the real battle, the battle for beauty and meaning trying to break through the spells of the obvious and the fogs of war.
Michael Meade speaks about moments when myth and fact approach each other, momentous times that the Greeks called Apocairos. Stepping off from moments of threat and uncertainty created by the bombastic statements made by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, Meade opens up the mythic ground of “apocalypsis” that remind us that the world has been on the brink of annihilation many times before, and yet continues because of the slight edge that the energies of creation have over the energies of destruction.
This recording is full of surprising ideas about war and peace, the role of elders in times of threat and what each of us can do to be on the ground of creation, on the side of peace and in the fields of endless imagination.
Michael Meade tells a dramatic life and death story from his youth that shows how we are each shaped by compelling threads of fate and destiny woven in our souls. Having been cornered and under threat by members of a rival gang, the youthful Meade suddenly finds himself telling a story that, in effect, saves his life. Having established the sense of an archetypal pattern present in each soul, the tale leads us back to ancient Greece and the myth of the Sisters of Fate.
Fate appears as whatever limits, restricts or even imprisons us; yet fate is the territory where we must go if we are to awaken to our inner destiny. Facing the elements of one’s fate and seeking the destiny hidden within it are part of the art of truly living and of living truly. Fate ties us to the world and keeps us in it, while destiny calls us to a divine errand set deeply within us.