This episode of Living Myth begins with the report on the increase of perfectionism in the world. Whether caused by comparisons found on social media or notions of meritocracy, young people especially suffer from perfectionism. Beginning with the idea that something perfect is finished, and therefore closer to death than to life, Michael Meade turns our attention instead to the value of trouble. Not just any trouble, but the importance of getting into the right trouble, the kind of trouble intended to grow our souls. The right kind of trouble serves to awaken inner capacities we didn’t know we had and draws upon resources we didn’t know were there. Recent studies in education indicate that the right kind of struggle makes all of us more resilient, creative and less anxious in general.
This episode of Living Myth takes up the issues of tragedy in America, specifically the latest mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida. In considering the long history of men and guns, Michael Meade states an old Irish proverb: “You don’t give a man a weapon unless you’ve taught him how to dance.” After lamenting the lack of leadership when it comes to guns and violence, he introduces and an old idea from Africa. The term “litima” describes the volatile spirit found in youth that can either be the source of creativity and ideals or else become a trigger for violence and destruction. The difference is often decided by the amount of acceptance, care and guidance a culture brings or fails to bring to its youth.
This episode of Living Myth begins with the fantasies of huge military parades and the swirling of conspiracy theories in the nation’s capital. Michael Meade shifts the issues of collusion, delusion and transparency from politics to the deeper grounds of depth psychology and mythology. As the world seems to tip upside down, we experience a “lifting of the veil” that can reveal things usually hidden or covered up. Although old structures may collapse and once vital systems may fall apart; yet other patterns and barely imagined designs are on the verge of being revealed.
This episode of Living Myth begins in the aftermath of the recent State of the Union address and tries to turn our attention to the state of the soul, both the soul of the country and the individual souls within it. Michael Meade describes the importance of the second adventure of life, the soul’s great adventure, which is unique to each person and must be risked despite, and because, of the state of the country and the world. As he states, “often the choice comes down to adventure or complacency, since life is rarely neutral, complacency does not simply lead to stasis, but to decay and increasing loss of life purpose.” In the face of life’s challenges, either we grow bigger lives or become smaller people.