“Regardless of the conditions of the outside world, we are each here to transform our own lives from the inside and become a full expression of our unique soul.” So says Michael Meade when he talks about one of his favorite stories, The Tiger’s Whisker. This episode of Living Myth includes a full telling of the famous tale of a woman who must face a living tiger in order to cure the ailment in her soul. What begins as a small village tale opens up to become the endless territory of the human heart that harbors an old sage, a fierce tiger and the need to find a cure for love. In a world troubled with collective anxiety and growing fears, it is helpful to know that on a path with heart, fear is the guide and what you truly love is the cure.
The world is so flooded with change, it becomes difficult to keep abreast of radical climate changes, shifts in technology, and all the scandals and revelations of politics. Michael Meade suggests that being an “agent of change” may not be enough to affect life in meaningful ways. He proposes becoming “agents of creation” who can help tip the scales away from destruction and towards ongoing creation. Following a teaching story in which an old man reviews his life, the point becomes that genuine transformation must begin in the depths of our individual souls, for what truly changes the soul, also changes the world.
In considering the amount of despair and suffering in the world that manifests as increased anxiety, depression and widespread addictions, Michael Meade takes up two contrary views of the human soul. The modern view of a blank slate or empty soul contributes to the growth of isolation and despair. The older sense of myth and imagination holds that each soul is unique and seeded with meaning and purpose. Meade uses an ancient story of the origin of one’s lot in life to illustrate the importance of having a felt sense of a unique soul inhabiting each person who enters the world.
Amidst all the confusion about building walls and assigning tariffs, amidst threats of violence and continuous upheaval, Michael Meade turns his attention to the old imagination of a guarding and guiding angel of the soul. Following the subtle trail of angels found in cultures throughout the world, Meade examines the role of inspiration in modern life and the need for intermediaries that connect us to nature and to the divine. In contrast to the modern notion of a world made of subjects separated from objects, the presence of angels adds more presence to the world and can help keep us aligned with beauty, wonder and life purpose.