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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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Now displaying: July, 2021
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.

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