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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: August, 2021
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.

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