with MICHAEL MEADE
On this timely and timeless podcast, Michael 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.
This episode of begins with the disturbing display of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin on the world stage. After establishing the importance of truth and justice on both cultural and individual levels, Michael Meade laments the loss of elders throughout modern life. What follows is a consideration of the differences between the genuine elder and the reverse-elders, who destroy ideals and are unable to enhance life. Meade then turns to the idea of the soul’s adventure and the necessity of people at this time to find the inner sage and wise elder in their heart no matter what their age might be.
NEW from MOSAIC
This new offering from Mosaic gives members access to additional content beyond the free weekly edition of the podcast.
Since launching the Living Myth podcast last year, we have received consistent appreciation for how this weekly podcast provides insight, orientation and meaning to people at a time when culture and nature are undergoing radical changes.
Become a member today and for $10/month receive:
● 2 bonus episodes each month
● Regular Q&A episodes with Michael Meade
● The full podcast archives
● Exclusive offers on products and events
Your membership helps grow Living Myth and ensures we are able to continue developing and expanding this creative project.
What people are saying about the podcast:
"The way Divine wisdom channels through Michael Meade is so poetic and graceful...powerful and profound. I can feel truth in my body every time I listen in. I am so grateful for this podcast as it has proven to be one of the best ways for me to understand and integrate genius."
“I cannot recommend this podcast more highly. It is true art/poetry/story medicine and an antidote for the divisive messages surrounding us.”
"This series is perfectly timed to help make sense of the craziness going on right now. The reminder of ancient patterns and mythic stories is so refreshing. Thank you for this great service to sanity."
"This podcast has become one of my most valued influences in my life. Michael Meade speaks with such heart and passes on such wisdom. I highly recommend "Living Myth" for anyone who has a soul yearning to keep a finger on the pulse of humanity."
"This is a great podcast that combines myth with modern science and politics to give us the guidance we need right now."
"I listen to a ton of podcasts and this is, hands down, a must hear podcast in these times of chaos, polarized politics and discrimination. Michael Meade is a voice of reason, caring, deep insight and understanding that people on all sides can appreciate. It feels like Meade is a voice in the wilderness so very much needed at this moment."
"The wisdom and deep perspective that flows through Michael Meade is medicine for me in these times of radical change and uncertainty."
Starting with the idea that everything is interconnected, Michael Meade begins this episode with a commentary on the rescue of the group of boys from the caves in Thailand. He then uses the metaphor of being lost in the darkness and trapped in a labyrinth to consider how we all have fears of the dark and longings to be rescued from the anxieties of life. Somehow, Nasruddin, the wise fool from Sufi tales shows up, and the search begins for an essential key that has been lost in the dark. Not only do we pray for the rescue of the boys trapped in the dark, we also seek the courage to face our own darkness and find our own key to greater understanding.
In these times of chaos and confusion, when things seem to be falling apart, Michael Meade reminds us of the old idea that when you are going down, the best approach is to dive deeper. He then begins a story in which we follow two orphaned children down into the underworld. In the surprising village under the earth, which can also been seen as the collective human psyche, critical ceremonies occur that involve the gifts and wounds of the soul. Certain golden qualities are native to each soul, yet a descent is required to reveal these inner gifts. On the other hand, a careful cleansing and healing of whatever is wounded in a person must also take place. Healing the wounds and polishing the gold are the rituals of self-discovery and growth necessary for each person; they are also the model for how to deal with anyone who takes power in a group or a culture.
This week Michael Meade addresses two questions sent in by listeners. The first, “Why are you always saying a person’s gifts and wounds are connected?” leads to a wide ranging discussion on the concept that everyone in this world is gifted and everyone is wounded. Each person’s gifts are god given or innate, yet are rarely recognized by their own family. Each of us has to leave home in order to have our gifts recognized and find a genuine path in life. The second listener asks “How can finding my own soul possibly help with all the problems in the world?” Meade answers by describing the role of individual genius in changing collective life and explaining how we may be more in need of the genius myth than the hero's myth.
Beginning with the whiplash effect of rapidly changing stories and disturbing dramas of this time, Michael Meade takes up the issues of collective anxiety and increasing rates of suicide in contemporary life. He describes how a loss of soul at the collective level of life leads to increasing levels of cruelty and inhumanity. At the same time, the loss of soul creates isolation and alienation, pushing more people to the margins of life and the edges of despair. Meade concludes with the idea that we are each in a struggle for the connective power of the soul, individually, nationally and, given the global turbulence, we are in a struggle for the Soul of the World.
Part two of Thresholds of Initiation picks up Michael Meade’s story of imprisonment and eventual confinement in a solitary cell. A fascinating part of the narration occurs when the idea of fasting arises, not simply as a way of protesting, but as a way of demonstrating that a radical change in life was underway. This leads to the idea of radical initiation, the role of rites of passage in traditional cultures, and the concept of initiation being not only valuable, but vital in this time of radical change and confusion.
“We live in betwixt and between times,” says Michael Meade, as he considers the uncertainty and disorientation that so often characterize contemporary life. After drawing connections to ancient ideas of the thresholds of initiation, Meade tells an unusual and deeply personal story from his own youth. The result is a rare look into the territory of initiation where trials and obstacles can lead to a deeper understanding of the nature and purpose of one’s life.
In part two of the ancient story of Indra and the Two Worlds, we learn that Indra, having become disillusioned with what most people call the real world, becomes a renunciate, spending his time in meditation and contemplation. Meanwhile, the daily world falls apart as conflicts intensify and chaos spreads, leading Queen Shachi to realize that enlightened leadership must be brought back to the world. Michael Meade's interpretation of the story includes how we each relate to issues of empowerment and abdication, disillusionment with the world as well as the significance of the Bodhisattva concept.
The wisdom of myth says that all of this has happened before; leaders have misused power, justice has been turned upside down and people have been left in despair. In the first episode of a two-part podcast, Michael Meade draws upon an ancient and compelling myth from India that considers the dangers and distortions of misguided leadership. Lord Indra is possessed by the idea of winning at all costs and being ruler of the entire world. In order to avert a worldwide catastrophe, he must be shocked into a greater state of awareness.
“In the depths of the soul we are each an ‘old soul’ able to survive the troubles of the world, and also able to contribute to its healing and renewal.” So says, Michael Meade on this episode, drawn from a recent radio interview. Starting with the intrigues of both spirit and soul, the conversation turns to ways to navigate the maze of life when the world seems to go upside down and truth becomes hard to find. Using many insights from mythic imagination, Meade offers medicines and antidotes to the current conditions of the world. He also warns, “Either we are following spirit and growing more soul or we can find ourselves shrinking from life.”
Michael Meade responds to three questions people continually ask him: Are people unwittingly playing with worldwide disaster by pulling out of nuclear agreements, climate accords and trade alliances? Why are people so readily polarized and ready to demonize whoever doesn’t agree with them? And why are so many people falling into conspiracy theories and delusional fantasies? Surprisingly, all three questions are answered with the same ancient notion that sometimes everything must go upside down before things can turn around again. Sometimes we have to face the chaos in order to find paths to renewal.
The Greek word for truth is alethia, which translates as “not to forget”. In that sense, the loss of truth and the rise of falsity in modern life represents a great cloud of forgetting. In this episode, Michael Meade goes searching for truth and meaning in the old myths of the underworld where a person could find themselves caught between Lethe, the River of Forgetfulness or Oblivion, and Mnemosyne, the River of Great Memory and imagination. In a world turned upside down, the underworld stream of forgetfulness and lies floods the daily world. Finding the truth will mean remembering the deep values of humanity and the living stream of imagination that can renew all of life.
“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.
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