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.
On the latest episode, drawn from relevant and compelling archival audio and building on themes from last week's podcast, Michael Meade tells an old and timely story from Japan while arguing for a poetic response to conflict, uncertainty and fear. Meade suggests that genuine peace requires a poetic basis, a relearning of ways to weave the fragile fabric of culture with threads of imagination, meaning, and healing; not a quick fix or a simple protest, but a reclamation of radical roots and practices that affirm and nourish the genuine spirit of humanity. This is the real battle, the battle for beauty and meaning trying to break through the spells of the obvious and the fogs of war.
What people are saying about the podcast:
AUGUST Featured Title
“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 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."
"I started listening to this podcast a few months ago. In the beginning it was a little touch to penetrate it because I'm usually moving so fast it's hard to listen deeply. But it really touched me in some unexpected ways. Good medicine for me."
"The wisdom and deep perspective that flows through Michael Meade is medicine for me in these times of radical change and uncertainty."
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Michael Meade speaks about moments when myth and fact approach each other, momentous times that the Greeks called Apocairos. Addressing the moments of threat and uncertainty created by the bombastic statements made by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, Meade opens up the mythic ground of “apocalypsis” that remind us that the world has been on the brink of annihilation many times before, and yet continues because of the slight edge that the energies of creation have over the energies of destruction.
This recording is full of surprising ideas about war and peace, the role of elders in times of threat and what each of us can do to be on the ground of creation, on the side of peace and in the fields of endless imagination.
Michael Meade tells a dramatic life and death story from his life that shows how we are each shaped by compelling threads of fate and destiny woven in our souls. Having been cornered and under threat by members of a rival gang, the youthful Meade suddenly finds himself telling a story that, in effect, saves his life. Having established the sense of an archetypal pattern present in each soul, the tale leads us back to ancient Greece and the myth of the Sisters of Fate.
Fate appears as whatever limits, restricts or even imprisons us; yet fate is the territory where we must go if we are to awaken to our inner destiny. Facing the elements of one’s fate and seeking the destiny hidden within it are part of the art of truly living and of living truly. Fate ties us to the world and keeps us in it, while destiny calls us to a divine errand set deeply within us.
Beginning with an old tale of an eagle that grew up believing it was a chicken; Michael Meade considers the necessity of a second birth that frees the spirit and the soul. Being born is a kind of miracle of life; especially in the sense that each soul that enters this world is unique and never to be repeated. Yet, in order to be fully alive a person must be born a second time. The second birth involves the cracking open of the shell of the little self and a conscious awakening to the inner nature of the individual soul.
It is never enough to simply fit in or just survive; for the soul aims at a destiny from the beginning. A culture that views success in simple terms of money or power will lack the imagination and vision necessary for shaping a meaningful and inclusive future. What really changes the world and what saves us from chaos and despair is the revelation of the spirit within us and the genuine expression of our own souls.
Michael Meade examines the differences between spirit and soul. After describing how spirit rises like air, like fire and soul descends like water, like earth, he turns to the struggle of spirit and soul in each human life. Without the lift and the light of spirit, soul can become too heavy, sodden with earthiness, too tragic or stuck in the mud to move anything forward. Without the shading of soul, what could become wise can become way too sure of itself, too certain of the way and too blinded by the light.
What is most often missing in the modern world is depth of soul and soulful connections. The deeper a person grows the roots of their soul, their instinctive embodied way of connecting to the earth, to the breath of creation, to the ground of being, the more that person can handle the heights and the flights of spirit. Wholeness requires descent as well as ascent. In the end, we can handle as much spirit as we grow our souls.
Soul doesn’t want a sudden solution to the problems of the world, or a sudden enlightenment that takes us out of this world. Soul wants us to live further and further into the depths of this world and into our own being, and thereby draw spirit down and bring heaven right down to Earth.
Secretly, spirit and soul are trying to come together, to unite, but it’s usually the depth of soul that’s missing. By growing more soul each person can become a unique example of the middle ground of creation where spirit can descend and soul can rise. Human beings become the place of ongoing creation where the tremendous energies of spirit and soul can come together in a conscious way.
This episode begins with the old Irish idea that we can experience the world in opposing states called “the glam and the gloom.” The world has glamour when it shines with beauty and wonder, but it also has shadows and gloomy depths which can be experienced as anxiety, grief, and sorrow. Michael Meade connects this old idea to the current condition of the world where the constant drumbeat of troubles ranging from climate disturbances to political devastations creates more gloom in the form of fears and sorrows and even despair.
Antidotes for this modern condition are found in an old myth from India. The story begins when the god Vishnu dreams up the world while sleeping on the cosmic ocean of night. When the first human sage falls out of the dream of life, he winds up lost in the ocean of despair. Surprisingly, the sage finds a dream in the depths of his own soul that gives him both buoyancy and a spiritual orientation. That leads the storyteller to describe the ancient paths of spiritual practice that may once again be the way to find the touch of the divine and the dream of life.
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