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MICHAEL MEADE

"The intensifying anxiety and mania can be termed a spiritual crisis in which we must find true meaning within all our suffering and collective struggle; not simply find a way to reinforce what we already know or think we know and believe."

"We are not simply in a political battle or a clash of civilizations; rather we are in a struggle for the heart of humanity and for the soul of the world."

~Michael Meade, "Political Poison and Collective Trauma"

Genius and Diversity

From The Genius Myth

Each person born, in some unique way, participates in the genius of life and the world at this time is in great need of an awakening of the genius qualities hidden in each of us. The future of this world is so much in question that each person needs to be considered a potential subject of a genuine “calling” to serve in some meaningful way.

Rather than a heroic journey undertaken by a select few, the genius myth imagines that everyone by virtue of bearing some genius qualities is subject to a genuine calling in life. In this old way of seeing, each person has some form of genius, each also has a calling or vocation and a purpose in life. Everyone has something to give if they give from their essential nature.

Because each soul is unique, calling comes differently to each person. There is no pattern into which we must fit, because it is the unique pattern at the core of each soul that is the aim of the calling. Because what calls to us is timeless, the calling can come at any time. At each turn in the road our life’s work awaits us; thus, our calling keeps calling no matter our age, position, or condition in life. Answering the call opens pathways of genius and imagination that can lead to finding one’s “dharma” or natural way of being in life and serving in the world.

"When seen as an archetypal presence in the soul, human genius marks each person — regardless of age, gender orientation, ethnicity, or social status—as being essentially unique and inherently valuable."

The genius myth offers the sense that each soul enters this world gifted in certain ways and distinctly shaped from within. In the same way that each infant arrives with a unique set of fingerprints as well as precise brain printing, each soul bears an inner imprint and unique psychic pattern. Human nature includes the hallmark of genius and a stamp of uniqueness provided by great nature. Nature produces life on a massive scale, yet each person born remains singular, never to be repeated. Just as there is no such thing as an average rainfall or an average tree, there is no such thing as an average person.

Variation and diversity are part of the magic of creation as well as the wonder of nature. Diversity and uniqueness are also essential ingredients for the survival and meaning of the human species. Thus, no two humans share the same genetic makeup. None of the billions of humans on earth share the same exact configuration of the base pairs of DNA that are strung on the double helix of inherited genes. We are intended to be unique beings and rare souls even from a biological perspective, as there is no single way of being. Neither is there a general form of intelligence; more like billions of intelligent forms seeking more than simple preservation of the species. Just as surely as each of us bears a precise DNA pattern within our cells, we each arrive with a unique and valuable style intended to give more presence to life and greater beauty and imagination to this world.

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Michael Meade, D.H.L., is a renowned storyteller, author, and scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology. He combines hypnotic storytelling, street-savvy perceptiveness, and spellbinding interpretations of ancient myths with a deep knowledge of cross-cultural rituals. He has an unusual ability to distill and synthesize these disciplines, tapping into ancestral sources of wisdom and connecting them to the stories we are living today.

He is the author of Fate and Destiny: The Two Agreements of The Soul, Why the World Doesn't End, The Water of Life: Initiation and the Tempering of the Soul; editor, with James Hillman and Robert Bly, of Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart; and editor of Crossroads: A Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage. Meade is the founder of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation, a nonprofit network of artist, activists, and community builders that encourages greater understanding between diverse peoples.


This article has been used with permission from the author.

Photo by Heinrich Damm

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