The Genius Myth: An Interview with Storyteller and Author, Michael Meade

When Michael Meade was thirteen, his aunt, seemingly by accident, bought him a book of mythology for his birthday. Though he felt profoundly aligned with the book and stayed up all night reading it, it would take another 20 years before it became evident it was his path in life, guiding him to his current calling as a renowned storyteller, author, and scholar in mythology and depth psychology.

 “The soul’s way of being is unique to each person,” Meade wrote in his acclaimed book, Why The World Doesn’t End. “It was seeded and sown within each of us from the beginning and it tries to ripen throughout our lives. What exiles us more than anything is the separation from our own instinctive, intuitive way of being. We are most lost and truly in exile when we have lost touch with our own soul, with our unique inward style and way of being in this world.”

In a recent interview, Meade shared insights with me into his own mythological and depth psychological view of how—though we’re living in a radical time when it seems like the world is falling apart; when “nature is rattling and culture seems to be unraveling”—being in touch with one’s innate genius is “an unerring guide to what a person’s life is supposed to be about.”

Meade’s latest book, The Genius Myth, focuses on how a person navigates a period of such turmoil and uncertainty. Meade’s use of the word “genius” is based on the old sense, he notes, referring to the unique spirit that is in each person’s soul, a concept often obscured in the modern world. One example of how the individual soul is oppressed is in that of transgendered individuals, Meade points out, especially children for whom the issue is active in them for some mysterious reason. The notion of the individuality of each soul makes it more feasible to respect the differences we all live in spite of appearances or backgrounds. One’s “complex” of abilities and gifts is what makes each individual unique and valuable. In a collective society, the uniqueness of life is often overlooked, yet this is the very thing that often provides meaning and purpose in an individual life.

 In the face of what Meade terms, the apparent “unraveling of the world,” I wonder how each of us might tap into the genius within. It is important to distinguish the genius myth from the hero’s journey—introduced into the mainstream by the legendary Joseph Campbell, Meade responds... (Click here to read the full post and listen to the interview)

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Comment by Stuart Lloyd on March 3, 2017 at 5:36pm


As a community artist in remote Australia, I followed up a lifetime of instruction from my elders to sit with children and share fiber skills.     

From this practice, I witnessed fascination, glee, intuitive learning, peer teaching, and all positive affirmative response to these archetypal folkcraft patterns. And yes, the reports from teachers were that other aspects of 3R’s curriculum improved when these workshops were going on.

The haptic somatic doing hand skills reached all children.

I came to regard the craft practice as an experience about connection and ownership.

Often in our modern education, these continuum skills are appreciated as they impart/  transmit knowledge from a deep unconscious collective.

(The craft can quickly be rejected, vanish and be replaced with new curriculum ideas.)

Working alongside traditional artists family, we were able to restore archival traditional craft practice and pass it onto the next generations.

We independently shaped curriculum for contemporary community arts and then went back to our ancestral 'First Baskets'.As a small independent body of weavers have worked for years to have our techniques emulate our museum archival baskets.

I took 35 years working with rattan/ lawyer cane, to find my hand splitting the correct grades of fiber achieved in all our ancestral basketry. Now with the skills innate, I can pass it on in a day.

Now with the skills innate, I can pass it on in a day.

The fascination, compulsion, enduring interest, in practicing this ancestral continuum has supported my interest for the power of metaphor and its leading in our pragmatic lives.

The fibers instruct us intuitively with an with intelligent conversation and leading/ guidance.

This may be based within a simple mathematical/ geometric instruction.

Many of my family name this as being in the presence of ancestors and all those generations of craft transmission.

In my own practice, I am often am witnessing the deep old trees still living in the world heritage wet tropical forest 10 k to my west on our great dividing escarpment.

This presence of that spirit that has been here for millions of years before man, is a deeper sense of archetypal impulse.

This leads me to our speak of our motivation as community artists.

Land and Children were to be the soul led energetics for our work.

As remote educationalists and craftspeople, we had the privilege to take Uncle Jo’s instruction to ‘Follow Our Bliss’.

With Grandfather Jung’s  wisdom towards our Myth, we now rescript the Story for our Times.

As contemporary Visual Artists, we seek vessels to hold


 Today our story is as our grandmothers' was


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