Michael Meade's Latest Book
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Both timely and timeless, this book is essential for anyone who seeks to awaken their own genius and learn how it can help heal nature and re-imagine culture. This book will help young people hoping to find a meaningful way in the world and adults wanting to dwell more deeply in life. It offers essential ideas for parents and teachers, counselors and mentors seeking to encourage and support those they teach and care about. The Genius Myth is essential reading for anyone searching for a true orientation in the midst of a world gone wrong.
The culmination of decades of work with at-risk youth and at-risk people, Michael Meade’s book about the genius myth as well as associated events and workshops combine dramatic real life experiences with compelling mythic tales and a profound exploration of the wisdom of genius.
Each person born participates in the genius of life and that the world at this time is in great need of an awakening of the genius qualities hidden in each of us. In this view genius refers, not to measurable intelligence, but to the essential “uniqueness” of each person and the gifts and talents that form the core of their inner life. The presence of genius marks each person, regardless of age, gender orientation, ethnicity or social status as being essentially distinct and automatically valuable.
The Return of Wisdom • Facing Fate, Finding a Destiny • The Famous and The Infamous • Finding Your Life Dream • The Wise and the Crosswise • The Importance of Being Weird • Little Death and Big Death • Gifts and Wounds • Awakening the Inner Sage
"The Genius Myth is a quiet masterpiece. It is an edifice built of ideas, personal anecdotes, ancient and classic wisdom stories, philosophy and depth psychology. It squarely faces the huge problems we face, both culturally and ecologically and offers a surprising solution.
Michael historically traces and fills out the idea that everyone comes into life with an innate inner genius. That this part of each of us can be found, blossom and be given to the world has mostly been forgotten. Living with/through our genius makes for a rewarding life in a profoundly deeper way than our culture’s usual measures of success based on material wealth and ‘fame’. Acknowledging that everyone has such genius within segues smoothly into our treating each person as if they were valuable.
This book is the result of lifelong study and experience in the world taking on some of our toughest problems – disaffected youth, gangs, returning veterans, and bigotry. Michael has matured from a fierce Celtic warrior finding and facing trouble at the darkest margins of culture to a compassionately fierce elder.
He thinks in a uniquely mythological way. His experience facilitating events with a wide range of attendees, gang kids to college professors, honed his skill to make deep ideas accessible to all. His language reflects the poets he has loved, and the way he goes deeply into the original meanings of words expands their meaning. This book makes a real difference and although it lays out a path that is revolutionary and difficult, its authenticity invites embracing the changes it propounds."
- Alan C.
"Another deeply insightful look by Michael Meade at imagination through the idea that we each have an inner genius that needs to be awakened to save the world."
- J. Farr
"Fascinating read about encouraging each person to seek out their genius for the betterment of the world. The book is on the philosophical rather than the practical side, arguing the case that we all have genius inside us through cultural insights - very worth reading."
"We live in critical times, amidst a worldwide shaking up and breaking down, surrounded by radical changes that severely affect both nature and culture. The world is churning all around us, overheating with climate change and rising seas, but also awash with profound problems and intensifying conflicts. Given the size, scope, and complexity of the problems that currently threaten the world, there can be no single idea, specific political movement, or patented belief system that can save us. Rather, all kinds of ingenious solutions are needed; all types of inspiration, invention, and originality are now required. The idea of a genius self already present and trying to awaken within each of us may serve us better than more common notions of a heroic solution. Awakening genius is a necessary step on the way to becoming a genuine individual and an active agent in the reimagining of the world. Consciously seeking to awaken inner genius may provide a refuge from chaos and an antidote for the spread of nihilism and the increasing levels of despair that characterize a world gone wrong. 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.
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. The question becomes not whether or not you are a genius, but in what way does genius appear in you and how might it contribute to your own well-being and benefit the world around you.
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. Not the sense that “many are called, but few are chosen.” Rather, the sense that the genius nature in each person is subject to a calling and needed at this time. For, it is the genius within us that our calling is calling to. Everyone has some gift to give if they learn to give from their essential nature.
Genius is the source of purpose and the seed of destiny in each of us. Despite modern confusions about individual purpose and meaning in life, the genius has destinations and destinies in mind for us. A true calling is aimed at the genius qualities already set within each person. 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. On the outside it is felt as a calling and on the inside it is felt as the awakening of one’s own way of seeing and of truly being in the world."