On this episode of Living Myth, Michael Meade contrasts two creation myths that feature the original division that becomes the source of all subsequent divisions in life. One ancient tale makes clear that healing and transformation are the secret aims of the tension of opposites that exist inside each person, inside each society and inside life itself.


“At critical moments in the life of individuals and societies, the basic elements and energies of existence polarize. While the two poles of a polarity seem to be irreconcilable opposites, they are secretly one. In a true polarity, one side cannot exist without the other; for existence itself is an essential unity appearing as a duality. Yet, at the level of pre-systemic thought, the mystery of totality underlies all the conflicts and divisions in life, both personal and collective. We suffer what divides us in order to find ways back to the wholeness before all the dividing began.


Something ancient in us bends us towards the origins of the whole thing, so that what troubles us takes us down to the bottom of what troubles us and back to the beginning before the original unity was divided. The word healing means “to make whole again.” Healing, health, wealth, wholeness all hail from the same etymological roots. To heal is to make whole and what continually requires healing is the original split. No healing without a return to origins, no healing that does not in some way touch the original split.


Without stories that remind us of the hidden wholeness and the hidden holiness of the world, all that is left are the pressing problems and threatening divisions that seem increasingly impossible to solve.”


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