"Once We Grow Up, We Grow In."
Recently, I was listening to Michael Meade’s “Living Myth” podcast called "The Pearl Within the Soul," during which he said the seven words that make up the title of today’s post.
While many of his episodes feel a little ethereal to me, I love how he weaves mythical stories into our modern life. This particular episode was full of pearls; excuse the pun.
Let me share a few here:
- The soul offers us a personal descent, while the spirit offers an eternalized ascent.
- As we age, we descend and come into contact with our soul, but often it’s located right near the most wounded part of us. Imagine a shark that is protecting a treasure on the ocean’s bottom. We may recoil due to our fear and thus never build a relationship with our soul.
- The birth of a pearl is a miraculous event grown in a living host. Unlike most other gems, it doesn’t have to be cut or reshaped. The pearl emerges in deep waters (from irritation of the oyster), often in a shell that is irregular or in which the growth has been stunted. Great pearls erupt out of oysters that look like aberrations. The blemishes become beauty.
- The origins of the word “pearl” in Latin denote something unique. No two pearls, nor two souls, are the same.
- A manufactured pearl is not as valuable. It may look beautiful on the surface, but it hasn’t explored the depth of irritation.
- Michael says, “Those who desire pearls must dive into deep waters. They must risk the darkness, the isolation, the confusion of the depths.”
I’d highly recommend listening to this episode. Michael helped me to understand that as we age, certain parts of us diminish, but our soul starts to shine even more radiantly, just like a rare and beautiful pearl. In our decline, we become true to our innermost design. Or, as Miles Davis put it, “Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”
If you’ve been through an MEA program, you know that our “pearls of wisdom” gesture is foundational to creating community, which is why this podcast episode might resonate with you.