Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Memoir of a Personal Transformation
Maud Oakes had an interesting life. I'd not heard of her until seeing the extras on a DVD about Carl Jung. She was an artist and ethnologist who spent a lot of time living amongst the Navajo in New Mexico and amongst the Mam Indians of Guatemala. She wrote several books about these experiences, and was the first author published in the Bollingen series who was not Carl Jung. I'm interested to read her book about the survival of Mayan religious practices amongst the Christian Mam Indians. She was nearly killed in an automobile accident in the mountains of Peru, and underwent a long convalescence. Her nextdoor neighbor and good friend was Henry Miller, who told her before the voyage that she should stay home. He'd had a premonition that she would undergo a catastrophic event if she went to Peru--he said Madame Blavatsky came to him in a dream and warned him. Oakes found out the hard way that Miller was indeed prescient.
Oakes met Carl Jung voyaging with her film-maker cousin to Bollingen during her recuperation. The cousin was going to make a documentary film of the Swiss shaman. Maud saw a stone Jung had carved as a monument to his 75th birthday, and she became a bit obsessed by it. The Stone Speaks is a document of her struggle to come to terms with its symbolic meaning as she undergoes analysis.
This book is of course nestled into a very particular niche. I'd only recommend it if you're into analytical psychology, comparative religion, or mythology.