Corpus Anima is a collection of previously published essays written for professional Jungian journals about the unity of psyche and soma, spirit and matter, body and soul. There are also two chapters of more personal reflections, previously unpublished, including a series of articles on the mid-Atlantic Azorean Archipelago. The essays on psyche and soma come from the direct experience of their unity. We live, life moves, at the confluence of these polarities of spirit and matter, body and soul, where through the capacity to hold contradiction and paradox we can become whole.
Included in this collection is a published essay (Routledge) on the Portuguese poet and writer, Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935). His particular paradoxical expression of the soul and its life in the world is radically inspiring. The lines below are written on his tomb in Lisbon, resting in the same national monument with Vasco de Gama (c. 1460s-1524), world oceanic explorer. Pessoa was an explorer of inner worlds. He is, posthumously, a national treasure.
I am nothing.
I shall always be nothing.
I cannot want to be anything.
But I have in me all the dreams of the world.
Cedrus Monte, PhD, is a Jungian Analyst, graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute in Switzerland (1995) where she now resides. She is originally from Northern California. Her roots lie there, even her heart; but even deeper roots, soul roots, lie in the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous island regions of Portugal. An uprooted wanderer of many lands, she has grounded herself as much as possible in the one constant earth, the body.
Association for Cultural Exchange –
Cedrus Monte’s writing celebrates the marriage of Soma and Psyche not just as metaphor or allegory but as invocation. This is why her written words sometime deserve to be read out loud. In this way, we may experience firsthand the spirits dwelling within the text itself.
Antero Alli, Director, ParaTheatrical ReSearch, Berkeley, California
A rare and precious chalice that offers nourishment for the parched soul, sublimely reconnecting us with what we have lost or forgotten. Quite wonderful and deeply moving.
Anne Baring, author of The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul
Cedrus Monte’s sense of internal reflection and primal connection with psyche give space for delicate moments of insight to unfold. She has the ability for silence, out of which her writing and work is generated. Her opus arises from the solace and secrets of redemptive longing which help heal the frenzy and wounds of our time.
Slobodan Dan Paich, Executive Director of Art Ship, Oakland, California
￼￼Cedrus Monte writes passionately and with feet firmly planted on the ground, bringing psychological insight to bear on a wide variety of timely topics, among them importantly her beloved culture of Portugal. It is a pleasure to read her thoughtful essays.
Murray Stein, author of Jung’s Map of the Soul
Beautiful book, poetic, visionary, political, personal, in keeping with what modern physics tells us, a book written from the heart and mind as one unit. It’s a book to be read in bits and pieces, slowly, meditatively. How I longed to stay in the state into which it put me.
Karen O. Hodges –
True to its title, Corpus Anima speaks of ensouled body and embodied soul. At its center is the conviction that matter itself has a spiritual dimension, whether met in our own flesh or in the natural world around us. Cedrus Monte offers her readers the healing possibility that this numinous dimension is accessible to our experience, if only in elusive moments, and that such experience has the power to transform consciousness as surely as do revelations from “above”. Recognizing the individual nature of this process, she dispenses no set prescriptions. Instead, she speaks of her own body-oriented work with the psyche and populates her pages with diverse voices and images that have informed her thoughts: from Dietrich Bonhoefer and Pema Chödron to the Portugese poet Fernando Pessoa, from the Black Madonnas of Europe and the Japanese dance form known as Butoh to hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean.
To write about embodied soul is to be entangled in a paradox: It is not an easy topic. Our culture, so top-heavy with words, generates a strong need to re-connect with life in full embodiment, while words by their very nature tend to lead us away from this lost connection. Ms. Monte approaches this problem by writing from a deeply personal place. Yet as I read, I felt universally shared concerns about cultural and environmental crisis always there in the background. There is inspiration and hope in Corpus Anima, but it is not facile. Through the text runs a dark thread, followed through to its endpoint in transformative moments when the world can create itself anew, whether at the level of biological evolution or at the level of despairing psyche. The recurring message is that redemptive consciousness can be released from long-hidden places, not in spite of, but because of, the overthrow of everything that has worked in the past. In transitional times like our own, it is good to reflect on these things, and Corpus Anima makes a good companion on paths that lie deep in shadow.
Karen O. Hodges
Jungian analyst in private practice in Charlotte, North Carolina