While convalescing in the south of France after a terrible motor accident in the Peruvian Andes, Maud Oakes had occasion to accompany her filmmaker cousin to the home of C. G. Jung in Switzerland. There she encountered a block of stone that Jung had designed and carved with signs, symbols, and inscriptions that drew on Greco-Roman religious ideas and the symbolism of astrology and alchemy.
The Stone Speaks is Miss Oakes’s meditation on the personal and transpersonal meaning of the Stone. Her extensive correspondence with Jung regarding her interpretations and her account of the healing and transformation that took place throughout her inner spiritual journey are a valuable document of individuation and health as the product of inner change, achieved by synthesis and integration.
Miss Oakes’s amplification of the symbolism of Jung’s Stone goes a long way toward showing why the influence of the deeply embedded ideas of one’s culture need not be antithetical to the spontaneous production of symbolism for one who can enter into the creative spirit of giving meaningful expression in some art form to the non-rational contents of the unconscious, as Jung did when he brought into visible form what he saw on the face of his block of stone.
Miss Oakes’s exposition of her own thoughts concerning the stone enables us to feel this unification of the different levels of experience. We cease to care, as we enter the circle of its inner meaning, whether the stone speaks of unconscious or of conscious matters. Then perhaps, even without being able to see the stone in Jung’s garden, the reader might hear it “whisper its misty lore of ancient roots and ancestral lives.”
More than the story of a richly and mysteriously carved stone . . . it is the parable of her own inner life, her own search and discovery.” William McGuire Editor, The Bollingen Series The Collected Works of C. G. Jung