Last October I met many like-minded souls at a conference that addresses the interface between religion/spirituality and the work of Carl Jung. Monika Wikman was a major presenter. Drawn to her authenticity, integrity and vast wisdom, I bought her book, Pregnant Darkness.
Its impact on me was powerful and lasting. I wrote a review on Amazon and am sharing her quotes on my social media sites. These have been so well received that one internet friend, Stephanie Pope—a cultural mythologer and poet-essayist who publishes Mythopoetry Scholar Ezine—requested a post about Monika. This is for you, Stephanie, and all whose lives have been transformed by tending to the inner life of the soul. Here’s Monika’s extraordinary story in her own words.
“In the early 1980s my body was over-run with an aggressive stage IV ovarian cancer that had spread throughout various organs. After working with the illness for four years and seeing the illness rise and fall within a range in which I could just about eek out a life, suddenly the illness and its effects rocketed and I was told I had a few weeks to live. After years of working with the illness, and then being given the terrible two-week prognosis, I was entirely exhausted, and finally gave up. In the instant that I confessed my exhaustion to myself, and was ready to accept death, windows onto the psychoid (a transpersonal realm of autonomous energy beyond the personal psyche) spontaneously opened and I experienced a series of visions.
“Afterward, there was no sign of cancer anywhere in my body. I took medical tests the next day and for many consecutive weeks after in awe as the tests that measured for active ovarian cancer that were previously sky high, were now below the normal range. All the symptoms had vanished as well. ‘Spontaneous remission,’ the doctors said, and closed my file. Meanwhile, my heart, mind, and life were doing the opposite. They began to open, increasingly moved with gratitude and awe to the mysteries and the map and the grace between us and the autonomous energies living in the psyche and psychoid beyond ordinary consciousness. C.G. Jung’s work gave me the lens that enabled me to see these mysteries at work.”
Wikman, an embodiment of the Wisewoman archetype, went on to earn her Ph.D. from California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, teach graduate school at California State University, Los Angeles, and graduate from the Jung-Von Franz Center for Depth Psychology in Zurich. She currently has a private practice in New Mexico as a Jungian analyst and part-time astrologer.
Wikman’s “imaginally archetypal language,” to use Stephanie’s phrase, is a particular delight to those who have experienced the transforming power of creative imagination, the hallmark of mythos thinking. With help from alchemical symbolism, she unpacks numerous examples from her dreams and those of clients and friends to demonstrate that, “Without experiences beyond the tiny mind, how isolated we become, how utterly dried up consciousness and culture become—cut off from the living root of our existence. Through reconnection with the numinosum, we can recover. It is up to us. These instinctual religious patterns living in us can search out the mysteries, find nourishment in the numinosum, and then replenish the soul, body, psyche, personality, relational life, and the planet itself.”
If you learn nothing else from Pregnant Darkness or my books and blog posts, it is my fervent wish that you learn this truth which motivates and guides my thinking, my writing, and my life: The numen—the holy, original spirit informing life—does exist. By tending to our souls we can experience it and heal the divides “between heaven and earth, human and divine, conscious and unconscious fields of awareness and between all polarities.”
It is up to us.
My newest book, Healing the Sacred Divide, can be found at this Amazon link or at Larson Publications, Inc.
This is powerful stuff, thank you for sharing it Jean
My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by. Jeanie
Wow! I would love to have met this amazing woman, too! These are the stories that make you smile at the mystery… :). See….I’m smiling. 🙂
I see and feel your smile warming cyberspace! 🙂 Maybe we should sponsor an event for her in Orlando!
Thanks for this post! I just bought this book and have started reading it and it is wonderful!
You’re so welcome! It really is wonderful, isn’t it? I’m glad you like it.
Thanks for this post, Jeanie. As you know I’ve been enamored of Monika Wikman’s work through my discovery of it in the book Pregnant Darkness since you suggested I read it a few months ago. And I do see the connection between her work and your own in Healing the Sacred Divide – another wonderful work in its own right! I feel so blessed to be part of a community of like-minded people like yourself and Monika and others who inspire, uplift, and act as guides to the “holy, original spirit informing life.” I don’t know what I would have done without discovering the Spirit within psychology, way back when. Many thanks for the work you do, Jenna
You’re welcome, Jenna. I feel the same sense of good fortune and gratitude to have a community like this. It’s frankly something I had given up hoping for or expecting. Discovering Spirit via psychology felt miraculous to me, and having people to share this experience with is the gift of a lifetime. Thank you for your kind words and support. They mean so much to me. Jeanie
Jeanie, I just came across a quote by Jung on Ann Baring’s website that I thought relevant to your post and comments here:
“The living spirit grows and even outgrows its earlier forms of expression; It freely chooses the men [and women] in whom it lives and who proclaim it. This living spirit is eternally renewed and pursues its goal in manifold and inconceivable ways throughout the history of mankind. Measured against it, the names and forms which men have given it mean little enough; they are only the changing leaves and blossoms on the stem of the eternal tree.”
Oh, that’s wonderfull. I love thinking of it as the eternal tree. Thank you. Jeanie
what a wonderful Blog, nice contents, it should be nice if I also can meet Monika Wikman