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Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On: The Autobiography and Journals of Helen M. Luke [Paperback]

Helen M. Luke
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Feb. 20 2001
Helen M. Luke devoted her life to the exploration of the self -- both her own and that of countless others who came to her for counseling. She was endowed with a deep grasp of archetypal forces and the ability to evoke them with luminous prose.

Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On consists of a memoir she wrote at the age of seventy but never published and excerpts culled from the fifty-four volumes of journals written in her final years. She weaves together dreams and symbolic images from her inner life with personal and world events, bringing a clear, unsentimental honesty and vibrant insight to all that she recounts. Reflecting on her past as a way of illuminating the present, Luke inspires us to be aware, attend to our personal truths, and "know and accept and live the next thing with devotion." This is Helen Luke's final and magnum opus -- her gift to the world.


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From Publishers Weekly

Inviting readers to share a journey that crossed many thresholds to what Jungian psychology calls individuation, Jungian analyst Helen M. Luke wrote her concise, probing and often self-critical autobiography at age 70. This work moves from a rather straightforward account of Luke's personal history (she attended Oxford, married a civil servant in 1929, adopted several children, then later parted ways with her husband as she embarked on her psychoanalytic career, which led her to the U.S. in 1949) to a veritable barrage of dreams in the journals she wrote before her death at age 90 in 1995. Important or repeated dreams punctuate the autobiography and thread together the journals. The volume reaches its climax in Luke's poignant observations about aging, her conclusion that psychology must eventually cede to the power of archetypal narratives (which Luke calls "Story") and that "to trace the pattern of any person's 'big' dreams from childhood to old age, together with the events that accompanied them, can be to tell a Story." Some readers may find Luke's life and its telling excessively self-absorbed, almost dispassionately disconnected from the world she inhabited and the changes her century saw. Others will appreciate one woman's courage in following her dreams--and her Dream. 8 b&w photos. (Jan.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Luke, who died in 1995 at age 90, is highlighted in this posthumous book--an account of her dreams and how they contributed to the unfolding of her life. The volume is divided into two parts: her autobiography, written when she was 70, is followed by selections from the handwritten diaries (54 volumes in all) that Luke kept in the final 20 years of her life and then entrusted to Barbara Mowat, director of Academic Programs at Folger Shakespeare Library (DC), to select for posthumous publication. Luke, who emigrated from England to the United States after World War II, later founded the Apple Farm Community--a center for people seeking to understand the power of symbols in their lives. She searches throughout this book for the application of symbols to her lifelong quest for understanding. Her clearly written self-analysis may be of help to readers seeking to understand their own dreams. Libraries offering self-help titles and popular literature on visions, dreams, and the inner spiritual journey will find this a natural title to include.
-Leroy Hommerding, Citrus Cty. Lib. Sys., Inverness, FL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story of a Life Well Lived March 30 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Recently in an interview with Charlie Rose Meryl Streep spoke of women needing a dream that portrayed them as powerful, particularly as they age. Helen Luke's autobiography is just such a dream. It is a carefully woven tapestry of her dreams, her thoughts, her readings (the wide range of her reading & interests included Lord Of the Rings by Tolkien, Dante, T.S. Eliot, C.K. Williams,& Larry Dossey's Shamanic books), and the encounters that she had in her life (which included Robert Johnson, Carl Jung, Dr. Meiers, Toni Sussman,Dr. Kunkel). The patterns of this tapestry speak to us of a life that followed the Way of individuation, as she refers to it in the autobiography. What most impressed me was the way in which she lived the path, risks and all, that Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell taught, despite her Christian Scientist upbringing. This straightforward autobiography & her journals model The Way. Her courage to leave her mother behind while she was dying in order to follow her "dreams" was inspirational. Her discussion in her diary entry about C.K.Williams work Descent Into Hell (which she refers to frequently, reminding me of how good a book it was) and it's demonstration that "a 'daughter's gift to an injured mother' through language, even many years after a mother's death, may be valid" fed many beliefs that I have had about how healing can occur and ones role in it. The book read like a road map to a fulfilled life, well marked by the signposts of the numinousities, synchronicities, and struggles encountered by a thoughtful individual. It is hard to put down, I read through it almost at once, and will be studying and thinking about the lessons it holds for a long time. I am quite confident that most men and women will not regret studying this book.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story of a Life Well Lived March 30 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Recently in an interview with Charlie Rose Meryl Streep spoke of women needing a dream that portrayed them as powerful, particularly as they age. Helen Luke's autobiography is just such a dream. It is a carefully woven tapestry of her dreams, her thoughts, her readings (the wide range of her reading & interests included Lord Of the Rings by Tolkien, Dante, T.S. Eliot, C.K. Williams,& Larry Dossey's Shamanic books), and the encounters that she had in her life (which included Robert Johnson, Carl Jung, Dr. Meiers, Toni Sussman,Dr. Kunkel). The patterns of this tapestry speak to us of a life that followed the Way of individuation, as she refers to it in the autobiography. What most impressed me was the way in which she lived the path, risks and all, that Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell taught, despite her Christian Scientist upbringing. This straightforward autobiography & her journals model The Way. Her courage to leave her mother behind while she was dying in order to follow her "dreams" was inspirational. Her discussion in her diary entry about C.K.Williams work Descent Into Hell (which she refers to frequently, reminding me of how good a book it was) and it's demonstration that "a `daughter's gift to an injured mother' through language, even many years after a mother's death, may be valid" fed many beliefs that I have had about how healing can occur and ones role in it. The book read like a road map to a fulfilled life, well marked by the signposts of the numinousities, synchronicities, and struggles encountered by a thoughtful individual. It is hard to put down, I read through it almost at once, and will be studying and thinking about the lessons it holds for a long time. I am quite confident that most men and women will not regret studying this book.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I think perhaps I am too pragmatic for Jungians... Jan. 15 2008
By Kristine Logan - Published on Amazon.com
I found the autobiographical section of this book a little hard to follow. Could not understand how her life was structured, timeline-wise, and what actually happened.

The journal section is clearer and more accessible.

How do devoted Jungians find time to pursue all these symbols and images? The true weakness of this book is that I could not quite grasp how the author's inner work really related to her life with other people. In some cases, obviously, it is clear. But entire swatches of love, romance, child rearing, friendship, analytical work, are left out, leaving me agog with curiosity. What happened?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TW Sept. 3 2012
By feelinnopain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A must-read for all intuitive introverts and/or highly sensitive people. It is so comforting to know that the inward journey is a good and proper journey and not just one embarked on by those who "can't make it" in the external world. Helen Luke is amazingly honest, insightful and wise. What more could you ask for?
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