Writer, counselor, and Jungian therapist Helen Luke (1904-1995) spent much of her life probing the hidden meanings of religion, mythology, folklore, and literature. Born in England and raised by a mother who always wanted her to have a career, she received a Master's degree in French and Italian literature from Somerville College, Oxford. Twenty years later Helen studied at the Jung Institute in Zurich. She moved to the United States in 1949 and established a practice as a counselor in Los Angeles. Then in 1962 she helped found the Apple Farm Community in Michigan, a retreat and study center.
These are the outer facts of Helen Luke's life. But there is so much more to her. Devotees of this extraordinary woman's work will swoon when they get their hands on this combination autobiography and collection of excerpts from 57 journals written during her last years. Here Luke ponders recurring dreams of fires, stones, and a long lonely road. We savor her struggle to connect at middle age with her genuine inner voice. And we marvel at her repeated use of the I Ching as a source of ancient wisdom.
At one point Helen Luke writes in her journal: "I have been thinking this morning of von Franz's words about Jung in his last years of how no one, even his closest pupils took personal questions to him any more. He just talked of what interested him, and whenever they were with him they felt their personal questions answered." Admirers of Helen Luke will find the same thing happening to them as they read this enchanting work. I was especially moved by her late-in-years realization of the life in things: "Last night, washing the dishes, I really looked at my iron frying pan in the dishwater. The light made visible for a moment a tiny rainbow a light through water revealing all the colors of life." Marvelous, just marvelous!