The Stranger at the Door

Saturday, November 17, 2018 9:30am– 4:30pm

A daylong seminar led by
Bonnie L. Damron, PhD, LCSW

Contact hours: 6 CE contact hours for Licensed NYS Social Workers, Psychoanalysts and Creative Arts Therapists for this program.

In Psychotherapists or Clergy, C.G. Jung wrote,
“Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are always the most difficult. In actual life it requires the greatest art to be simple, and so acceptance of oneself is the essence of the moral problem and the acid test of one’s whole outlook on life. That I feed the beggar, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ-all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all beggars, the most impudent of all offenders yea the very fiend himself-that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved-what then?”
(CW, Vol. 11: p. 330, ¶520)

The ancient Greek word xenos translates into English as stranger, beggar or foreigner. The custom of inviting the stranger in is xenia, which is also the Greek word for hospitality. According to many ancient traditions, when a homeless or destitute person arrived at your door, you invited her or him in, offered comfort, food, a bath and a comfortable bed. We are told that, at times, the gods arrived disguised as beggars to test mankind’s faithfulness to the Law of Heaven, including Zeus, Wotan, and Christ.

After your guest was made comfortable, you might ask questions such as, “What is your name?” or “Where are your people, your home?” Then, if you were lucky, your guest might entertain you with stories and valuable information about the affairs of the world beyond your little island home. Or perhaps this guest might even share a dream with you. We have a storehouse of such stories from the Biblical Book of Ruth, Ovid’s telling of Baucis and Philemon, and, of course Homer’s Odyssey. Such stories are outer representations of the archetype of the stranger at the door, but what about the symbolic life? What role does the stranger, beggar, or foreigner play in the individuation process?

During the morning, we will discuss the archetype of xenos, reflect on some of these traditional stories, and allow them to speak to us. In the afternoon, we will focus our attention inward and ask, “What is the relationship between the stranger at the door and a person’s inner life?”

Fortunately, Jung draws a straight line for us from theological and mythological considerations about this archetype directly to psychology, to psyche, and the individuation process. Taking Jung’s lead, we will discuss the characteristics in the personality that Jungians call the shadow, which are strangers in need of care and recognition. We will start by looking at some dreams, thinking of the dream as the stranger, beggar, or supplicant arriving at the door. Do we greet our dreams and shadow-selves in the way the ancients greeted a stranger at the door, with xenia—invite them in and offer them kindness and hospitality? If one did, might those dreams, and even the shadow, reward us with clues, information, stories we have not heard?

In order to mediate this process, we will reflect analytically on some dreams and stories, which show us how we-the ego consciousness-may be enlarged when we “greet the beggar at the door.” We will also set aside times of silence, for simplicity, introspection and journaling. Then each one of us will have a chance to discover where a beggar or stranger may be knocking at the doorway of our souls.


Tuition

Members/Students, $100;

General Public, $110.

You can pay online using your amazon account.

If you pay online, please also email us your name, address, email, and the name of the workshop for which you have paid.


Damron workshop: non member ($110)

Damron workshop: member ($100)


Registration and Payment Form for mail-in and phone payments

Damron workshop registration (PDF format)

Learning Objectives

Morning Objectives

  1. Identify and discuss the archetype of “The Stranger at the Door” as it appears in mythology, folk tradition, and theology.
  2. Explore several traditional stories about a stranger, beggar, or supplicant arriving at the doorway of an established home, tribe, or community. Homer’s Odyssey, the Biblical Book of Ruth, and Ovid’s telling of Baucis and Philemon are some examples.
  3. Discuss our reactions and responses to these stories from theological, mythological, and psychological perspectives.
  4. Consider the value and meaning of the archetype of “The Stranger at the Door” for us today.

Afternoon Objectives

  1. Identify and amplify core elements in the archetype of “The Stranger at the Door” that directly refer to what Jung called the individuation process, especially deep shadow work. The following example from the writings of C. G. Jung is helpful:
    • In Psychotherapists or Clergy, Jung wrote, “Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are always the most difficult. In actual life it requires the greatest art to be simple, and so acceptance of oneself is the essence of the moral problem and the acid test of one’s whole outlook on life. That I feed the beggar, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ-all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all beggars, the most impudent of all offenders yea the very fiend himself-that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved-what then? (Vol. 11 of the Collected Works: page 330, ¶520).
  2. Discuss some contemporary dreams where the shadow appears as “The Stranger at the Door.”
  3. Discuss some contemporary examples where the shadow appears through projection as “The Stranger at the Door.”
  4. Discuss how the archetype of “The Stranger at the Door” may play an important role in work with dreams, in clinical work, and in the individuation process as a whole.

Bonnie L. Damron, PhD, LCSW, is a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist in private practice in Falls Church, Virginia. She is a clinician, cultural anthropologist, artist, and storyteller. She teaches courses in mythology, fairy tales, Shakespeare, the Greek Classics, and the writing of C.G. Jung. She also leads contemplative retreats, and conducts study tours in Crete. She holds a Masters of Social Work from Catholic University, a Doctorate Degree in American Studies from the University of Maryland, and a certificate as an Archetypal Pattern Analyst from the Assisi Institute in Mystic, Connecticut.

Contact hours: Six CE contact hours for Licensed NYS Social Workers, Psychoanalysts and Creative Arts Therapists for this program.

The C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, Inc., SW CPE, is recognized by New York State Education Department’s State Board of Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0350.

The C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychoanalysts. #P-0015.

C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists, #CAT-0068.

Saturday, November 17, 2018: 9:30 am–4:30 p.m.
at the C.G. Jung Foundation, 28 East 39th Street, New York City


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