What: An Evening With...
Who: Bonnie Damron
Fees: $15.00, members in advance; $20.00, general, $10.00, full-time student members and senior members
So much is at stake and so much depends on the psychological constitution of modern man. Is he capable of resisting the temptation to use his power for the purpose of staging a world conflagration? Is he conscious of the path he is treading, and what the conclusions are that must be drawn from the present world situation and his own psychic situation? Does he know that he is on the verge of losing the life-preserving myth of the inner man which Christianity has treasured up for him? Does he realize what lies in store should this catastrophe ever befall him? And finally, does the individual know that he is the makeweight that tips the scales? -C. G. Jung, The Undiscovered Self, 1957
What is the meaning of stewardship today? Jung's position is clear. We are called to be stewards of the myth of the inner man and inner woman, that life-preserving myth our ancestors treasured up for us, and which is now handed to each one of us to care for, nurture, and guard for future generations. This precious resource requires stewardship--careful attending, feeding, and protection on behalf of the Self, the Sovereign in the psyche, for our children, and our children's children. Jung declares that this task belongs to the individual who is the "makeweight that tips the scale."
As I read again The Undiscovered Self, I was deeply moved by the depth of feeling underlying Jung's words. For him, service on behalf of the Self meant all the world. His passion is contagious, and his stewardship, a shining example for all of us. Jung calls to each of us to become stewards of the psyche.
The quote from Jung's Undiscovered Self made me ask, "What is the pattern, the archetype, behind this bold, far-reaching assertion-that of treasuring up?" As I reflected on the idea behind the words, the image that took shape in my mind's eye was that of an ancient steward, the one who faithfully cared for the wealth and property of the kingdom, as if these were his or her own, but without having any ownership. "Yes, of course," I said to myself, "Jung was such a man, a passionate steward, preserving, growing, and protecting that treasure of the life-preserving myth of the inner man." Tonight, as we consider the Archetype of Stewardship, its meaning and significance as a pattern that shapes our reality, let us ask, "How does this archetype shape my life? What is my form of steward-ship? What in particular of Psyche's treasure, those talents, portions, coinage, and kind, am I given to foster, protect, grow and pass along to the future?" These are questions of far-reaching proportion, and challenging to ponder. Please join in our discussion and dialogue about the Archetype of Stewardship, as we strive to be truly individuals, live our lives, and dream our dreams.
Bonnie L. Damron, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., is a Jungian-Oriented psychotherapist in private practice in Northern Virginia. Bonnie is a clinician, cultural anthropologist, artist, and storyteller. She teaches courses in mythology, fairy tales, Shakespeare, the Greek Classics, and readings in the writings 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 is currently enrolled in the Two Year Pattern Analyst Certificate Program at the Assisi Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont.
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