Topics: The Collective Unconscious, Myth and Fairytale, the Self, Society & Culture
Depth-Psychological Roots of Conspiracy Theories
“It is an axiom of psychology that when a part of the psyche is split off from consciousness it is only apparently inactivated; in actual fact it brings about a possession of the personality, with the result that the individual’s aims are falsified in the interest of the split-off part.” -CG Jung 1951, [CW 9i, para. 277]
Is global warming a hoax? Is Earth actually flat? Is the CIA responsible for the attack on the WTC in New York? Why do many believe various bizarre theories despite the wealth of counter-evidence? The rise of fake news, alternative facts, and conspiracy theories, along with the fundamentalism, fanaticism, and propaganda of totalitarian governments from around the world, call for a no-holds-barred depth psychological exploration. Jung’s insights provide rich ways of the understanding these phenomena. In this course, we’ll explore:
1) the psychological phenomena and dynamics underlying conspiracy theories;
2) how the Self—namely non-credible representations of numinous energies—influences the way the ego holds on to conspiracy theories;
3) the unconscious (excessive, unhealthy) dynamics that maintain the ego’s adherence to conspiracy theories;
4) mythological and clinical parallels of the phenomena;
5) examples of how conspiracy theories shape politics and public affairs.
Slides: The slides used for this seminar are included in the download as a PDF file. Videos embedded in the PowerPoint have been converted to YouTube links.
As a result of attending this program, participants will be able to:
1) Identify difference between spirituality and Dark religion;
2) Describe basic idea of numinosum in Jungian psychology;
3) Explore phenomena of possessions and identification;
4) Recognize basic characteristics of “Dark religion”;
5) Understand where conspiracism and creed overlap.
Vlado received training from Charles University in Prague, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, and the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Vlado focuses on psycho-spiritual crisis (loss of life’s meaning/direction), mind-body connection (psychosomatic issues), immigration and cultural issues, and women empowerment (emancipation). His specialties include treatment of addictions. Vlado is author of four depth psychology-oriented book and numerous articles in Czech magazines including Vesmir, Psychologie Dnes, MF Dnes etc.
© 2019 Vladislav Šolc.
Ⓟ 2019 CG Jung Institute of Chicago.