Ep. #78 Dark Religion, Conspiracism, and The Religious Instinct w/ Jungian Analyst Vladislav Šolc

Vladislav Šolc

Vladislav (Vlado) Šolc (pronounced “Schultz”) is a professional psychotherapist and Jungian analyst practicing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Vlado received training from the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago and Charles University in Prague. He is the author of five depth-psychology-oriented books: Psyche, Matrix, Reality; The Father Archetype; In the Name of God—Fanaticism from the Perspective of Depth Psychology; Dark Religion: Fundamentalism from the Perspective of Jungian Psychology and most recently Democracy and Individuation in the Times of Conspiracy Theories.

Episode

In this episode, Shane and Vlado discuss the psychology behind conspiracism, fundamentalism, and mythologies. Using a Jungian framework, they examine how and why conspiracy theories become powerful psychological tools. Other topics include the religious instinct, the unconscious, morality, individuation, purpose, meaning, and psychological defense mechanisms. 

To understand the profound rise in conspiracy theories in recent times, Vlado explores how conspiracies function as an unconscious protective mechanism against the inferiority of consciousness and subsequently also inflates the ego. Conspiracy theory adoption is archetypal in nature and parallels mythological structures. The strong resistance of conspiracism to rational correction can be understood by examining how the “Inadequate and noncredible representations of numinous energies in consciousness unwittingly contribute to the creation of structures with notable mythological parallels” (Šolc, 2019).

“Thinking is free from the unconscious influence of the Self only to the extent that it is able to recognize and to relate to numinous contents, on one hand, and to withdraw projections from the object, on the other. A symbolic perspective offers a nondismissive understanding of the reasons for strong adherence to conspiracy theories. Exploring conspiracy theories as symbols rather than rational constructs offers more fruitful solutions to our current social problems.” (Šolc, 2019)

Reference

Šolc, V. (2019). Dark Religion and Conspiracy Theories: An Analytical Viewpoint. Jung Journal, 13(4), 14-34. https://doi.org/10.1080/19342039.2019.1676142

Dark Religion: Fundamentalism from The Perspective of Jungian Psychology

Jungian analysts Vlado Solc and George J. Didier set out to explore the psychological dynamics and causes of religious fundamentalism and fanaticism. The book offers an in-depth psychological analysis of what happens when a person becomes possessed by the unconscious energies of the Self.

Dark Religion also reveals that spirituality is an inherent dimension of human life and one of its most essential needs. It only becomes “dark” when it denies, ignores, or separates itself from its vital roots.

The authors coin the term “dark religion” to describe all forms of fanatical, radical and extreme religions. Their study shows how dark religion leads to profound conflicts on both the personal and cultural levels – including terrorism and wars.

Surveys the vast contemporary cultural and religious landscapes. All the while discovering the emergent forms of spiritual praxis in light of postmodernism and the rise of fundamentalism in the new millennium.

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