The Alchemy of Tyranny: A Journey through Central Europe
Presented by:William Grevatt, Ed.D., Jungian Analyst
"The work is difficult and strewn with obstacles; the alchemical opus is dangerous. Right at the beginning you meet the dragon, the chthonic spirit, the devil, or as the alchemists called it, the blackness or nigredo, and this encounter produces suffering. "Matter" suffers right up to the final disappearance of the blackness; in psychological terms, the soul finds itself in the throes of melancholy, locked up in a struggle with the "shadow." The mystery of the Coniunctio, the central mystery of alchemy, aims precisely at the synthesis of opposites, the assimilation of the blackness, the integration of the devil." - C.G. Jung Interview with Mircea Eliade, 1952
A mid-summer's river journey from Prague to Budapest uncovers not just an ancient alchemical laboratory of the Holy Roman Empire, but the cauldron of alchemical base elements now bubbling up throughout central Europe. Distilling current political storms in Europe and America, we discover the very same putrid ingredients of anger, hate, lies, racism, anti-Semitism, and a demonization of anything 'other' that leads away from democracy and into tyranny. Only each individual's search for a deeper ruling principle within their own being can lead us collectively away from the precipice of a new dark age.
Analyze three of the underlying reasons behind the present political shift to the radical right in Europe and America from a depth psychology perspective.
Explain one of the depth psychological profiles of tyrannical leaders like Vladimir Putin of Russia, Victor Orban of Hungary, Recip Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, and Donald Trump of the United States.
Describe two ways in which the use of racism and hate produce an emotional and psychological split or dissociation within a country's population as a first step in dismantling the democratic state.
Identify and discuss three ways individuals can combat the denigration of democracy that is happening in our midst today, both in the United States and globally.
|William Grevatt, Ed.D. is an educator, writer and Jungian analyst who practices in Los Angeles. He is a training analyst and President of the C.G. Jung Study Center of Southern California based in Culver City. "The Alchemy of Tyranny" is his sixth published article in the Jungian Journal, Psychological Perspectives (volume 62 â€" 2, 2019) and an eponymous book is now in progress.|
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