Praxis für Alternative Psychosomatik und Traumdeutung, Dr. Remo F. Roth, CH-8001 Zürich

Remo F. Roth

Dr. oec. publ., Ph.D.

dipl. analyt. Psychologe (M.-L. v. Franz)




English HomePage

  2002-2004 by Pro Litteris, Zurich, Switzerland and Remo F. Roth, Horgen-Zurich. All Rights Reserved. Republication and redissemination of the contents of this screen or any part of this website are expressly prohibited without prior written consent.

With many thanks to Gregory Sova, Ph.D. (LA, CA) for translation assistance

Book Project:


Wolfgang Pauli, Carl Jung and the Challenge of the Unified Psychophysical Reality

© copyright 2002-2004 by Pro Litteris, Zürich. All rights reserved

This book is intended for private use only, and is copyrighted under existing Internet copyright laws and regulations.

back to Chapter 3, part 3


3. Carl Jung's quaternity, Neoplatonic philosophy and the "potential being" of Aristotle

 (part 4)




3.1 Wolfgang Pauli's criticism at the newly founded institute

3.2 Carl Jung's "quaternities, projected into heaven"

part 2:

3.3 Being, nonbeing and potential being
3.3.1 The Assumptio Mariae and the "disinfected" matter in the heaven

3.3.2 The coniunctio as the constellated archetype behind the Assumption

3.3.3 The coniunctio and Carl Jung's individuation process

3.3.4 "To be or not to be" and the Platonic privatio boni

part 3 (will follow):

3.3.5 The potential being of Aristotle

3.3.6 Complementarity: Particle and wave as potential being

3.3.7 Pauli's conflict with Jung: The collective unconscious as potential being

part 4:

3.3.8 "Quaternities projected into heaven" and the unsolved psychophysical problem

3.3.9 The spirit of matter, the acausal aspect of the divine world soul and potential being


3. Carl Jung's quaternity, Neoplatonic philosophy and the "potential being" of Aristotle

 (part 4)


3.3.8 "Quaternities projected into heaven" and the unsolved psychophysical problem


In the continuation of his letter to Jung, Wolfgang Pauli expresses now the following idea:

"Like all ideas, the unconscious is in both man and nature; ideas have no fixed abode, not even a heavenly one."

And then he draws the conclusion quoted at the beginning of this section:

"As long as quaternities are 'projected into heaven' at a great distance from people... no fish will be caught, the hierosgamos is absent, and the psychophysical problem remains unsolved." [translation and emphasis mine]

As we remember, Pauli's intention was to show Jung, why he does not accept the Pope's dogma of the Assumptio Mariae. For him, Jung's "quaternity projected into heaven" is of course some sort of Assumption: "Disinfected matter" (the Catholic Holy Virgin Mary) is taken up in the heavens and there - together with the Holy Trinity - completes a quaternity. This quaternity is - as the one of the Christian cross - a (3+1) structure, meaning that three parts are equal and the fourth is the "totally different" ("das ganze Andere"). Furthermore, because Mary is without any sin, Evil is absent. Matter is now a "disinfected" Idea in the beyond of the heavens (in the Empyreum) and therefore the Assumption is a Platonic or Neoplatonic concept.

As we have seen, Jung postulates, that the structure of the Self, the center of the collective unconscious, is a quaternity. If Pauli criticizes this quaternity as a Neoplatonic concept, he says implicitly that it cannot serve as a model for the unity of matter and spirit on the background of a monistic psychophysical reality. As we will see, this coniunctio oppositorum is the necessary condition for the definition of the psychophysical reality. Like this we can now understand Pauli's remark, that the hierosgamos (the chymic wedding or the coniunctio) is absent in Jung's concept of the quaternity because it does not include the chthonic aspect of matter and therefore the psychophysical problem remains unsolved.

The solution of this problem he sees prefigured in (Hermetic) alchemy. Therefore he continues:

"But as the alchemists correctly surmised, matter goes just as deep as the spirit, and I doubt whether the goal of any development can be absolute spiritualization."

As we will see, this statement is derived from the insight of the famous Nobel Laureate, that natural philosophy of the medieval ages was split in two directions: Neoplatonic and Hermetic alchemy. The goal of the former one is exactly this spiritualization of matter with its definition of the "being" in the Platonic heavens, where, on the other hand, Hermetic alchemy tries to find symmetry between the equally valued spirit and matter in an in-between world in the middle. Out of this intermediate realm an actualisation and incarnation of the "potential being" is possible, which, for Pauli, was the really new aspect of Hermetic alchemy and of a renewed zeitgeist, in which the psychophysical reality is accepted as empirically observable.


3.3.9 The spirit of matter, the acausal aspect of the divine world soul and potential being

In October 1953, nine months after the letter to Jung which included his refusal of the depth psychologist's "quaternities, projected into heaven", Pauli writes to Markus Fierz about the same subject: With this statement he protests "against the Assumption of the Queen".

Pauli guesses that Jung is so fascinated by the new dogma, because his unconscious is deeply Christian, and this could be the reason, too, that the blue coat of the Heaven's Queen is a subject in the latter's book Psychology and Alchemy [CW 12, § 320]. Here Jung uses this symbol as an amplification for the vertical disc's blue colour of Pauli's World-clock Vision of 1936 [see CW 11, § 111ff.; CW 12, § 307ff.], which seems itself to be a symbolic description of the constellated archetype of the coniunctio. After all of what we have seen in Pauli's writings, we can imagine that he does not like at all this connection of the blue colour with the Christian heavens, especially used as an amplification for the interpretation of the vision that gave him "the impression of most sublime harmony" [CW 11, §110].

Therefore, he continues by stating that his Anima - the female part of "his" unconscious that he knows of many dreams - is much more antique/pagan or Chinese than Christian. Therefore he looks for amplifications on the blue colour used in these cultures. He emphasizes that the blue colour, associated with the female, is of pagan and chthonic origin. It is the cornflower of the Greek fertility goddess Demeter. For him, exactly this fertility is the positive aspect of "mother Earth", which is constellated in his unconscious. Therefore, it is the "mother earth" aspect of the feminine that Pauli is in need of integrating into his psychology. This is the deepest reason why he has such a strong aversion against the blue coat of the "disinfected" Heavenly Queen.

We know that Wolfgang Pauli was an intuitive type and therefore had a lot of difficulties with concrete everyday life and his body. Therefore this positive, i.e. chthonic aspect of matter, which is fertility for him, is very important. It shows us where the inferior function, which was the sensation in Pauli's psychology, could have been creative. As I will show later, the inclusion of the introverted sensation (see also link1) which is related to one's own body could be the solution of the psychophysical problem, Pauli as well as Jung looked for but did not yet find.

In connection with this symbolism of the blue colour in the chthonic fertility cult of Demeter - which is of course contrary to the sky blue coat of the Christian Heavenly Queen - Pauli now has a spontaneous association: He remembers earthworms! In a letter to Marie-Louise von Franz that he wrote six weeks earlier, he tells her that, in his youth, he liked earthworms very much, in contrast to insects.

Pauli now brings this fertility symbolism of the earthworms together with the Logos Spermatikos of the Stoa. He writes that the latter was the rival of Platonism and Neoplatonism, and therefore the Stoa invented the "pneuma", the material expression of the spirit. Then he comes back to the matter-friendly Hermetic alchemists and stresses that they have always tied to the Stoa, for example Paracelsus with his "archaeus", his "pneuma" as a spirit of nature [RFR: which the Medieval physicist guessed to be located in the region of the stomach!].

Paracelsus' archaeus was a magic principle. Magic was also the characteristic of the "blue flower" of German Romanticism. Pauli writes that the magic aspect of this blue flower consisted in its symbolism of a union of heaven and earth, and he adds, that like this its content agreed with the tetraktys of the Pythagoreans.

With these amplifications, Pauli has corrected Jung's interpretation of the blue colour as a heavenly and spiritual principle. For him this colour belongs much more to the chthonic world, to fertility of matter, to the Logos Spermatikos, to the archaeus of Paracelsus, to the pneuma as a spirit of matter, and to some sort of magic that belongs to a union of the spiritual and the material principle.

With this argumentation, Pauli has again attacked the Neoplatonic concept of the Assumptio Mariae with its "disinfected Queen in the Heaven", who should, in Carl Jung's quaternity, play the role of the unitary counterpart of the male Trinity.

At the end of the letter, Pauli briefly looks back to the 17th century, to the beginning of natural science with Galilei and Kepler, and mentions that this was the time in which the acausal principle disappeared into the unconscious. As we can see in an earlier letter to Fierz, it was the principle of the medieval world soul (anima mundi) that was repressed, when mathematics entered natural philosophy (see Wolfgang Pauli und die Wiederkehr der Weltseele). This acausal principle of the anima mundi was of extreme importance for Pauli. He writes that it is

"dasjenige ..., was sich der geistigen, gesetzmässigen (= 'lichten') Ordnung zunächst entzieht. Das ist das Böse im Ethischen (Problem der Integration des Bösen in die Gottheit, etc.), das Akausale in der Naturphilosophie.

English translation:

"the one that withdraws an intellectual order of laws. It is the evil in ethics (the problem of the integration of evil into the godhead, etc.), the acausal in natural philosophy." [translation mine]

The Fludd/flood synchronicity (see Chapter 2) has shown us, that science should - on a higher level - return to the findings of Robert Fludd. We can guess now, that this recourse must have something to do with a return of the world soul in our times.

Pauli felt this need. After the remark that as of yet we do not know if this acausal principle is just a "blind chance" without any teleological meaning, as in quantum physics, he brings this dark principle together with parapsychology and biology. And in the above-mentioned letter to Fierz we see that he was convinced that it was the psychokinetic Pauli effect, which showed the return of the magic aspect of the world soul.

The act of measurement, the central procedure of quantum physics, produces a result that is not foreseeable. This means that quantum physics is acausal or indeterministic. Therefore we can say that every quantum physical measurement is an act of creation, an incarnation of potential being into concrete being in our world, limited by space and time.

There we see the deeper reasons for Pauli's preference for the earthworms, which reminded him - as a spontaneous association to the blue colour of Demeter - about the fertility of organic matter. Fertility is the necessary condition for creation and incarnation. And such an acausal incarnation takes place out of the potential being, which is, as we will see, the so-called unus mundus with its energetical principle, the world-soul (anima mundi) .


Chapter 4, part 1


See also further articles about Wolfgang Pauli in