Remo F. Roth

Dr. oec. publ., Ph.D.

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




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With many thanks to Gregory Sova, Ph.D. (LA, CA) and Phyllis Luthi (CA) for the help with the translation

Further information about the collaboration between Wolfgang Pauli and Carl G. Jung see in The Return of the World Soul - Wolfgang Pauli, Carl G. Jung and the Challenge of the Unified Psychophysical Reality


back to part 1


Wolfgang Pauli and Parapsychology

(part 2)

(Extended English version of the German article)


2. Wolfgang Pauli's dispute with Marie-Louise von Franz and the inclusion of the psychoid archetype into physics

We must now ask ourselves, what specific dream symbols could have caused the transformation process in Pauli's mind? Namely, if we could translate them into a rational language, today, almost 70 years after the appearance of this symbolism in his soul, we would have already approached a much better comprehension of the connection between quantum physics and parapsychology. At the beginning of the 21st century, such an insight becomes more and more necessary because of the large increase in UFO sightings, which we are likely to understand only with the help of such a connection.

To do this work, we must distinguish between two different facts: We must ask how Pauli himself interpreted his dream symbols, but as important as this are the original roots for such an interpretation, the dreams and imaginations themselves, which had not yet been treated by his consciousness. Unfortunately we are still missing the above-mentioned dreams and imaginations from the years 1934 and 1935, but the hitherto published material - especially the letters from the years 1952, 1953 and 1954 to Marie-Louise von Franz, Aniela Jaffé and Carl G. Jung - allow us to draw some important conclusions.

To understand Pauli's conscious insights, distilled from "incubating" his dreams in Active Imagination for the purpose of the reunion of physics and parapsychology, we must extend our research. In 1953 he confronted Jung in the context of the above-quoted Einstein dream with the idea of integrating his psychology - which "like an illegitimate child of the spirit, leads to an esoteric, special existence beyond the fringe of what is generally acknowledged to be the academic world" - into physics. He writes, that

"there is a flowing of psychological contents into physics and mathematics, and ... this has to continue until psychology can be adopted by physics (possibly together with biology)"


"What springs to mind ... here as a model is chemistry, for example, which can already be said to have basically been adopted by physics"

After a long interval of five months - during which time he retreated from the battle field, leaving it to Marie-Louise von Franz (see below) - Jung replied to this occupation of his depth psychological results, empirically and independently found from physics, that

"there cannot be just one way of access to the secret of Being; there must be at least two - namely, the material occurrence on the one hand and the psychic reflection of it on the other (although it will be hard to determine what is reflecting what!)."

Since Pauli had the habit of discussing the arguments, stated in the letters to Jung, also with his close collaborators Marie-Louise von Franz and Aniela Jaffé in oral and written form, we possess valuable historical references to the dramatic occurrences of that time.

These letters show that Pauli, with this idea of occupation, produced violent outbursts of rage in Marie-Louise von Franz. This is why he gives her the advice, better to invest the energy caught in her rage into the interpretation of his dreams - especially into the motif of the idiot, projected onto his friend, the psychiatrist Carl A. Meier [RFR: who became later the editor of the Pauli/Jung letters (1992; Engl. ed: Atom and Archetype, 2001)]. Even before he wrote to her: 

"The problem - which I hold for unresolved despite your authoritarian and passionate explanations about that what I 'do not understand' - is the proper definition of terms with suitable extent..."*)

As the author himself knows, such outbursts of rage exhibited by the Jung's most important student about heretical declinations of the master's dogma often effected the Anima of the afflicted person to react with a superb creative performance. Instead of turning away from his partner, Pauli interpreted such fierce discussions to be like an intellectual competition in a Talmud school that would have induced him to reflect upon his idea of occupation.

Two and a half months after this confrontation with Marie-Louise von Franz and with his power shadow, Wolfgang Pauli had solved the problem of "the proper definition of terms with suitable extent." He writes in the letter, which contains also his today famous Klavierstunde (The Piano Lesson) dedicated to her: "In principle I do not see any further reason to assume that psychology will ever be merged with a generalized physics"*) . Moreover he sees the power behind his earlier statement: "The demand of totality is anyhow suspicious."*) And then he writes:

"To explain the physical symbolism of my dreams, a less far-reaching assumption is sufficient. Namely, the tendency of my dreams is to assimilate into physics, all that ... is considered the 'psychoid archetype'. In other words: "Parapsychology and biology should be included in an expanded physics." *)

But it was not only conscious reflection that had led Pauli to this conclusion. After the fight with his psychological counterpart he had - as he describes too in the letter - several dreams which tried to correct his one-sided conscious attitude. In one of them Niels Bohr told him "to give the woman more money"*). With "Bohr" he associated "symmetrical treatment of the pairs of opposites,"*), with "woman" "the conscious-transcendent unity beyond the pair physics-psychology"*). With these associations he was able to translate the expression "to give the woman more money" by "Bohr" into a new realization that he obviously did not comprehend the pair physics-psychology symmetrically enough. In this manner he was prepared to open his mind for the above-mentioned idea of including the psychoid archetype (or the psychophysical archetype), and by this the inclusion of parapsychology and biology instead of depth psychology into physics.

Thus, the dialectical process of the dispute with Marie-Louise von Franz on the one hand and the dreams, reacting to this battle on the other effected that Pauli was now ready to advance to the synthesis of giving up the occupation desire concerning Jung's psychology and transforming the unconscious claim of his power shadow into a conscious realization. In my opinion exactly this psychic faculty makes him one of the greatest and ethically most responsible scientists of the 20th century.

It will be the challenge of the generation of scientists at the beginning 21st century, to remember this achievement of Pauli and ask themselves, how they can - helped by "incubating" their dreams and with imaginative techniques - diminish their power complex first for the purpose of improving their knowledge and second, to allow it to be influenced as little as possible by unconscious prejudices. Such a non-prejudiced focus would be very much necessary to overcome their fantasies of omnipotence. Only then one has the necessary condition for the acceptance and further exploration of the UFO-phenomenon, because exactly the insight in our powerlessness and helplessness concerning these phenomena is required to understand the connection of these physical anomalies with the empirically investigatable processes in the deepest depths of the the realm behind the collective psyche (which is the unus mundus; see below).


*) All quotations from [Pauli, 1999] translated by Remo F. Roth with the help of Phyllis Luthi

proofread by GJS, 12/24/2003

Meier, C.A., (ed.), Atom and Archetype, The Pauli/Jung Letters 1932-1958, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 2001

Pauli, Wolfgang, Wissenschaftlicher Briefwechsel mit Bohr, Einstein, Heisenberg, u.a, ed. Karl v. Meyenn, vol. 4/II, Springer, Berlin, 1999

part 3

See also further articles about Wolfgang Pauli in

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