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

Wolfgang Pauli and Parapsychology

(part 3)

3. The psychoid and the psychophysical archetype and Carl Jung's "second psychic system"

3.1 Definition of the psychoid archetype

3.2 Psychoid and psychophysical archetype, quasi-psychic realm and unified psychophysical reality (unus mundus)

3.3 Carl Jung's "second psychic system" and its "very different world view"

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 2


Wolfgang Pauli and Parapsychology

(part 3)

(Extended English version of the German article)



3. The psychoid and the psychophysical archetype and Carl Jung's "second psychic system"


3.1 Definition of the psychoid archetype

I can imagine that the above mentioned conclusion of Wolfgang Pauli - that the assimilation of the psychoid archetype (in the terminology of Jung) to physics is equivalent to the inclusion of parapsychology and biology in it - is obviously not yet understandable for the reader. Therefore we should explain the term "psychoid archetype" and its connection with parapsychology. At the same time we will see that this psychoid archetype is directly related to a psychically experienced relativity of space and time.

As Wolfgang Pauli already saw in 1946, Carl G. Jung had extended the content of the term "archetype". Originally, this term described a purely psychic phenomenon, however related to the collective psyche. In an article of the same year [today in CW 8, §§ 343] Jung suggested to supplement it - for the explanation of phenomena he later called synchronicities - with the term "psychoid archetype".

To explain the difference to the hitherto existing term, he uses there the image of the physical light spectrum. To clarify his thoughts, I will use a picture of it (fig. 3.1):


 fig. 3.1


According to Jung we can - symbolically seen - place the spiritual/psychic aspect of the archetype - the old definition of it - at the ultraviolet end of the visible spectrum, the psychoid archetype at the infrared end.

This conception of the psychoid archetype will play a central role in my argument. Therefore I will specify it here more exactly by using Jung's definitions. In the same article he defines "psychoid" as "no psychic quality in the proper sense of the word..., but only a 'quasi-psychic' one such as the reflex-processes possess," for purposes of distinguishing it from the specific objective psychic processes he described till 1946. Later (1955) he connects the psychoid processes not only with the reflexive ones of the central nervous system, but also with those in the vegetative nervous system:

"For just as a man has a body which is no different in principle from that of an animal, so also his psychology has whole series of lower storeys in which the spectres from humanity's past epochs still dwell, then the animal souls from the age of Pithecanthropus and the hominids, then the 'psyche' of the cold-blooded saurian, and, deepest down of all, the transcendental mystery and paradox of the sympathetic and parasympathetic psychoid processes." [emphasis mine]

This connection with the reflexive and with the vegetative nervous system shows us that Jung feels a deep need to delimit the psychoid from the purely spiritual/psychic archetype. Thus, psychoid we call quasi-psychic processes, which are connected with the vegetative nervous system as well as with the reflexive nervous system, which means with the drives and instincts. Following Jung's definition, we can say, as mentioned, that in the above image the spiritual/psychic unconscious will thus occupy the ultraviolet part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the psychoid unconscious the infrared one, adjoining the visible red. Jung also calls this part "the 'psychic infra-red,' the biological instinctual psyche" and imagines that it "gradually passes over into the physiology of the organism and thus merges with its chemical and physical conditions." Then he concludes: 

"The position of the archetype would be located beyond the psychic sphere, analogous to the position of physiological instinct, which is immediately rooted in the stuff of the organism and, with its psychoid nature, forms the bridge to matter in general."

To follow Jung here is a bit difficult, because he calls different phenomena "archetype." On the one hand he defines the spiritual/psychic archetype ("ultraviolet archetype") as a content of the collective psyche and the psychoid (which means: only quasi-psychic) archetype ("infrared archetype") as belonging to the vegetative nervous system, the reflexive system, the instincts, the physiology of the organism and finally to matter itself. On the other hand, his newly defined "archetype" is now a reunion of these two, and is beyond or behind the collective psyche and the instinctive world. For him also this "all-archetype" is "psychoid" and by this contradicts the first definition. For example, he compares the psychoid archetype with the archetype of whole numbers because each of them is both, inside and outside [Meier, 2001, p. 127], which will show us that he attaches the former to the world beyond the collective psyche and not to a "quasi-psychic realm" as above.

To find out what Jung was searching for, we must clarify the term "psychoid archetype" and distinguish it from the as yet unknown "all-archetype" by trying to find out what this realm behind the collective psyche at the one side and behind the psychoid archetype at the other could be.



3.2 Psychoid and psychophysical archetype, quasi-psychic realm and unified psychophysical reality (unus mundus)

To do this we must go back into the year 1952. In spring Jung invited Pauli to his house in Kuesnacht-Zurich. They must have discussed this problem together with the UFO phenomenon and a future incarnatio, a materialization of new living matter, expected by Jung for the near future (see Wolfgang Paulis UFO-Meteoriten-Synchronizität). In a letter, in which Pauli thanks for this "pleasant evening" he writes:

"What made the deepest impression upon me was the central role played in your thinking by the concept of 'incarnation' as a scientific working hypothesis. This concept is of particular interest to me, first of all because it is interdenominational ('Avatara' in India) and also because it expresses a psychophysical unity. More and more I see the psychophysical problem as the key to the overall spiritual situation of our age, and the gradual discovery of a new ('neutral') psychophysical standard language, whose function is symbolically to describe an invisible, potential form of reality that is only indirectly inferable through its effects, also seems to me an indispensable prerequisite for the emergence of the new hieros gamos [orig. written in Greek letters; RFR] predicted by you." [emphasis mine]

Then he asks:

"Is it possible to define your point of view as incarnatio continua?"

and Jung answers:

"As incarnatio continua, it [the expression incarnatio; RFR] is synonymous with creatio continua and actually means the materialization of potentially available reality, an actualization of the mundus potentialis of the first day of creation, or the Unus Mundus, in which there are as yet no distinctions or differences." [emphasis mine]

We see that Pauli was deeply involved in the problem of a hypothetical "psychophysical unity" which he also describes as an "invisible, potential form of reality", and adds "that [it] is only indirectly inferable through its effects". In fact, he always avoided the term "psychoid" and spoke of the psychophysical reality. Also in the letter to Marie-Louise von Franz, quoted in the 2nd chapter, he defined it as an expression of Jungian psychology and even said that the expression "psychoid" would be illegitimate for him.

In his answer to Pauli's above mentioned letter, written three days later, Jung speaks for the first time of the alchemical term unus mundus - a potential world before creation, postulated by the medieval alchemist Gerardus Dorneus - , and compares it with Pauli's psychophysical reality. Thus, we can conclude that Jung postulated that the "world behind the collective psyche" is this unus mundus, and - with the help of Pauli - that it is equal to the hypothetical psychophysical reality, postulated by the famous physicist.

With these definitions we can now structure the world of the collective psyche (Jung) and its "beyond" together with the world which contains the instincts, organic and inorganic matter, and insert it into the above physical-symbolic image: The spiritual/psychic archetype is a content of the equivalent of the spectrum's ultraviolet part, of Jung's objective psyche (collective unconscious), the psychoid ("quasi-psychic") archetype is a content of the equivalent of the infrared part, of the world of the reflexive and the vegetative nervous system, of the instincts and of matter. These two worlds are unified in the "world behind both", the psychophysical reality or the unus mundus, the "invisible, potential form of reality, that is only indirectly inferable through its effects," with its content, which we will call the psychophysical archetype.

I will show the supposed structures in two tables (see table 3.1 and table 3.2, below). The first one contains the still separated worlds of the psychoid and the spiritual/psychic archetype, the second the unified realm. It is very interesting to see that also for the latter Carl G. Jung - in a letter of 1946 - used the term "frequency" to describe the essence of this hypothetical world with its "metapsychic phenomena." And we recall (see chap. 1) that Wolfgang Pauli's first remarks about parapsychology in 1934 were also in the context of frequency and oscillation symbolism, together with the possibility of a "non-spatial, non-temporal form of being of the psyche". It seems as if this frequency symbolism is really the essence of these "metapsychic phenomena."


 Infrared Frequencies

Frequencies of Visible Light

Ultraviolet Frequencies

Physical Image

 Psychoid (quasi-psychic) Archetype



Spiritual/Psychic Archetype

Depthpsychological Description

Vegetative NS, Reflexive NS, Instincts, Organic & Inorganic Matter

quasi-conscious psyche

conscious psyche

Collective Psyche


Table 3.1


Psychophysical Archetype

Psychophysical Description

Unus Mundus or Psychophysical Reality

Unified Realm

Table 3.2


With these definitions we have separated the two terms "psychoid archetype" and "psychophysical archetype", which Jung and Pauli still merged. It is obvious, that Jung, by his definition of the psychoid as "quasi-psychic" archetype, persisted in the separation of the two realms, but Pauli, on the other hand, tried to look for the reunion of both. We will see, that this difference has to do with the fact that Jung's synchronicity belongs to the still separated worlds, but the Pauli effect, which means (spontaneous or micro) psychokinesis, to the unified realm.


3.3 Carl Jung's "second psychic system" and its "very different world view"

In table 3.1 we find some expressions neither Jung nor Pauli used: Logos ego (or Logos consciousness), Eros ego (or Eros consciousness) and quasi-conscious psyche. I have inserted them into the table, because they will play an important role in my explanations, which follow.

We will see that Jung, when he speaks of "consciousness" or "ego" always talks of a consciousness identified with the Logos principle. As I mentioned above (see chapter 1), psychology generally speaks in a devaluating manner of an "abaissement du niveau mental" (Pierre Janet), when people - voluntary or not - quit this ego. Experience shows that only in this state - I call it Eros consciousness - we can deal with the contents of the unus mundus, the world behind or beyond the collective unconscious (objective psyche). Like this it follows that exactly this Eros consciousness is the necessary condition for the experience of the psychoid and the psychophysical archetype.

Carl G. Jung must have had a hunch of this "second consciousness", which I postulate, when he published his article in 1946, including the more complete definition of the archetype. He writes:

"If the unconscious can contain everything that is known to be a function of consciousness, then we are faced with the possibility that it too, like consciousness, possesses a subject, a sort of ego."

After demarcating this "ego" from Sigmund Freud's "subconscious", he states:

 "... that a second psychic system coexisting with consciousness - no matter what qualities we suspect it of possessing - is of absolutely revolutionary significance in that it could radically alter our view of the world. Even if no more than the perceptions taking place in such a second psychic system were carried over into ego-consciousness, we should have the possibility of enormously extending the bounds of our mental horizon." [emphasis mine]

Then he continues:

"Once we give serious consideration to the hypothesis of the unconscious, it follows that our view of the world can be but a provisional one; for if we effect so radical an alteration in the subject of perception and cognition as this dual focus implies, the result must be a world view very different from any known before." [emphasis mine]

As much as I know, Jung never came back to this "dual focus" in his work. Also none of his students did ever deal with such an empirically perceptible second consciousness, probably because Jung took over the devaluating term "abaissement du niveau mental" of Pierre Janet for this Eros consciousness, as I call it.

As we have seen in the 1st chapter, our task is to find out, if there could be a "non-spatial, non-temporal form of being of the psyche" (W. Pauli), which itself could belong to the oscillation symbolism of Pauli's dreams. We will see that it is exactly this Eros consciousness or quasi-conscious psyche Jung supposed to exist as a "second psychic system", which is able to perceive transformation phenomena in this "quasi-psychic" and psychophysical realm.

proofread GJS, 12/24/2003


Jung, C.G., CW 8

Jung, C.G., CW 14

Jung, C.G., Letters, vol. 1

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 4

(Will follow)

See also further articles about Wolfgang Pauli in