Remo F. Roth

Dr. oec. publ., Ph.D.

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




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Book Project:


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

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

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back to Chapter 4, part 4


 5. The Seal of Solomon and the unsolved problem of psyche's complementary incarnation

(part 1)



Part 1:

5.1 Wolfgang Pauli’s “mirror image of the Assumptio Mariae to below“ and the Seal of Solomon

Part 2:

5.2 Wolfgang Pauli’s and Carl Jung’s dispute about the terms psyche, matter and spirit

5.2.1 Philosophical cognition as a creation act The symmetry and complementarity of spirit and matter and of the energy principle Psyche as potential being The separation of psyche and spirit and the superiority of psyche over matter and spirit Carl Jung’s crux with the Seal of Solomon Carl Jung’s approach: Philosophical cognition as a creation act Carl Jung’s antagonistic definitions of the term “psyche” Further clarification and summary

Part 3:

5.2.2 Quantum physical observation as a creation act The quantum physical collapse of the wave function or quantum leap The ending of the Neoplatonic infertility in the collapse of the wave function Carl Jung’s conflict between a causal and an acausal theory of the psyche Wolfgang Pauli’s approach: Quantum physical observation as a creation act The Nobel laureate’s isolation since 1935 because of his dreams about Eros and radioactivity Summary and prospects

Part 4a:

5.3 Synchronicity, the wave function’s collapse and the future incarnatio  

5.3.1 The collective psyche as being and as potential being  

5.3.2 The difference between synchronicity and the collapse of the wave function

Part 4b:

5.3.3 Jung’s and Pauli’s discussion about the future incarnatio


Part 5:

5.4 Wolfgang Pauli’s incarnatio synchronicity, the alchemical multiplicatio and psychophysical radioactivity  

5.4.1 Pauli’s nocturnal experience with the bursting meteorite after the discussion with Jung  

5.4.2 The creatio continua out of the unus mundus as the transformation of potential being into actual being  

5.4.3 The coniunctio as the background of the creatio continua

5.4.4 The inclusion of the creatio continua and incarnatio into the description of the cosmic evolutionary processes  

Part 6:

5.4.5 The bursting meteorite, the alchemical process of the multiplicatio and the red tincture  

5.4.6 The multiplicatio of the red tincture and radioactivity  

Part 7:

5.4.7 Complementary versus psychophysical interpretation of the term “physical-symbolic radioactivity”  

5.4.8 Wolfgang Pauli’s regression into the complementary interpretation of the Taoist Yang/Yin

Part 8:

5.4.9 Carl Jung’s and Wolfgang Pauli’s concept of the complementary relationship between radioactivity and synchronicty

5.4.10 Wolfgang Pauli’s reduction of the multiplicatio to an attribute of synchronicity

Part 9:

5.4.11 Pauli’s and Jung’s dispute about the depth psychological difference between the terms “field” and “radioactivity”

5.4.12 Wolfgang Pauli’s depth psychological interpretation of the radioactive transmutation as a transition of the Self into a more conscious state  

Part 10 (not yet published):

5.4.13 Carl Jung’s and Wolfgang Pauli’s lack of understanding of the acausal transformation out of the unus mundus

5.4.14 Radioactivity as a psychophysical transmutation process in the unus mundus

Part 11 (not yet published):

5.4.15 Summary

5.4.16 Conclusions



5. The Seal of Solomon and the unsolved problem of psyche’s complementary incarnation

(part 1)



5.1 Wolfgang Pauli’s “mirror image of the Assumptio Mariae to below“ and the Seal of Solomon

 The 3rd and 4th chapters have shown us that Pauli criticizes the dogma of the Assumption and its interpretation by Carl Jung as a quaternity. In Jungian psychology a quaternity is a symbol for the Self, the center of the collective unconscious, which is supposed to represent wholeness, i.e., inclusion of all aspects of psychic functioning.

In the letter “To be or not to be” of February 27th, 1953 to Jung [58P], three main reasons led Pauli to reject Jung’s new quaternity. The first one was the fact, that the female part was taken into heaven, which means, into the realm of the purely spiritual or masculine principle of the Platonian Empyreum, the second, that this female principle is only unitarian and the third that it is ”disinfected“ matter.

 Pauli’s letter to Fierz (see section 3.9) showed us that he also criticizes Carl Jung’s amplification of the Heavenly Queen’s blue coat when interpreting his World-clock vision of 1932. Pauli’s own amplification of the blue colour of the vertical disc in his World-clock vision leads him to contents like the cornflower of Demeter, fertility, earthworms, the Logos Spermatikos as the “spirit of matter” and rival of the Platonic Idea, to Paracelsus’ archaeus and finally to magics. He concludes that these contents all are attributes of the world soul, repressed at the beginning of natural science in the 17th century, and adds his presumption that the deficiency of the Heavenly Queen, the “disinfected matter”, has also to do with the absence of the dark aspect and of acausality. Further, we have seen that Pauli is convinced that the effect, named after him, is a “revenue” (a parapsychological expression for the return of the deceased) of this repressed world soul.  

In a letter to Marie-Louise von Franz of November 11th, 1953 , he now comes back to his objection of projecting quaternities into heaven at a great distance from people. It is the letter which contains the description of his above (section 4.3.1) mentioned vision/audition of the Seal of Solomon and the square Marie-Louise von Franz published later (and shortened) in Zahl und Zeit, p. 105 (Number and Time, p. 108-9).  

 As we have seen there, this symbol haunted Pauli at least since 1946, in the time when he intensified his research about Robert Fludd because of the dream of the “objectified rotation”, which, as we we will see, has to do with the formulation of the spin hypothesis.

 One and a half years after the publication of his Kepler essay together with Carl Jung’s synchronicity article [Naturerklärung und Psyche was published in June, 1952], this symbol now comes back through the deeply impressing vision/audition of the Seal of Solomon and the square. Depth psychological experience shows, however, that similar or equal contents of the collective unconscious continue to appear only when the consciousness is not yet able to find a solution to the constellated problem. These circumstances show us that Pauli has missed solving the deepest problem behind his fascination for Fludd’s opus. Thus we must find out what this problem was and which possible solution of it would have been the way out.The vision/audition contains this solution, therefore we must deal with it later.

 Here we will first concentrate on Pauli’s conscious reflections. As he writes, during this time Marie-Louise von Franz had a dream, in which she was given the task to find „the psychological equivalent to the atomic bomb“. This is, of course, a very enigmatic challenge. The only hint for an interpretation of this dream is a sentence in a later letter to her, in which he connects this dream with some own ones he dreamt during the year 1954. They deal with the isolation of a radioactive isotope in a secret laboratory, of which Pauli does not know anything at all!

 These dreams are of decisive importance for the extraction of the meaning of a future task I will later call “the observation of inner radioactivity”. Here, we will only notice that this challenge seems to be connected with the Seal of Solomon, which is itself, as we have seen (in 4.3.1), a symbol of the subtle intermediate realm, the unus mundus (which we later will call the psyche in its generalized meaning).

In the context of this dream of the psychological equivalence of the atomic bomb, Pauli mentions the fact that in his dreams of the last years the light aspect of his anima, which he interprets as physical science, became more and more negative, in opposition to the dark one, which means the chthonic aspect that became more and more positive. As an attribute of this dark anima he mentions also parapsychology (and biology). Then he writes:

"Was das Unbewusste kompensatiorisch zum ‘Zeitgeist’ ... - zu dem auch die Atombombe gehört - von uns verlangt, ist ein Spiegelbild der Assumptio Mariae nach unten: die Aufnahme chtonischer Weisheit aus einem tiefen, dunklen Mutterschoss in das obere männliche Bewusstsein. Dies könnte zu einem neuen Gleichgewicht führen (während das Aufhängen von Quaternitäten im Himmel mich kalt lässt)."

English translation:

"What  the unconscious demands of us compensatory to the ’zeitgeist’... - to which also the atomic bomb belongs - , is a mirror image of the Assumptio Mariae to below: a reception of the chthonic wisdom out of a deep, dark mother’s womb into the male consciousness. This could lead to a new balance (while the projection of quaternities into heaven leaves me cold)". [emphasis mine]

 Instead of placing a unitarian, "disinfected" matter principle into the spiritual realm of the Platonian Empyreum and by this creating an unsymmetrical quaternity in a solely spiritual realm, Pauli proposes now that we must look for a compensatory mirror image of the Assumption which contains the chthonic wisdom of the matriarchal realm. Of course, also this idea we must see on the background of his symmetrical or antinomic thinking based on the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics (Niels Bohr) and complementarity, with the help of whose he decided “for the symmetrical interpretation of the opposite’s pair spirit/matter”.

Then Pauli adds a very important insight:

"Es ist mir wahrscheinlich, dass auf diese Weise die Entwicklung, die das Unbewusste schliesslich erzwingen wird, wieder zu einem neuen 'Reich der Mitte' mit symmetrischer Haltung hell und dunkel (Yang und Yin) ... führen wird. Dies schliesst die ‘mittlere bzw. übergeordnete Stellung der Psyche gegenüber Geist und Stoff’ ... ebenfalls ein. Denn 'licht' und 'dunkel' bedeutet einfach 'Geist' und 'Stoff'".

English translation: 

"It seems likely to me that in this way the development which the unconscious will finally require, will lead again to a new 'realm of the middle' [in German a description of China; RFR] with a symmetrical focus in relation to bright and dark (yang and yin) ... This includes also the intermediate respectively superior position of the psyche compared with spirit and matter …, because 'light' and 'dark' just means 'spirit' and 'matter'. [emphasis mine]

 Obviously, the deeply numinous experience of the vision/audition of the Seal of Solomon and the square, Pauli had some days before the letter to Marie-Louise von Franz, showed him, that a further deficiency of the dogma of the Assumption and therefore also of Jung’s quaternity, defined as a (3+1) structure, was the fact, that it does not contain a symmetry, „a mirror image to below“ (further explanations see below).

 However, contrary to Jung’s quaternity, the Seal of Solomon, so central in Robert Fludd’s opus and in Pauli’s vision/audition, contains a symmetry of spirit and matter that allows for an intermediate or superior position of the psyche. Therefore we can conclude that in Pauli’s reasoning the term „psyche“ is not used as an equivalent of „spirit“ anymore - as usual in today’s scientific language - , but that he distinguishes now between „spirit“ as the principle of Platonic Ideas, „matter“ as a trinitarian dark principle and a superior principle which is „psyche” (further explanations see below).

 This differentiation is a very important one. By means of a symmetrical symbol, the Seal of Solomon, which pursued him in so many dreams and visions, Pauli is now able to define the dark female part, which is, symbolically seen,  matter, as a mirrored image of the spiritual layer, and vice versa. This material trinity unifies with the spiritual one, leading by this into a new sphere, the psyche which he calls here the “realm of the middle” (i.e., China). 

With the Seal of Solomon in Pauli’s vision/audition of November 1953 the preconscious knowledge of the collective unconscious presents a symbol which unifies “fire” and “water”, spirit and matter, light and dark, in a „realm of the middle“. As we have seen above, it is itself a symbol of the Hermetic alchemist’s goal of the opus, the union of the opposites in the coniunctio (see also figure 5.1).  



 Figure 5.1: Further Seal of Solomons out of Abraham Eleazar’s Uraltes chymisches Werk


In Pauli’s vision/audition it is a very interesting fact that a Chinese woman presents this double trinity to him. However, she also tells him that the Seal of Solomon symbol is missing a dynamic aspect. 

Therefore, in the letter to Marie-Louise von Franz Pauli compares this symbol with the bipolarity of yin and yang in Taoism. This bipolarity is represented by the famous Tai Gi Tu, which expresses by its symbolism the polarity (and not the opposites) of yin and yang (see figure 5.2).


 Figure 5.2: The Taoist Tai Gi Tu


The dark point in the white symbol for yin shows its transformation into yang, as soon as yin is “full”, as represented in the I Ching, the “book of changes”. The white point in the black or red yang symbol shows the root of the “rebirthed” yin in the moment when yang is at its maximal height. This principle is known as the exchange of attributes and it will play a very important role in our following argumentation.

 Obviously, Taoism, with the yin/yang bipolarity and the exchange of attributes, speaks of an energetical symbolism. It reminds us of the request in Pauli’s Fludd/flood synchronicity to integrate a bipolar notion for energy into a new worldview, instead of the monistic one of physical and natural science. However, we will see that the integration of such an energetic bipolarity is only possible, if the following condition is fulfilled: The term “psyche” must be redefined as a principle which is superior to “matter” and “spirit” and in some way it should be a union of these two opposite principles.

It is important to notice that this novel definition contradicts the currently accepted one: Modern science always speaks of “psyche” as a part of or identical with “spirit”; therefore, it treats them mostly as synonyms. As a logical consequence, the term “matter-psyche” does not exist in the terminology of consciousness theories.

The wisdom of Pauli’s Chinese anima is therefore, to show him that the energy principle must be thought of as bipolar. However, in his Background Physics, written after the Fludd/flood synchronicity at the foundation of the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich for the purpose to “pour out water inside” (‘innen Wasser ausgiessen’; see section 2.2) Pauli states in a very dogmatic manner exactly the contrary:

"Physical energy is, without exception, indestructible; it does not change into hidden, nonphysical forms of energy (such as 'psychic energy', for example)."

 Thus, already five years before the vision/audition, in 1948, Pauli refused the required extension of the physical term “energy” into a bipolarity. Consequently, the above mentioned exchange of attributes, the Taoist transformation of yang into yin, and vice versa, was no theme for him, as soon as natural science and especially physics was involved.

 Therefore, the Nobel laureate was not capable to really “pour out water inside”, i.e., to treat energy as a “fluid principle” that is also capable to penetrate the barriers between the physical and the psychic worlds, between yang and yin. Because of this dogmatic attitude, Pauli was not yet able to consider the possibility that, on a deeper level behind or beyond physics and psychology, in the realm of the psychophysical reality, suggested by he himself, such a “watery principle” of a bipolar energy could be possible. The great tragedy of his life is therefore that, by this dogmatic attitude he missed the opportunity for a breakthrough to the unified psychophysical reality in his own body and soul.

 I would like to add here a further note, because the related subject will play an important role in our further investigations: Because Pauli’s interest in Robert Fludd’s opus and its inherent bipolarity of the energy concept began anew with his dream about the “objectified rotation”, we can hypothetically conclude that this “objectified rotation” and the supposed bipolarity of energy must somehow belong together. As I stressed in The Connection between Radioactivity and Synchronicity... this dream could compensate the Nobel laureate's postulation of the spin. Therefore we should not loose track of the presumption that the constellated problem could have to do with the substitution of the spin by a bipolar energy term.


Chapter 5, part 2

 See also further articles about Wolfgang Pauli in